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Japanese Studies

Year Abroad in Japan

Arrangements for 2017 - 2018

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. However, there are other options for spending a year in Japan. The MEXT Undergraduate Scholarship in Japanese Studies is a generous scholarship offered by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and offers undergraduates an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the language and culture of Japan through study at a Japanese university (recent successful applicants have studied at institutions such as: Doshisha, Hitotsubashi, Keio, Kyoto, Osaka and Sophia universities). Alternatively the Japanese Studies group is in the process of establishing internship opportunities with a number of Japanese businesses (available from 2018), for more information please check our internships page for regular updates. If a student wishes to make his or her own plans 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 help can be expected.

3 For those applying to Doshisha the first deadline is 31st 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 ¥1,200,000 (approx £8,100 at October 2017 exchange rate £1 approx.= ¥148) 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 Fees:

  • Home students Cambridge - You are expected to pay 15% of the £9,000 fees. Please consult guidance given on the University's tuition fees page
  • Overseas students Cambridge - For overseas students undertaking a year abroad, the tuition fee payable to the University of Cambridge during the year abroad will be 50 per cent of the full fee. For further information please consult the University's international students tuition fees page
  • Japan - All tuition fees for Doshisha are paid by the Faculty directly to CJLC from the Japan Fund. However it is students’ responsibility to take out full travel insurance that includes third party.

7 Cost of living

Doshisha has several hostels and their monthly rents including use of internet and all utility bills are between ¥35,000 (approx.= £240) and ¥45,000 (approx.= £300) for the year 2017 and 18. You will probably need another ¥80,000 (approx.= £540) per month for your food, local transport etc but remember that if you are short of cash you can always do some arubaito which will allow you not only to have some extra money but also give you opportunities to meet people and to experience Japanese life outside the university campus. In addition you have to pay for the National Health Insurance. A year coverage for the year 2016-17 was ¥17,346 (approx.= £120). Depending on courses you choose you may have to pay for some teaching material but the entire cost should not go over ¥25,000 (approx.= £170)

Please note that the figures above are approximate and calculated with the exchange rate of £1 approx.= ¥148 (October 2017) and it may change.

8 Arrival and Departure

You are expected to arrive either on the 6th or 7th of September 2017. The final exams end in early August 2018. There is a closing ceremony in mid-September but this is not compulsory.

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. It is a requirement for the purpose of the exchange agreement and visa status to 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 Dr Miki Kawabata.