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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Kyoto, Japan
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Budget Sheets: Fall
Columbia Dates & Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline/Columbia Clearance Deadline Decision Date & Deadline Note Start Date End Date
Spring 2018 10/04/2017 10/13/2017 01/04/2018 04/23/2018
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction:
English, Japanese
Language Requirement:
2 semesters of language for fall, or 3 semesters of language for spring, or the equivalent
Program Type: Columbia Administered Program
Program Advisor:
Robin Leephaibul:
Eligibility - Home School: Columbia College, Columbia General Studies, Columbia SEAS, Visiting Students - Undergraduate Application Notes: Full year applicants are given priority, KCJS member students should check with their home schools about internal (earlier) deadlines
Discipline: Foreign Language Learning, Humanities, Social Sciences
Program Description:

Overview- Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) The Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies is a semester or academic year long program for undergraduates who wish to do 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.
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The Consortium

Established in September 1989, the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) is a consortium of 13 American universities that sponsors a rigorous, two-semester academic program for undergraduates who wish to do work in Japanese language and cultural studies.

Members of the consortium are:

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 Virginia.

The KCJS welcomes applications from outside of the consortium.
For additional information, please visit the KCJS website and the KCJS Facebook page.
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  • Must be a currently enrolled undergraduate student in good academic standing
  • Must have completed at least one year of college-level Japanese for the fall semester, and three semesters for the spring semester, or the equivalent.
  • Minimum 3.0 average language GPA
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
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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 second-year, third-year, fourth-year, and fifth-year levels, Japanese language studiesKCJS Classroom 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.

Language Placement
Students should consult with their home school's Japanese Department and/or study abroad office to understand policies related to placement in language courses upon completion of the program. 
Columbia students should review the KCJS: Language Placement Policies for Columbia Students

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, foreign and American professors. Disciplinary courses cover basic to relatively advanced topics in the humanities and social sciences, with offerings on pre-modern 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. Subjects will generally include offerings in history, social sciences, religion and art.
Courses that have been offered in the past include Dealing with Disasters in Japan, Modern Japanese through Cinema, The Global and the Local in Japanese Food, Japanese Religion in Context, Japanese Politics and Public Policy, 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. KCJS students are joined by Doshisha and/or 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.
Courses 2017-18
Japanese Language courses (required each term)
  • JPNS OC4201 - OC4202: Second year Japanese
  • JPNS OC4205x or OC4206:Third year Japanese
  • JPNS OC4217x or OC4218: Fourth year Japanese
  • JPNS OC4221x or OC4222: Fifth year Japanese 

KCJS Courses: Fall 2017
  • EAAS OC3993: 1: Japan's International Cooperation Policies
  • EAAS OC3993: 2: The Business of Japanese Pop Culture
  • EAAS OC3993: 3: Kyoto Artisans and their Worlds
  • EAAS OC3993: 4: The Chinese in Modern Japan
  • EAAS OC3993: 5: Heritage Tourism and History in Japan
KCJS Courses: Spring 2018
  • EAAS OC3993: 1: The Warrior Tradition in Japan
  • EAAS OC3993: 2: Japan's Security Policies
  • EAAS OC3993: 3: Minorities, Migration and Globalization
  • EAAS OC3993: 4: Japanese Film Culture
  • EAAS OC3993: 5:From India to Japan: Patterns of Transmission and Innovation in Japanese Buddhism

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

KCJS Summer Research Grants

All full-year or spring-only KCJS students are eligible to apply for the summer research grants.

Every summer KCJS offers a small number of grants which are intended to give students a chance to put their Japanese language skills to use in pursuing a serious independent research project, typically in preparation for a senior thesis or honors thesis. Students who undertake these projects should be in regular contact with their advisor at their home institution regarding the design and shape of the project to ensure continuity upon their return to campus in the fall. Each grant provides a stipend of up to ¥350,000 paid in two installments for up to ten weeks of research to be conducted in Japan, and also requires the submission of a mid-term progress report and a final detailed report or research paper upon the completion of the grant period. After the report is evaluated and approved, awardees will receive a final payment of $500, which is disbursed after the student returns home. The fundamental goal is to enable you to make good use of your Japanese language skills over the summer, while also advancing your educational goals in the United States.

The proposed research can be of any kind and in any discipline, but it must have an ultimate purpose in mind. Most grants are awarded for research towards a senior thesis or honors thesis, but other possibilities include submission to a student journal at your home institution. The key requirement is that you indicate some concrete way in which you plan to publicize the results of your research to a wider audience, whether through a publication (either in print or on the Internet), or through some other forum. It is also essential that you make full use of Japanese-language resources. KCJS summer research grants are meant for full-time research during the period of the grant. Normally, a grantee may not hold a second grant, regular job or internship coterminous with the KCJS grant. However, exceptions may be permissible on a case-by-case basis with the advance, written permission of the KCJS Director.

