- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.75 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
Expand your understanding of this country by immersing yourself in contemporary Japan and its culture—what better way to learn the Japanese language? At Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS), you take a 6-credit language course specially designed for IES Abroad students (with the option of taking up to 10 credits of language). You'll also take English-language area studies courses focusing on popular culture, economics, history, political science, and contemporary society. KUIS is a modern and vibrant university with an international faculty and state-of-the-art facilities.
You can also enroll in the Social Organization in Japan with Field Placement course, which provides you with first-hand experience in a Japanese organization. Spend one day per week as a participant-observer at a local business or not-for-profit organization, and then share your experience in a seminar course to learn more about Japanese culture. With sufficient language ability, you can audit a Japanese-taught digital communications course at Digital Hollywood University. Possible course disciplines include Film, Animation, and Video Game Design.
Academic Year: late August - mid July
Fall: late August - mid December
Spring: late March - mid July
Refer to IES Abroad's website for the specific dates, if available. Note that the Japanese academic calendar is different than the U.S. academic calendar with their school year starting in April.
Tea ceremony, calligraphy, music, dance, and martial arts—all this and more you can explore during your time in Tokyo. Live and learn in this exciting city where the past mingles with the future, and the modern stands side-by-side with the traditional.
KUIS is located within walking distance of the IES Abroad Center in Makuhari, a modern city in Chiba prefecture, which is in the Greater Tokyo Area (just 30 minutes from downtown Tokyo). The area around the Center has easy access to public transportation, offers many public amenities, like shopping and dining, a movie complex, a game arcade, parks, the beach, and open spaces to relax and hang out.
IES wants you to feel at home in Tokyo, so they do everything they can to help you integrate into life in the city. Check out their IES Abroad Tokyo Center newsletter to see what our current Tokyo students are up to. Our E-pal program introduces you to a local student before you even arrive. Through your E-pal, you will have the chance to practice speaking Japanese and meet up for events as you get settled in.
Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation
In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.
Available Fields of StudyAnthropology, Architecture, Asian Studies, Communications, Economics, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, History, Japanese, Marketing, Political Science, Sociology, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Course ListingsTo find courses at IES Tokyo, follow the instructions on their website.
To see what Penn State students have previously taken on this program, see the Historical Course List, which is meant to be a guide as to what courses might be available and how they might transfer to Penn State. Courses listed here may not be offered during the semester you attend the program and the credit amount or course title may have changed.
Note: You are not limited to choosing classes on the program Historical Course List. You should consult the full list of courses on IES' website before choosing a program.
Course SelectionTo find appropriate courses that will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
- Research courses available on your program
- Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements
- Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options
- To register for courses on this program you will work with IES
Program-specific Course Information
Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:
- Japanese language course at KUIS (required, 6 credits)
- Japanese language elective courses at IES Abroad Center (must be placed in 300-level Japanese or higher, optional, 2 credits each)
- English-taught IES Abroad area studies courses or KUIS area studies courses (optional, credits vary)
- Japanese-taught Digital Hollywood University area studies course (optional, 0 credit)
- Field placement and required seminar (optional, 3 credits)
- You must enroll in a minimum number of 15 credits and a maximum number of 18 credits
- You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
- World Campus courses should not be taken in addition to or as a substitute for courses offered abroad
- You may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad
- If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation
Course Equivalency ProcessIn order for courses from abroad to appear on your Penn State transcript, each course must be given a course equivalency. Please visit the Academics section of the Global Programs website for information on the course equivalency process.
Courses can be submitted for course equivalency before, during, or after the education abroad program, however, you should begin this process as soon as possible as it can take on average 2-4 months or more for courses to receive a Penn State course number. In some cases, it can be difficult to obtain syllabi from abroad before the start of the term, but when possible, courses can be submitted for review before departure. Talk to your Education Abroad Adviser about requesting syllabi.
