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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English, Japanese Click here for a definition of this term Core Program Attributes: Center-based Program, Cornell In, Direct Enrollment, Intensive Language
Click here for a definition of this term Minimum GPA: 3.0 Click here for a definition of this term Housing Options: Apartment, Homestay, Hostel/Hotel/Guest House
Click here for a definition of this term Approved by: A&S, AAP, CALS, ENG, HUM EC, ILR, SHA Click here for a definition of this term Minimum Student Status: Junior, Senior
Program Advisor: Dr. Kristen Grace
Program Description:
Kyoto Header


City: Kyoto, Japan
Partner: Doshisha University
Housing: Home stay, Apartment, Guest House
Language requirement: 1 years of college Japanese for Fall or Full Year, 1.5 years for Spring
Calendar: Fall: Early Sep.-End Dec.; Spring: Early Jan.-End Apr.; Year: Early Sep.-End April
Application Deadlines: September 1 for Spring; February 13 for Fall/Academic Year
Cornell in Kyoto Budget
Participating Schools: 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 Michigan and the University of Virginia.

Cornell in Kyoto Flyer

Kyoto Photo


The Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies is a two-semester academic program for undergraduates who wish to do advanced work in Japanese language and Japanese studies. The program helps students strengthen their Japanese skills by providing intensive language training and through regular interactions with host families and the local community. Understanding of Japanese society and culture is enhanced by the integration of the historical and cultural resources of Kyoto into the academic curriculum and student life. Not only does KCJS examine the significance of Kyoto's past but it also explores its present as well as Japan's place in today's global world.

The fall semester begins in September and ends mid-December. Spring runs from January to April and the academic year program runs from September to April.


  • Must be a currently enrolled undergraduate student in good academic standing

  • Must have completed at least two years of college-level Japanese for the fall semester, and five semesters for the spring semester, or the equivalent.

  • Minimum 3.0 average language GPA

  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA


Every term, students enroll for a total of 16 points in the following:

Japanese Language, 8 points

Mandatory for all program participants. Offered at the third-year, fourth-year, and fifth-year levels, Japanese language studies make up the core of the KCJS academic curriculum. Led by a group of dedicated and experienced instructors, the classes meet for two hours every morning, Monday through Friday, and cover all areas of language study. Students are divided into small classes of five to 10 students according to their language proficiency level, which is determined by a placement exam and interview given during orientation. 

An integral component of the Japanese language program is the Community Involvement Project (CIP) which is designed to support Japanese language learning through integration with the local community. All students pursue a personal interest by participating in volunteer work, joining an activity circle, or privately studying a Japanese art with a mentor. The CIP provides a framework for students to become involved in these activities by focusing on how to build networking skills and how to manage cross-cultural encounters, and through group sessions, reports, and presentations, encouraging students to reflect on these experiences.

KCJS Courses, 8 points

Students choose two 4-point courses from the categories below. 

Each academic year, nine to 11 disciplinary courses are offered in English by leading Japanese and American professors. Disciplinary courses cover basic to relatively advanced topics in the humanities and social sciences, with offerings on premodern and modern Japan. These courses integrate the rich resources of the Kyoto area into the curriculum through course-related field trips, performances, and meetings with experts and practitioners. Courses that have been offered in the past include Modern Japanese Fiction, Japanese Religion in Context, Japanese Politics and Public Policy, Edo Art and Culture, Japanese Growth and Business Development, and Traditional Japanese Theater: Noh and Kyogen. 

During the spring semester, there is usually one content course taught in Japanese which is appropriate for advanced Japanese students.

On a rotating basis each academic year, a KCJS member institution sends a faculty member to serve as the KCJS professor and to teach one or two courses per term. Courses that have been offered in the past include Cities and Civilization in Japanese History, The Meiji Restoration, History of Postwar Japan, Japan Since 1600, Protest in Early and Modern Japan, Writing War in Japan, and Demonic Women. 

KCJS students are joined by Kyoto University students who participate in these courses and enhance the classroom discussions. 

