Kansai Gaidai University
Experience the cultural wonders of Japan in Hirakata City. Located in the Kansai region, you will be near both Osaka, the nation’s second-largest city, and historic Kyoto, the ancient imperial capital of Japan. You can access both Kyoto and Osaka in less than an hour’s train ride. Visit Buddhist temples, enjoy sushi and experience Japanese culture firsthand in Hirakata City.
Kansai Gaidai University specializes in foreign language study. You will study Japanese in the Asian Studies Program, where students from around the world come to learn Japanese language and culture. The international community on campus provides many cultural events where you will learn about Japan. Enjoy Kansai Gaidai University’s international mindset while learning about Japan.
Kansai Gaidai University offers a wide range of courses for undergraduate students. The Asian Studies Program at Kansai Gaidai University focuses on providing you with a means of exploring Japan and Asian studies through classroom instruction and interaction with Japanese people.
Course Descriptions and Syllabus
Kansai Gaidai University’s Academic Calendar:
Mid January – Late May
Late August – Late December
Kansai Gaidai University’s Asian Studies Program offers a wide range of courses. As a participant, you will be required to take a five-credit Spoken Japanese course. An optional three-credit course in Reading & Writing Japanese is available at all language levels. In addition to language classes, you may choose from a variety of undergraduate courses in Asian Studies (taught in English).
Review Kansai Gaidai University’s website for more information regarding course offerings.
The course syllabi can be shared with your academic advisor(s) to determine course equivalencies.
General Education Information for UAlbany Students
Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.
Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students
Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.
All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary.
There are three housing options for this program: living in a dormitory, doing a homestay, and making your own off campus living arrangements. If you choose to stay on campus, you will be accommodated in Kansai Gaidai’s designated student dormitory, Global Commons – YUI. All dormitories have single-occupancy rooms equipped with a desk, bed, closet, book shelves, shoe storage box, small refrigerator, and air-conditioner. Internet access and linen service is available. There is a tatami floor living room that is a convenient place for gathering and interacting in a relaxed atmosphere. Shared full kitchen facilities are available for cooking.
The homestay program allows you to experience daily life with a Japanese family. It is indispensable, as it further enhances language learning and the appreciation of Japanese culture.
While it is strongly recommended that you take advantage of the homestay program, the demand for placement with a Japanese family is high, and you may be assigned dormitory housing. In fact, many students select this option. The dormitories consist of Japanese-style rooms, and are located nearby but not directly on campus.
There is no meal plan for this program. You may choose to purchase meals in the cafeteria, cook, or eat out at local restaurants.
Academic Year 2019/20
Estimate of Costs
For reference, review the Academic Year 2019-2020 Estimate of Costs.
Click for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.
Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.
Juniors, seniors, and exceptional sophomores in all majors with at least a 3.0 GPA are eligible to apply. If you have a lower GPA, you should consult with the UAlbany study abroad program coordinator.
Previous coursework in Asian Studies is strongly recommended.
You are required to take a 5-credit Japanese course during this study abroad program.
SUNY students: Prior knowledge of Japanese is recommended, but NOT required.
Non-SUNY students: Must have completed at least one year of Japanese study prior to the start of the program.
University-arranged excursions are not included in this program, but you may also enjoy other tourist attractions and events off campus, on your own.
Student Clubs and Organizations
Taking part in extracurricular activities will be a good source of interaction with Japanese students. The clubs and circles at Kansai Gaidai University warmly welcome the participation of international students. If you are athletically inclined, you may join soccer, basketball, or the cheerleading club. There are also a wide range of Japanese martial arts clubs such as Judo, Kendo, Karate, and Shorinji-Kempo. Surprisingly enough, some international students have even been able to speedily improve skills and earn advanced ranks within the hierarchies of those activities.
If you wish to deepen your understanding of Japanese culture, you may be interested in exploring clubs such as the tea ceremony club, calligraphy, flower arrangement, or Koto (the Japanese harp). An on-campus community volunteer club named “Himawari Club” may also interest you since the club organizes activities that give you a chance to interact with local Japanese children/people in the vicinity of the university.
Most financial aid and academic awards will apply to semester programs.
External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.
More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.
In Their Own Words
“I had a great time in Japan! The country is so beautiful, and the train system was easy to understand so traveling was simple and fun. I also made a ton of friends, and the classes were interesting. I’m really glad I went during the spring semester because the cherry blossoms were so pretty!”
Arielle Westcott, English Major
“It was a great experience in Japan. I went to the Yukata fitting event that Kansai Gaidai offered us and we learned Japanese traditional Bon Dance. It was really fun and I really enjoyed meeting the people there.
Qinyi Lin, Economics Major
About the City
Kansai Gaidai University is located in Hirakata City, near Osaka, the second largest business metropolis in Japan. Osaka and Kyoto are just under an hour from campus by train. The location of the program offers an excellent starting point for your exploration in Japan.
A valid passport is required to participate in this program. If you are a U.S. citizen, you are required to obtain a visa to enter Japan.
For all other nationalities, please check with your government and the Consulate General of Japan to determine whether you are required to obtain a visa for this program. More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.
Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:
- Spring/Winter/Spring Break programs: July
- Fall/Year/Summer programs: December
Academic Year 2019/20
Academic Year 2019/2020
08/26/2019 to 05/26/2020
08/26/2019 to 12/22/2019
01/18/2019 to 05/26/2020
About the Program
Kansai Gaidai is a private, nonprofit institution composed of Kansai Gaidai University, (four-year program), Kansai Gaidai College (two-year program), the Graduate School, and the Asian Studies Program.
Established in 1972, Kansai Gaidai’s Asian Studies Program annually welcomes over 600 competitively-selected students who represent about 40 countries and regions.
Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. The fall semester pre-departure orientation will be conducted the Saturday before the end of Spring UAlbany classes and in late November/early December for the spring term abroad.
Upon arrival at Kansai Gaidai University, you will attend a mandatory program orientation. This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by International Office of your host university.
UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.
Kansai Gaidai University’s International Office staff serve as an experienced resource for resolving issues that you may encounter in while abroad.