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About Us


The Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) study abroad program is a product of the strong sister-state relationship between the State of Michigan and Shiga Prefecture. It is located on the shore of Lake Biwa in the City of Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Our programs are dedicated to building relationships between Japanese, Americans, and other nationalities through active learning and participation in language, culture, family life and society. JCMU has been welcoming students of all majors since 1989. Students do not need to attend a member university to participate.

Mission Statement

JCMU's mission consists of a commitment to exchange at the local and state levels, and to academic programs that uphold the highest academic standards while remaining accessible to students from all areas of Michigan, the USA, Japan, and the world. In keeping with its mission, JCMU's academic and Japan-related outreach programs strive to provide students with stimulating intercultural and academic experiences. A goal of JCMU is to make studying in Japan open and affordable to a wide range of students, regardless of their previous background, training, and experience. Hence, students from diverse fields are as welcome to participate as those majoring in Japanese or English language and cultural studies. All participants are encouraged to approach this intercultural adventure with an open mind, personal maturity, and a resourceful attitude.

JCMU is committed to serving both the citizens of Michigan and our sister state in Japan, Shiga Prefecture. To learn more about JCMU programs that serve Shiga citizens, please visit the JCMU Japanese language website.