Experienced instructors lead small, intensive language classes, devote personal attention to you and tailor the curriculum to your particular needs and linguistic ability. Extracurricular activities will enhance your understanding of Japanese society and culture.
The Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) program offers intensive language training for highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students who have completed at least one, two, or three years of college-level Japanese or the equivalent. Studying with KCJS for the summer will enable you to:
- Study 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year Japanese
- Raise your Japanese language proficiency to a higher level in a short period of time
- Participate in cultural experiences including a lecture on the Noh theater and a workshop on Zazen as well as a hands-on craft workshop
- Join discussions with native Japanese speakers and local university students to practice your Japanese language and make Japanese friends
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.
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.
Eligibility and Application
- Open to undergraduates and graduate students in good academic standing. Recent graduates may also apply.
- For Second Year Japanese: must have completed one year of college-level Japanese or the equivalent.
- For Third Year Japanese: must have completed two years of college-level Japanese or the equivalent.
- For Fourth Year Japanese: must have completed three years of college-level Japanese or the equivalent.
- Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
- Minimum 3.0 average GPA in Japanese language courses.
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
- One letter of recommendation
- Modern Japanese Applicants need to submit a recommendation that can attest to your language ability in Japanese. This recommendation should be completed by your current or most recent Japanese language instructor. Recommendations from individuals including TAs, private tutors, and language exchange partners will not be accepted. The recommendation may be written in English or Japanese.
- Official transcript(s)
- Students who have never taken college-level Japanese language courses must submit one or both of the following items to prove your proficiency level:
1) Certificate of Japanese Language Proficiency Test N2 (for Fourth Year and above), N3 (for Third Year), or N4 (for Second Year).
2) Letter from a Japanese language instructor at your home institution who conducts oral language assessments (e.g., ACTFL OPI Interview) to verify your proficiency level in speaking.
Modern Japanese Program Calendar for Summer 2023: Late May - late July. Exact dates TBD.
Students will be required to take an online placement test at the beginning of the program which will determine their course level. Details for summer 2023 TBD.
daily class schedule & courses
All classes will meet 3 hours a day, Monday-Friday.
9:00am-10:00am (60 min.)
Communicative practice in a live classroom environment
Communicative practice in a live classroom environment
11:20am 12:00pm (40min.)
Immersion sessions in a live classroom environment (Interactive activities with students in Japan, workshops etc.)
2nd Year Japanese (8 points)
The 2nd year Japanese program (O4201 & O4202; 8 points or 2 semesters) is designed for those who have completed at least one year of college-level Japanese or the equivalent (around 150 hours of Japanese study).
Students who want to take this course are expected to be at least at the Novice-High level of the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Proficiency Guidelines at the beginning of the course.
This class will cover the entire Genki II (The Japan Times) and intermediate materials such as Hiyaku (Routledge). The coverage and materials will be contingent on the levels of students and finalized by the instructors.
The goal of this course is to achieve Intermediate-Mid level or higher proficiency according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. Upon successful completion of the course, the students will:
- have a command of basic Japanese grammar and vocabulary (equivalent to JLPT N5-N4);
- be able to communicate with others effectively in Japanese in familiar situations/about familiar topics at a sentence-level;
- understand written texts about familiar topics related to everyday life and personal interests in Japanese.
3rd Year Japanese (8 points)
The 3rd Year Japanese program (O4205 & O4206; 8 points/2 semesters) is designed for those who have completed at least two years of college-level Japanese or the equivalent (around 300 hours of Japanese study).
Students who want to take this course are expected to be at least at the Intermediate-Mid level of the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Proficiency Guidelines at the beginning of the course. Please note that depending on the results of the placement test, the students may be placed in a different level than they apply for.
This class will cover most of the chapters in Tobira (Kuroshio). The coverage and materials will be contingent on the levels of students.
The goal of this course is to achieve Intermediate-High or above of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. Upon successful completion of the course, the students will:
- have a command of intermediate-level grammar and vocabulary (equivalent to JLPT N3-N2);
- understand both spoken and written Japanese correctly about a variety of topics;
- be able to express his/her opinions at the paragraph level in socially appropriate manner.
4th Year Japanese and Above (8 points)
The 4th Year+ Japanese program (O4217 & O4218; 8 points/ 2 semesters) is designed for those who have completed at least three years of college-level Japanese or the equivalent (around 450 hours of Japanese study).
