This program is designed for students who are interested in studying Japanese language and Japanese culture and living in 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. HUSTEP is available for the full academic year or the spring semester. 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.
HUSTEP (Hokkaido University Short Term Exchange Program) is designed as a 1 or 2 semester program for in-depth study of Japanese language and culture, including some courses offered in Environmental topics, and selected courses in the Sciences taught in English. The one-semester option is only available in the spring. The Japanese language courses are divided into Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced levels and placement is determined by a test after arrival. UMass students typically earn 6-18 language credits and can also satisfy some General Education requirements. Japanese majors can earn as much as 20-24 credits towards the major requirements. The University allows regular Japanese students to enroll in the English-taught elective courses also, so there are opportunities to make the acquaintance of Japanese undergrads.
Students are graded on class participation, homework, exams, papers and oral presentations, similar to standards in the United States. Grades will not be calculated into your UMass GPA.
Click here for a list of courses offered in the fall (academic year applicants only) and here for a list of courses offered in the spring.
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 HUSTEP 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 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.
HUSTEP application documents will be provided by the Asia Programs Advisor to students nominated for the HUSTEP program. Documents include a letter of recommendation from a faculty person other than a language instructor, and a Certificate of Health to be completed by your physician. Completed application materials must be turned into the Exchange Program Coordinator for mailing to Hokkudai.