Known as the “Land of the Rising Sun,” Japan is full of culture, intriguing history, and endless opportunities for study abroad adventure. If you’re reading this, I bet you’ve decided that Japan is the perfect destination for you. But have you decided which USAC Japan program you will call home? Each of our three programs offer a unique experience, so keep reading to find out which one is right for you!
Hiroshima is an energetic city with lots of amenities. The city is filled with malls, movie theaters, restaurants, and endless cultural events to keep you entertained. However, if you’re looking for outdoor activities, head to the mountains in the north for water sports in the summer and snow sports in the winter.
As you likely know, Hiroshima was devastated by the atomic bomb in 1945, but there is little evidence of the damage today. This event placed great historical significance on this city, so those interested in Japan’s past and its relationship with the U.S. will have lots to learn here.
Hiroshima University is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, so your education will be in good hands during your semester or year abroad. The university offers courses in a wide variety of fields, including business, education, culture, law, and sciences. Students can also take Japanese language courses, so don’t worry, you’ll be chatting with your fellow classmates and locals in no time!
One of the best parts about study abroad is meeting locals, so don’t be afraid to get involved on campus! Students studying at Hiroshima University are invited to join the variety of campus clubs to meet local and international students. The Network of International Exchange (NOIE) is a university program that connects local Japanese and international students and organizes volunteer work and cultural activities.
Located on the west coast of Japan, Nagasaki has its own unique history and vibrant culture. Like Hiroshima, Nagasaki was devastated by the atomic bomb in 1945, and students will be able to visit the many memorials throughout the city.
Most students in Nagasaki choose to live in a homestay, creating an instant connection with a local family. If campus living is more your style, you also have the option to live in an on-campus resident hall with Japanese and international students.
USAC Nagasaki students will study at the Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies where nearly 30% of the student body comes from other countries. If you’re looking to study on a diverse campus with other international students, then this program is for you! This program offers courses focused on Japanese society and culture, language of all levels, and traditional arts.
Along with all campus events, during the semester you’ll be able to participate in a variety of field trips organized by campus staff. Students can join in on a day of fun at Sasebo: Huis ten Bosch, Nagasaki’s Netherland-themed theme park, complete with fireworks and rides; or you can get a taste of nature with an overnight visit to Unzen National Park and hot springs for a climb of Mt. Myokendake and a dip in the largest outdoor foot spa in Japan.
Osaka is the center of finance, trade, and cultural exchange in western Japan. Students who choose this program will be exposed to a unique blend of old Japanese tradition and new, modern living. It’s neighboring city, Kobe, is the sixth largest city in Japan and gives students access to large-city amenities and excitement. This program is ideal for students looking to explore and immerse in the culture of two eclectic cities and tap into the country’s strong business industry.
Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU) offers education in more than 40 different fields of study, and USAC students will be studying at the Nishinomiya-Uegahara campus located between the cities of Osaka and Kobe. This campus is home to the Contemporary Japan Program (CJP), where students will take courses in Japanese language, culture, business, and society.
Interested in field trips? The Osaka/Kobe program can explore Japan and learn more about the country’s culture and traditions on field trips organized during their semester. Previous trips have included a day trip to Kyoto and an overnight visit to Kagawa Prefecture and its several Udon restaurants. USAC students are invited to participate in many other campus activities and events with local and international students.
No matter which way you spin it, our three Japan programs offer unique experiences. In a nutshell, if you want access to both big-city life and outdoor adventures, Hiroshima is the program for you. If you’re interested in immersing in a smaller city with deep history, Nagasaki is calling your name. And if you’re interested in studying language and culture while exploring two cities, head to Osaka/Kobe.