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Japanese exchange programs in Kobe or Tokyo

Visit historic Kyoto while you study in Japan


Applications for 2018-2019 are now closed.  If you wish to be added to an alternate list for this program please contact the IOP Director at

Beginning in spring of 2019, Augustana will offer three different exchanges in Japan for students interested in studying Japanese language.

Programs will be offered at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies and both Rikkyo University and Toyo University in Tokyo.  

Each will be an April to July exchange, but each program is slightly different from the others and may benefit different types of students or students at different phases of their language learning.

Students first will apply through Augustana for the generic “Japan Exchange.” After approval for the exchange from Augustana, students will work with Dr. Nagase in the Japanese language program to determine the best fit and the student preference for which of the three universities the student is recommended and will then apply, with Augustana’s endorsement, for the approved program from the three options.

Our three partners

KOBE: The program at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies is a 9-credit Japanese language program. Students enroll for either JAPN 290 or JAPN 390, depending on their level, and study Japanese language and culture from April through July in Kobe, Japan.   

The university is about the same size as Augustana and focuses on the study of languages, cultures and international relations. Students live on campus in an International House.

RIKKYO: The program at Rikkyo University offers the option of studying Japanese language intensively (9 credits) or combining study of Japanese with 1-2 courses taught in English in a variety of subjects.  

This is the only program of the three that can accept Augustana students with no prior knowledge of Japanese, as it offers beginning courses as well as more advanced options.  

Rikkyo is a larger school, approximately  20,000 students, with two campuses in the Niiza and Ikebukuro neighborhoods. Students live in campus residence halls and are able to take courses at either campus depending on their fields of study.

TOYO: The program at Toyo University, also in Tokyo, also allows for a mix of Japanese language courses and courses in English from several different majors.  

Students typically take 6-9 credits of Japanese (at the 200 or 300 level) and 1-2 courses in English.  

The campus, in the Hakusan district of Tokyo, is a modern campus with housing in affordable international student housing just minutes from classes.

Eligibility: This program is open to all majors but does require that students enroll in 6-9 credits of Japanese language.  

Students who have no prior study of Japanese, once accepted to the Japan Exchange, would only be eligible to study at Rikkyo University. Students who will have completed at least Japanese 102 or equivalent before departing can be placed at any of the three universities.  

Anticipated program cap: The cap at each school is two students, so the overall cap for the Japan Exchange each year is a total of six students.

Dates: This is a summer semester at all three schools, which parallels spring term at Augustana, but extends well into summer. Typical dates are from early April through mid- to late-July. Students should anticipate spending four months in Japan with any of these programs.

Seniors should pay special attention to this calendar, as July exams and possible delays in grades arriving from Kobe to Augustana will lead to all seniors who participate being listed as summer, and potentially fall graduates rather than spring graduates. This does not impact graduation eligibility, but the official graduation date is dependent upon the arrival of final grade reports from Kobe.

Faculty contact: Dr. Mari Nagase (Japanese)

Course information

Academics: Students enroll in either a 9- or 6-credit Intensive Japanese program with Augustana equivalent courses. The level of these courses depends upon prior coursework at Augustana and placement level.  

Additional coursework at Rikkyo or Toyo will be treated as transfer courses and will require that students receive departmental approval prior to departure for Japan. Information on courses offered in English at either university is available on the program websites.

Students for all three locations must receive a grade of C or higher in each course in order to receive Augustana credit for the coursework.


Augustana students travelling to Japan pay standard Augustana tuition and fees. Lodging in Japan is arranged on site, with assistance of the host city. Students pay Augustana tuition on the standard calendar just as if the student was on campus for spring term.

Cost includes: Tuition and fees for Augustana and the host university, as well as Augustana international health insurance. This insurance will cover any injuries or new illnesses which might occur while overseas. 

Students with preexisting conditions or ongoing health treatment plans should discuss additional insurance needs with their families to ensure that they have coverage for these conditions while abroad.

Cost does not include: Airfare, ground transportation, accommodations, meals and discretionary spending. 

It is required that all students purchase international health insurance for the duration of their time in Japan. Students may opt to purchase insurance from Augustana College or independent insurance, such as that provided by the ISIC Explorer international student ID card, a recommended alternative.

Housing: Students at all three universities live in International Student Residence Halls on or near the main campus of each university.  Accommodations are typically either single or double rooms with a roommate from a different home country.

Financial aid

Students at all three universities are eligible for all standard financial aid they would receive were they studying on campus during the spring term, with the lone exception of work-study funding, which is not available while in Japan. Additionally, this program is eligible for Augie Choice, Freistat Language Immersion Grants and IOP Grants. IOP Grants are competitive and limited in number.

Augie Choice: This program is Augie Choice eligible for students who have completed six terms or 60 credits at Augustana prior to departure.  Transfer students who have completed three terms or 30 credits at Augustana prior to departure are also eligible for Augie Choice grants.

Freistat Grants: If a student chooses to earn at least six credits of their coursework in the host country language while participating in an exchange program (Germany, Hong Kong, Japan or Sweden), they may also apply for a Freistat Grant for Language Immersion. 

This grant can be $2,000 or more towards the cost of the terms abroad. It requires that at least six credits of coursework be either language study or courses taught in the host country's language (other than English). (more information).