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Study Abroad
Tokyo - Language & Culture Add to favorites
  • Tokyo, Japan

You are here

Why Tokyo?

Tea ceremony, calligraphy, music, dance, and martial arts—all this and more you can explore during your time in Tokyo. Live and learn in this exciting city where the past mingles with the future, and the modern stands side-by-side with the traditional.

What You'll Study

Expand your understanding of this country by immersing yourself in contemporary Japan and its culture—what better way to learn the Japanese language? At Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS), you take a 6-credit language course specially designed for IES Abroad students (with the option of taking up to 12 credits of language), plus area studies courses taught in English. The English-language course offerings look at Japan from the point of view of popular culture, history, politics, and the arts. KUIS is a modern and vibrant university with an international faculty and state-of-the-art facilities.

You can also enroll in the course, Social Organization in Japan and the field placement program, which provides you with first-hand experience in a Japanese organization. Spend one day per week as a participant-observer at a local business or not-for-profit organization, and then share your experience in a seminar course to learn more about Japanese culture.

Daily Life

KUIS is located within walking distance of the IES Abroad Center in Makuhari, a modern city in Chiba prefecture, which is in the Greater Tokyo Area (just 30 minutes from downtown Tokyo). The area around the Center has easy access to public transportation, plus offers many public amenities, like shopping and dining, a movie complex, a game arcade, parks, the beach, and open spaces to relax and hang out. A good way to practice your language skills while getting to know Japanese culture is through your housing option. Live in a homestay with a host family or live in residence halls with Japanese university students and young professionals. Both options allow you to get to know Japanese customs and traditions, and make local, life-long friends. 

We want you to feel at home in Tokyo, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. Check out our IES Abroad Tokyo Center newsletter to see what our current Tokyo students are up to. Our E-pal program introduces you to a local student before you even arrive. Through your E-pal, you will have opportunities for more 1:1 Japanese cultural experiences to practice speaking Japanese. We also take you to places in and around Tokyo that you might not experience on your own.

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.

Academics

Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.

We offer unique courses that explore Japanese language, history, and culture through an in-depth and hands-on approach. World-class professors and course options enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

You must take 15-18 credits per semester. Courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified.

Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:

  • Japanese language course (required, 6 credits)
  • Japanese language electives (must be placed in 300-level Japanese or higher, 2 credits each)
  • English-taught IES Abroad area studies courses or KUIS area studies courses (9-12 credits)
  • Field placement and required seminar

 

Courses

 This is a list of potential course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.

JAPANESE LANGUAGE COURSES AT KUIS (6 CREDITS)

JP 101 Japanese Language in Context: Novice Abroad I

JP 201 Japanese Language in Context: Novice Abroad III

JP 301 Japanese Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad Ⅰ

JP401 Japanese Language in Context: Independent Abroad I

To learn more about IES Abroad’s philosophy for teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.

NOTE: IES Abroad reserves the right to cancel a course due to insufficient enrollment or circumstances beyond our control.

Anthropology
Course Name Term Language Credits
AN 310 - Gender and Family in Japan Fall, Spring English 3
AN 343 - Japanese Manga and Animation Fall, Spring English 3
AN 362 - Japanese Popular Culture: Past and Present Fall, Spring English 3
SO/AN 391 - Social Organization of Japan with Field Placement Fall, Spring English 3
Art
Course Name Term Language Credits
AR 351 - The Arts and Society in Japan Fall, Spring English 3
US/AR 353 - Architecture, Urban Planning, and Development in Modern Tokyo Spring English 3
Asian Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
AS 320 - Japan Through Film Fall, Spring English 3
Cultural Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
CU 221 - Dialogues on Difference Seminar Fall, Spring English 1
Economics
Course Name Term Language Credits
EC 320 - The Contemporary Economy of Japan Fall English 3
Environmental Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
ES/HS 339 - Environmental History of Japan Fall, Spring English 3
History
Course Name Term Language Credits
ES/HS 339 - Environmental History of Japan Fall, Spring English 3
HS 336 - History of Tokyo Fall, Spring English 3
IR/HS 340 - History of Japanese International Relations Fall, Spring English 3
International Relations
Course Name Term Language Credits
IR/HS 340 - History of Japanese International Relations Fall, Spring English 3
Japanese
Course Name Term Language Credits
JP 321 - Listening Comprehension Fall, Spring Japanese 2
JP 326 - Reading Modern Fiction Fall, Spring Japanese 2
Marketing
Course Name Term Language Credits
MK 325 - Key Features of Japanese Marketing Strategy Spring English 3
Political Science
Course Name Term Language Credits
PO 363 - Politics and Society in Contemporary Japan Fall, Spring English 3
Sociology
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO 310 - Contemporary Urban Society in Japan Spring English 3
SO 363 - Introduction to Japanese Society and Culture Fall English 3
SO/AN 391 - Social Organization of Japan with Field Placement Fall, Spring English 3
Urban Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
US 355 - Understanding Tokyo Through Photography Fall English 3
US/AR 353 - Architecture, Urban Planning, and Development in Modern Tokyo Spring English 3

Field Placement Program

The IES Abroad Tokyo Centers offers a unique opportunity for students to do a Field Placement at Japanese organizations throughout the semester as part of the SO/AN 391 Social Organization of Japan with Field Placement course. This is NOT an internship. You will be observing a Japanese organization for 8-10 hours every week in addition to the SO/AN 391 seminar course which will meet every other week. Students with higher level Japanese abilities may also be able to participate in certain office-placed tasks. This Field Placement requires a serious commitment on the part of all participants in terms of attendance which may require a commute, compliance with professional dress codes, and workplace guidance from supervisors.

