Tufts in Japan

Location: Kyoto, Japan
Program options: Semester or Academic Year
Language of instruction: Japanese and English

Tufts in Japan has recently begun an affiliation with the prestigious Kyoto Consortium of Japanese Studies (KCJS), offering students the opportunity to study for a full academic year or semester in Kyoto, once the capital city of Japan. Established in 1989, KCJS is one of the leading Japanese studies programs, a consortium of thirteen premier US-based institutions with a focus on advanced language and cultural studies. The program is jointly administered between Columbia University's Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement and a staff of full-time faculty and administrators based in Kyoto. The program's center and classrooms are centrally located on the Doshisha University campus, but program students are also connected to Kyoto University through language-partner programs, student clubs, and cultural outings and activities.

While it no longer serves as the political or governmental capital, Kyoto remains the "cultural capital" of Japan. Like Boston, Kyoto is a seat of higher education and offers a diverse urban setting, rich in history, innovation, and cultural heritage sites. Throughout the city, you will find a unique blend of the historic and the modern, with monuments, shrines, and temples nestled in amongst bustling and contemporary shopping and dining districts. The city has a warm and welcoming feel, making it an ideal location to get to know Japan and its culture. 

Program Staff

KCJS has a number of onsite staff who not only provide program participants with academic advising and student affairs support, but also arrange excursions, internships, service learning, and local activities.


The Tufts-in-Japan program is open to undergraduate students who meet the general eligibility requirements and who have completed Japanese 2 (or the equivalent) by the time of departure for the fall or full-year option, or Japanese 3 (or the equivalent) by the time of departure for the spring-semester option. Tufts in Japan is open to students from all concentrations, but course options are limited to primarily Japanese language, history, and culture.


$41,001 for the semester, $82,002 for the academic year includes:

  • Orientation program.
  • Full room and board (students electing certain housing options will be responsible for additional room and board costs).
  • Full tuition and fees at KCJS.
  • Extracurricular activities.
  • Cultural events and excursions.
  • Please note that airfare and certain other travel costs (visas, etc.) are *not* included- student is responsible for these charges.


While in Japan, you will take intensive Japanese language courses (two hours per day), based on your specific level of language knowledge; these courses are complemented by occasional guest lectures. A selection of other "disciplinary courses" taught in English is also available, from which you must take two per semester; course topics range from Japanese culture to History, Politics, and International Affairs, and many of these involve co-curricular excursions. Students who wish to study a particular Japanese culture topic in-depth may apply to undertake an independent study. In addition, all students participate in Community Involvement Projects (CIP) which foster a deeper connection with the local community and culture through various opportunities: volunteering; in-depth study of traditional arts or music; teaching assistantships; and participation in student clubs or activities. 

Course Offerings

NOTE: The following is a sampling of courses offered; all courses are not necessarily offered each year.

Fall Course Offerings

  • Japanese Language
  • Japan in East Asia
  • Gender in Japanese Culture
  • Project-based Japanese
  • Independent Study
  • Other Elective Courses offered through AKP (as available)

Spring Course Offerings

  • Japanese Language
  • The Environmental History of Modern Japan
  • Japanese Traditional Performing Arts
  • Ritual Practices and Daily Rituals: an Introduction to the Anthropology of Japan
  • Project-based Japanese
  • Independent Study
  • Other Elective Courses offered through AKP (as available)

Program Details

Accommodations and Meals

While KCJS offers both homestay and apartment options to program participants, homestays are highly encouraged. Students in homestays will be provided with breakfast and dinner each day with the host family, as well as a lunch subsidy to cover daily lunches. Owing to the higher costs of renting an apartment, students who opt for the apartment option may be expected to cover the costs of breakfast and dinner. 


The on-site KCJS staff will conduct an orientation program that introduces students to KCJS, the city of Kyoto, and the surrounding area. 

Student Activities

Students are encouraged to join student clubs and to take part in extracurricular activities both with students in their KCJS cohort and with Japanese peers from Doshisha and Kyoto University. In addition, an overnight group trip is arranged for program students each semester, featuring guided visits. The program also arranges conversation partners, guest lectures, alumni panels, and cultural activities to enable KCJS students to deepen their connections to Japanese culture, their local peer students, and the Kyoto community.

Program Dates

(dates are approximate)

The fall-semester program runs from approximately late August to mid-December; the spring-semester program runs from approximately early/mid-January to late April.

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