Nanzan University

Located in beautiful Nagoya City, the hub of education, culture, commerce and industry in central Japan, Nanzan University will off our students a unique central hub for a semester of study.

Open the door to a promising future as a diplomat, translator/interpreter, global educator or international businessperson by participating in Nanzan University's Intensive Japanese Program. Build the skill and confidence for a successful career that harnesses your knowledge of Japanese language and culture. This program will boost your ability to listen, speak, read and write confidently in Japanese.

Not only does this program offer intensive language courses, but you have the opportunity to register for Japanese Studies and Arts courses taught in English. By participating in homestays, Nanzan's "Intercultural Exchange" programs, and organized program field trips, our students will gain a deep appreciation for Japanese culture and history.

Program Details

Nagoya "The Friendly City"

Nanzan University is located in Nagoya City, the hub of education, culture, commerce and industry in central Japan. Nagoya’s airport, easily accessible by rapid train, offers flights to all major domestic and many international destinations, particularly in Asia. Nagoya itself is a modern and affordable city, the capital of Aichi Prefecture. The Nagoya region often played an important role in Japan’s history, and many remarkable traditions and customs are still alive here today. It is steeped in the legacy of the three great samurai who united Japan in the sixteenth
century: Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu, the man who initiated the 250-year Tokugawa Period. At the same time, there are many spots in Aichi where you can experience modern Japanese culture, such as soaring roller-coaster rides at Nagashima Spaland, the Cosplay Summit in summer, futuristic Toyota factory tours, the dynamic Osu Kannon shopping zone, fantastic summer
firework displays, and lively local festivals with dancing and processions.

Homestay Program

While studying at Nanzan University, you have the option of living with a Japanese family. Living with your host family offers insights into everyday life in Japan. By sharing breakfast and dinner with your host family, chatting in the evening after dinner and on the weekends, you can experience Japanese life and culture first-hand. To help improve your Japanese language skills, you are encouraged to use only Japanese with your host family, who are also a resource to answer your questions about Japanese language, culture and society. In order to provide a comfortable homestay environment for students, Nanzan University outsources the recruitment, interviewing, training, and monitoring of host families to reputable partner institution. During your homestay, you will have your own bedroom and desk, and your host family will provide two meals a day. Experienced staff also carefully match you and your host family to ensure that you have a pleasant stay, and we offer you continued support throughout your homestay. For many students, staying with a local Japanese family is one of the highlights of their study abroad experience at Nanzan University.

Intercultural Exchange

One of the pleasures of study abroad is meeting new people. Language class sizes are small and there are many group activities so you can easily meet other international students in your classes. If you are staying at the dormitories, you can hang out with both local and international students in the common rooms. On campus is the large Multicultural Lounge, Stella. Stella is a magnet for both international and local students who would like to meet people and make friends. The student assistants working there organize many cultural and educational events to bring students together. Another popular space is Japan Plaza, our language support center, a space where you can practice your Japanese as you get to know other students. Local students also join our regular field trips, travelling with you as your culture guides. You will have many chances to make new friends during your stay at Nanzan University

Organized Field Trips

One of the most rewarding experiences about studying abroad is being able to explore the local culture. As Nanzan University is located in scenic, historic central Japan, there many interesting places to visit on our regular field trips with local students or your own sojourns. You can get a glimpse of the area’s long and colorful history at the Tokugawa Museum with its beautiful gardens or at the imposing Nagoya Castle, or join the afternoon performance at Nagoya’s kabuki
theatre. Outside Nagoya, you could visit the country’s most sacred shrine at Ise or the historic post towns Tsumago and Magome, or explore the charming castle in nearby Inuyama. Central Japan’s annual rituals are celebrated at the summer obon dances and fall harvest festivals in the area’s mountain villages, and the festival of giant kites in Hamamatsu celebrates spring and fertility. You can delve into the country’s more recent past at the Meiji Mura Museum or the Toyota Kaikan Museum. Take every opportunity to explore Japan!

Japanese Language Courses

The Japanese Language Courses represent the core of the IJP. These courses are intensive and challenging, and your progress will be fast: each semester, you will move up one JLPT level. Small classes allow for personalized, detailed feedback from your instructors, and plenty of time is spent to cover each lesson. On four mornings a week, you have two consecutive 100-minute Japanese language classes. During class, you are expected to work hard; outside the classroom, you are required to prepare, review, and practice your Japanese. From the first day of the course, you interact in Japanese with classmates and local students. Five levels of Intensive Japanese are offered in the Fall semester and six in the Spring. Your level is determined by placement tests administered during orientation in your first week. Placement tests have been carefully designed to ensure that the class level fits your Japanese proficiency.

