At the forefront of technological and social innovation, Osaka is one of the most dynamic cities in Japan. Spread across three campuses in the northern part of Osaka prefecture, Osaka University (OU) has introduced a number of summer programs for international students. Located in the center of Kansai, Osaka offers the perfect base from which to explore much of the beauty and history of Japan. The eccentric character of Osaka makes the city one of the most exciting places to spend a summer exploring Japanese culture and experiencing the unique way of life in Japan.
Japanese Short Stay In Session Program (J-ShIP)
Osaka University’s J-ShIP program aims to provide students with a traditional Japanese language education alongside an extensive variety of Japanese cultural experiences. Targeted at those with beginner level Japanese language proficiency, the J-ShIP provides students with an encompassing approach to their time in Japan, by integrating cultural experiences and several excursions and overnight trips around the country with their Japanese studies. Taking place over eight weeks (usually mid June to mid August), students attend two to three lectures per day, and are required to complete their daily set homework. The summer J-ShIP program consists of two modules for introductory level Japanese language education; the curriculum of both modules broadly match the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) levels N5 and N4. On top of their classroom education students can also take part in the ‘listen to my story’ project, a recent initiative aimed at increasing the interaction between J-ShIP students and domestic OU students. Receiving feedback on their essays from OU students facilitates a deeper cross-cultural integration as well as allowing J-ShIP students to practice their Japanese with a native speaker. Students also have the opportunity to sign up for an overnight trip. Not included in the course outline, this does come at an additional cost (usually around 13, 000 JPY), and in past years students have visited Hiroshima, Naoshima, and Hida-Takayama.
For accommodating the J-ShIP students, OU has arranged short-contracts on one-bedroom apartments, all within a five minute walking distance from the Minoh campus. Coming nearly fully equipped, housing expense, utilities and internet access are all included in the program fee, and these apartments provide students with a more independent option to spend their eight weeks. However offered for a few participants every year, the university also arranges homestays (at an additional cost), which will give students a more immersive experience and help maximize their time in Japan. In order to take part on the course, students must be enrolled at a college or university, they cannot be graduated before the start of the program, and they must also provide a nomination by an exchange coordinator, international officer or Japanese instructor from their home institution. The estimated cost of the course (tuition, accommodation etc.) for the summer program is 270,000 JPY, however J-ShIP students are also eligible for the Japan Student Support Organization (JASSO) scholarship, which would provide qualified students with a grant of 160,000 JPY.
Japanese Intensive Program
Held for just three weeks in August, this program is focused on a more intensive approach to language education, and is designed for students wanting to build a foundation in academic Japanese. With two to three 90-minute lessons a day, as well as daily homework assignments, upon completion of the course students can obtain two credits from OU. Alongside their language studies there is also an extensive trip itinerary, all included within the program outline. Students will travel to some of the country’s most visited destinations including Nara, Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka, as well as taking part in unique cultural experiences such as Japanese dessert and tea making, and Hokugawa river rafting. Accommodation for the Intensive Program varies year on year, and students could be in a hotel, dormitory, or homestay. The program fee (including tuition, application, accommodation, trips etc.) is estimated at 210,000 JPY, and students of the intensive program are also eligible for a JASSO scholarship of 80,000 JPY.
International Summer Program at the Graduate School of Science
The graduate School of Science (GSS) also provide their own summer program. Overseas students majoring in natural sciences or related subjects can join GSS for an intensive six weeklong research internship over the summer period. Students can not only acquire the experience of research-based studies, but also explore the social and cultural side to their summer in Japan. Thematic studies through experiments, discussions and group work take students through the six weeks, and upon completion of the program they will receive a certificate form the GSS.
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