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Semester Japanese Language & Culture

Earn 10 credits of intensive Japanese language study (offered from beginner to advanced) while taking elective courses related to Japanese culture. Apply to attend for a fall semester, spring semester, or a full academic year.


Fall 2024 / AY 2024-25 Deadline: March 1, 2024

Spring 2025 Deadline: September 20, 2024 (Applications opening soon)


Program Details

  • Length: (See Academic Calendar for upcoming dates)
    • Fall Semester: ~15 weeks (early September through mid-December) 
    • Spring Semester: ~15 weeks (early January through mid-/late April)
    • Academic Year: ~33 weeks (early September through mid-/late April with continuous housing between fall and spring semesters)
  • Credits: 14-15 credits per semester (i.e., 28-30 credits for a full academic year)
  • Location(s): Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
  • Housing: JCMU Residence Hall (with option to apply for a homestay)
  • Eligibility: Min. GPA of 2.5 (cumulative); Completion of at least two semesters of college-level undergraduate enrollment before participation (see Eligibility page for more details)
  • Prerequisites: None - Open to all majors; Previous Japanese language study is helpful, but not required.

Program Description

  • 10 credits of intensive Japanese language offered in four levels (beginner to advanced): Daily instruction addresses listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Placement is based on assessment activities held at the beginning of the program after arrival.
  • (1-4 credits) Japanese studies elective course: Taught entirely in English, each course explores an aspect of Japan, such as its history, religions, politics, arts, economy and more. Course offerings vary by semester; a list of electives for upcoming semesters can be found on the JCMU website.
  • (1 credit) JCMU Experience course: The study abroad experience can be confusing and stressful for anyone. Unpack your study abroad experience with your fellow students and JCMU staff/faculty while also setting goals for your time in Japan. 
  • Japanese cultural experiences, including field trips and culture classes: Learn about Japanese arts, such as calligraphy, flower arranging, martial arts, and more. Visit famous historical sites in the kansai region on JCMU-arranged field trips. 
  • Opportunities to engage with the community: Practice Japanese with conversation partners, apply to stay with a host family, and participate in activities on JCMU campus, local university campuses, and beyond.

Program Costs

Review the Know Your Costs page for more details about the billable and estimated out-of-pocket costs listed below. Information about JCMU-specific and external funding opportunities can be found on our Scholarships page


Fall 2023 / Spring 2024

NOTE: Updated costs for Fall 2024 and AY 2024-25 will be set in November 2023 and posted here once available.

  • Program Fee (tuition, course materials, health insurance): 
  • Housing Fee (JCMU Residence Hall and/or homestay, if available):
    • All Students: $2,200 (per semester)

Out-of-Pocket Costs (estimated)

  • Airfare: $2,800
  • Food: $3,250 (per semester)
  • Additional Costs: $850 (per semester)
  • Ground Transportation: $250

Academic Year 2023-24

  • Program Fee (tuition, course materials, health insurance): 
  • Housing Fee (JCMU Residence Hall and/or homestay, if available):
    • All Students: $4,400

Out-of-Pocket Costs (estimated)

  • Airfare: $2,800
  • Food: $6,950
  • Additional Costs: $1,800
  • Ground Transportation: $250