Living and studying in Japan will boost your language skills, deepen your cultural understanding, and give you a fresh perspective on your own culture. The Japanese Program offers a wide variety of options for study in Japan: semester- and year-long exchange programs as well as summer programs.
We encourage students in the program to consider study abroad. Keep in mind that you may apply up to 9 study-abroad credits to the major (and up to 6 credits to the minor)
The Japanese Program is committed to pursuing equal access to study abroad opportunities and encourages all students to explore the many need-based and merit-based scholarships available from William & Mary and from outside sources. Please contact the Reves Center or the Japanese Program director for additional information.
- W&M Exchange Program at Keio University
Located in the capital city, Tokyo, Keio University is Japan's oldest institution of higher education. Students enroll in the Japanese Language program at the Center for Japanese Studies. There are four levels (elementary to advanced), and students are assigned to the appropriate level based on the results of a placement test. Students are housed in dormitories or, in some cases, with homestay families. W&M students may apply to study at Keio for the spring semester or a full year. This is a tuition exchange program. W&M students to pay their regular tuition to W&M while attending this program. Room and board are paid to the partner university. Details/Apply
- W&M Exchange Program at Akita International University
AIU is a four-year, liberal arts institution in the northern prefecture of Akita. Founded in 2004, it has quickly earned a national and international reputation for its hands-on instruction, globally-minded curriculum, and the scenic beauty of the main campus, located in the middle of an exquisite cedar forest – an Akita speciality. W&M students may apply to study at AIU for a semester or a full year. This is a tuition exchange program. W&M students to pay their regular tuition to W&M while attending this program. Room and board are paid to the partner university. Details/Apply
- Ritsumeikan University
Japan's beautiful ancient capital, Kyoto, is home to several elite universities, including Ritsumeikan, founded in 1869. Students can choose from programs in English or in Japanese at eight levels. Outside of the classroom, they can explore the infinite cultural riches of the city, the setting for the classic Tale of Genji, where history awaits around every corner. W&M students may apply to study at Ritsumeikan for a semester or a full year. Details/Apply
Summer Language Immersion
We do not typically offer Japanese courses over the summer. If you want to spend your summer immersed in Japanese, check out
- The Hokkaido International Foundation (this program is not eligible for W&M transfer credit),
- International Christian University,
- the Inter-University Center or
- Middlebury College's Summer Language Schools in Vermont.
The American Assiociation of Teachers of Japanese lists other Japanese study abroad opportunities.
Students can enroll in summer programs both in Japan and at various American Universities. Tuition is paid directly to the target institution. Transfer credit must be discussed in advance with the Japanese Studies program director and pre-approved.
Summer Programs in English
Learn more about Japan's history and culture through one of the English-language summer programs offered by our partner universities in Japan. The Reves Center has a complete list.
- Once Upon a Time in Japan
Akita International University offers a unique traveling history seminar over the summer. Over two weeks, students travel all across Japan exploring sites of important historical events, from Akita, to Tokyo, to Kyoto, Osaka, and Nagasaki. No Japanese proficiency is required; the seminar is conducted entirely in English. Consult the Reves Center for more information.
- Summer Pop Culture Program
Ritsumeikan University, in Kyoto, offers a two-week course, taught in English, on Japanese pop culture. Students study the history, present, and future prospects of Japan's manga, gaming, and anime industries, as well as links to traditional culture. The course runs from late July through the start of August. Consult the Reves Center for more information.
Study Abroad Transfer Credit
The Japanese Program does not pre-approve for study abroad in Japan. On your return, we will work with you to ensure transfer of credits taken abroad and to place you back into our language classes. See the departmental procedures for transfer credit.
If you can't make it all the way to Japan but want to interact with foreign students here in Williamsburg, The Keio University, College of William and Mary Cross-Cultural Collaboration program is a summer internship on campus with 40 Japanese students from Keio University.