Japanese at Hamilton


Study Abroad

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CIEE at Jôchi (Sophia) University
Waseda University, Tokyo
Nanzan University, Aichi prefecture
Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies

Read about Karen Haedrich's ('06) study abroad experience

CIEE at Jôchi (Sophia) University

The Council on International Educational Exchange (hereafter CIEE) is a U.S.-based non-governmental international education organization. Jôchi (also known as Sophia) University, a prestigious private university founded by the Jesuits, is the host institution for the CIEE Japan program. The CIEE Japan is housed in the main campus of Sophia University, a large university with the total enrollment of 12,000 students. This offers the CIEE students the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities such as student organizations and clubs on the main campus, while the satellite campus has a separate office for the study-abroad students to provide necessary care for particular needs. CIEE also has an academic consortium, and the member institutions evaluate the academic quality of the program. An applicant student does not need to come from a consortium member school.

They are on a semester system, and each term is 21 weeks long. To be eligible for enrollment, the student has to have at least one semester of college and the overall GPA of 3.0. The student will be placed into an appropriate level of language courses according to the results of their placement test at the beginning of the term. While the spring term does not start until late March, a pre-session program (mid-February to mid-March) is available for those who wish to study longer in Japan. The program has two tracks: (1) “language intensive course,” which literally focuses on language learning with 3 hours of language classes per day and (2) “regular course,” which incorporates non-language courses taught in English and has 1.5 hours of language class time per day. Each track has its own set of instructors. We encourage our Hamilton students to enroll in the “regular” track.

Home stay is encouraged in the CIEE Program. Commute time is somewhere between 45-60 minutes.

For further information, go to the CIEE website: http://ciee.org/program_search/program_detail.aspx?program_id=55


Waseda University, Tokyo

Founded in 1882, Waseda University is one of the oldest and prestigious private schools in Japan. The main campus is located near Shinjuku, one of the metropolitan hubs in Tokyo. About 1,200 foreign students from 50 countries are enrolled as of 2003, and the number of students admitted to the Intensive Japanese Language Program is 80 per a year. The academic year is divided into Spring Semester (April 1st to September 20th) and Fall Semester (September 21st to March 31st), and the month of admission is either April or September.

The Japanese language program in Waseda University consists of two different departments: The Department of International Studies and the Intensive Japanese Language Program. The majority of students in the Japanese program are from the United States and Europe. The Japanese program has language courses as well as disciplinary-based courses (such as political science and economy). Depending on the level in which students are classified, the Japanese program offers an extra hour of tutorial sessions. One of the benefits for students who study Japanese in Waseda is the opportunity to attend a weekly colloquium. This talk series invites professionals in various areas to discuss up-to-date information in each of their area. This type of series gives students the opportunities to be exposed to and think about their future careers as well as stimulating interest in Japanese studies. Aside from our interest in sending Hamilton College students to Waseda University, Waseda is interested in sending their students to Hamilton. Waseda University has two exchange programs in which to do this: FLESA and CESA, and there is a possibility that Hamilton will participate in one of them.

For further information: http://www.waseda.jp/cie/index-e.html


Nanzan University, Aichi prefecture

Nanzan University is a medium-sized private university, with a focus on humanities. Similar to Hamilton College with respect to facilities, Nanzan is located in Nagoya City, the fourth largest city in the country and situated halfway between Tokyo and Osaka. The number of students in the Center for Japanese Studies is 130, and the total student enrolment is about 9000.

The university runs on an American school calendar for international students. We recommend our students to go there for the entire year. If they can afford only one semester away from Hamilton, the Fall semester should be the time they study at Nanzan. This is because the university is on spring break from mid-January to the end of March, and students will only be able to take language courses during those months. The school provides host families for international students.

For further information: http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/English/index.htm


Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies

Stanford University managed the program since its establishment in 1989 up to 2006. The administration of the program has been transferred to Columbia University in 2006. The Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) is a consortium of 14 American universities that sponsors a rigorous, two-semester academic program for undergraduates who wish to do advanced work in Japanese language and cultural studies. It also admits a small number of students for one-semester study.

KCJS offers a small but rigorous learning environment in a quiet neighborhood of Kyoto. It uses office and classroom space at “Kyodai Kaikan, a facility affiliated with Kyoto University, one of the leading universities in the country. A library with an extensive collection of English-language books on Japan and a student lounge are located in Kyodai Kaikan. Some KCJS classes take place at Kyodai Kaikan while others will meet on the campus of Kyoto University. KCJS students also have access to the library and other facilities at Kyoto University.” (A quote from the program website) The program admits only 40-50 students (with a wide range of majors in the humanities, social sciences, sciences and engineering) for each semester. Columbia University administers the program on behalf of the KCJS consortium, and it admits students both from the consortium member schools and non-consortium schools, with priority given to the students from consortium schools. The current consortium members (thirteen institutions) include University of Chicago, Cornell University, Princeton University, Washington University in St. Louis and several other top schools.

The KCJS students are required to take two language courses and two disciplinary-based courses per semester. The size of the language courses is kept small (4-8 students per class). At Hamilton College, we encourage our students to study in Japan after completing two years of Japanese, and this policy matches with the curriculum pacing/scheduling of the KCJS consortium. Strong and enthusiastic students will particularly benefit from the instruction and positive peer stimulation at KCJS. The program also invites professors from both American and Japanese colleges/universities to cover a nice range of subjects in social sciences and humanities.

The students live with their host families. This is a great opportunity for students to experience daily practices in Japan, as well as to communicate with a variety of people of different age ranges. The commute time is usually between 30-60 minutes.

For further information: http://www.ce.columbia.edu/overseas/about.cfm?PID=32