Students studying Japanese as a foreign language and students with an interest in learning more about Asia should seriously consider spending a semester at Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakata, a suburb of Osaka, Japan. KGU has an extensive international education program, with hundreds of its students studying abroad every year. There is usually at least one KGU student on the TCNJ campus every semester, and TCNJ sends students to KGU each year.
The Asian Studies Program at KGU was founded to provide students from abroad with an academic introduction to Japan and Asia in English. KGU-ASP offers students a comprehensive listing of coursework in English in a wide variety of disciplines. Students need to take one class in the Japanese language, and absolute beginners are certainly welcome – no previous study of Japanese is required. (Courses offered in recent years may be found here.) Students interested in international business, Asian art and culture, Japanese philosophy and religion, and other courses with a connection to Asia will be well served by a semester at KGU.
Students will find an American-style campus at KGU…including McDonald’s…and there are sports facilities, a library, and other things students expect at a university. Many students live off campus, though, in host families, which brings them into direct contact with a different way of life. (Student residence halls are also open for international students.) As students negotiate their way around Hirakata and Osaka, they will be forced to practice their language and understand a new way of structuring their daily lives.
The KGU academic calendar for its Asian Studies Program is almost identical to TCNJ’s – students study from August to December and from January to May.
The TCNJ-KGU exchange allows TCNJ students to pay their normal TCNJ tuition in order to study abroad. All scholarships and financial aid awards will be honored. Students will pay for their room and board in Japan, and of course students will need to pay for an airline ticket and incidental expenses.
Here is a step-by-step guide for students planning to study abroad at KGU:
Learn more about Kansai Gaidai University!
- KGU-Asian Studies Program Home Page (in English)
- Center for International Education Home Page (in English)
Selecting courses to take at Kansai Gaidai University
Applying to TCNJ to participate in the exchange
- TCNJ Application to Study Abroad (due February 25, 2016 for Fall 2016 study in Japan; due September 25, 2016 for Spring 2017 study in Japan)
- Kansai Gaidai University Application Form (to be submitted online and in paper with TCNJ study abroad application)
- Housing Application
Scholarship information for students studying abroad in Japan: