Kwansei Gakuin University
Experience Japan in Nishinomiya. 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. Enjoy sushi, explore Buddhist temples and come into contact with Japanese culture firsthand in Nishinomiya.
Kwansei Gakuin University is a highly-ranked university in Japan. Founded by an American Christian missionary, this prestigious university welcomes international students from around the world. If you are from America, you will feel right at home with certain aspects of Kwansei Gakuin University’s campus: the university was founded by an American missionary and the campus was designed by an American architect. Come join the international community at Kwansei Gakuin University.
Kwansei Gakuin University offers a wide range of courses for undergraduate students through their Contemporary Japan Program. This program is specially designed for incoming exchange students. You will be offered a choice between two study tracks that will define the main focus of your time at Kwansei Gakuin University. You can also take elective courses to learn more about “Contemporary Japan” from a variety of aspects such as language, culture, society, economy, and politics.
Course Descriptions and Syllabi
Kwansei Gakuin University’s Academic Calendar:
Late March – Mid July
Mid September – Mid January
You can choose between two study tracks at Kwansei Gakuin University:
The Japanese Language Track (JLT) focuses on improving your Japanese language abilities.
During the first semester at Kwansei Gakuin University, you will have the option of expanding your Japanese skills with “Nihongo Partners”, a group of Kwansei Gakuin University students who help exchange students improve their Japanese proficiency.
The Modern Japan Track (MJT) focuses on English-taught classes related to Japan. If you choose this track, you are not required to take Japanese language courses. As an MJT participant, you can apply to take a Japanese language course, but space is limited.
A Japanese placement test will be given to all students, regardless of the track you choose (if you don’t know any Japanese, you can just write your name on the test and leave the rest blank). You are required to take two placements tests: one before arrival to Japan and one more during orientation in Japan. If you sign up for the Japanese Language Track, but fail the placement test, you will be moved to the Modern Japan Track.
Review Kwansei Gakuin University’s website for more information regarding course offerings.
Please see the Kwansei Gakuin University Application Timeline for more information regarding the complete application process.
1) Review the Kwansei Gakuin University handbook to learn more about the course and requirements. Please keep in mind that, despite KGU’s credit minimum, you will need to take at least 12 credits at Kwansei Gakuin University. Also be aware that many of the courses at KGU are 2-credit courses.
2) Open a new tab, and go to the KGU Online Course Syllabus Search.
3) Copy the 6-digit Class Code from the Kwansei Gakuin University handbook, and paste it into the first box of the Class Code section of the Online Course Syllabus Search.
4) Click “Search” (at the bottom-righthand corner of the page).
5) Copy and paste the names and course descriptions into a Word document, or save each syllabus, and email/print the information to your academic advisor/department. This is the information you will need in order to complete your Course Equivalency Approval Form, which can be found in your UAlbany education abroad application.
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 a variety of housing options for Kwansei Gakuin University’s exchange program.
Dormitories are off-campus, and it takes about 20 minutes to commute to campus by foot.
All dormitories are single-occupancy. Each room has a bed, desk, chair, wardrobe, air conditioner, and access to internet (Wi-Fi may not be available, so you may need to use an Ethernet cord in your room). Some of the dormitories have a private bathroom and toilet room, but you may have a shared bathroom, toilet room, and kitchen on your floor instead. Dormitory housing is not guaranteed, so it is important to apply for housing as soon as you receive the housing application from Kwansei Gakuin University.
Homestay options arranged by Kwansei Gakuin University are also available. If you plan to study abroad for a full year, and would like a homestay, you may be required to live in a dormitory for one semester. If you have limited Japanese proficiency, you will more than likely be placed in a dormitory. If you are placed with a host family, you will have your own room that includes a bed, wardrobe, and desk. The home will have internet access (High-speed internet may not be available), and your host family will prepare two meals on the weekdays, and three meals on the weekends and Japanese National Holidays.
You may elect to make your own housing arrangements off campus with permission from Kwansei Gakuin University and UAlbany. However, only limited support from Kwansei Gakuin University’s incoming team will be available if you make your own arrangements.
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 2019-20 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.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors in all majors with at least a 2.5 GPA are eligible to apply.
Japanese language ability is not required.
This program is only for UAlbany students. If you are a UAlbany student who is a Japanese citizen, you are eligible to apply.
University-arranged excursions are not included in this program, but you may enjoy tourist attractions and events off campus, on your own.
Student Clubs and Organizations
You are strongly encouraged to join Kwansei Gakuin University student groups to enrich your study experience in Japan. There are over 150 cultural sports clubs and “circles” on campus. Some circles and clubs arrange field trips and tours. A circle is a group of students who share a common interest in an activity and gather periodically to explore this interest together. Clubs tend to require more commitment than circles, and are often the equivalent to university-level team sports. You should be aware that you may not be able to join certain clubs/circles due to the length of your exchange program.
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.
“My semester in Japan is something I will always treasure in my heart. I studied abroad at Kwansei Gakuin University in Hyogo Prefecture and I lived with a wonderful host family. The classes at Kwansei Gakuin were interesting, the school was beautiful, and lunchtime was fun, especially on Wednesdays because that’s when I met my favorite group of people and had a great time. I had such an incredible time exploring the other prefectures in the Kansai Region and I even had the opportunity to travel to Tokyo. I’ve made such loving and awesome friends, both international and Japanese. I made so many memories both inside and outside of Kwansei Gakuin and I’m so happy that it attended it.”
Angie Morocho, Japanese Studies Major
About the City
Kwansei Gakuin University is located in Nishinomiya, a city located between Osaka and Kobe. Nishinomiya is famous for its beautiful shrine, cherry blossoms, and the New Year’s Lucky Man Race, and is the home of the Hanshin Tigers baseball team. With its beautiful scenery, local events, and prime location, there is always something to do during your free time.
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’s website 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
09/09/2019 to 07/16/2020
09/09/2019 to 01/11/2020
03/25/2020 to mid-July (end date forthcoming)
About the Program
The University at Albany’s exchange affiliation with Kwansei Gakuin University enables you to study Japanese language and culture at one of the top private universities in Japan. This program is intended for you to expand on your Japanese language skills and knowledge of modern Japan.
Throughout its history, Kwansei Gakuin has had a strong international emphasis. A variety of programs aim to develop internationally-minded people who understand other cultures and countries of the world, being motivated to help others in the spirit of the school’s motto, “Mastery for Service.”
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 Kwansei Gakuin 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.
Kwansei Gakuin University’s International Office staff serve as an experienced resource for resolving issues that you may encounter in while abroad.