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Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS)

Language of Instruction: English, Japanese
Term: Academic Year, Spring, Fall

Engage in challenging coursework in Japanese language and studies and interact regularly with the local community in the culturally rich environment of Kyoto.

The next application deadline is Oct 3, 2022
See other program dates

Spend a semester or academic year developing your Japanese language skills in Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan where traditional meets modern. Become integrated with Japanese locals through homestays, a community involvement project and Doshisha University campus life while studying alongside a diverse group of undergraduates from top U.S. institutions.

Program Overview

The Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) is a semester or academic year long program for undergraduates who wish to do work in Japanese language and Japanese studies. The program will help you strengthen your Japanese skills by providing intensive language training and regular interactions with host families and the local community. Understanding of Japanese society and culture is enhanced by the integration of the historical and cultural resources of Kyoto into the academic curriculum and student life. Coursework and program activities will enable you to explore the significance of Kyoto's past, its present and Japan's place in today's global world.

KCJS is centrally located in Kyoto on the Imadegawa campus of Doshisha University, bounded on the south by the Imperial Palace grounds, and to the northeast by Shokokuji temple.

Mission Statement

To enrich, augment, and advance the study of Japan, Japan in the world, and the Japanese language for college students engaged in Japanese studies in the consortium institutions, and elsewhere, regardless of major, minor, or program, and in doing so to take full advantage of its location in Kyoto.

The Consortium

Established in September 1989, KCJS is a consortium of 13 American universities which sponsors this rigorous, academic program. Columbia University serves as the lead administrative institution of the consortium and works with the KCJS staff and board of delegates members from each consortium school to oversee all aspects of the program.

Members of the consortium include:

Boston University, Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University/Barnard College, Cornell University, Emory University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Stanford University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Yale University in association with the University of Virginia.

The KCJS welcomes applications from outside of the consortium.

COVID-19 Planning

PDF iconThe KCJS COVID-19 Planning Protocols summary includes information and links to resources about how COVID-19 might impact your upcoming study abroad experience so that you can remain informed as the situation evolves. Please note that these planning protocols as well as participation policies are still being finalized and may be modified at any time prior to your departure or while you are in-country.

Eligibility and Application

  • Must be a currently enrolled undergraduate student in good academic and disciplinary standing
  • Must have completed at least one year of college-level Japanese for the fall semester, and three semesters for the spring semester, or the equivalent
  • Minimum 3.0 average language GPA
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA

How to apply

Want to apply? Click the “Start Your Application" button at the top of this page. If the button doesn't appear above, the program is not yet accepting applications. You will be asked to set up a short profile, which will allow us to send you relevant information about your application. Once you’ve created a profile, you will see a checklist of items that you will need to submit. These generally include:

  • Application questionnaire(s)
  • Personal statement
  • Letter of recommendation from someone who has recently taught you Japanese
  • Letter of recommendation from someone who has taught you at the university level who can attest to your academic skills
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Home school approval/clearance

Kyoto-Based KCJS Website

Visit the Kyoto-based KCJS Website to find comprehensive information about:

  • academics
  • housing options
  • the Community Involvement Project
  • extracurricular activities
  • student experiences including photos, videos and blogs
  • KCJS staff and faculty
  • Doshisha University
  • Kyoto

Language Placement Policies

You should consult with your home school's study abroad office and/or Japanese Language Department about the type of credit you will be awarded upon completing KCJS. You should also find out if you will need to take a language placement exam when you return to campus if you want to continue studying Japanese.

Grade Reports and Transcripts

Grading Policy

Click here for the Columbia Semester/Academic Year program grading policies.


Grades for courses taken at KCJS are reported on a document called a KCJS Grade Report, which is not an official transcript. Where the Grade Reports are sent and how they are processed depends on your home school and the year you attended KCJS. If you need grades reported for your time at KCJS, please read the following to find the instructions that match your situation.

1. If you were an undergraduate from the following: Boston University, Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University/Barnard College, Cornell University, Emory University, University of Michigan (before Spring 2017), University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, and Washington University in St. Louis:

  • KCJS Grade Reports were sent to your home school Study Abroad office and forwarded to your home school registrar for incorporation into your home school transcript. Each school decided how to include the KCJS courses. Some schools report course titles and grades while others may report only titles with credit or only transfer units.

