International Studies, Japanese Language & Culture

J.F. Oberlin University
Tokyo, Japan

Program Overview

Program Overview

  • Program Name

    International Studies, Japanese Language & Culture

  • Location


  • Host University

    J.F. Oberlin University

    Semester students will study at the Machida campus, a lively and upbeat town in the southwest suburb of Tokyo. Students taking summer courses will enjoy classes at the Shinjuku campus, once of Tokyo's most popular and vibrant areas. J.F. Oberlin University is a non-profit private co-educational institution with about 9,000 students. While studying abroad at J.F. Oberlin University, you will have easy access by public transportation to downtown Tokyo as well as nearby mountains and beaches. To diversify your academic life and become friends with Japanese students, you can join university clubs and participate in cultural activities and excursions, organized by J.F. Oberlin's Center for International Studies and ISA.

  • Term

    Spring 2 2021

  • Program Dates

    Early Apr, 2021 - Early Aug, 2021

  • Program Length


  • Application Deadline

    Oct 15, 2020

  • Forms and Payment Deadline

    Dec 01, 2020

  • Credit

    16 - 20 Host University Units

  • Eligibility

    2.50 Minimum GPA*

  • Cost


  • This session is closed and is no longer accepting applications.

Study Abroad Program Description

The program price listed above is an estimate and is subject to change.
By participating in ISA semester or academic year programs at J.F. Oberlin University, you will not only enhance your academic knowledge but increase your intercultural competence by learning about and experiencing Japan.
This program offers you a variety of courses taught in English with a focus on International Relations, Business, East Asian Studies and Humanities. You can also enroll in an optional intensive Japanese language track that is comprised of core and elective courses.
Most of the English taught courses meet twice a week for 90-minute sessions. Core Japanese language courses meet one to five days a week depending on the level for 90 minutes each class. You can also take elective Japanese language courses that can include an experiential component. All elective classes meet once a week and are 90 minutes long. In addition to the academic courses, you are encouraged to participate in student clubs or social activities on campus. Taking part in a club life along with local Japanese students will help you immerse yourself in the culture and learn the insides of Japanese student life.
Semester + Semester Programs Available: You may participate in the Spring + Fall sessions of this program at a discounted price by selecting these two semesters of interest when submitting your initial ISA online application. For more information about this option, please contact your Tokyo Program Manager.



Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.50.


There is no language prerequisite for this program.

At the time of application, you should have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the end of your program.

You must be enrolled as a full-time degree-seeking student in a U.S. college or university. GAP students must provide an official acceptance letter proving their enrollment at a U.S. institution for the semester immediately following their program at J.F. Oberlin University.

What's Included

Comprehensive Advising and Support

24-Hour Emergency

Comprehensive Health, Safety, and Security Support

Airport Reception

Visa Support

Tuition at the Host University


Bridging Cultures Program

Full-Time Resident Staff

On-Site ISA Offices

Internet Access

ISA Discovery Model


Cultural Activities


Official Transcript from the Host University

Professional Development Toolbox

Scholarship Opportunities



Host University Units

16 - 20

Recommended U.S. Semester Credits

12 - 15

Academic Information

Course Availability and Selection

  • The course list below indicates the proposed courses for the upcoming semester. While the list may be used as a general guide while completing your pre-registration form, course offerings and enrollment will not be confirmed until students are on site.
  • Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers and scheduling. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last-minute class cancellations.
  • Requests for sample syllabi can be made to the ISA Japan Program Manager.

Course Credit

  • While at J.F. Oberlin University, all students are required to enroll in 4 to 5 courses per semester and the total amount of J.F. Oberlin credits cannot be above 20.
  • You are required to take one core Japanese language course on top of three to four courses that can be a combination of English taught classes and Elective Japanese classes.
  • Per J.F. Oberlin University, 1 credit hour consists of 15 contact hours.  Most J.F. Oberlin courses, with the exception of Japanese language, typically transfer back as 3 U.S. credits. Credit transfer is ultimately determined by your home university.

Japanese Language Courses

  • Taking a core Japanese language course, available from the absolute beginning up to advanced levels, is required.
  • You will take a placement exam at the beginning of the semester which will determine your level. Please note that your performance on the placement exam may not reflect the number of semesters of language instruction you've already completed at your home university. We strongly suggest that students who are trying to place into any level of language beyond true beginning prepare for the language placement exam by reviewing previous coursework.


