Tea ceremony, calligraphy, music, dance, and martial arts—Japan is a medley of culture, old and new, that you can explore during your time in Tokyo. Live and learn in this exciting city where the past mingles with the future, and the ultra-modern stands side-by-side with the traditional.
Expand your understanding of Japan by immersing yourself in contemporary Japan and its culture—and 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. 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.
Tokyo will be your classroom. Visit Tokyo’s traditional hot spots, like the temple at Asakusa, the gardens of the Imperial Palace, and the Meiji Grand Shrine. You can also learn about Tokyo’s younger generations by visiting popular districts like Shibuya, Shinjuku, Akihabara, and Harajuku.
We want you to feel at home in Tokyo, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible. Check out our Center newsletter to see what our current Tokyo students are up to. Our ePal program introduces you to a local student before you even arrive! Your ePal teaches you about Japanese culture, and helps you practice your Japanese language skills. You can also enroll in Social Organization in Japan and the field placement program, which provides you with first-hand experience in a Japanese organization. We also take you to places in and around Tokyo that you might not experience on your own.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel
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:
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 in Context: Novice Abroad I
JP 201 Japanese in Context: Novice Abroad III
JP 301 Japanese in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad Ⅰ
JP401 Japanese 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.
Field Placement is a highlight of our Tokyo program. As one of the requirements for the IES Abroad course, Social Organization in Japan, this weekly placement will get students out into a variety of Japanese organizations. Enrolled students will spend one day each week in a field placement experience as a participant-observer at local businesses, non-profits, or governmental organizations. These placements allow you to directly observe Japanese social and work interactions and to experience the local culture. In the accompanying 3-credit seminar course, you discuss your experiences, complete assignments, and learn more about society and culture in Japan.
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Field Placement Program.
The IES Abroad Tokyo program is dedicated to immersing students in Japanese culture and encouraging them to think deeply about what they experience. The goal is that you understand and experience Japanese culture and society from a Japanese perspective. Toward this aim, students are invited to participate in the Center’s Field Placement Program. Please read the information and instructions in this section carefully.
This is not an internship program. The IES Abroad Tokyo student is a learner engaged in a form of ongoing ethnographic research, the core focus of which is the meaning of actions and events to the people within the social setting the student seeks to understand.
The goals of the Field Placement Program are as follows:
The Field Placement Program participants must register for the AN391/AN392 seminar, Social Organization of Japan. The seminar meets once every other week for a total of seven, three-hour sessions. Each student is responsible for creating an extensive portfolio of the experience/research that, together with other materials, includes a learning contract, a reflection paper, a final academic paper, and a culture learning journal. To further guide the experience, each student will set at least three learning goals for the placement and state the methods he/she will use to achieve each goal. Students earn 3 credits for the seminar.
As part of the seminar, students are assigned to field placements in Japanese organizations where they work as a participant-observers every Wednesday for 8-10 hours. In doing participant-observation for ethnographic purposes, you have dual goals of engaging in activities appropriate to the situation and observing the activities, people, and physical aspects of the situation. Please bring at least one set of business-level clothing for your placement. You will need to step outside your defined cultural backgrounds, to set aside socially inherited ethnocentrism, if only for a brief period, and to comprehend the world from the viewpoint of others who live by different meaning systems. Students are encouraged to discover the cultural assumptions Japanese people use to organize their behavior and interpret their experience. What meanings do these interactions have for the Japanese? Rather than collecting data about people, you are to learn from the people in your field placement, to be taught by them. You are not an agent of change.
Complying with specific placement requests is difficult, if not impossible. IES Abroad Tokyo staff works very hard to find placements that achieve the objectives of the course and that also match the research interests of the student. While course objectives take priority, the staff will do everything possible to find the type of placement that each student wishes to have.
