Japan: Sophia University, Tokyo (Council on International Educational Exchange)

The CIEE program at Sophia University enhances students’ understanding of the Japanese culture through courses shared with Japanese students, intensive Japanese language coursework, a homestay program, and a range of courses in various disciplines taught in English.  Study in Tokyo, Japan’s capital and urban hub, at Sophia University, which is a private Jesuit institution.  Students take courses through its Faculty of Liberal Arts.  Sophia University is on a different academic calendar: the fall semester lasts from September to February, and the spring semester lasts from late March to early August.


Students must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, sophomore standing or above, and are recommended to have studied one or two semesters of Japanese language.


Before the program begins, CIEE holds an orientation to introduce students to the culture and country.  It includes a city tour, visits to historical sites, and an academic orientation during which the language placement exam is taken.


The Arts and Sciences goal is to help students develop their language abilities and learn firsthand about Japanese culture.  Students are required to take one Japanese language course and two or three area studies, one of which must focus on Japan. 


CIEE offers volunteer opportunities in Tokyo (elementary schools, food drives, and activities for the physically challenged youth) as well as cultural activities and field trips.  CIEE hosts a cultural reimbursement program, which reimburses students for their participation in local cultural activities.


Homestays: Homestay locations are typically within 60 to 90 minutes of Sophia University.  Families provide breakfast and dinner Monday through Friday, as well as all weekend meals.  Internet and telephone services are not included in the fee. 

Private dormitories with Japanese students: This option is only available to students who have two or more semester of Japanese language study.  The dorms are also located within 60 to 90 minutes of campus.  Co-ed rules are strictly enforced (floors are separated by gender and cannot be crossed by members of the opposite sex).  Rooms are single occupancy with shared bathrooms, showers, laundry facilities, and lounge areas.  Meals are not included, but the dorms have well-equipped kitchens.