Independent Study

An opportunity for full year students during the spring semester to explore a specific research topic in-depth and to acquire the methodological and analytical skills necessary for academic research. 

Note: The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary. 



To view a complete list of course descriptions and syllabi, visit:

Academic Calendar

Calendar is tentative and subject to change.

Fall Semester: Early September - end of December
Spring Semester: Early January - end of April


KCJS staff members place students in homestays, apartments or a guest house based on individual preferences.Homestays:
Most students choose to live with a Japanese family. Homestays are an effective means for developing Japanese language skills and insights into the society, as well as for the personal support they provide. Homestay families may involve students in their social activities and help them pursue their individual interests. Homestays include a private room for the KCJS student, who is provided with both breakfast and dinner. KCJS provides homestay students with a lunch stipend.

Students choosing apartments must make a special effort to get involved in Japanese society and student life, since they will not have the everyday interaction and stimulation of a host family. They work best for those who are very independent or already have considerable experience living in Japan. Apartment students participating in the academic year and semester programs will receive a daily lunch subsidy from KCJS, but must prepare their own breakfast and dinner or eat out.

Kajiwara Guest House:
This is a group housing arrangement in which students from a number of universities in the Kyoto area rent studio apartments. Kajiwara House is an option for students who might feel lonely in apartments but who prefer not to live in a homestay. Students have private rooms but share the kitchen and bathroom with other residents.Students living in the guest house receive a lunch stipend. Please note there are limited spaces available in the guest house.
All students will have a commute (anywhere from 20-90 minutes) from their housing to campus involving a walk, a bike, bus, or train ride or a combination of these. 

Program Costs

Costs included on Bursar Bill:
Includes: Tuition, CIPT, and program fee, which covers housing, some meals, program activities and trips, and student services.

Estimated Out-of-Pocket Costs:
Meals, local commuting, airfare, personal expenses

To see an estimated budget, check out the
Cornell in Kyoto Budget

Term Expenses

Roundtrip airfare NYC-Kyoto (Kansai:KIX) $1,500
*Please note that all students must have health insurance which covers them overseas.

Monthly Expenses

Based on an average exchange rate of ¥95=USD1.

Meals (if living in a homestay)* $250
Meals (if living in an apartment or the guest house)** $500
Local Transportation $150
Incidentals $250

* Students living with families have all meals included but should budget for snacks and occasional meals out.

** Students living in apartments and the Kajiwara guest house receive a lunch stipend but are responsible for the rest of their meals.


Scholarships especially for KCJS, Japan or Asia 

Bridging Project Scholarships
KCJS students may also use Bridging Project Scholarships to attend KCJS. The Association of Teachers of Japanese Bridging Project at the University of Colorado at Boulder awards up to 30 scholarships to assist students with the travel and living expenses they will incur while studying abroad in Japan. For information on how to apply, eligibility regulations and deadlines, please check their website.

Blakemore Asian Language Fellowships
Scholarships for advanced language training for students planning to pursue careers related to Asia.


General Scholarships

 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
Sponsored by the US Department of State and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship provides awards of up to $5,000 for U.S. citizen undergraduate students to pursue semester or academic-year long study abroad opportunities. To be eligible students must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant at the time of application. For more information, application deadlines and the online application, please visit the Web site above.


National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships
Government-funded scholarships for study in areas of the world outside western Europe, Canada, and Australia. Recipients are required to fulfill a service requirement by working in higher education or for the US government. Application available online. The national deadline for applications is usually in mid February. However, most campuses have a local representative to assist with the application process. Contact your university's study abroad office to find out if your campus has an earlier deadline.


Kristen Grace
B-50 Caldwell Hall


Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Approx. Start Approx. End
Spring 2020 10/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Programs may fill long before their final deadline. * Recommendation--For SPRING: APPLY in MAY to study abroad the following spring. For FALL/YEAR: APPLY in DECEMBER. Late applications may be accepted, but colleges typically need time to process your approval.