This year-long exchange at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan is designed for the more advanced Japanese language students from across disciplines at the U of A. Limited to one U of A nominated student each year, the Asian Studies Program welcomes over 600 competitively selected students annually from about 40 countries and regions. A variety of course offerings relevant to Japan and Asia, taught by experienced faculty members, will provide new perspectives for participants and inspire their intellectual and personal growth. One of the special advantages of this program is the combination of Japanese language courses with other social science and business courses, conducted primarily in English.
As with all exchanges, you will be largely independent during your exchange, but you’ll have access to the many social programs on campus. Taking part in extracurricular activities will be good source of interaction with Japanese students. To name a few, athletically inclined students may join soccer, basketball, or cheerleading club. There are also a wide range of Japanese martial arts clubs such as Judo, Kendo, Karate, or Shorinji-Kempo. Clubs in Japan, in many ways, play a very unique role in college life, and some clubs may take membership seriously and insist on regular attendance. "Circles," on the other hand, are less strict and less hierarchical. Their rationale seems to be "Let's-get-together-to-have-fun."
Information on clubs and circles is available at the Center for International Education. Students should be aware that because of the Japanese Academic Calendar, clubs/circles are not usually active in February and March.
Kansai Gaidai is located in the city of Hirakata (pop.: 405,000), midway between Osaka, Japan's second largest industrial metropolis, and Kyoto and Nara, the ancient capitals of Japan. Located in the cultural heart of Japan, our campus provides an excellent starting point from which to begin exploring of a land that, by anyone's standards, is truly fascinating. Many of the cities in the Kansai* region are extensively utilized in the Asian Studies Program through field trips, independent research, and/or case studies.
This Geographic advantage provides students with easy access to the centers of Osaka and Kyoto in little over half an hour by train.
This exchange offers an educational experience that allows U of A undergraduates access to the Japanese cultural, linguistic and social heartbeat for a year, while keeping on track to graduate from the U of A. In addition to the Japanese language courses, students choose from additional classes, mainly in Asian studies, political science, international relations and some business courses. Students must have completed at least 5 semesters of Japanese in order to be considered for this program.
Students can find a list of courses available at Kansai Gaidai at http://www.kansaigaidai.ac.jp/asp/03_academics/02.html
. There is also a list of courses that the U of A has predetermined for this exchange here: https://waprd.uark.edu/web-apps/regr/courseequiv/Main
(Search for the name of the University under Foreign Colleges).
Students will be assessed U of A tuition and fees for 15 credit hours per semester for the academic year that they study abroad on this exchange. Additionally, students are responsible for their round-trip airfare, housing, meals, local transportation, books, passport, student visa, and personal expenses. The independent nature of this program allows students to determine their own extracurricular activities, leaving flexibility not only in free time but also in the budget.
Click on the Budget above for a break-down of expected costs.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Financial aid and scholarships are available to U of A students. Students receiving a Pell grant should look into the Gilman International Scholarship
. And all students should read through our scholarship page
for more info on funding opportunities and deadlines. Additionally, in most cases, you can also use your current scholarships and financial aid
to help finance your semester in Japan.
Housing during the first semester is a home-stay arranged by Kansai Gaidai, with the option of continuing in the home-stay, moving to a new home-stay or moving into the international dorm on campus for the second semester. Please be prepared for a bit of a commute to the University, as the University selects host families on the basis of suitability over proximity to campus.
For assistance with applications, costs, travel arrangements, etc., contact:
U of A Study Abroad Program Manager and Exchange Coordinator