Japan Study at Waseda University

  • Location: Japan - Tokyo
  • GPA Requirements: 3.0 GPA
  • Other Requirements: One semester of college-level Japanese or equivalent. Since Japanese is not offered at Allegheny, the requirement can be met via a summer language course or self-study which is verified by a program faculty member.
  • Program Structure: Hybrid
  • Application Deadline: February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs
  • Program Term(s): Spring, Academic Year,
  • Official Website: Japan Study at Waseda University

Program Dates

Full Year: Mid-September through early August (includes Cultural Internship in Feb/March)

Spring Semester: mid-March through early August

About this Program

Japan Study enables students to become international citizens as they explore Japan in depth, build language skills, and experience Japanese culture. Living with a Japanese family, taking courses at Waseda University, and participating in a cultural internship offer different windows for experiencing and understanding the complex society of contemporary Japan.


Language study is at the core of the Japan Study experience and students are required to take six credits of Japanese language each semester at the Center for Japanese Language (CJL). Students also take courses at the School of International Liberal Studies (SILS) at Waseda University. SILS offers a wide array of courses taught in English, covering various topics in Japanese and Asian studies, as well as content courses across the curriculum. Indeed, while course selection varies somewhat each year, students can find classes on subjects ranging from Discrete Mathematics to The History of Pantomime. Waseda professors, who come from Japan and around the globe, teach these classes.

The Cultural Internship (CI) is a once in a lifetime opportunity for students to experience new facets of Japanese culture firsthand. For approximately four weeks during winter break (February/March), students are immersed in a cultural or volunteer experience with local institutions throughout Japan. Many students describe the Cultural Internship as one of the highlights of Japan Study.


One semester of college-level Japanese or equivalent. Since Japanese is not offered at Allegheny, the requirement can be met via a summer language course or self-study which is verified by a program faculty member.

Housing & Student Life

During their time in Tokyo, students live with a Japanese host family. This allows them to learn about Japanese society through immersion in the most basic social grouping in any culture: the family. Students improve their language skills, discuss current events, participate in holiday gatherings, and enjoy everyday activities with their host families. It is not uncommon for students to keep in touch with their host families after leaving Japan. Indeed, some alumni are still close with their Japanese families decades later, inviting them to their weddings and introducing them to their children.

Each host family is unique. Students have lived with small children, retired couples, large extended families, or just a single person. Homes may be old and traditional or modern and Western. Some host families speak fluent English, and some know only basic words and phrases. Learning to adapt and be flexible is an integral part of the experience abroad, and most students consider their home stay to be one of the highlights of their time in Japan.

Students are interviewed upon arriving in Japan and matched with the host family that best suits their lifestyle and expectations. Families furnish breakfast and dinner, and students typically have private rooms. In special circumstances, alternative living arrangements are allowed. Arrangements must be proposed during orientation and approved by the Resident Director and Program Coordinator in Japan. Contact our office for more details.

Fees & Costs

Students are charged Allegheny tuition, a $300 off-campus study fee, independent living room rate, and a complete meal plan. Allegheny financial aid, except work study/campus employment, is applied toward the program. Program fee includes housing, breakfast and dinner, commuting expenses in Tokyo, and Cultural Internship. Extra costs include round-trip transportation to Japan (approx. $1,800-$2,000),  Japanese National Health Insurance (about $25/month), lunches, books, cell phone contracts (about $20-$80/month), personal expenses.

Application Process

Allegheny students must first be approved to study off-campus before applying to their chosen program. Allegheny Approval deadlines are February 20 for the academic year AND spring program and September 20 for the spring program. Applications will be reviewed immediately following the appropriate semester deadline. As for Japan Study’s own application which students must complete separately, it’s crucial to understand that they have only one admissions cycle per year. That is, they admit students for the full year and Spring semesters at one time in early January. So, for instance, for fall 2023 and spring 2024, the deadline is January 2, 2023. It does mean that spring only applicants have to prepare a year in advance. For more information about the off campus study application process, please visit: Apply