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J.F. Oberlin University
Academic Courses in English
Global Studies
Japanese Studies
4 Host University Units
4 Host University Units
4 Host University Units
4 Host University Units
4 Host University Units
4 Host University Units
Japanese Language Program
Core Courses (taking one of these courses is mandatory)
6 - 6 Host University Units
6 - 6 Host University Units
4 - 4 Host University Units
4 - 4 Host University Units
2 - 2 Credits
Elective Courses
1 Host University Units
1 Host University Units
1 Host University Units
1 Host University Units
1 Host University Units
1 Host University Units
1 Host University Units
1 Host University Units
1 Host University Units
1 Host University Units
1 Host University Units
1 Host University Units
1 Credits
1 Credits
1 Credits

Support & Funding

U.S. Team

Crystal Giedt

Program Manager, Japan


Niaya Harper Igarashi

Resident Director, Japan

Funding Your ISA Program

As an ISA participant, you have the opportunity to apply for scholarships and grants that can be applied directly to assist with your study abroad programs. ISA offers over $1,000,000 in scholarships and grants each year. To see what opportunities are available, you may visit the Scholarships and Grants page. Please note that some programs, including remote learning opportunities, are not eligible for scholarships.

View all Funding Options


ISA Housing provides the opportunity for you to experience aspects of the Japanese lifestyle that are inaccessible to the average visitor of Tokyo. You will have the option of staying in the off-campus student residence with other local and international students or secure your own housing and receive a discount from ISA. The experience of living in another culture will be both educational and rewarding so long as you stay open-minded at all times.

There are differences in culture and lifestyle between life in Japan and the U.S. The key to a positive experience is flexibility. With this in mind, you can have a fantastic stay in Tokyo.

Student Residence

You will be placed in one of the two newly built J.F. Oberlin off-campus dorms. Each student will stay in a single room that is about 190 sq. feet. In your room, you can expect a fully functional kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave oven, stove top, and a sink as well as a private bathroom, balcony and standard furniture (bed, desk, closet, storage). Amenities at the dorms include study rooms, meeting rooms, coin-operated laundries, and TV area. Both dorms are conveniently located near public transit routes. It takes about five-minute walk to get to a free shuttle bus station and about 10 minutes to get to J.F. Oberlin's main campus.

Independent Housing

You may elect to secure housing independently. If you select this option, you will receive a discount equal to the housing portion of the program price.



Kamakura & Enoshima

Kamakura, once a capital city of Japan in the late 12th century, today is a charming town surrounded by the mountains on one side and the sea on the other. Kamakura is also known for its many shrines and temples, but most people go to visit the Big Buddha statue called Daibutsu in Japanese. Walking through the town of Kamakura there is a feeling of living in the Japanese past, from the old shop fronts and the small streets dotted with traditional Japanese style homes.


Take a stroll back in time to Edo era Japan. That is the feeling you get in Kawagoe, where many traditional merchant shops can be found throughout the city. There is even a sweets shop alley, where you can observe the process and sample the many flavors of freshly made sweets. It is definitely the place to go to feel completely immersed in all aspects of traditional Japanese culture.

Mt. Takao

Standing at 599 meters (1,965 feet) tall and located in the outskirts of west Tokyo, Mt. Takao is a popular nature and hiking spot. There are a number of hiking trails that take you up the mountain through the picturesque scenery to the summit that offers views of Mt. Fuji on a clear day. At the top there is as a temple as well, where people visit to pray for good fortune. Mt. Takao also has a cable car service that can take you up and down the mountain.


Located north of Tokyo, Nikko is a mountainous region famous for its landscape and history. Many natural hot springs, waterfalls, hiking trails, and temples are settled throughout this beautiful region including one of Japan’s most famous World Heritage Sites: Toshogu Shrine. Nikko had been a center of Shinto and Buddhist mountain worship for many centuries before Toshogu was built in the 1600s.

Seoul * Optional

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a city that has an official history of 600 years. Seoul has many temples and four major palaces such as Gyeongbokgung, one of the most famous. Seoul is also a modern city. It opened itself to the outside world in the late 19th century and became the first city in Korea to have trolley cars, railways, and telephones. Since the 1960s, it industrialized rapidly and has become an economic giant center.