Minimum GPA: 3.00

Terms and Dates:

  • Academic Year 2023-24
    August 29, 2023 to April 20, 2024
  • Spring 2024
    January 9, 2024 to April 20, 2024
  • Academic Year 2024-25
    August 28, 2024 to April 26, 2025
  • Fall 2024
    August 28, 2024 to December 14, 2024


Kristen Grace

Cornell Affiliations:

Global Learning


Opportunity Description

Spend a semester or academic year developing your Japanese language skills in Kyoto, the former imperial capital of Japan where traditional meets modern.

What is unique about this program?

The Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) is a semester or academic year long program for undergraduates who wish to do work in Japanese language and Japanese studies. The program will help you strengthen your Japanese skills by providing intensive language training and regular interactions with host families and the local community. Understanding of Japanese society and culture is enhanced by the integration of the historical and cultural resources of Kyoto into the academic curriculum and student life. Coursework and program activities will enable you to explore the significance of Kyoto's past, its present and Japan's place in today's global world.

KCJS is centrally located in Kyoto on the Imadegawa campus of Doshisha University, bounded on the south by the Imperial Palace grounds, and to the northeast by Shokokuji temple.

What is unique about Kyoto?

As the country’s old capital, Kyoto is brimming with historical monuments, temples and shrines that you may have read about in history textbooks or in works by distinguished authors such as Murasaki Shikibu, Kawabata Yasunari, Tanizaki Junichiro and Mishima Yukio. These places are embedded in everyday Kyoto life. As a Kyoto resident and through field trips in your subject courses, you will develop a special affinity for and a more nuanced understanding of the breadth and depth of their history. Kyoto is also the center of traditional arts and crafts such as Nishijin brocade, Kyo ningyo (dolls) and Kiyomizu porcelain that reflect the beauty of Japanese culture and the highly refined skills of local artisans.

While traditional styles remain strong, Kyoto also has a modern face. In department stores and specialized shops throughout the city, you can observe firsthand how traditional arts and crafts incorporate modern tastes. Kyoto cuisine also stems from traditional roots, but exhibits a contemporary flair. Cafés, bakeries, restaurants, and izakaya abound, so you will have a wealth of choices from which to sample local delicacies and also keep up with current food trends.

With its unique atmosphere in which the present and the past are interwoven, and where peaceful, serene sites of historical and religious significance are nestled amongst vibrant, contemporary shopping and dining districts, Kyoto is an exceptionally welcoming and comfortable place that you will come to call home.

The Consortium

Established in September 1989, KCJS is a consortium of 13 American universities which sponsors this rigorous, academic program. Columbia University serves as the lead administrative institution of the consortium and works with the KCJS staff and board of delegates members from each consortium school to oversee all aspects of the program.

Members of the consortium include: Boston University, Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University/Barnard College, Cornell University, Emory University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Stanford University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Yale University in association with the University of Virginia.

Things to Consider Before Applying

  • Review the information on the Education Abroad Office’s Get Started page for important considerations on academics and finances, and a guide to next steps
  • Find answers on the Education Abroad FAQ and resource pages for Cornell study abroad policy, health, and safety updates
  • Still have questions?  Visit the Get Advice page and learn how to connect with an Education Abroad Advisors
  • Want to keep up to date with Cornellians Abroad? Follow Education Abroad on social media, @cornelliansabroad@CornellEducationAbroad

How do I apply?

Applying to study abroad is a two-step process. You may complete both steps simultaneously, but the Cornell approval process must be complete before your program advisor in the Office of Global Learning can submit any approval or nomination to the program.

  1. For Cornell Approval, click on the "Apply" button on this webpage. Applications are approved by the Office of Global Learning on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this page.
  2. For Program Admission, complete an external application directly on the program’s webpage, using the link in the “Snapshot” section. (Note: This deadline may be in advance of the general Cornell deadline for approval. Many programs fill by rolling admission.)