Tokyo is the largest metropolitan area in the world, but also manages to keep ancient traditions alive. It is the center of government, home to the Japanese imperial family, a world center of business and finance, and the heart of Japan's contemporary culture. You will enjoy exploring this city with its ancient shrines and temples, modern skyscrapers, green spaces, museums, and wide array of performance venues and shopping districts. Tokyo is also an educational center for Japan, the home of many of the country's best universities. An excellent public transportation system makes exploring this city and other parts of Japan easy. Travel to other parts of East Asia can be done with relative ease.
The cosmopolitan city of Tokyo is the location of Binghamton University's international exchange program in Japan where students can study Japanese language intensively while also learning about Japanese culture hands-on. Kokugakuin University, noted for excellence in the humanities, is host to the program; students live near campus in off-campus private dormitories arranged by the university and participate fully in campus life. The program is open to students in any major with at least one previous year of Japanese language experience. Because it is an exchange program, it is an affordable option for study in Japan.
Fall semester takes place from mid-September to the end of January, with permission given for students to return to the United States in time for spring semester. Full academic year participation is strongly encouraged. The Kokugakuin Spring semester is from early April to the end of July, making a full year last from September through July with a break during February and March. Fall Semester 2018: September 13 - January 25 (Holiday from Dec. 22 - Jan 4) Spring Semester 2019: April 3 - July 31
*This program is appropriate for advanced beginners and intermediate Japanese language students. *
With a 130 year history, Kokugakuin University is one of Japan's best known private universities. The University enrolls approximately 10,500 students. The modern, newly renovated campus is located just 15 minutes' walk form Tokyo's Shibuya Station, center of today's Japanese youth culture.
Kokugakuin offers a special program for exchange students named K-STEP (Kokugakuin Short-Term Exchange Program). The objective of this program is for students to develop Japanese language skills while also receiving an enhanced introduction to Japanese culture in a university setting.
K-STEP is a pre-packaged program that has three (3) different elements;
Intensive Japanese language classes,
Coursework on Japanese culture and society taught in English that may be integrated into regular undergraduate course
Activities, such as Japanese traditional sports and fieldtrips for better understanding of Japan and Japanese culture.
The Binghamton faculty advisors for this program are in the Department of Asian and Asian American studies. They are Professor Rumiko Sode (LSG 671, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Professor Roberta Strippoli ( email@example.com).
To see a list of courses students have previously taken at Kokugakuin University and how these classes were shown on Binghamton transcripts, check out our Study Abroad Course Equivalencies page.
Housing Kokugakuin University arranges for a room in an off-campus private dormitory in a quiet and safe residential neighborhood. The dormitory provides a meal plan service. Please note that the meal plan options are served under the same conditions for all dormitory residents. There are no religious, vegan, or any specific considerations. Exchange students receive a scholarship to cover the cost of the room and the meal plan. The student is responsible for paying for utilities. The residence hall houses regular Kokugakuin students as well and is a short commute to campus.
Excursions The K-STEP program provides field trip to cultural and educational sites for "hands on" experiences of Japan. Although excursions are subject to change, typical activities include:
Oct. Tea Ceremony/Visit Open-Air Folk Houses Museum
April: Soba Noodle making Workshop/Visit Tatami Shop
Nov. Experience Tori-no-Ichi/Japanese Pottery Workshop/Visit Edo Tokyo Museum
May: Kimono Experience/Tea Ceremony (2)
Dec. Class with Public Junior High School & Visit Ukiyoe Museum
June: Class with Public Elementary School/Enjoy Japanese Flowers
Jan. Experience Sumo Match
July: Experience Kabuki Performance/Visit Life-Safety Learning Center
Please download this cost sheet for details on the estimate of costs for Fall 2018: Exch Kokugakuin Fall18.pdf As a reference, the estimated cost of attendance at Binghamton University for a semester for non-commuter students was $13,050 during the 2017/2018 year.
You will notice that $0 cost is shown for dormitory accommodation and meals because Kokugakuin offers a very generous scholarship which covers the rent and also most meals. Kokugakuin also offers an additional JPY 20,000 for students who are willing to volunteer to help the International Exchange Programs Office at Kokugakuin talk to students about studying in the U.S. and other topics. And additional JASSO scholarship worth JPY 80,000 per month may also be available but is not guaranteed and the number of these additional scholarships that may be available is unclear, so do not plan to depend on it.
Keep in mind that Tokyo is an expensive city to live in, so you will need to be prepared for that, but with this scholarship the university greatly helps you to keep your costs down at an amount quite comparable to what you would spend to take a semester at Binghamton.
Financial Aid Students who are eligible for financial aid may apply it. The amount of financial aid that you may be eligible to receive is of an individual nature. All students should print out this Estimate of Costs Sheet, bring it to the Financial Aid office, and consult with a counselor there about what the implications of this cost would be for them individually. Federal and New York State financial aid is generally applicable to study abroad programs. The Binghamton Financial Aid Services Office is able to consider only the application of students matriculated at Binghamton for degree study.
Binghamton and SUNY Scholarships Students applying for this program are highly encouraged to apply for the:
For more information about scholarships and financial aid in general, click here.
When a student commits to an education abroad program in their Terra Dotta online program application, the Office of International Programs (IEGI) mirrors the Binghamton University Student Accounts refund policyfor tuition, tuition differentials, and all program fees.
The application for this exchange program requires basic applicant information, a brief essay, your official transcript, faculty references, and some additional supplementary forms required by Kokugakuin University. You must also provide 3 passport photos with your application to OIEGI (these are photo prints that you get at CVS, Walmart and various other locations). Many parts of the application are completed online but the photos and some of the Kokugakuin forms in hard copy must be turned in to the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives in OH 240. Start your application early to make sure you have time to prepare all of these items. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the application.
**Because there is limited space available on this exchange program we do recommend that applicants apply to 1-2 other programs as backup options**