Experience life in Japan on this semester-long program!
Length: You may apply for a single semester (fall or spring) or for a full academic year
Eligibility: Minimum 2.5 GPA, open to college students of all majors
Language of instruction: English, Japanese
Tuition discounts: Students attending a JCMU Consortium school pay a discounted rate
Summary: On this program, you can make Japan a part of your academic plan by studying abroad for the fall, spring, or the entire academic year. Discover the historic city of Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, right in the heart of Honshu (the main island of Japan). There, you will learn an entire year's worth of college-level Japanese each semester!
While at JCMU, you will immerse yourself completely in Japanese language and culture. There are no language prerequisites, though: we offer beginner level courses all the way through advanced. You will get the chance to participate in a wide range of classroom activities, including practice with a Japanese student and sitting in on a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Through this, you will find that your ability to utilize Japanese on a day-to-day basis in Hikone will increase exponentially.
Location: Built as a castle town during the early 1600s, Hikone retains much of its original charm. Spend your time visiting sites such as Hikone Castle, one of only twelve Japanese castles to remain in its original construction. After a day of sightseeing, head back to our campus directly on the shores of Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan and the third oldest lake in the entire world.
Looking for modern conveniences? In Hikone's vibrant downtown area, you can chill out in large malls, eat at a wide variety of restaurants, and even sing your heart out at one of many karaoke shops. Want to explore other parts of Japan? The city is only a short train ride away from the cities of Kyoto and Osaka, and on the bullet train line to Tokyo.
Cultural demonstrations and internships: Practice Japanese with conversation partners, participate in club activities and events at local universities, and engage in non-credit internships based on your interests. (Click here for more information about cultural activities.)
Housing: Students may live in the JCMU Residence Hall or with a homestay. The JCMU student apartments are designed for double occupancy with two private bedrooms and a shared kitchen, dining area and bathroom. The residential building has wireless internet and features a laundry room, TV room, lounge and other amenities. JCMU arranges short- and long-term homestays with local families based on family availability and student preferences. Homestays, regardless of duration, offer students the best opportunity to meet and interact with Japanese people.
Field trips & other benefits: You will be provided with your own bike to use while on the program. In addition, you will have the chance to go on a field excursion with your classmates! The location & date of the excursion are subject to change on a yearly basis, but past students have been taken to Kyoto, Nara, Uji, and more.
You will take the following classes each semester while you are on the program:
- (10 credits) Intensive Japanese language: Daily instruction will address listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Beginner through advanced levels are all offered. Placement is based on exams at the beginning of the program. No prior language study is required!
- (1-4 credits) Japanese studies elective course: Taught entirely in English, each course explores an aspect of Japan, such as its history, religions, politics, arts, economy and more. Course offerings vary by semester; a list of electives for upcoming semesters can be found on the JCMU website.
- (1 credit) JCMU Experience course: The study abroad experience can be confusing and stressful for anyone. Talk about the new, exciting, and frustrating things you see and experience in Japan on the JCMU Experience course (taught in English). Learn more about why Japanese culture is the way it is, and discuss how your particular views are influencing your international education.
ALUMNI TESTIMONIALS AND MORE
Want to learn what past students have said about their time in Hikone? Or do you want to read about what our recent students have been up to? Then visit the Alumni Testimonials and Events sections of the JCMU Official Blog!