The Contemporary Japan Program is specially designed for incoming exchange students to Kwansei Gakuin University. Exchange students are offered a choice between two study tracks that will define the main focus of their time at KGU, the “Japanese Language Track” and the “Modern Japan Track”. Exchange students can also select elective courses to learn more about “Contemporary Japan” from a variety of aspects such as language, culture, society, economy, and politics.
A student exchange is a system based on a written student exchange agreement between Kwansei Gakuin University and a partner institution overseas. Through this system, students enrolled at partner institutions may apply to participate in studies at Kwansei Gakuin University while keeping their status of enrollment at their home institutions.
Participating students will be selected by the home institution. KGU reserves the right to make a final decision on the admission of students nominated for the student exchange program.
Students enrolled in North American institutions not affiliated with KGU may apply through the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC).
Associate Professor Mari Yamamoto, Ph.D.
Japanese Language Track Coordinator
The Japanese Language Track (JLT) at Kwansei Gakuin University is designed for students who want to learn Japanese in an intensive environment over a short duration and who aim to improve their Japanese language skills. To enroll in the JLT, students must be able to read, write and pronounce hiragana and katakana prior to arrival in Japan. Additionally, completion of assignments is required for almost all classes and participation is very important.
Depending on the result of the placement test, students will be placed into seven levels from beginner level (level pre 1) to advanced level (level 6). By learning at the level that suits your abilities, you can practically improve the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in an evenly balanced and steady process. With many activities such as discussions and interviews.
Exchange students are also required to take more than 10 credits per semester, including the mandatory 5 credits Japanese course and 1 Kanji and vocabulary course. In addition to the mandatory courses, elective courses include reading, writing, listening, speaking, usage, culture, and can be selected according to each individual’s level and interest. For example, you can experience field trip to kyoto and make Japanese traditional sweets in the culture class after studying Japanese food culture.
KGU student volunteers acting as ‘Nihongo Partners’ will help JLT exchange students practice conversation in Japanese once a week. Exchange students can regularly meet with their Nihongo partners and practice conversation and learn about Japanese culture. Depending on the subject, Learning Assistants and student volunteers also participate in classes, providing opportunities to interact with Japanese students in various situations.
I look forward to seeing you on campus!
Associate Professor Matthias Hennings, Ph.D.
Modern Japan Track Coordinator
The Modern Japan Track is a course where you can learn about Japanese society and culture while experiencing Japan from various aspects. As coordinator of this track, I would like to introduce the main points of this course together with the location and environment of our campus.
In this track you will gain a deep understanding of Japan by classes taught completely in English. You can choose from a wide range of elective subjects on arts, history or political economy and learn about various aspects of Japanese culture and society in the mandatory Modern Japan Seminar. In this active-seminar style class, students will study a variety of topics related to contemporary Japan such as religion, family, gender, education, employment and politics. The seminar also includes field trips where you can experience Japanese history and culture first hand.
Although Japanese language classes are not mandatory in this track, students can supplement their English-based studies with elective Japanese language courses on reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Modern Japan Track classes are taught at the historic Nishinomiya Uegahara campus by a diverse faculty who are all specialists in their fields. The campus is located between the vibrant city Osaka and the beautiful harbor city Kobe and just a short train ride away from the former ancient Japanese capital Kyoto with its world cultural heritage.
On our campus, we welcome students from partner universities of over 40 different countries. Through discussion in classes and daily campus life you not only learn about Japan but also about other cultures and countries. Of course, there are many opportunities to meet and learn together with Japanese students in class and at various international events as well.
For those who want to deepen their understanding of Japan in an attractive location with an international environment, I strongly recommend this track.
I’m looking forward to seeing you on campus!