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Nanzan University

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Program Snapshot

The Center for Japanese Studies Program (CJS) at Nanzan University offers a combination of two components: The first is an intensive language component designed for students who are serious about studying Japanese. The second encompasses a broad spectrum of courses in Japanese area studies, perfect for students interested in learning about Japan. Outside of class, students can enjoy daytrip excursions to Toyota Motors or relax on campus in the Japan Plaza with their new Japanese friends.

What do ISEP students think about their programs in Japan?

The university is located in Nagoya and is easily accessible by subway train and bus. Nagoya, in Central Japan, is one of the country's leading metropolises of international trade, industry and culture. Its strategic geographical location makes access to other big cities like Tokyo and Osaka easy. Direct flights to Nagoya from numerous major cities around the world are available.

Nagoya enjoys a temperate climate. Summers (July, August) are hot and very humid. The winter (December-February) is chillier than the thermometer might indicate because of the cold north winds. However, there are relatively few days of snow. Heavy rains occur in the June rainy season, and it also rains frequently in September. Temperatures during the spring season from March to May are very comfortable while the autumn season from September to November can be rather cool.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate programs available for single semesters only
ISEP Direct: undergraduate programs available for summers only

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.
Summer program available.

Chance of Placement
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Good.
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for I-to-I students is generally Good.

ISEP Direct chance of placement for both US and I-to-I is Excellent (summer only)

Exchange space typically fills during the February placement round. Students should apply for spring semester programs by February 15.

Program Dates
Semester 1: September to December
Semester 2: January to May
Summer: June to July

Summer Program
Nanzan University's six-week intermediate-advanced language program includes courses in Japanese cultural studies and arts (hanga and ikebana), optional excursions and opportunities to interact with local students. Nanzan is located in Nagoya, one of Japan's largest cities, offering students endless opportunities for cultural immersion.

Fast Facts
Nagoya, Japan (pop. 2.3 million)
Student Enrollment: 10,000
Language of instruction: Japanese in the regular undergraduate and graduate programs
English and Japanese at the Center for Japanese Studies (CJS)
University Home Page
Center for Japanese Studies (CJS)
Fall Courses (CJS)   Spring Courses (CJS)
Spring 2015 JASSO Scholarship Application

The Center for Japanese Studies (CJS) offers intensive language instruction, lecture courses in Japanese Area Studies, Japanese Art courses, field trips and guided independent study. The CJS program has been a leader in Japanese language studies since its founding in 1974. The goal of the center is to help each student develop a better understanding of the Japanese people and language. By living and learning in Japan, students engage with a wide cross-section of people from other countries and cultures. The result is a dynamic group of students from many different backgrounds united in their goal to discover Japan.

Academic Notes

Students typically enroll in 6-7 classes per term, which averages to 21 hours in class per week. A term runs for 15 weeks.


Transcripts are issued about a month after end of 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: 1 semester of university-level Japanese recommended, but not required. Courses taught in Japanese may be audited, but fluency is required and subject to each course instructor's approval.
Language Courses: 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? Yes
TOEFL: Should provide scores if available, but students must be able to carry out everyday tasks and understand class instructions.
Institutional TOEFL accepted? Yes
IELTS: Optional
Other tests accepted: Yes
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.

Special ISEP Application Instructions
Students applying for Nanzan must submit a Language Proficiency Report, even if no Japanese courses have been taken.

The Nanzan University CJS application forms must be completed and submitted to Nanzan University after notification of acceptance. Application materials and instructions will be sent directly to students from the university. Visit the university homepage to preview application materials.

Hints for Researching Courses
Please visit the CJS page for more information on curriculum and course descriptions.

Housing and Meals
Housing options include home-stays, off-campus international residence halls, and private dormitories. Students living with host families eat meals with their families, while those living in dormitories are provided with monthly allowances to cover housing and meals. Depending on dormitory facilities, students can cook their own meals or dine in nearby restaurants.


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 personal expenses per month are estimated at JPY 50,000 - 60,000 (JPY 10,000-20,000 for transportation if living with a host family and with a commuter pass, JPY 15,000 for textbooks, JPY 25,000 - 35,000 for miscellaneous).

ISEP students are required to participate in an orientation program upon arrival. Topics and activities covered include:
  • Japanese Placement Test
  • Academic Orientation & Course Registration
  • Student Services Orientation
  • Housing Information Session
  • Internet & Computer Usage Orientation
  • Commuter Pass Application
  • Campus Tour
  • Opening a Bank Account
  • Scholarship Orientation
  • Welcome Party


Pick-up service from Chubu Centrair International Airport is available. Host will also provide arrival directions with acceptance packet.

Student Activities
Students at the Center for Japanese Studies can enjoy culturally rich activities at Nanzan University. Center students have the opportunity to tour the assembly plant of the world-famous Toyota Motors, where they can learn about the automotive industry as well as Toyota’s vehicle production and corporate management. Students can choose to spend an evening enjoying the classical Japanese art of Kabuki or an unforgettable visit to the Zen Buddhist monastery, and many more.

In the one-day bus tour, students have a chance to visit historically rich and beautiful places such as Kyoto, the Shinto shrines at Ise, Takayama, as well as other interesting places and World Heritage sites.

CJS students have many opportunities to interact with Japanese students at informal coffee hours held once or twice a month. Recently, activities have included cooking, origami, playing karuta (a Japanese card game) and international students’ introduction to their home countries and their universities.

Community Engagement (Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)
ISEP students are encouraged to participate in the Nanzan Study Abroad Fair to help promote study abroad and the ISEP exchange program to Japanese students on campus. The Nanzan Center for Japanese Studies offers a volunteering course for students of intermediate Japanese ability. Students can experience volunteering off-campus.

From modest beginnings as a College of Foreign Languages in 1946, Nanzan has grown into a full-fledged university with a worldwide reputation for academic excellence. Nanzan’s educational philosophy is summed up in its motto Hominis Dignitati (for human dignity) and represented in its objectives as a Catholic university: Christian spirit, academic excellence, international awareness, and service to community.

Nanzan University is part of a complex of educational establishments gathered under the organizational umbrella of Nanzan Gakuen. This educational complex consists of three junior and senior high schools, and an elementary school in addition to the university. The university has eight facilities, five research institutes, and four centers specializing in overseas area studies. Student enrollment: approximately 10,000.

What Past Students have to Say
Before coming to Nanzan, I heard nothing but amazing things about their program. A teacher of mine who was an alum of the program gave it an especially glowing recommendation. To say the least, my expectations were very high. I am happy to say that Nanzan was more than what I had expected. This is not even enough to mention the abundance of amazing non-academic opportunities Nanzan provides. My time at Nanzan has been a fun, stressful year in which I have learned a great deal. So coming full circle, I offer the same kind of glowing recommendation my Japanese teacher gave me.