The Japanese language is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn, but is also one of the most rewarding. Its three different alphabet systems—Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji—make learning the language very difficult, not to mention its complex grammar and vocabulary. However, gaining fluency in the Japanese language opens a door to a much deeper understanding of Japan’s continuously evolving culture and the mindset of its people, which in turn provides a fresh and unique perspective to the world.

International Christian University Summer Courses in Japanese

With a spacious and green campus located in Mitaka city, International Christian University (ICU) has been conducting its summer program titled “Summer Courses in Japanese” for several decades. The university is known as a bilingual campus where its faculty and students are required to be proficient in both English and Japanese and have expert language instructors that can provide an innovative learning environment. The program runs for six weeks and is an intensive course on the Japanese language and culture. It is a rigorous yet comprehensive program where students are taught to use the Japanese language fluently while also learning various aspects of Japanese culture—through “culture programs” such as experiencing a tea ceremony or a visit to the National Kabuki Theatre.

International Christian University summer program participants gathering in cafeteria.

During the start of the program, students will take a placement test that will determine their class from a total of eight levels from C-1 (Introductory) to C-7 (Advanced), including C-Sp (Special) for students who have learned Japanese as a first language. Students who have no prior knowledge of Japanese are required to learn the Hiragana script by themselves before attending the summer program. Each week, students have 15 class periods which run for 70 minutes each that are held in the morning. During the afternoon, students can choose to either study by themselves, attend tutorial sessions with instructors, or participate in a culture program. In addition, they are also expected to study four to five hours per day outside of class for review. By the end of six weeks, students are expected to have a better command of the Japanese language and have a lasting impression from their authentic encounters with Japanese culture.

Students learning on the grass in international Christian University

Prospective students of the summer program are required to be at least 18 years old and are currently attending a university or a college. High school students in their graduating year may not apply, with the exception of students who are accepted into the ICU for the following semester. The program fee is 358,200 yen which includes the tuition, on-campus dormitory fees, administration charge, and textbook fees. Several accommodation options are available, such as staying in the on-campus dormitory or in a homestay with a Japanese family.

A student dormitory in international Christian University

For those who are interested in learning more about the Japanese language and culture, the ICU Summer Courses in Japanese is the perfect way to study it directly in Japan itself, where students are able to apply the use of the language first-hand and immerse themselves in the Japanese lifestyle.


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