SEMESTER/YEAR LONG PROGRAMS
Exchange Programs�Kansai-Gadai University (Osaka), Japan
Kansai Gaidai was established in 1945 as a private language school and has had an international focus throughout its history. Exchange students at the university enroll in the Asian Studies Program which was founded in 1972 to allow students from all over the world to gain firsthand knowledge of Japanese language and culture. The university as a whole enrolls 14,000 students annually, with the Asian Studies Program making up 400 of that number. Kansai Gaidai boasts the largest foreign enrollment of any Japanese university, attracting students from 150 partner institutions around the world. See the Course Selection and Transfer Credit Process.
Although the Asian Studies Program was designed as a one-year experience, exchange students can study at Kansai Gaidai for a single semester. Most students in the program have had an introductory study of Japanese, although beginning language study is offered. The majority of exchange students on this program have majors International Business, International Studies, History, or Political Science, or are pursuing a minor in Asian Studies or Japanese Studies. Students from other academic majors are also encouraged to apply.
The Center for International Education at Kansai Gaidai offers an orientation program to help students adjust to new academic and cultural expectations. In addition, a full range of cultural and athletic clubs are available and help to facilitate interaction with Japanese students. The university also offers library and computing facilities, three cafeterias, and a student health center. To gain a well-rounded perspective on Japanese culture, exchange students are encouraged to participate in the homestay program. Students who live with a host family will eat two meals per day with their family. Kansai Gaidai also offers an on-campus dormitory with double rooms and kitchen facilities.
Kansai Gaidai University is located in Hirakata City, midway between the cities of Kyoto and Osaka. This location, along with Japan's well-developed public transportation system, allows exchange students to explore both the traditional and modern cultures of the county.
Founded in the eighth century, Kyoto is Japan's ancient capital. The Kyoto National Museum houses an extensive collection of Japanese art, and the city is home to impressive ancient architecture, including the world's oldest standing wooden structure. Visitors to Kyoto also have the opportunity to visit the Kiyo-mizu-dera, a temple which illustrates the union of Buddhism and Shintoism in Japan. In contrast to Kyoto, Osaka has been the center of much of Japan's commerce in recent decades. It is the country's second largest metropolis and a hub of business and industry.
The faculty at Kansai Gaidai make extensive use of their location in organizing field trips, preparing case studies, and facilitating independent research. The staff at the Center for International Education is also available to assist exchange students in making independent plans for weekend and vacation travel.
Old Dominion's Exchange Program with Kansai Gaidai
The Asian Studies Program combines Japanese language study with English-language lecture courses. Studio courses which focus on traditional Japanese art forms (ceramics, brush painting, etc.) are also offered. Finally, students with superior language skills (must be able to recognize all of the 2,000 Joyo Kanji) may be eligible to participate in the "Advanced Development" program, a full semester of advanced coursework.
The fall semester runs from late August to mid-December while the spring semester runs late January to late May. Exchange students should be aware that the Asian Studies Program differs from the traditional Japanese academic calendar and there will be few Japanese students on campus in September, February, and March.
The credit earned at Kansai Gaidai will be recorded on the Old Dominion transcript as transfer credit provided that a grade equivalent to a "C" or better is earned. Advance planning with academic advisors, and completing a transfer credit evaluation prior to the start of the program, ensures that these credits are applied toward graduation and degree requirements. Students work with faculty advisors at Old Dominion to select courses which will yield at least 12 transfer credits. Students in the Asian Studies Program generally take 8 credits of Japanese language (a 5 credit Speaking course and a 3 credit Reading and Writing course) and 2-3 lecture courses (6-9 credits).
Students pay tuition, room, and board fees to Old Dominion for this exchange. Additional fees include airfare, books, passport and visa, and spending money. Most forms of financial aid (loans, grants, scholarships) can be applied to this program as long as an enrollment status consistent with financial aid is maintained. The study abroad advisor will provide a detailed program budget for planning purposes and for submission to the Financial Aid Office.
See information on "Bridging Scholarships" awarded by the Association of Teachers of Japanese!
The Office of Study Abroad assists you in planning for your semester or year at Kansai Gaidai. The first step in this process is to stop by to make an appointment with the study abroad advisor. Begin planning several months in advance of deadlines to ensure that this program is an appropriate choice! In addition, useful websites for further research include the following:
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- Sophomore standing at time of exchange
- One-year Japanese language study recommended
- For Fall: mid-February
- For Spring: mid-October
- Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.