University of Technology, Sydney

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MAJ09438 Japan

Japan is Australia's single most important trade partner and a major economic power in the Asia-Pacific region. The study of Japan's economy, culture, history and international relations offers an advantage to students pursuing careers in the international business arena. Students interested in modern Japanese culture may also find much to attract and stimulate them creatively.

Through arrangements made by UTS: International Studies, students spend two consecutive semesters studying at one of the following universities:

  • Gifu University, Gifu
  • Hokkaido University of Education, Hakodate Campus
  • Kagoshima University, Kagoshima
  • Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Kyoto
  • Kyushu Institute of Technology, Kitakyushu
  • Nishogakusha University, Kashiwa, Chiba
  • Obirin University, Machida, Tokyo
  • Okinawa University, Naha
  • Osaka Prefecture University, Osaka
  • Sapporo University, Sapporo
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology, O-okayama, Tokyo
  • Yamanashi University, Kofu
  • Yokohama National University, Yokohama.

The location and content of each student's period of In-country Study are determined by the student's level of language competence in Japanese. Students who have near native competency in Japanese prior to undertaking their period of In-country Study are able to attend classes alongside local students in a broad range of subjects. All other students study mostly language and culture subjects, at least in their first semester. Many students take one or two local subjects taught in Japanese as non credit-earning (audit) students.

Students should be aware that the cost of living in Japan is high, but it is possible to do part-time work on a student visa in Japan and some of the Japan In-country Study sites are cheaper than others due to subsidised dormitory accommodation.


The city of Gifu (pop. 410,000) is located north of Nagoya. The cormorant fishing on the Nagara River that flows through Gifu has a history of 1,200 years and attracts many tourists. The major attractions of the mountainous Gifu prefecture lie to the north in the Hida district, which is part of the Japanese Alps famous for their beauty and skiing in winter. The inhabitants of Takayama, the administrative centre of Hida, have long been known for their woodworking skills, and Hida carpenters were in demand to construct imperial palaces and temples in the Kyoto and Nara regions. The tradition continues to this day with the production of furniture and woodcarvings.

Gifu University is a national university founded in 1949. It has five faculties: Agriculture, Education, Engineering, Medicine and Regional Studies. Gifu University has about 6,000 undergraduate and 1,200 postgraduate students. Most UTS students take the Japanese language and culture subjects which are run by the International Students Centre. The Centre offers an intensive Japanese language course that UTS students are encouraged to join, at least for their first semester. The University is on the outskirts of the small city of Gifu so has a relaxed atmosphere, but is only about an hour's travelling time away from the bustling metropolis of Nagoya. There is a handful of other students from English language backgrounds at Gifu University, but it is still a good environment for learning to live in the Japanese language.


Hokkaido is the northern-most and second largest of Japan's four main islands. Hakodate is a port city with a small population and a relaxed atmosphere.

Hokkaido University of Education, Hakodate, is a national university founded in 1876. Its academic strength lies in the area of education. The University has about 6,000 undergraduate students spread over five campuses, each located in a principal city of Hokkaido: Sapporo, Hakodate, Asahikawa, Kushiro and Iwamizawa. It has five undergraduate programs: Elementary School Teachers, Junior High School Teachers, Kindergarten Teachers, Children with Intellectual Disabilities, and Integrated Arts and Sciences at Hakodate College. The University hosts only a small number of overseas students each year, the majority of whom are from non-English-speaking countries. Japanese language classes are organised to suit the level of students. In-country Study students live in the university dormitory located a short bike ride from the campus. The University is best suited to students in the Faculties of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Business.


Known to the Japanese as the Naples of Japan, Kagoshima (pop. 536,000) is the southern-most major city in Kyushu. It is a sunny and relaxed place with a long hot, humid summer and a short winter. Overlooking the city across Kinko Bay is the famous volcano, Mt Sakurajima. The Kagoshima region, known as Satsuma, was always receptive to outside contact and for many years was an important centre for trade with China. St Francis Xavier first arrived here in 1549, making Kagoshima one of Japan's earliest contact points with the West. The city's University serves as a focus for cultural life in southern Kyushu, famous for its hotsprings.

Kagoshima University is a national university founded in 1949. It has nine faculties: Agriculture, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Fisheries, Law and Letters, Medicine, Science, and Allied Medical Sciences. Student numbers are about 10,000 for undergraduate programs and 1,200 for postgraduate programs. The campus is located in the centre of Kagoshima City. Most UTS students study language and culture in the International Students Centre. UTS students are also part of professors' research groups in either the Faculty of Engineering or the Faculty of Education. There is an intensive language course available for students at Kagoshima, but UTS students are not obliged to take it and they may take a lighter class load if they choose. Most of the international students at Kagoshima University are from China, Korea, South America and South East Asia, with small numbers of students from every other region in the world as well, including a couple of other English language background students from the USA and Australia.

