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Off-Campus Programs: Semester in Japan

Semester program in Japan


Students may choose to spend either fall semester, spring semester, or summer semester at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities in Hikone, Japan. The program was established in 1989 by a consortium of all the state universities in Michigan, including the University of Michigan and Michigan State. In the past few years, private colleges like Calvin have been invited to join in the program. Hikone, the site of the program, is an old castle town of 100,000 located on the shores of Lake Biwa, in the heart of the main island of Japan, near Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka. It is a very modern town now, yet retains many of the aspects of traditional Japanese culture.

Each semester courses are offered in both Japanese language and Japanese culture. In addition, students take two other courses related to Japan. The course offerings vary each semester, but include topics such as Japanese Economic Practices, Environmental Issues in Japan, Japanese International Relations, etc. All credits will be accepted by Calvin College and the culture courses can help meet core requirements. This program only has around 40 students enrolled each semester, which means that class size is small and students are given much individual attention.

The facilities of the program are very new and modern, and are in a beautiful setting on Lake Biwa. Students may either live in the dormitory provided on the lake, do a homestay with a Japanese family for the entire semester, or live in the dorm but do homestays with a Japanese family on various weekends. The program provides contact with the local community through field trips and participation in local cultural events, as well as through the homestays with Japanese families.

The Semester in Japan program is a non-Calvin program but students remain eligible for Calvin financial aid at the same level as if they were on campus. The cost is the same as Calvin's tuition, room and board rate plus a $150 administrative fee.

Contact Larry Herzberg, 616-526-6363.

Learn More

See financial aid information for spending a semester in Japan.

Learn how to apply for the semester program in Japan.