Japanese Seminar Courses

Japanese seminars offer you the opportunity to focus your Japanese studies on developing particular skills and fields of expertise. In the project seminars, you can interview people in an historic market street or make a presentation in Japanese. Our three levels of translation not only prepare you to work as a translator but also deepen your understanding of Japanese. In the literature  seminars, you read classical literature and contemporary classics, and in our creative writing seminars, you stretch your imagination. Our academic Japanese seminars extend your ability to read and write academic texts; the practical Japanese seminars focus on particular areas of language use such as tourism or teaching Japanese. Some examples of courses are as follows: Translation, Business, Classical Japanese Literature, and Science & Technology.

Open Courses

Open Courses are regular undergraduate courses that international students can take across a range of disciplines. They are conducted in English or Japanese. Offered in both semesters, Open Courses change year by year. Recent courses covered topics such as intercultural competence, media literacy, Japanese society and law, American history, and the sociology of Latin America. Working with local students in regular undergraduate Japanese university classes – chatting and sharing ideas in discussion groups, preparing and giving research presentations together – is a natural way to understand Japanese university life and make life-long friends.

Japan Studies Courses

In the Japan Studies Courses you can explore Japan’s fascinating history and culture, and its contemporary society. These three-unit discussion and lecture classes are divided into six fields – business and economics, politics and international relations, history and society, language and linguistics, literature, and art and culture. From any of these fields, you can choose the courses that best match your personal interests and your academic major. All of these courses are conducted in English, and you are expected to actively participate in class discussions and debates in order to deepen your knowledge of historical and contemporary Japan and its place in the world.

Japanese Arts Courses

Explore Japan’s rich culture in our popular Japanese Arts Courses. Pick up a brush and master writing kana and kanji in calligraphy classes, or delve into the principles and practice of visual composition in the manga classes. The relaxing tea ceremony classes will help you develop an appreciation of Japan’s traditional culture and spirit, and in ikebana classes you can discover the principles of flower arrangement and the basics of handling flowers. To boost your energy, learn traditional odori dance steps, or practice karate techniques in the martial arts class.

Academic Calendar

Fall Semester:

Fall orientation and registration - Early September

Classes begin - Mid September

Final examinations - Mid December

Semester ends - Late December

Spring Semester:

Spring orientation and registration - Mid January

Classes begin - Mid January

University entrance exam recess - Mid February

Spring break - Late March

Final examinations - Mid May

Semester ends and closing ceremony - Mid May

Application Deadlines & Information

NOTE: Do not apply on your own. Please contact Kathy Hansen in the Center for International Education before submitting your application materials.

Fall Semester 2024: Application open March 2024

Spring Semester 2025: Application open November 2024

A non-refundable application fee is applicable at time of submission. This fee is 10,000JPY (~$68) and can be paid online with a credit card. Exchange students will have the application fee waived.

Application Materials:

1. Official Transcript

2. Official Bank Statement (Upload the bank statement of those who will cover your expenses during staying in Japan. For example, if a parent or guardian covers your finances, please submit the statement of your parent's bank account. If you plan to cover the amount with scholarships or loans, please submit the letter along with the bank statement.)

3. Copy of your Student ID Card

4. Student headshot

5. Copy of US Passport

6. Application Essay

7. Completed Japanese Study Information Form

8. Application for Certificate of Eligibility (CoE)

9. A letter of recommendation



Qualifying freshman, sophomore, and transfer students can use their SPARK Grant for this study abroad program.

Views from Abroad:

    At A Glance:

    Term: Fall & Spring

    Program Level: Undergraduate

    Program Type: Academic; internships and research available

    Major(s): Open to all majors, but might be of particular interest to the following majors:

    • Anthropology
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Global Sustainability
    • History
    • International & Global Studies
    • Japanese
    • Law
    • Museums, Archives, & Public History
    • Political Science
    • Public Health
    • Sociology
    • Women & Gender Studies
    • World Languages & Cultures

    Language Requirement: None

    Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0