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Tokyo: Language & Culture at KUIS

Makuhari, Chiba Prefecture, Japan

Makuhari, Chiba Prefecture, Japan

Program sponsor: IES Abroad

Japanese pagoda with cherry blossom.
Japanese pagoda with cherry blossom.
 Meiji Jingu (Jingu Shrine), Tokyo, Japan

This program includes Japanese language classes at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS), IES area studies courses, as well as an optional for-credit field placement opportunity. The program also offers cultural activities, field trips and the Japanese student "ePals" program to help foster cultural integration.

Begin Application Process


Advanced language learners who test out of IES Japanese language courses may be offered a spot on the BEKKA language program at Kanda University. Students should be aware that courses worth 1.5 semester credits are not eligible for transfer credit.

Program Requirements


Prior Japanese language knowledge is not required for the program but IES Abroad strongly recommends it. Beginning Japanese students should have a basic working knowledge of hiranga and katakana alphabets before the program begins.


  1. Apply for permission to study abroad
    All students are required to apply for permission to study abroad. Learn more about the process, deadlines, and access the application on the apply to study abroad page.
  2. Apply for your study abroad program
    All affiliated programs and all Northwestern exchange programs require an additional external program application. Please check the program’s website for more details and deadlines.


Please note that KUIS courses worth less than 2 semester credits are not eligible to transfer back to Northwestern.

Term notes

Spring semester generally begins in late March, so students enroll for winter quarter at NU and finish final exams before departure. If students do not take winter quarter classes at Northwestern, they must enroll in at least 15 semester credits while abroad.

Program Contacts

Estimated Credit

4 to 6 Northwestern units. Visit Registration & Credit to learn more about credit types and requirements, registration, and other considerations.


Homestay or residence hall: students living with host families often forge life-long friendships while enhancing their language skills and learning about Japanese customs, manners, and cuisine. Hosts provide breakfast seven days a week, and dinner Monday through Friday. Residence halls are single-sex, privately managed, and offer single rooms with shared common spaces and bathrooms for Japanese university students and young professionals. Residence halls offer a meal plan that provides breakfast and dinner from Monday through Saturday (no meals on Sundays or public holidays). There is also a common kitchen for student use, and rental refrigerators are available for student rooms for an additional cost. Whether staying with a host family or in a residence hall, you likely commute 40 to 90 minutes, as do most Japanese residents in the Tokyo area. If you have particularly high commuting costs, you will receive a monthly subsidy from IES Abroad.

Program Cost

Study abroad program costs vary widely and may be more or less expensive than studying at Northwestern. Review the comparison.

Fall 2019: $30,745

Estimated Additional Costs
  • Housing & insurance: $5,590
  • Meals: $1,500
  • Airfare: $1,230
  • Local transportation: $650
  • Books & supplies: $300
  • Personal expenses: $2,200
  • Japanese insurance: $165

Total: $11,635

Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • Financial aid is based on the total cost of the program, including all expenses outlined above.
  • Visit the IES Abroad website for information about their available scholarships. 
  • Students are also encouraged to apply for other study abroad scholarships.

Program Financial Details

This section outlines some of the billing and financial arrangements for affiliated IES Abroad programs, and is intended as a guide to help you navigate the financial aspects of your study abroad process. You should always refer to your program materials for the most current information and instructions.


After you are accepted to an IES program, you will be required to pay a deposit directly to IES to confirm your participation on the program. It is your responsibility to pay the deposit; Northwestern cannot pay or waive deposits for affiliated programs.

Northwestern Invoice

Your Northwestern invoice will be issued through CAESAR on the regular quarterly schedule, and will include only your IES tuition and the NU study abroad fee. Refer to your program materials for the most current cost information.

If you receive financial aid and/or loans, these funds will continue to apply directly to your CAESAR account.

If you use the Northwestern 9PAY plan, you may continue to use 9PAY for your NU-billed study abroad expenses, but you should request a study abroad 9PAY estimate to have your plan set up appropriately.

IES Invoice

You will receive a separate invoice from IES for your housing and insurance abroad. It is your responsibility to pay IES directly by their deadline.

  • IES Deposit: If you paid a confirmation deposit, it will be credited to your IES invoice.
  • IES Scholarships: If you were awarded an IES scholarship, it will appear on your IES invoice, not on your Northwestern account.

Additional fees may apply for certain courses, housing add-ons, field trips, or other optional items related to your program. If applicable, you are responsible for paying any supplemental fees directly to IES.

Program Website