This intensive Japanese language program is designed for Japanese language and culture majors who have completed a minimum of 3 years of college level Japanese or have N3 level Japanese before going to Japan. Usually, UMass may nominate only 1 student each year for the program. 40 students are admitted for the year, and 20 more are admitted for the spring semester; students are international students from around the world. A few electives in Japanese culture are also offered. Sapporo offers a beautiful, four-season temperate climate with snowy winters. The small number of English-speaking students at Hokkaido University makes this an immersion program, as does the small number of English-speaking foreigners living in the capital city of Sapporo. The Japanese Language and Culture Studies Program (JLCSP) is available for year or spring enrollment. Program Brochure link here
The University campus is large and is located near the heart of Sapporo, a well-organized prefectural capital city of 1.8 million people located on the western side of the island. Mountains are visible from the downtown area and the seacoast is only 30 minutes away by train. A modern city, Sapporo is the center of industry, education, culture, fine arts and politics for the prefecture of Hokkaido which contains many far-flung small towns. Three main subway lines intersect with numerous bus and train lines to make this an easy city to get around in. Hiking, winter sports, bicycling and various types of boating are some of the recreational activities available.
Hokkaido University was founded in 1876 as an agricultural college modeled after Massachusetts Agricultural College. In 1947 it became one of the high caliber national universities. The Sapporo campus enrolls nearly 12,000 undergraduates and 6,300 graduate students as well as 813 international researchers and graduate students. Hokudai (shortened name) is organized into 12 faculties, 16 graduate schools and 24 research institutes and centers.
This is a program for advanced students who want to focus exclusively on Japanese language. Language study is organized into classes on Grammar, Kanji, Writing, Oral Communication, etc. A few electives in Japanese Studies are offered each semester. UMass students typically earn 18 - 30 language credits many of which can count towards the Japanese major requirements. Students are graded on class participation, homework, exams, papers and oral presentations, similar to standards in the United States. Your grades will not be calculated into your UMass GPA.
Students are assigned to live in either the international student dormitory or a single-sex (for males) dormitory, both of which are on campus. Rooms are singles with shared bathrooms, kitchenettes and common living spaces. Students are responsible for buying their own meals at campus cafeterias or off-campus restaurants, or cooking in the dormitory. More information on housing here.
Students are encouraged to join a student club as a means to forming social connections with Japanese students. Clubs and Circles are the main social vehicle on Japanese university campuses, and they range from active sports clubs, martial arts, to music appreciation, kimono-wearing, and calligraphy. Students are urged to consider carefully the time commitment required as some of the clubs meet daily for 2-4 hours.
Students applying to JLCSP for the year who have passed the N2 level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test may apply for the highly competitive MEXT scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education. The MEXT scholarship provides round-trip airfare and a monthly living stipend of about US$950. Award decisions are made in July of the summer prior to the start of the program; students must be prepared to self-finance their living expenses in the event that they are not selected for the scholarship.
Students apply to JLCSP for the spring semester may apply for the JASSO scholarship, which provides a monthly stipend of about $700 per month.
Students applying to any of the UMass-sponsored Japanese exchange sites must first complete the UMass Japan Exchange Program application and screening process which includes an interview. The deadline is early October for the spring semester, or early January for the following fall semester & year. After your interview, during which your preferred host university will be confirmed, your "UMass Japan Exchange Program" application in the UMass Abroad system will be changed to an application for your preferred university. There will be some additional documents that you must complete, and information about the actual university application.
Application materials for the JLCSP will be provided by the Asia Programs Advisor to the student nominated for the JLCSP program. Documents include a form completed in Japanese, and your Japanese Language Proficiency Test certificate or proof of N3 language ability from your Japanese instructor. Completed application materials must be turned into the Exchange Program Coordinator for mailing to Hokkudai.