KCJS :Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies

Study at KCJS

The Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) draws on its 30+ year history and reputation providing undergraduate students with a semester or academic year-long offering.

When you study at KCJS you gain more than academic learning, you join the KCJS Experience! Our mission is to educate and empower students and help them engage and explore all facets of Japan. We do this by offering three integrated components: academic rigor, community engagement, and understanding your experience with a global lens.

The KCJS Experience

Our approach to engaging students in Japanese language and culture has always been to provide a rigorous academic curriculum while providing ample opportunity for students to apply their learning in the community. Students who have studied with KCJS have benefitted from an integrated approach to learning that ensures they improve their language skills, their knowledge of Japan and themselves within the larger global context.

Our Mission: Educate. Empower. Engage. Explore.

  • Educate – challenge students with academic rigor
  • Empower – empower students to pursue their own interests
  • Engage – provide students opportunity to engage with the local community
  • Explore – encourage students to explore their academic and personal interests


  • Experience the humanities, social sciences, and sciences in a Japanese context
  • Learn through integrated Japanese language and elective classes
  • Take advantage of field tripsguest speakers, and site visits offered in your courses
  • Obtain advanced proficiency in Japanese through an intensive program
  • Learn from full-time language instructors with a combined 40 years of teaching experience at KCJS
  • Delve into elective subjects each afternoon taught by local experts in their fields as adjunct instructors
  • Design aspects of your studies around your academic interests


  • Participate in our Community Involvement Program, a community-based activity to further language learning and community engagement
  • Immerse yourself in the close knit “home” you’ll find in the KCJS community
  • Build friendships and learning through the language exchange partner program
  • Live off campus whether in a homestay with a Japanese family, a dorm with Japanese students, or in an apartment with local neighbors
  • Join in university student clubs and local community activities
  • Expand connections and future possibilities for your career path
  • Connect with the KCJS alumni network with over 1,600 members


  • Examine the intersection of contemporary and historical Japan in a global context
  • Encounter a diversity of Japanese perspectives from local experts in their various fields
  • By interacting daily with Japanese people from various walks of life, reflect on your own identity and worldview
  • Be exposed to varied viewpoints in the classroom as you learn alongside Doshisha University & Kyoto University students
  • Examine deeply held cultural values that reflect distinctly Japanese approaches to solve life’s challenges
  • Experience Kyoto as a global city with an energetic culture that fosters collaboration and start-ups, innovation, and the avant garde

Academic calendar

You may attend KCJS for a full academic year from the end of August through the end of April, or choose to enroll either fall semester (end of August to mid-December) or spring (January through late April). Both are great times to come to Kyoto. August and September are still hot, but it cools down in October and you can enjoy the beautiful fall colors and fine weather through November until the end of the semester. There are also great autumn festivals like the Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages) and the fire festival in Kurama. Even better, Doshisha University students are on campus most of the fall and you will have plenty of opportunities to make friends with them as language partners. In Spring semester, Kyoto is still cold through to March and most of the students are on spring break, so there is less chance for socializing. There are also fewer festivals and other cultural events in this season, but the highpoint of spring in Kyoto is from late March until the first week or so of April when the cherries blossom and the city is the “Capital of Flowers” (hana no miyako).

Our semesters are 14 weeks in length (including term breaks), and students receive a total of 16 points of academic credit per semester.

For a complete calendar of the 2023-2024 academic year, please click here.
For a complete calendar of the 2024-2025 academic year, please click here.