Program Overview

Kyoto is filled with beauty and intrigue, a city holding onto its past while blazing into the future. Modern skyscrapers tower over traditional temples, and you’ll encounter an astonishing seventeen UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On Semester in Japan, you’ll explore this fascinating city as you study at the Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, which has a strong focus on Japanese language and culture. Even as Kyoto hangs onto its heritage, the city is awash with young people. College students comprise ten percent of Kyoto’s population, making for a very lively and dynamic city. Fuel up on the best sushi of your life as you take in this small but grand island nation.

GPA Requirement
2.5
Application Deadlines
Spring: October 1
Fall: March 15
Avg Course Load
6 courses (12 US credits)
Language(s) of Instruction
Japanese and English

Key Program Highlights

  • Modern city with a rich, ancient past
  • Quiet temples, sublime gardens, and colorful shrines dot the city
  • University focus on Japanese language acquisition, with courses from beginner to advanced
  • Some of the most delicious food in the world
  • Young, active city, where ten percent of the population are college students

Your Journey Begins Here

  • Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.

  • Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.

  • Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.

Life in Kyoto

Welcome and Orientation

Upon arrival you’ll take part in both the university and CISabroad orientation program. You’ll learn the “do’s and don’ts” of life in Japan, like how to get around by public transportation, how to stay safe, what to do in case of an emergency and who to contact if you have any questions. We’ll also tell you all about our favorite places in town (restaurants, museums, markets etc). Oh, and you’ll join in on a welcome meal, something traditional and yummy so that you can start to taste the local flavor.

Farewell and Re-entry Program

Though you’re not an astronaut returning from space, re-entering your home culture after being abroad can be shocking to the system. We’ll walk you through some of the things to expect, rehash your time abroad so that you can remember the highlights and, yep, we’ll feed you again as part of our farewell to Japan.

Housing Options

Studio-style apartments in a shared building, with single rooms in a great location near campus. Students will have a small kitchenette, ensuite bathroom, and access to laundry facilities.

Japan-Kyoto-Kamigamo-Shrine

Local Life

  • Nijojo Castle: Nijijo Castle is one of Kyoto’s most popular and impressive sight. It shows the power that the Shoguns wielded over the emperors throughout the Edo period.
  • Nishiki Market: Nishiki Market, also called “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, lies beside the shopping district where young people gather. Along this 390 meter market are shops that have been decorating Kyoto’s dining tables for the past 400 years. Kyoto vegetables, dried foods, pickles, sushi and other items are sold.
  • Kinkakuji Temple: Kinkakuji Temple, the famed “Golden Pavilion,” is Kyoto’s most iconic sight, rising above its reflecting pond like an apparition.

More About Kyoto

Kyoto is a magnificent city with amazing cultural treasures unlike any other city in the world. Kyoto has been home to samurai, shogun, the imperial family, monks, and masters. All have left their mark on the city. Ancient temples, pagodas, shrines, and castles are the backdrop for the Semester in Japan program.

There are seventeen UNESCO World Heritage Sites in just this one city—more than most countries in the world! Kyoto is the ideal spot to dive into Japanese culture and language. Luckily, the most sacred cultural and historical sites are all close to your program. Don't forget to bring your camera because Kyoto is a photographer's dream city.

Another bright spot: you can reach the city of Osaka by train in just 25 minutes. You'll have the deep history, culture, and traditions of Kyoto, and some of the best shopping and nightlife in the world in Osaka. Additionally, the fascinating cities of Kobe and Nara are also close. Or, zip over to the Osaka International Airport for a short flight to many of the other beautiful regions of Japan.

Academics

GPA Requirement

If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.

How to Choose Your Courses

Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page and once you’ve decided which courses you want to take. Fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.

Course Approval

Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.

Course Information

Semester in Japan offers two 14-week semesters, beginning in September, and April. You can easily find a semester that fits with your study abroad schedule.

GPA Required: 2.5. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! We’ll do all we can to find the right program for you.

How to choose your courses
Now the fun part! As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet found in the CISabroad Application Page. The following instructions will guide you through the steps.

Course load: 6 classes (12 US credits).

Course approval: It is best to get 10–12 classes approved before you go abroad. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

Course descriptions and catalog: Click here to view the entire list of courses that Kyoto University of Foreign Studies has to offer.


The University

The Kyoto University of Foreign Studies (KUFS) is your gateway to Japan. Dive into Japanese language and culture with other students from around the world. Founded in 1959, KUFS was originally a foreign language university. Now, KUFS houses a Center for Global Studies and a Center for Japanese Studies. You'll find a dynamic learning environment in a fascinating city filled with Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, and modern buildings.

The Japanese Studies courses provide a solid base for understanding Japanese language and culture. Many former KUFS international students are so inspired by Japan that they return to live and to work there after graduating. You'll have your pick of engaging, creative courses. Furthermore, you'll have hands-on experience with traditional Japanese arts, including calligraphy, tea ceremony, kimono wearing, ikebana, and dance.

Accredited by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. Also recognized by Japan University Accreditation Association; Japan Institution for Higher Education Evaluation (JIHEE).

Student Feedback

Everyone within the program had their hearts, heads, and souls in the program, and it made me feel so welcomed and so happy. The students, teachers, directors, and all the people I met in passing on the trip taught me so much about myself and inspired me to be better and think bigger.

Caitlin Haggerty - Stevens Institute of Technology

Program Support

Meet Our Staff

Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, you’ll be supported by the dedicated and passionate CISabroad staff. Our goal is quick responses to your questions before you depart, and even quicker once you’ve arrived on site.

Robust Advising Center

Our team of advisors will help you choose a program, connect with your home university regarding classes and financial aid and get you prepared to apply for your program.

Team of Dedicated Program Coordinators

Your Program Coordinator will assist you in finalizing housing, enrolling in courses, booking flights, obtaining visas, arranging payments, and provide pre-departure orientation.

Experienced On-site Staff

From greeting you at the airport to a robust On-site Orientation to La Vida Local Activities our on-site staff will be there to support you throughout your time on-site.

Ongoing Support

Our support doesn’t end when your program does. We have alumni programming, webinars, and resources to help you readjust when you’ve returned from your experience.

Your Support Staff

Program Fees & Dates

Advisor Tip: Please do not book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Spring 2018
    Application Deadline
    October 1
    Arrival
    March 26
    Orientation
    March 27
    Classes Start
    April 2
    Classes End
    July 27
    Departure
    August 4
    PRICE
    $11,990
  • Fall 2018
    Application Deadline
    March 15
    Arrival
    September 4 (Estimated)
    Orientation
    September 5 (Estimated)
    Departure
    December 22 (Estimated)
    PRICE
    $11,990 (Estimated)

CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.

Program Inclusions

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • CISabroad Comprehensive Academic and Cultural Orientation in Tokyo
  • Full-time tuition and fees
  • Excursions to Osaka, Kobe, and Onsen and Nara
  • Housing
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Predeparture orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • On-site support
  • Kyoto University of Foreign Studies Transcript (US university)
  • NYTimes Digital Subscription
  • La Vida Local cultural program