You should not expect to be placed with particularly high-profile or high-prestige organizations. However, the staff have been very successful at finding good placements that meet both the goals for the course and students’ expectations. This would not be possible without the students’ cooperation. If you have unanswered questions about the field placement, contact your IES Abroad Advisor.
Academic Year Students
Students at IES Abroad Tokyo for a second semester who wish to participate in the Field Placement Program for a second time will have the option of conducting an independent study in lieu of the seminar course. This independent study must be approved by the course instructor, the IES Abroad Center Director, and the student’s home school.
Should IES Abroad be asked to arrange an independent study tutorial, the cost incurred will be borne by IES Abroad. Though the focus of this tutorial need not be limited to Japanese social organization, focus of the placement should remain true to the foundations of ethnographic research. Priority in field placements will be given to first-semester students.
KUIS AREA STUDIES COURSES
With permission from the Tokyo Center Director and the KUIS instructor, 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. Past courses have included:
NOTE: KUIS reserves the right to cancel a course due to insufficient enrollment or circumstances beyond its control.
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.
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.
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 seven days a week, and dinner Monday through Friday. Homestay opportunities may be limited.
Whether staying with a host family or in a residence hall, 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.
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!
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. Topics such as academics, emergency plans, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during these three days.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Tokyo through our cultural events, such as:
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:
ePal Program – Partner with a Japanese student as “ePals” to help you meet local students. You are introduced to your ePal via email one month before the program begins. Your Japanese ePal then meets you after arrival and serves as your cultural resource throughout the term. We strongly encourage you to sign up for an ePal 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.
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:
HIROSHIMA4 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 World Heritage Site) and sample the local cuisine.
NIKKO2 DAYS | FALL
Visit Japan’s most spectacular Shinto Shrine and some of the country’s most beautiful mountain scenery.
ASAKUSA1 DAY | FALL & SPRING
Go to the site of Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest and most popular temple, and one of the few sites in the city that survived the bombing raids of World War II completely intact.
You might also attend an authentic sumo wrestling match and see the strict traditions of the sport in action.
KAMAKURA1 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.
OKINAWA3-4 DAYS | SPRING
Visit this island known for its unique cultural traditions, historic fortresses, and pretty beaches.
About the Center
The Fall and Spring Tokyo 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. The Center space is a 20-minute train ride from Tokyo Disneyland, a 30-minute train ride from Tokyo Station on the Keiyo Line, and is convenient to Narita airport. We are conveniently within walking distance of public transportation, Kanda University of International Studies, and many public amenities, which include extensive shopping and dining facilities, a movie complex, a game arcade, parks, and open spaces to relax and hang out. While we have easy access to Tokyo, it is also easy to enjoy the beaches, history, and natural attractions of Chiba Prefecture (including hot springs!).
Makuhari is home to:
Features of the IES Abroad Tokyo Center include:
The IES Abroad Tokyo Summer program is based at the National Olympic Youth Center, near Yoyogi Park in downtown Tokyo. For more information on this facility, please see http://nyc.niye.go.jp/e/index.html.
Caleb Foale has been Center Director since 2015 and his personal and professional experiences span the globe. Born in Britain, he grew up in the UK and New Zealand, graduated from the University of Otago in New Zealand with a degree in Politics, and carried out research and postgraduate study in Japan and Australia. While in Australia, he earned two Master’s degrees—an M.A. in Strategic and Defense Studies from the Australian National University and an M.Ed. in TESOL from Queensland University of Technology. He also spent a significant amount of time living and working in Brazil, before his return to Japan in 2000. Currently, he is finishing his M.B.A. with the University of Leicester. His extensive experience in the field of tertiary education in both teaching and managerial roles has been an incredible asset to our Tokyo Center.
IES Abroad Staff
Daiji ShinAssociate Director
Mariko IshikawaField Placement Program Coordinator, Homestay Coordinator, and Customized Programs Coordinator
Hyung-Hye LeeStudent Affairs Coordinator
Natsuko TakahashiCenter Administrative Assistant