Grade and Credit Conversion ScaleGrades and credit conversions from your host institution cannot be changed. They will be converted to Penn State credits and grades based on the following scales:
|Host Institution Grade||Penn State Grade|
|Host Institution Credit||Penn State Credit|
|3 credits per course||3 credits per course|
Housing and Meals
- Live with Japanese university students and young professionals—each hall is configured differently. They are single-sex, privately managed, and offer single rooms with shared common spaces and bathrooms.
- Live with a host family and forge life-long friendships while you learn about Japanese customs, manners, and cuisine. Accommodations vary by placement. Homestay opportunities may be limited and have an additional cost to cover the cost of meals.
- Live with Japanese university students, other IES Abroad students, and young Japanese professionals in this privately managed co-ed building. Each apartment suite of 3-4 residents is single-sex, and offers single rooms. You will share a kitchen, bathroom, and washing machine with your roommates. There is also a large communal kitchen, communal bath, and student lounge for all residents to use.
Independent housing is not permitted on this program. There will be no exceptions.
- The residence halls offer a meal plan that provides breakfast and dinner from Monday through Saturday (no meals are provided on Sundays or public holidays). The cuisine features typical Japanese set menus. There is also a common kitchen for student use, and rental refrigerators are available for student rooms for an additional cost.
- Hosts provide breakfast and dinner seven days a week.
- Meals are not included.
Costs and Funding
Program CostsFall Costs
The cost of a program is based on Penn State tuition rates and partner institution fees. Due to the variety of locations and partner institutions, costs will vary depending on the program. Education Abroad works closely with our partners to ensure the most accurate cost estimates, however, fees can change quickly and without prior notice. Consult the cost sheets for your chosen program often and if you have any questions please contact your Education Abroad Adviser.
*Students choosing to study for an Academic Year on an IES program will receive a tuition reduction on their spring semester bill.
ScholarshipsThe Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.
Students studying on IES Abroad programs are eligible to apply for IES funding opportunities. Learn more on IES' scholarships website.
Student AidPenn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.
Withdrawal & Refund PolicyWithdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.
After CommitmentOnce a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.
Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. Additional fees from the partner institution will be assessed according to their withdrawal and refund policies at the date of the withdrawal notice.
After the Start of the ProgramIf a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.
For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.
General InformationStudying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.
AccessibilityPenn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Global Program Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.
Gender and LGBTQAThere are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.
- Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity
- LGBTQA Resources for Study Abroad
- Education Abroad Guide for LGBTQA Travelers
- Education Abroad Guide for Women Travelers
Race, Ethnicity, and FaithWhen choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.
- Multicultural Resource Center
- Religious Diversity Abroad Guide
- Education Abroad Guide for Diversity and Study Abroad
IES Abroad Country-Specific Diversity and Access Resources: JapanJust as each study abroad experience is unique, each location offers a different adventure. IES Abroad offers students comprehensive resources specific to their host city and country. Please visit the IES Abroad Japan - Diversity Resources website for valuable information on the following:
- Day-to-Day Life in Japan
- Dietary Concerns
- Diverse Racial, Ethnic, & National Identity
- Gender Identity, Gender Expression, & Sexual Orientation
- Religion & Spirituality
- Disability Resources & Mental Health Support
Non-U.S. CitizensIt is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.
Steps to Study AbroadThe planning stages outlined on the Global Programs website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.
How to ApplyClick the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!
Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Global Penn State website.
DeadlinesYou must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Global Programs website.
Contact Education AbroadIf you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email EducationAbroad@psu.edu.
Peer AdvisersEducation Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website.
Education Abroad AdvisersEducation Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Global Penn State website.
For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!
|Term||Year||App Deadline||Decision Date||Start Date||End Date|
|Spring||2021||09/10/2020 **||Rolling Admission||TBA||TBA|
|Spring||2022||09/10/2021 **||Rolling Admission||TBA||TBA|
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Indicates that deadline has passed