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Japanese Education Abroad

Experiencing Japanese College Life - Kyoto and Beyond

Experience college life in Japan through language and culture lessons, while learning how to do traditional flower arrangements, calligraphy and tea ceremonies at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. Live with a Japanese host family while exploring various historical and cultural sites.

Program Information


Students will mostly be in Kyoto.


Highlights include:

Homestays: Students will spend a week with a host family in Kyoto. All students and host families will gather and have a celebration dinner.
Excursions: There will be a day-long field trips to Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto city to explore both historical sites and cultural attractions.
Language and culture classes: Students will have daily language classes in addition to lessons on culture taught by guest faculties in Kyoto.
Three day trip to Wakayama: Experience a hot spring that overlooks the ocean and enjoy fireworks on the beach


Students will have shared accommodation in hotels or dormitories; part of the program will be with local host families.

How to Apply

To apply, verify the minimal course requirements, then click the 'apply now' button at the top of the page.


Education Abroad will enroll committed students in the following course for three (3) credits from the University of Maryland:

  • JAPN 499T: Experiencing Japanese Life: Language and Culture in Kyoto and Beyond

Students will be expected to participate in pre-departure meetings as well as readings in advance of the course.


Applicants must be in good academic standing. Please refer to the Fact Sheet area at the top of this page for information on other basic eligibility requirements for this program. This program will benefit students who have completed Japanese 101 at the University of Maryland and who want to strengthen their language studies both in and outside of class.

Program Director

Makiko Inoue received her Master's Degree in East Asian Languages and Literatures with a concentration in Japanese pedagogy. Previous to her appointment at UMD, she taught at Bucknell University and Ohio State University. During her eleven years of teaching experience, she has enjoyed empowering students to engage in a meaningful way in Japanese society through teaching language at all levels, as well as teaching innovative content courses.

Statement from Resident Director

Our students spend three to four hardworking years to satisfy their major requirements by taking various courses which include intensive language courses. It would be ideal if all students had a chance to spend a semester or year in Japan to study at a Japanese university. In recent years, however, a number of students find it more difficult to do so for financial reasons and scheduling issues. Thus, my primary objective of this course is to provide our students with an opportunity to go on a study abroad experience since a short-term is financially more manageable and there will not be any conflicts with satisfying required courses since it would be offered during the summer.

This program consists of three parts: (1) visiting cultural and historical sites in Kyoto and its neighboring cities, (2) taking courses on language and culture at Doshisha University, and (3) living with a Japanese host family. Every day, students will utilize what they have learned at the University of Maryland to build new relationships and immerse themselves in the culture first hand. Each student will be paired with a Japanese student of Doshisha University to meet and practice language. As the director of this program, it is important for me to create opportunities in which our students will communicate with Japanese college students whom they are close to in age, as well as to provide Japanese host families; the majority of which will consist of parents and younger children. The program targets students’ experiences that are not easily attainable by simply traveling around Japan. Doshisha University has been chosen for its academic excellence.  Furthermore, its location fits perfectly with the purpose of this program. Kyoto is one of the ancient capitals of Japan with abundant historical and cultural sites and its beauty captures travelers from all over the world.

Programmatic Impact

Upon completion of the program, students will 

  1. enhance their language skills they have learned in Japanese language classes 
  2. broaden their understanding of the target culture by living with Japanese host family
  3. experience learning Japanese traditional culture such as tea ceremony, flower arrangement, and calligraphy
  4. visit various historical sites in Kyoto and other neighboring cities, including Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, and traditional architecture

Education Abroad Scholarships

Learn about SLLC-wide scholarships available for education abroad.



Makiko Inoue

Senior Lecturer, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Senior Lecturer and Advisor, Japanese

(301) 405-0495