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Academic Calendar

Calendar is tentative and subject to change.

Academic Year 2017-18

Fall 2017
Students arrive August 30
Fall orientation begins August 31
Orientation ends/move into program housing September 2
First day of classes September 4
Deadline for course registration September 11
National holiday September 18
KCJS Fall trip to Okayama October 6-8
National holiday October 9
Fall Break begins October 28
Classes resume November 6
National holiday November 23
Last day of classes December 8
Language final examination December 11
Elective course final examinations December 12 - 14
Fall semester closing ceremony and farewell luncheon December 14
Intersession break begins December 15
Last day to move out of housing December 18

Spring 2018
Spring semester students arrive January 4
Spring semester students’ orientation begins January 5
Returning students move back to families/apartments January 6
Orientation ends/move in to program housing January 7
First day of classes January 9
Deadline for course registration January 15
KCJS Spring trip February 9 - 10
Spring Break begins February 24
Classes resume March 5
National Holiday March 21
Last day of classes April 13
Language final examination April 16
Elective course final examinations April 17 - 19
Closing ceremony and farewell luncheon April 20
Last day to move out of housing April 23

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Host Institution

KCJS is based at the Imadegawa campus of Doshisha University located just north of the Imperial PalDoshishaace in the center of Kyoto. The KCJS has program offices, classrooms, a student lounge, and a library, and its students have access to other Doshisha facilities.

Doshisha University was founded as Doshisha Eigakko (Doshisha Academy) in 1875 by Joseph Hardy Neesima, the first Japanese citizen to obtain an academic degree at Amherst College in the United States, and is renowned as a prominent private educational institution with a long history. Doshisha is comprised of 14 faculties as well as the Institute for the Liberal Arts, the Center for Japanese Language and Culture, the Center for Global Eduation, and 17 graduate schools including a law school and business school, and has a student body of over 29,000 students. Highly committed to internationalization, Doshisha hosts over 1500 international students and has exchange agreements with 138 universities in 34 countries throughout the world.    

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Faculty and Staff

Resident Director:
Mark Lincicome is KCJS Resident Director and earned his MA and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. He has been a member of the Department of History and the Asian Studies Program at the College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Massachusetts since 1991. His courses range across all periods of Japanese history; he also teaches survey courses on pre-modern and modern Asia, as well as on European and American intercourse with the larger Asia-Pacific region. Before joining the Holy Cross faculty he served as Associate Director of the Asian Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh, and as Executive Director of the Japan America Society of Chicago.

Professor Lincicome is the author of two books on the history of educational thought, politics and policy in modern Japan, as well as journal articles and book chapters on topics ranging from education, to identity formation, to globalization. His current research project is a comparative study of the development of Japanese and Australian conceptions of “Asia” and their relationship to “Asia” between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries.

Additional on site staff members in Kyoto include:
  • Fusako Shore, Assistant Director
  • Miyuki Nishimata Fukai, Japanese Language Program Coordinator
  • Itsuko Nakamura, Academic Director the Summer Programs
  • Tazuko Wada, Housing Coordinator
  • Yoshiko Hollstein, Financial Coordinator
  • Michiko Nakanishi, Librarian
For a complete list of KCJS Professors, subject course faculty, and Japanese language instructors, please visit the main KCJS website:

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Activities and TripsField trip

Field trips, excursions, guest lectures, workshops, and social events round out the KCJS experience, further exposing students to the treasures of Kyoto and the surrounding areas, and also providing deeper insight into Japanese culture.

Field Trips
Visits to local museums, temples, shrines, and the theater are often incorporated into courses. Depending on the topic and curriculum, trips have included noh and Bunraku performances, visits to a machiya (traditional Kyoto-style house), a historical entertainment site, and a day trip to Nara.
OkayamaEach semester, the entire KCJS group takes a trip with at least one overnight stay. Past destinations have included Okayama, Hiroshima, Ise, Nara, and Nagasaki.

Guest Speakers Series
Visiting scholars and local experts are invited to speak to the KCJS students about a diverse range of topics. Subjects covered in the past year included gender and art, Buddhism and Japanese film, Japanese architecture, and journalism and the Japanese media.
KCJS pic
Other Activities
KCJS students are encouraged to join the student clubs at Doshisha University. There are also many opportunities outside of the KCJS to take lessons in traditional Kyoto crafts such as ceramics, wagashi (Japanese sweets), and yuzen dyeing, as well as in such other Japanese arts as the tea ceremony and flower arranging, and in such martial arts as kendo, judo, and aikido.

