Office of Study Abroad and Study Away Programs

JAPAN, Kansai Gaidai University Asian Studies Program, Hirakata

map of Japan

Program Location: Hirakata, Japan
Duration: Fall, Spring, or Year
Program Dates

Flights should be not be booked based on the dates above. It is recommended to wait until the program has issued specific arrival information.

Map courtesy of CIA World Factbook

Program Overview

Because of its culture and prominent role in today’s world, Japan is of interest to many students, among them, majors in business management, economics, government, history, and art. The program is also attractive to students enrolled in Japanese courses, as it provides an interesting combination of courses aimed at improving language proficiency. Even though non-language courses are taught in English, Clark requires that every applicant to the program has at least one year of Japanese or the equivalent. Students may choose to study abroad at Kansai Gaidai for the academic year or a semester; a year-long study is strongly encouraged.

Clark students are hosted at Kansai Gaidai University as part of the Asian Studies Program. Founded in 1945, the University is located in Hirakata, a small city between Osaka and Kyoto. The city provides an ideal base in the heart of cultural Japan, not far from ancient tombs in Asuka, mountain temples in Nara, and museums and shrines of Kyoto. While there, students typically have a choice between living with a host Japanese family and living with other native English speakers in campus housing. The host family option is for students who are willing to accommodate the family lifestyle and may be expected to be home for most evening meals.

The academic curriculum at Kansai Gaidai has two main parts. In addition to the rigorous Japanese language program, students can take courses in a wide variety of areas, including the humanities, social sciences, and business. As mentioned above, all elective courses are taught in English.

Clark Credit

Participating students receive four units per semester, provided all coursework is completed, all required exams are taken, final papers are submitted. Students will generally take five courses, including the required Reading & Writing Japanese, and Spoken Japanese courses. A student may register for a maximum of five courses. Four Clark units per semester can only be granted upon successful completion of all courses which must total between 15-17 credits. Students are eligible to enroll in any course for which they are qualified, with the exception of a very few specialized subjects. Please check with the Study Abroad Office to ensure credit transferability of credit.


Clark requires that, prior to your study abroad program, you have been in residence at Clark for at least one year. You must be in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of a 3.0, and good standing in the Clark community (not on academic or social probation at the time of application or thereafter). Before participating in a study abroad program, you have to declare a major, and as a rule, have junior-class standing. In order to be considered, you must complete/submit the full application by the appropriate deadline. This includes a passport with an expiration date that is valid at least six months beyond your date of return to the US. Your application will be reviewed by the Study Abroad Advisory committee, and if approved, will be sent to the Kansai Gaidai University for final admission. Applications may be rejected for any number of reasons by the overseas program.

Program Costs

Your student account will be billed for Clark tuition each semester that you are abroad, and Clark will pay your tuition/academic fees to Kansai Gaidai. There is a one-time $1000 study abroad fee which will appear on your tuition bill. You will be billed by the Kansai Gaidai University directly for your housing/board, and you will need to provide for your own meals (i.e. cooking or purchasing meals) if not provided by the program. Books, non-academic fees, visa, and travel expenses are your responsibility. You are also responsible for all of your personal expenses and for your pocket money while abroad. Remember that here might be a whole array of fees at Kansai Gaidai for using the gym, clubs, computers, laundry, transportation, books, cell phones, etc. These fees vary from year to year and we recommend that you check the website of your host institution to see if further information is available. Any additional expenses related to individual courses, such as travel, are also your responsibility.

Studying off-campus always generates additional and unexpected expenses. If you are a financial aid recipient, you should continue to receive financial aid. However, be sure to check with the Office of Financial Assistance to see if there will be any changes in your financial aid package. You will not be able to receive Work-Study money while you are abroad. International Scholarships are granted to enrich the Clark campus with international students and cannot be applied to off-campus programs.

You will receive an invoice from Clark's Student Accounts Department, indicating that the tuition payment will be due by mid-July for the fall and mid-December for the spring. The exact due date will appear on your bill. Failure to satisfy your financial obligation to Clark University by the due date may result in your withdrawal from the program. Failure to satisfy your financial obligations to your host institution may result in no transcript being issued for your participation in their program.

Under NO circumstances will Clark University be responsible for independent travel you choose to participate in, which is not an official part of the Clark program. Clark will not assist in any personal travel arrangements.

Approximate additional costs per semester for 2014-15

  • Housing Range:
       ¥200,000/dormitory (approx. $2000),
       ¥320,000/homestay – breakfast and dinner included (approx. $3200).
    Room and Board fees must be paid in yen currency. Estimates below are based on a $1/100 yen rate.
  • Meals for dorm students - $1500
  • Lunch for homestay students - $600
  • Personal Expenses - $1400
  • Transportation - $2000
  • Local Transportation for homestay students- $700 - for dorm residents - $300
  • Books and Supplies - $200

NOTE: These costs are estimates based on exchange rates at time of publication, and are subject to change.

*Expenses are based on student feedback and vary based on individual spending habits. Estimated personal expenses include items such as personal travel, clothing, etc.

Application Deadlines

Study abroad applicants must schedule an appoint with a study abroad advisor the semester before the application deadline, or two semesters/one year before planning to be abroad. Application information will be provided at this meeting. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted, and retrospective credit will not be granted.

  • Fall semester application deadline - February 15
  • Spring semester application deadline - September 15

Important Information

For more information about this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office at 508.793.7363.

Any information on this page is subject to change.