If you’d like to read a former IES Abroad Tokyo student’s Field Placement experience, take a look here.

KUIS AREA STUDIES COURSES

Depending on your schedule, you may enroll in English-taught area studies courses at KUIS that are 1.5 credits per course.

Offerings vary each semester, and the course schedule is determined by KUIS shortly before the start of each semester. For this reason, it is not possible to preregister for these courses before you arrive in Tokyo. Recent courses have been offerend in the following disciplines:

  • Anthropology
  • Communications
  • Culture Studies
  • History

KUIS reserves the right to cancel a course due to insufficient enrollment or circumstances beyond its control.

DIGITAL HOLLYWOOD UNIVERSITY

IES Abroad students with sufficient Japanese language ability can opt to audit a Digital Hollywood University (DHU) course for no credit. Courses are taught in Japanese. Established in 1994, DHU is a private university in central Tokyo that specializes in digital communications including film, animation, and video game design.

Possible courses may include the following:

  • 3D Modeling I
  • Basic Design I
  • Graphic Design I
  • Original Character Design Practicum
  • Practical 3DCG
  • Practical Animation
  • Practical Game Development I
  • Practical Photography I
  • Practical VFX I
  • Practical Video Production Basics A
  • Practical Web Programming I
  • Practical Website Markup
  • Practical Website Styling
  • Programming in CI
  • Video Camera Techniques I

DHU reserves the right to cancel a course due to insufficient enrollment or circumstances beyond its control. Courses at max enrollment capacity may not be available for IES Abroad students to audit.

Partner Institution(s)

Kanda University 神田外語大学

www.kandagaigo.ac.jp

Founded in 1987, KUIS is a private university dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in International Studies, Foreign Languages, Intercultural Communication, Japanese Culture, and Linguistics. It is a modern and vibrant university with an international faculty and state-of-the-art facilities. The University enrolls approximately 3,100 graduate and undergraduate students; all students study a second language. It features modern computer facilities, library, sports and recreation center, and cafeteria.

Location and Commute Time

KUIS is located in Makuhari, a short train ride from Tokyo and near the IES Abroad Tokyo Center. Commute times will vary based on the location of your housing option.  Expect commute times to range between 30-90 minutes.  KUIS is a five minute-walk from the IES Abroad Tokyo Center.

 

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Tokyo, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. (These trips are partially subsidized by IES Abroad.) Here are a few possible destinations:

Hiroshima
4 Days | Fall
Visit the Hiroshima Peace Museum and learn about the events that ended World War Two. Enjoy the beauty of the Itsukushima Floating Shrine (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and sample the local cuisine.

Nikko
2 Days | Fall
Visit Japan’s most spectacular Shinto Shrine and some of the country’s most beautiful mountain scenery.

Asakusa
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Go to the site of Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest and most popular temple, and have a walk around this very traditional district. 

Kamakura
1 Day | Spring
Visit the site of the first shogunate (warrior government), the home of the Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha statue), and some of the most famous gardens and temples in Japan.

Okinawa
4 Days| Spring
Visit this island known for its unique cultural traditions, historic fortresses, and pretty beaches.

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Makuhari and the greater Tokyo area is doing our best to make you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you places to enrich your cultural and academic learning—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.

Wondering what it's really like to study abroad in Tokyo? Check out the recent issue of our Center newsletter, the Tokyo Shinbun!

Orientation

The program begins with a specially designed, three-day orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad staff, your fellow students, KUIS, and the city of Makuhari in Chiba, as well as exploring parts of Tokyo.

Our Comprehensive Orientation & Re-Entry Experience (CORE™) begins right when you arrive and continues through the semester with activities focusing on academic and cultural adjustment. Detailed information about housing, public transportation, culture, health and safety, and other important topics are also covered.

Housing

Residence Halls
Live with Japanese university students and young professionals— each hall is configured differently. They are single-sex, privately managed, and offer single rooms with shared common spaces and bathrooms.The residence halls offer a meal plan that provides breakfast and dinner from Monday through Saturday (no meals are provided on Sundays or public holidays). The cuisine features typical Japanese set menus. There is also a common kitchen for student use, and rental refrigerators are available for student rooms for an additional cost.

Homestays
Live with a host family and forge life-long friendships while you learn about Japanese customs, manners, and cuisine. Accommodations vary by placement. Hosts provide breakfast and dinner seven days a week. Homestay opportunities may be limited.

