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About Japan
Country Handbook

Kansai Gaidai University

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Program Snapshot

Students that attend Kansai Gaidai become part of the dynamic international student body on campus. This university offers a unique opportunity for students to learn about Japan and Asia from a wide variety of perspectives with English course offerings in the Social Sciences, Humanities and Business/Economics. The program also offers a rigorous Japanese language studies component for students of all Japanese levels.

Read a blog post about an ISEP student who studied abroad at Kansai Gaidai University.
What do ISEP students think about their programs in Japan?

Merit-based Tuition Rebate Scholarships Available for ISEP Direct students
(please see Special Academic Conditions)

The two campuses of Kansai Gaidai (Nakamiya and Gakkentoshi) are located in Hirakata city in Osaka prefecture, the second largest business metropolis in Japan (after Tokyo). Hirakata is located between the famous former capitals of Kyoto and Nara, both of which abound in ancient temples and sites of historical and cultural importance. Downtown Osaka and Kyoto can be reached in approximately one hour by train.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate programs available for single semesters only
ISEP Direct: undergraduate programs available for an academic year or semester

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.
ISEP-Direct site for students from all member institutions.

Chance of Placement
ISEP Exchange is temporarily CLOSED for US and I-to-I students.
ISEP Direct chance of placement for US students is generally Excellent.
ISEP Direct chance of placement for I-to-I is generally Excellent.

For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students or Sites Open for I-to-I Applications.

Program Dates
Semester placements only (for ISEP Exchange)
Semester 1: August to December
Semester 2: January to June

For more information go to ISEP Direct Fee page.

The ISEP-Direct program fee includes the benefit package for: Tuition, Housing,
Partial Meals and Insurance

Tuition, Housing and Insurance

ISEP-Direct Program fees:
Tuition, Housing, and Partial Meals
Homestay Option:
Full Year 16-17: $34,500
Semester 1 16-17: $18,250
Semester 2 16-17: $18,250

Tuition and Housing
Dormitory Option:
Full Year 16-17: $31,900
Semester 1 16-17: $16,950
Semester 2 16-17: $16,950

*ISEP Direct students are eligible for the Kansai Gaidai scholarship of $6,000 USD at the end of their semester

For priority consideration, applications for the following semester should be received before February 15 and September 1 unless otherwise noted. Rolling admissions are considered for ISEP-Direct before these final application deadlines:
SM1: May 1, 2016
SM2: October 15, 2016

Fast Facts
Hirakata City, Japan (pop. 406,000)
Student Enrollment: 13,000
Language of instruction: English
University Home Page

The Asian Studies Program is divided into two parts: a rigorous Japanese language program (Japanese, kanji and reading) and a wide variety of courses in business, humanities, and social sciences. Since all courses, with the exception of those concentrating on the Japanese language, are conducted in English, the program accommodates even those students with little previous Japanese language training who wish to pursue their areas of interest.

Courses taught in English
All courses except Japanese language are conducted in English.

Academic Notes

Students typically enroll in 4-6 classes per term, which averages to 14-20 hours in class per week. A term runs for 15 weeks.


Transcripts are issued about one month after the end of the program.

Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the student’s home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Language Notes
Language Requirement: All applicants must submit the Language Proficiency Report.
Language Courses: Non-intensive Japanese language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year and/or semester for all levels.


ISEP Language Proficiency Report may be substituted for official score? Required
TOEFL: 80 iBT/550 PBT/213 CBT
Institutional TOEFL accepted? TBD
Other tests accepted: TBD
English as a Foreign Language courses available? No

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility.

Special Academic Conditions
Applicants must have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Please note that there is no flexibility regarding this requirement.

Upperclassman placement priority for ISEP Exchange.


ISEP Direct students enrolled in the Kansai Gaidai Asian Studies Program may be eligible to receive a USD $6,000 scholarship at the end of each semester under the following conditions:

• Students must have maintained a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA for the two semesters prior to enrolling at Kansai Gaidai.

• Students must also maintain a 3.0 GPA during their stay at Kansai Gaidai.

