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Japanese Studies

Year Abroad in Japan

1          The Department of East Asian Studies (DEAS) has an agreement with the Center for Japanese Language and Culture (CJLC), Doshisha University, Kyoto. This is a good private university situated in the north of the city. The main campus is bordered by the extensive grounds of Shokokuji to the east and the old Imperial Palace to the south.

2         It is expected that the majority of students will take advantage of this arrangement, which is by and large hassle free and provides a good base in one of Japan’s most attractive cities. If a student wishes to make his or her own plans (applying for a Monkasho scholarship, for example), this is possible but it should be noted that a) a detailed plan must be agreed to by the Study-Abroad Coordinator before the end of January at the latest, and b) no administrative or financial help can be expected.

3          The first deadline is 30th January. At this point the Dept. sends CJLC a list of those students who wish to go to Doshisha.

4          CJLC will then send the necessary application forms and other material to each student. From this point on, all correspondence (in English) is between CJLC and the student concerned, with copies being sent to the Dept. No individually tailored references are required. You will have to provide the signature of a UK ‘guarantor’ (who would normally be the parent or guardian, not the College), because the legal age for adulthood in Japan is not 18 but 20. Japanese Immigration also demands that in order to obtain a student visa you must be able to guarantee a minimum of ¥1,000,000 [at Feb. 2012 exchange rates this is £8,000] to cover living expenses for one year. On receipt of your application CJLC then applies to Japanese Immigration for a Certificate of Eligibility (zairyu shikaku nintei shomeisho), the guarantor for which is CJLC. Once this is in hand, you can obtain your student visa. Note that unless special arrangements are made well in advance, visas can only be issued at the Consulate in London.

5          Each document will have its own deadline clearly marked. Failure to keep to any one of these deadlines may jeopardise your acceptance. The responsibility is yours and yours alone.

6          Students still have to pay some fees to their home university during the year abroad, but the government has set a cap on this for future students of 15% of the usual fees. All CJLC tuition fees are paid directly to CJLC by the Faculty/Dept. No extra funds are available, and the airfare, travel insurance, and living expenses are your responsibility. Note, however, that holding a student visa will allow you to work part-time in a variety of jobs.

7          CJLC does not expect students to arrive in a group so individual arrival is acceptable, but they will give you a window (two or three days) during which they expect you to arrive. It is wise to keep them informed about your plans. The final exams end in early August. There is a closing ceremony in mid-September but this is not compulsory.

8          Students must take out full travel insurance that includes third party. It is also necessary to join the Japanese National Health Insurance Scheme once you have arrived but there are reduced rates for students.

9          Teaching: there are two semesters and fees are calculated in terms of credits. The tuition fee covers 20 credits (10 per semester), which means, in essence, language classes Mon–Fri. In addition, other courses are available in CJLC up to a further 10 credits free of charge. Anything over these 10 credits will be charged at the normal rate. There is no obligation to attend any classes taught in English. There will be plenty of opportunity to get involved in other activities and the library and other facilities will be made available.

10          Students’ performance will be evaluated at the end of each semester in accordance with normal CJLC practice and it is assumed that everyone will participate fully in classes and tests. There will be a placement test on arrival, but this does not tie the student to that level for the whole year. If appropriate, it is possible to move to a higher level course for the second semester.

The Study Abroad Co-ordinator for Japanese Studies is Mrs Haruko Laurie.