Apartments
Live with Japanese university students, other IES Abroad students, and young Japanese professionals in this privately managed co-ed building. Each apartment suite of 3-4 residents is single-sex, and offers single rooms. You will share a kitchen, bathroom, and washing machine with your roommates. There is also a large communal kitchen, communal bath, and student lounge for all residents to use. Meals are not included.

Commuting
Whether staying with a host family, residence hall, or apartments, you likely commute 40 to 90 minutes, as do most Japanese residents in the Tokyo area. If you have particularly high commuting costs, you will receive a monthly subsidy from IES Abroad.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Tokyo through our cultural events, such as:

  • Art & Culture Series - Special classes and demonstrations are held throughout the semester for you to experience the traditional arts of Japan. These may include ikebana (flower arranging), shodō (calligraphy), fūrin (glass bell making), origami (paper folding), sadō (tea ceremony), and chōchin (paper lantern making).
  • Guest Speaker Series - Distinguished speakers are invited each semester to address IES Abroad students. Past presentations have included “A Brief History of Gender and Sexual Minorities in Japan” and "Japan in the Asia-Pacific: The Politics of Identity"

University Clubs & Events
IES Abroad students in the Japanese Language Intensive Program have access to all KUIS facilities and receive a KUIS student ID that entitles them to student discounts on museum entrance fees, the cinema, theatrical performances, and rail travel.

While you’re in Tokyo, joining a club or program is a great way to meet local students and practice the Japanese language. Here are a few recommended ways to get involved:

E-pal Program – Partner with a Japanese student to help you meet local students. You are introduced to your E-pal via email one month before the program begins. Your Japanese E-pal then meets you after arrival and serves as your cultural resource throughout the term. We strongly encourage you to sign up for an E-pal and start your cultural and linguistic preparation before departure.

Student Council – Students at the Tokyo Center elect an IES Abroad Tokyo Student Council, which receives funds to be used for student events. Past councils have held photo contests, sponsored softball games with Japanese students, headed fundraising drives to benefit local charities, and hosted holiday parties.

Get to Know Your New City

Enjoy Art & Culture in the Roppongi District

Known as a shopping destination with excellent restaurants, Roppongi also has a thriving and lively art scene. When you visit, be sure to check out the Mori Art Museum and Observatory, as well as Tokyo Mid-Town.

Hike Mount Takao

Need a break from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo? Take a day trip to Mount Takao, where the views are breathtaking.

Experience the Harajuku District

Make your way to this trendy fashion and shopping district (a must!), but be sure to see the popular Meiji Jingu Shrine and Yoyogi Park.

Learn About Tokyo at Edo Tokyo Museum

Observe the history of Japan’s great capital city from the Edo period to modern times inside this beautifully-contemporary building.

Spend a Day on Odaiba

Take a walk across Tokyo Bay on the striking Rainbow Bridge (where you’ll take in fabulous views of the Tokyo skyline) to explore this island filled with museums, theme parks, shopping malls, and more.

Program Cost

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Term: Fall 2018
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Fall 2018
Academic Year
$16,010
$28,800
$5,350
$10,700
$240
$480
$21,600
$39,980

Term: Spring 2018
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2018 $15,650 $5,225 $240 $21,115


Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$5 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.

Our Center

TheFall and SpringTokyo programs are based at the IES Abroad Tokyo Center and supported by IES Abroad staff. Our Center is located in Makuhari, a modern city in Chiba prefecture, which is in the Greater Tokyo Area.

Features of the IES Abroad Tokyo Center include:

  • High-speed Internet and printer access
  • Library and reading resources
  • Student lounge
  • Staff offices
  • Small classroom with projector and screen

Kanda University of International Studies is within walking distance of the IES Abroad Center. The area around the Center has easy access to public transportation, plus offers many public amenities, like shopping and dining, a movie complex, a game arcade, parks, the beach, and open spaces to relax and hang out. Makuhari is home to the following: Makuhari Messe, one of Japan's premiere events and exhibition venues; AEON Makuhari Shintoshin Mall, Chiba's first large-scale lifestyle mall Chiba Lotte Marines Baseball Team; movie theaters; Mihama-en Japanese Garden; and many restaurants and bars.

The IES Abroad Tokyo Center is just 30 minutes from Tokyo Station (Keiyo Line), 35 minutes from the Narita International Airport by bus, and a 20 minute train ride from Tokyo Disneyland.

The IES Abroad Tokyo Summer program is based at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center, near Yoyogi Park in downtown Tokyo. Please see the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center's website for more information about their facilities.

Our Staff

IES Abroad Staff

IES Abroad Staff

Daiji Shin
Associate Director

Mariko Ishikawa
Field Placement Program Coordinator, Homestay Coordinator, and Customized Programs Coordinator 

Hyung-Hye Lee
Student Affairs Coordinator

Natsuko Takahashi
Center Administrative Assistant