Program Highlights

Orientation Session

Prior to the start of classes in September, there is a one-week orientation session in Tokyo. During this time, students get to know each other and begin to familiarize themselves with the language, culture, and new environment.  The Resident Director leads orientation sessions on living with host families, academic course work and expectations at Waseda, clubs and extracurricular activities, and much more. After student interviews with the Resident Director and Program Associate, final host family placements are made, and students move in with their host families in Tokyo, where they begin classes at the School of International Liberal Studies at Waseda University.

Cultural Internship

Many students describe the cultural internship as one of the highlights of Japan Study. Students spend a month during the February/March winter break living with a host family (or in a comparable setting) and experiencing the local community through an unpaid internship or volunteer experience with local institutions in a rural or urban location outside of the Tokyo area. Recent internships have included assisting educators in a rural community in Shimane Prefecture, working in local government in Osaka, experiencing life in a Buddhist temple, apprenticing at a pottery studio, assisting in a residence-care facility for the elderly, and working as a member of a student crew at a ski lodge in the Nagano area, site of the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Waseda University

One of Japan's premier universities, Waseda University is a private, coeducational, nonsectarian institution of higher learning located in Tokyo, Japan. The founding of Waseda University dates back to the year 1882, when Shigenobu Okuma, one of Japan's foremost statesmen, founded Tokyo Semmon Gakko, the predecessor of the present University. As a result of increasing academic prestige and expanding student enrollment, the institution acquired the status of university in 1902, and its name was changed to Waseda University. There are fourteen undergraduate schools offering courses leading to Bachelor's degrees; twenty-four graduate schools for Master's and Doctor's degrees; numerous research institutes and other affiliated institutions.

Students take classes in the School of International Liberal Studies at Waseda University including intensive language instruction and content courses across the curriculum taught in English. Japan Study students take classes with students from Japan and around the world.

There are many opportunities to join one of 700 Waseda University student clubs. The rich extra-curricular life at Waseda University, which enrolls about 50,000 students, provides activities and lasting friendships through participation in clubs and activities such as rugby, martial arts, international student club, riding, koto, and foreign language.

Host Families

During the academic year, students live with a family in Tokyo and commute to Waseda every day. Through this experience, students learn about Japanese society by immersion in the most basic social grouping in any culture, the family. Students improve their language skills, discuss current events, participate in holiday gatherings, and enjoy everyday activities with their host families. The home stay participation in Japanese family life is an integral part of the experience abroad. Families furnish breakfast and dinner, and students typically have private rooms.

Weekend Trips and Excursions

Weekend retreats and other opportunities to meet Waseda students who spend a year on GLCA/ACM campuses through Japan Study. Japan Study and Waseda organize inexpensive and free trips to cultural, recreational, and industrial sites in and around Tokyo, as well as retreats with Waseda students.

Resident Director

A faculty member from a GLCA or ACM member college accompanies students to Japan. The Resident Director lives near campus and meets with students regularly throughout the year. He or she may be accompanied by family members. Students not only have access to a full-time Resident Director, but also a full-time Japanese Program Associate. These staff members ease the transition to living in Japan and help students explore their interests and meet their goals.