Students who want to take this course are expected to be at the Intermediate-High level or above of the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Proficiency Guidelines at the beginning of the course. Please note that depending on the results of the placement test, the students may be placed in a different level than they apply for.
Authentic materials such as newspaper, novels, and TV news will be used alongside Donna toki Doo tsukau Nihongo Hyoogen Bunkei 500 (ALC) and Goidon (Kurosio Publishers). In addition, the students will have the opportunity to pursue an individualized project based on their own interests and give a presentation about their project at the end of the program.
The goal of this course is to achieve Advanced-Low or above of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. Upon successful completion of the course, the students will:
- have a command of advanced-level grammar and vocabulary including kango vocabulary and idiomatic expressions (equivalent to JLPT N2-N1);
- understand more abstract and complicated ideas presented in both speaking and writing;
- be able to participate in discussions about a variety of topics;
- be able to narrate and describe effectively and at length.
Note: KCJS reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.
Interactions with Japanese College Students. The KCJS Summer Program in Modern Japanese will incorporate discussion sessions twice a week with undergraduate or graduate students who are native speakers of Japanese. You will have abundant opportunities to practice authentic communication in Japanese and refine your Japanese language skills.
Workshops & Lectures:
GRADES AND TRANSCRIPTS
Click here for the Columbia summer program grading policies.
If you are a Columbia/Barnard student who would like to continue studying Japanese after participating in KCJS, you should review the Japanese Language Program's policies about placing into the next level of Japanese upon your return to campus.
Upon successful completion of the program, grades are entered into Columbia's online grading system and students can request a Columbia University transcript. Non-Columbia students (including Barnard) can request electronic transcripts online through the Columbia University registrar.
No credit is granted to students who do not complete the full program.
Orie Maeguchi / 前口織江
- B.A. in Western philosophy from Ritsumeikan University
- M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of Illinois
- Taught at Columbia University, UCLA, the Inter-University Center for Japanese Studies in Yokohama, and in various other programs
- Joined KCJS in 2006
- Currently serves as Japanese Language Program Coordinator
- Also teaches Japanese Pedagogy at Ritsumeikan University
- Publication: Shauman’s Outline of Japanese Vocabulary, McGraw-Hill (co-author).
Itsuko Nakamura / 中村伊都子
- B.A. in Asian Studies from New York University
- M.A. and Ed.M in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College Columbia University
- Taught at New York University, Trinity College, Mount Holyoke College, Harvard University
- Joined KCJS in 2007
Kaori Nakata / 中田かおり
- B.A. in English Literature from University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo
- M.A. in Japanese Literature from The Ohio State University
- Taught at the Ohio State University, Washington University in St. Louis.
- Joined KCJS in 2013
- Currently serves as CIP Coordinator
Miyuki Nishimata (Fukai) / 西俣（深井） 美由紀
- B.A. in Japanese Pedagogy from Osaka University of Foreign Studies
- M.S. and Ph.D. in Language Education from Indiana University Bloomington
- Taught at Columbia University and Princeton in Ishikawa
- Joined KCJS in 2008
- Currently serves as Language Exchange Program Coordinator & Summer Academic Director
- Member of the Journal Committee, Acquisition of Japanese as a Second Language (journal of JASLA) (2018-2021)
- Reviewer of Acquisition of Japanese as a Second Language (journal of JASLA) (2014-2018)
- Publications: Nihongo de shakai to tsunagaroo [Let’s get connected with the community in Japanese!]: Coco Publishing; Chapters in Shakai sanka o mezasu nihongo kyoiku [Japanese language education toward participating in society]. Tokyo: Hituzi Shobo and Asesument to nihongo kyoiku [Assessment and Japanese language education]. Tokyo: Kuroshio; Articles in Japanese Language and Literature, vol. 42 and Japanese-Language Education around the Globe vol. 19.
Fusako Shore is the KCJS Senior Associate Director, handling office management, student services, academic reporting, scheduling, planning of enrichment programs, faculty relations, alumni affairs, and cooperative arrangements with Kyoto-area universities and organizations. She is a native of Kyoto and has been at KCJS since the first class in 1989-90.
Yoshiko Hollstein is the KCJS Financial Officer and oversees all financial matters. She manages the payment of bills, the movement of funds, and regular financial reporting.
Keiko Toda is the KCJS Program Coordinator. She coordinates housing, plans and manages extracurricular activities and maintains the KCJS website and social media sites. She joined KCJS in 2015.
Life in Kyoto
Japan’s ancient capital for over a millennium (794-1868), Kyoto is steeped in history with 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, while also being a place where the arts and technological innovation converge to create a dynamic, contemporary culture. As chic as Paris or Milan, Kyoto isn’t simply a civic museum of its past glory. While you will find shops that have been in business for over a thousand years, at the same time Kyoto merchants and artisans are creating the most avant-garde trends in art, architecture, fashion, and cuisine. As a global city, Kyoto also has communities of concerned activists addressing global issues such as climate change, animal rights, gender, poverty, and refugee rights.
Downtown offers excellent places to shop, eat, drink, and hang out, while the surrounding hills provide routes for hikers and hundreds of beautiful temple gardens to explore. The city is full of museums (even a manga and a kanji museum), art galleries, cinemas, concert halls, live theaters and clubs for live music, all catering to a sophisticated clientele of locals. And while you are here, explore some of Kyoto’s excellent cafes and French bakeries. Coffee culture here has a history going back over a hundred years, with many classic spots as well as ultra-modern coffee houses where you can spend hours reading, studying, or listening to music.
Summer 2023 Tuition and Fees TBD.
*Summer 2022 Tuition and Fees
Please see our cost breakdown for detailed information.
*Tuition and fees are subject to the Board of Trustees' approval and may change.
FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS
If you are on financial aid, check to see if it can be applied to studying abroad. In general summer financial aid is not available to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering students, but may be available to School of General Studies students. Non-Columbia students should check with their home schools for funding availability.
Funding Your Summer in Kyoto
Eligible students may apply for the following scholarships applicable to this program:
The KCJS Governing Board has allocated funds for KCJS Scholarships specifically for students participating on the KCJS program. The number and amount of awards vary depending on the pool of applicants, and awards usually range between $500 and $2,000. To apply, please select the "KCJS Summer Scholarship" option in the "UGE Administered Scholarship" questionnaire in your online application. Scholarship deadline: Feb. 18th.
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 a select group of U.S. students with awards ranging from $3,000 per student for summer study and $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. *Only supports virtual programs if there is also an in-country component.
Foreign Language and Area Studies Scholarship (FLAS)
Find out who administers the summer FLAS program at your home school. For Columbia/Barnard students, the FLAS Fellowship competition is open to undergraduates and graduate students, including Ph.D. candidates, who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents. Undergraduates must be applying to study the third year level of the language or above.
Columbia students may also be eligible to apply for the following scholarships:
Global Learning Scholarship (GLS)
The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement is pleased to announce Global Learning Scholarships to help students fund their participation in this program. If awarded, these partial scholarships will be applied toward tuition charges for this program.
Open to Columbia University and non-Columbia undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need
Recipients must be accepted to this Columbia-led program
After starting a program application, complete the “Global Learning Scholarship” questionnaire in your UGE account.
Scholarship Applications Due:
March 7 (closes at 11:59 pm EST) or program deadline, whichever occurs first.
Read more about the GLS here.
Ishizuka Global Fellowship in East Asian Studies
This grant has been created to provide funding assistance for current Columbia College students on financial aid who wish to study abroad during the summer in Asia. Preference shall be given first to students engaged in the study of Japanese language and culture and second, to students engaged in the study of other East Asian languages and cultures, but whose research and interests include Japan.
Shirato Fund for Japanese Language Study
The Shirato Fund Scholarships will provide two $2,000 scholarships to undergraduates and graduate students accepted to Columbia-approved intensive Japanese-language study programs for the summer. Please note that awardees will be required to take a Japanese course upon their return to Columbia in the fall; to submit a short report on your use of the scholarship, and to give a presentation at the study abroad information session about the language program in which you participate. Contact Fumiko Nazikian for more info.
Weatherhead East Asian Institute Funding
Columbia University's WEAI offers funding for research, language acquisition, unpaid internships, and dissertation write-up during the summer and academic year to selected Columbia students committed to professional and academic engagement with East and Southeast Asia. Eligibility varies depending on the particular funding opportunity.
Summer Language Fellowship for International Ph.D. Students
The Summer Language Fellowship for International Students supports international Ph.D. students (who are not permanent residents) in the humanities and social sciences at Columbia who need to study a foreign language (applies to all languages) abroad during the summer. The fellowship award maximum is $3,000. Students can apply online and should contact email@example.com with questions.
For more general information and resources on financing your time abroad, please see the pages below:
WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND POLICY
If you decide to withdraw from the program once it has already started, please be aware of the financial consequences and the office policies by clicking here.