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Grade Reports and Transcripts

Grades for courses taken at the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies are reported on a document called a KCJS Grade Report, which is not an official transcript.Where the Grade Reports are sent and how they are processed depends on the home school of the student and the year of attendance.If you need grades reported for your time at KCJS, please read the following to find the instructions that match your situation.

1. If you were an undergraduate from the following: Boston University, Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University/Barnard College, Cornell University, Emory University, University of Michigan (before Spring 2017), University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, and Washington University in St. Louis:

KCJS Grade Reports were sent to your home school Study Abroad office and forwarded to your home school registrar for incorporation into your home school transcript. Each school decided how to include the KCJS courses. Some schools report course titles and grades while others may report only titles with credit or only transfer units.

If your KCJS grades do not appear on your home school transcript and you are applying to a program or school that requires these grades, you will need to request a copy of your KCJS Grade Report. Please send a request for a grade report to Please include in your email your full name, term and year of participation, and home school.

2. Prior to July 2006, if you were an undergraduate student from Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Virginia, or any non-consortium member school, or as a recent graduate of any school:

You were enrolled as non-matriculated students at Stanford University and can request a Stanford transcript for their KCJS work.There is no charge for Stanford transcripts, but requests must be made either in person or in writing – no faxes, emails or phone calls.Instructions and a downloadable form can be found on the Office of the Registrar's web site. Follow the instructions for Alumni enrolled previous to 4 years ago, regardless of when you attended KCJS.

3. After July 2006, if you were an undergraduate at Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Virginia, Yale University, or any non-consortium member school:

Your KCJS grades are posted on a Columbia University transcript. Transcripts can be requested from from the Registrar's Office.

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KCJS staff members place students in homestays or apartments based on individual preferences.

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.

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.

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KyotoGolden Pavillion

Kyoto is Japan's imperial capital from 794 to 1868, and a city rich in traditional culture and history. Surrounded on three sides by densely forested mountains and a number of rivers, Kyoto is one of Japan's most beautiful cities. Home to Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, and ancient palaces as well as a thriving modern culture, Kyoto is also home to some of Japan's most advanced high-tech firms and one of Japan's highest per capita student populations. Nara, Osaka, and Kobe are nearby, and Tokyo is about two and a half hours away by train. Kyoto is a city of manageable size, filled with interesting neighborhoods that are ideal for exploration on foot or bicycle.

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Program costs can be viewed here.

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Withdrawal Policy

A student in good academic standing who is not subject to discipline may be permitted to withdraw at any time. Withdrawal is defined as the dropping of one's entire program in a given term as opposed to dropping a portion of one's program. All students who withdraw will be charged a $75.00 withdrawal fee. In addition, a percentage of the tuition will be refunded as follows.

Any student withdrawing must notify the Resident Director in Kyoto and the Office of Global Programs in writing; failure to attend classes or notification to instructors does not constitute formal withdrawal and will result in failing grades in all courses. Any adjustment of the tuition that the student has paid is calculated from the date on which the Resident Director and the Office of Global Programs receives the student's written notification.

Only tuition is refunded. Fees (application, transcript, housing, etc.) are never refunded, either in full or in part. All students who withdraw will be charged a withdrawal fee. In addition, a percentage of the tuition will be refunded as follows.

KCJS member students should consult with their home schools regarding their policies.
Withdrawals processed will be refunded
1st week 100%
2nd week 90%
3rd week 80%
4th week 80%
5th week 80%
6th week 60%
7th week 60%
8th week 50%
9th week 40%
after 9th week 0%

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Financial Aid and Funding

Financial Aid
If you are currently receiving financial aid or scholarships, check with your school to see if it may be applied to your study abroad.
Students looking for outside sources of scholarships or loans can check the following for more information. Columbia University is not affiliated with any of the sources.
If you are applying for a scholarship that requires your school's approval, please note that on-campus deadlines are often earlier than scholarship deadlines. Please check with your school's study abroad office.


KCJS Scholarship
The KCJS Governing Board has allocated funds for KCJS Scholarships specifically for students participating on the KCJS program. These awards vary between $500-$5,000. KCJS applicants with financial need are welcome to apply.

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.

