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What is KCJS?



Established in September 1989, the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS, 京都アメリカ大学コンソーシアム) is a consortium of 13 American universities that sponsors a rigorous, two-semester academic program for undergraduates who wish to do advanced work in Japanese language and cultural studies.

Participating institutions are: Boston University, Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University/Barnard College, Cornell University, Emory University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Stanford University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Yale University, in association with the University of Virginia.

Students at institutions outside of the consortium are also welcome and encouraged to apply.

KCJS is centrally located in Kyoto on the Imadegawa campus of Doshisha University (同志社大学), bounded on the south by the Imperial Palace grounds, and to the northeast by Shokokuji temple.

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KCJS at a Glance


KCJS 1 taking a class taught by Professor Tom Rohlen (Stanford University)

KCJS began as the Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies in the fall of 1989 as a consortium of nine American universities. It changed its name to the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies in 2006 and now consists of 13 member institutions. KCJS is administered jointly by Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement and a full-time staff based in Kyoto. The KCJS offices and classrooms are located on the second floor of the Fusokan (扶桑館) building in Doshisha University’s Imadegawa campus. For campus map, please click here.



imageKCJS also maintains a longstanding relationship with Kyoto University, one of the top national universities in Japan. The “Kyodai” campus is only about ten minutes from Doshisha University by bicycle, and about twenty minutes on foot. During the academic year, qualified Doshisha and Kyodai students may enroll for credit in the afternoon subject courses taught by KCJS instructors. KCJS is thus in a unique position to provide you with opportunities to study alongside both Doshisha and Kyodai students in your classes, and to get to know them through the language exchange partner program, student clubs and various extracurricular activities.

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Since fees for the program vary by institution, please consult the “Financial Considerations” section of the KCJS website hosted by the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement for the most recent figures and information.

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Information on access to Kyoto, Doshisha University, and KCJS is available HERE in PDF in format.

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Feedback from alumni about KCJS

“My experience at KCJS was incredible and coming here was one of the best decisions of my college career.” KCJS 28 (2016-2017)

“Overall I had a great experience and would recommend it to others. I wish I had had the time to do a full year instead of just one semester.” KCJS 28 (2017)

“KCJS is an amazing program and you will learn a tremendous amount about Japanese language and culture. I wholeheartedly recommend doing the full academic year track if possible—one semester flies by too quickly.” KCJS 28 (2016-2017)

“It was more than anything a valuable cultural experience. It was the first time I traveled oversees, and it made quite the impression. Although a new experience for me, KCJS made it rather easy to integrate into daily life quickly. As such, I believe I was provided more genuine exposure to the Japanese culture and people. My experience with KCJS strengthened my Japanese speaking skills and allowed me to gain valuable insights culturally that I have applied directly to my marketing career. ” – KCJS 22 (2010-2011)


“KCJS allowed me to spend an entire academic year studying in Japan while still getting credit at my home institution. Because of that year abroad, I’ve grown more confident and independent. I know I am able to adapt to different situations, and to navigate living in Japan with limited language skills. After graduation I hope to work at a nonprofit organization in Japan or the U.S. for one year, and then to live in Japan for several years. Wherever I end up, I can’t wait to return to Kyoto; it feels like home.” – KCJS 25 (2013-2014)

“Going abroad is a life-changing experience and everyone should do it at least once before graduating college and moving on to the ‘real world.’ KCJS is a great program and although you might feel like the classes are too easy at times or don’t give enough homework, keep in mind that they are designed with the idea that you are in Kyoto to experience Kyoto not to sit in front of a book or computer screen all day. Go out and explore, find a new, favorite restaurant, or just hang out with friends and hosts whenever you get the chance. Also, when things don’t seem to be going your way, keep in mind all of the aspects that go into this program. The KCJS staff are great and have their hands full trying to keep Doshisha, Columbia, the students, the teachers, and the hosts happy. This means that there will be a lot of challenges during your time abroad but everyone at KCJS is there to help as much as they can so don’t be afraid to talk to them. Above all else, enjoy your time abroad.”

“Like any experience abroad, go in prepared to bare your soul and try new things, because sometimes the best experiences in life are ones unplanned for.”


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Tell Me About KCJS

KCJS Students in Action

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KCJS Summer Programs


Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement

606 Kent Hall
Columbia University
1140 Amsterdam, Mail Code 3948
New York, NY 10027 USA
Tel: 212-854-2559
Fax: 212-854-5164
Email: uge@columbia.edu

Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies 京都アメリカ大学コンソーシアム

Doshisha University, 2F Fusokan
Karasuma Higashi-iru, Imadegawa-dori
Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8580 JAPAN

同志社大学 扶桑館2F

Tel: 075-251-4995
Tel: (+81-75-251-4995)
Fax: 075-229-6300
Fax: (+81-75-229-6300)
Email: fs2244@columbia.edu