• Full Year students whose GPA is less than 3.0 at the time of applying to Kansai Gaidai are not eligible to receive the scholarship for their first semester. However, if they complete their first semester at Kansai Gaidai with a 3.0 GPA and maintain a 3.0 GPA for the second semester, they will be eligible to receive USD $6,000 at the end of the second semester.

Please note that Kansai Gaidai disburses the scholarship directly to the student.

Special ISEP Application Instructions
ISEP Direct applicants may request Semester or Full Year placements.

Once students have been accepted into Kansai Gaidai as an ISEP student they will receive User IDs and passwords via e-mail from Kansai Gaidai to access K-GENESYS, their Online Application System. Students are expected to complete and submit the online application (separate from the ISEP application) and also mail a hard-copy of the application directly to the university in Japan. More information will become available once placements have been finalized.

Hints for Researching Courses
Please access the Courses page for more information on the curriculum and couse descriptions for the Asian Studies Program.

Housing and Meals
Dormitories (full kitchen facilities are available in all dormitories) or a Japanese family homestay program is available. A cash stipend is provided to ISEP-Exchange students to cover meal expenses. No married or family student housing is available.


You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: optional fees (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your montly personal expenses for travel and entertainment are estimated at JPY 20,000 - 50,000. Allow for extra money at the beginning of the semester for books and supplies.

Housing Note: Full Year students seeking university housing during the winter break will be responsible JPY 45,000 for a double-occupancy dormitory room. This applies to all Full Year students living in the dormitory as well as homestays. Homestay host families will not be providing housing and meals during the winter break.

Each semester, prior to the commencement of classes, the Center for International Education offers an orientation program for newly arriving students. The primary purpose of the program is to provide new students with instructions on necessary things to do as well as a basic introduction to Japanese culture and daily life: social and cultural traits, notable differences in customs, and more. The following is a list of topics covered during the orientation program:
  • Immigration
  • Japanese Language Placement Test
  • Payment of Fees
  • Registration
  • Cultural Orientation
  • Academic Advising
  • Campus Tour
  • Medical Information
  • Optional Tour of Kyoto


Airport pickup from Kansai International Airport is available. Host will also provide arrival directions with acceptance packet.

Student Activities
The Experience Japan Program allows international and Japanese students to strengthen their friendships. All activities are designed by Kansai Gaidai students and publicized on campus with handmade posters. Examples of activities include:
  • Day Trips to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Aquarium, Universal Studios Japan
  • Cooking Japanese Food (Sushi, Sukiyaki, Okonomiyaki)
  • Sports events
  • Learning calligraphy
  • Dancing Bonodori (Japanese traditional dance)
  • Making and flying kites
  • Wearing a Kimono
  • Visiting Toei Samurai movie sets
  • Speaking Partner Program
There are also a number of clubs and circles at Kansai Gaidai where students warmly welcome the participation of international students. Students may join the soccer, basketball or cheerleading club. There are also a wide range of Japanese martial arts clubs such as Judo, Kendo, Karate, or Shorinji-Kempo. Students who wish to deepen their understanding of Japanese culture may enjoy the tea ceremony club, flower arrangement club, or Koto club.

Community Engagement (Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)
An on-campus community volunteer club named "Himawari Club" may interest students. This club organizes activities in which international students interact with local Japanese children/people in the vicinity of the university.

Kansai Gaidai University was originally established in 1945 as a small, private language school. Today, the school prospers as a private, nonprofit institution with 13,000 students. Kansai Gaidai provides excellent educational programs to its students with a special focus on international education. The university annually welcomes more than 500 international students to the Asian Studies Program.

What Past Students have to Say
"The most positive thing to me was definitely the housing. I lived in a dorm with 50 other international and Japanese students that I will never forget, we're already planning a reunion and talk almost everyday!" --Alyssa Campbell, Western Connecticut State University

"Kansai Gaidai had a legion of workers in the Center for International Education, all of which were very helpful and fluent in English. When I had medical problems, they even accompanied me to the hospital." --Dustin Harris, Saint Edward’s University