Freeman Awards for Study in Asia
Created to assist U.S. undergraduate students (U.S. citizens or permanent residents only) with demonstrated financial need and limited prior experience in East and Southeast Asia, Freeman-ASIA will fund approximately 400 U.S. students over the next two academic years (2016-17, 2017-18), with awards ranging from $3,000 per student for summer study and $5,000 per semester, to a maximum of $7,000 for a full year abroad. Students may apply online starting February 1st for awards to study abroad beginning in summer 2016.
Prospective students should visit the Freeman-ASIA website ( for eligibility requirements, full application instructions and a list of deadlines. Student application deadlines: Spring 2017: October 23.

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.

Boren NSEP Scholarships for International Study
Boren Scholarships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Boren Scholarships provide funding to U.S. undergraduate students who must be U.S. citizens to study abroad in areas of the world considered critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East.  Maximum scholarship awards are $20,000 for a full academic year, $10,000 for a semester, and $8,000 for a summer.  In exchange for scholarship funding, all Boren Scholars must agree to the NSEP service requirement.
The national deadline for applications is usually in 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.

Other Financing Opportunities

For current Columbia University and alumni, reach out to the Office of Global Programs and Fellowships to explore and apply for internal, national and international fellowships. The Fellowships team will inform students about a full range of opportunities and help them determine which programs best meet their goals.


Scott Carpenter, Associate Dean of Global Education and Fellowships
View office hours on our website.

Jodi Zaffino, Assistant Director for Fellowships
View office hours on our website.

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Student Experiences

View the main KCJS website to take a look at the KCJS You Tube Channel, view students’ Community Involvement Project (CIP) blogs, etc.

Check out what current KCJS student groups are doing and past groups have done in Kyoto on the KCJS Facebook page.  
Field trip

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How to Apply

Click on the blue "Start an Application" box at the top or bottom of this page.

The online application includes the following:

  • Application

  • Official Transcript

  • Language Recommendation

  • Academic Recommendation

  • Study Abroad Approval Form

  • Application Fee, if applicable

  • Visa application materials including copy of valid passport and passport photos for spring applicants only
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Contact Information

Office of Global Programs
606 Kent Hall
Columbia University
1140 Amsterdam, Mail Code 3948
New York, NY 10027
Fax: 212-854-5164

In the event of an emergency after office hours, please contact Columbia University Emergency at 212-854-5555 or Columbia University Security at 212-854-2796.

If you are unsure about which office to call, contact the New York office first.

Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies
Doshisha University, 2F Fusokan
Karasuma Higashi-iru, Imadegawa-dori
Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8580
Tel: 075-251-4995 (+81-75-251-4995)
Fax: 075-229-6300 (+81-75-229-6300)

KCJS Board Contact Information

If you are from a KCJS school, please contact the following advisors from your school in order to learn more about the program and the application process.
Boston University
Faculty Rep Sarah Frederick
Language Director Emi Yamanaka
Study Abroad Advisor Jessica Walsh

Brown University
Faculty Rep Samuel Perry
Language Director Yuko Jackson
Study Abroad Advisor Ned Quigley

Columbia University/Barnard College
Faculty Rep Henry Smith
Language Director Miharu Nittono
Study Abroad Advisor Robin Leephaibul

Cornell University
Faculty Rep Jane-Marie Law
Language Director Misako Terashima Chapman
Study Abroad Advisor Stephen Capobianco

Emory University
Faculty Rep Ryan Cook
Language Director Cheryl Crowley
Study Abroad Advisor Jeremy Billetdeaux

Harvard University
Faculty Rep Gavin Whitelaw
Tomiko Yoda
Language Director Wes Jacobsen
Study Abroad Advisors Camila Nardozzi

Stacie Matsumoto

Princeton University
Faculty Rep Thomas Hare
Language Director Shinji Sato
Study Abroad Advisor Gisella Gisolo

Stanford University
Faculty Rep Miyako Inoue
Language Director Yoshiko Mastumoto
Study Abroad Advisor Ashley Landwehr

University of Chicago
Faculty Rep Susan Burns
Language Director Harumi Lory
Study Abroad Advisor Lewis Fortner

University of Pennsylvania
Faculty Rep Julie Davis
Language Director Tomoko Takami
Study Abroad Advisor Kristyn Palmiotto

University of Virginia
Faculty Rep Gus Heldt
Language Director Gus Heldt
Study Abroad Advisor Ryan Hathaway 

Washington University in St. Louis
Faculty Rep Virginia Marcus
Language Director Shino Hayashi
Study Abroad Advisor Julie Laveglia

Yale University
Faculty Rep Seth Jacobowitz
Language Director Hiroyo Nishimura
Study Abroad Advisor Kelly McLaughlin

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