If your KCJS grades do not appear on your home school transcript and you are applying to a program or school that requires these grades, you will need to request a copy of your KCJS Grade Report. Please send a request for a grade report to Please include in your email your full name, term and year of participation, and home school.

2. After July 2006, if you were an undergraduate from Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Virginia, Yale University, or any non-consortium member school:

  • Your KCJS grades are posted on a Columbia University transcript. Transcripts can be requested from the Registrar's Office.

3. Prior to July 2006, if you were an undergraduate student from Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Virginia, or any non-consortium member school, or as a recent graduate of any school:

  • You were enrolled as non-matriculated students at Stanford University and can request a Stanford transcript for your KCJS work.There is no charge for Stanford transcripts, but requests must be made either in person or in writing – no faxes, emails or phone calls. Instructions and a downloadable form can be found on Stanford's Office of the Registrar web site. Follow the instructions for Alumni enrolled previous to 4 years ago, regardless of when you attended KCJS.

Financial Considerations

Program Costs

Many students use a combination of federal student aid and home school grants to fund their undergraduate studies. Many, if not most, of these funds are applicable to studying abroad for a semester or academic year. The costs of studying abroad during the semester or academic year are frequently comparable to those of staying on campus.

All students should work with their home school financial aid office to determine what aid is available for studying abroad.

Please see below for the cost breakdowns for detailed information on all program-related expenses:

Fall 2022:

Spring 2023:

*Please Note: Tuition and fees are subject to Board of Trustee approval and may change*


If you decide to withdraw from the program after confirming your participation, please be aware of the financial consequences and the office policies by clicking here.


Eligible students may apply for the following scholarships applicable to this program:

Bridging Project Scholarships
KCJS students may also use Bridging Project Scholarships to attend KCJS. The Association of Teachers of Japanese Bridging Project at the University of Colorado at Boulder awards up to 30 scholarships to assist students with the travel and living expenses they will incur while studying abroad in Japan. For information on how to apply, eligibility regulations and deadlines, please check their website.

Freeman Awards for Study in Asia
Created to assist U.S. undergraduate students (U.S. citizens or permanent residents only) with demonstrated financial need and limited prior experience in East and Southeast Asia, Freeman-ASIA will fund awards ranging from $5,000 per semester to a maximum of $7,000 for a full year abroad. Prospective students should visit the Freeman-ASIA website for eligibility requirements, full application instructions and a list of deadlines.

For more information and resources on financing your time abroad, please see the pages below:


Visit the Kyoto-based KCJS website to learn about the program's Resident Director, on-site staff and faculty members.

Find Out More

Speak to an Adviser: Want to learn more? Make an appointment to talk with Robin Leephaibul, the adviser for this program! You can also email her with any questions, or to arrange a meeting if you are unable to make the listed times.

Sign up for an upcoming Spring 2022 KCJS event: Events include alumni talks, lectures and discussion tables with local Japanese students.

Listen to an Information Session: Staff from the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement give an overview of the KCJS Fall, Spring, Academic Year and Summer Programs.

Resources for Accepted Students

Fact Sheet

Foreign Language Learning, Humanities, Social Sciences
Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies, Non-Columbia Undergraduates
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
2 semesters of language for fall, or 3 semesters of language for spring, or the equivalent
Asia and the Pacific
Academic Year, Spring, Fall

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 25, 2022
Admissions Decision Date: 
Friday, April 1, 2022
Program Dates: 
Tuesday, August 30, 2022 to Saturday, December 10, 2022
Dates are tentative and subject to change.
Academic Year
Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 25, 2022
Admissions Decision Date: 
Friday, April 1, 2022
Program Dates: 
Tuesday, August 30, 2022 to Saturday, April 22, 2023
Dates are tentative and subject to change.
Application Deadline: 
Monday, October 3, 2022
Admissions Decision Date: 
Monday, October 17, 2022
Program Dates: 
Tuesday, January 10, 2023 to Saturday, April 22, 2023
Dates are tentative and subject to change.