Kashiwa, Chiba

Nishogakusha University is in Kashiwa City in Chiba prefecture.

Kashiwa is located one hour by train from central Tokyo. Kashiwa City has drawn attention as one of the ideal residential suburbs of Tokyo, and has seen rapid growth. The professional soccer team, Kashiwa Reysol, is based locally and residents enjoy cheering the team on.

Nishogakusha University had its beginnings in Kangaku Juku, a private school for the study of Chinese classics founded in 1877. The famous author Natsume Soseki studied there in preparation for university. The University continues to teach Chinese classics as well as other East Asian literature through its Faculty of Literature. The University has a second faculty, the Faculty of International Politics and Economics. In 2004, a second campus at Kudan was opened in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. It is quite a small university of about 3,000 students. There are many international students from China and Korea, but UTS students are the only students from an English-speaking background at the University. In-country Study students at Nishogakusha University join an intensive Japanese language program with very small classes, so it is an ideal environment for students really wanting to concentrate on improving their Japanese language skills.


Kyushu Institute of Technology (KIT) is located at Kitakyushu-city in the northern part of the island of Kyushu (pop. 1 million). Historically, this area has played a major role as a gateway to the Asian continent. Kitakyushu-city has developed into an important industrial area for southern Japan. Kyushu Institute of Technology is a prestigious technology university, so many of the Japanese students are very studious and interested in science. There is a reasonable-sized international student population, mostly made up of Chinese and Korean full degree students. There are not many short-term exchange students, and UTS students are the only students from an English-speaking background. This means there is not a large program of Japanese language classes, but the environment is ideal for learning to live in the Japanese language. UTS students are allocated to research groups attached to a professor. Because UTS students are not expected to spend as much time in class as at other In-country Study sites, KIT is an ideal location for students who are self-motivated in their studies and are keen to learn about Japanese society outside the classroom.


Kyoto (pop. 1.4 million) was historically the cultural and political centre of Japan and its capital from 794–1868. Kyoto is rich in historical sites and for that reason it attracts many foreigners. Kyoto is renowned for its fine textiles and traditional products and is also a thriving centre of high-tech industry. Possessing a wealth of historic sites and cultural treasures, and bounded on three sides by mountains, Kyoto is a living museum.

Kyoto University of Foreign Studies (KUFS) is one of the oldest private universities for foreign studies in Japan and is located in the western part of Kyoto. It is small, with about 3,500 undergraduate and 50 postgraduate students learning various languages and cultures. To facilitate their foreign language studies, KUFS has exchange relationships with universities around the world, so there is a large diverse international student population and an active social life in which In-country Study students can participate. Instead of joining a professor's research group, there is a set program of language and culture study for exchange students. UTS students are obliged to join this course, even though they also have to do In-country Study assignments, so the workload at this university is higher than for other In-country Study sites.

Machida, Tokyo

Obirin University is located in Machida, a city of 400,000 in the south-western suburbs of Tokyo. It is one of Tokyo's residential cities. Machida is approximately 35 minutes from central Tokyo by train, so it is a convenient base from which to explore Tokyo's museums and other recreational facilities.

Obirin is a private university founded in 1946. A Christian Congregation University, it is very internationalised, with over 5,000 undergraduate and about 150 postgraduate students. Obirin hosts non-matriculating international students from English-speaking countries on 10-month 'Reconnaissance Japan' programs. It has four faculties: Economics, International Studies, Literature, and Business and Public Administration. Obirin specialises in English language education and has exchange students from the USA and the UK as well as Australia. Respected historian Professor Bruce Batten is the academic advisor for international students, and Obirin also has a strong record in fine arts and performing arts. The University sometimes hosts artists-in-residence for short periods, which is a great resource for students interested in the arts.


Naha is the capital of Okinawa prefecture, at the southern end of Japan. The only region which has a sub-tropical climate in Japan, it offers a warmer climate with the average temperature of approximately 23 degrees. Okinawa's distinct culture and island environment means it is a popular tourist destination.

Okinawa University's basic concept is 'an open university that is community oriented, learns from the community, and keeps close a relationship with the community'. Okinawa University is a small private university with two faculties: the Faculty of Law and Economics and the Faculty of Humanities. UTS students usually take the intensive Japanese language program for international students. UTS students are the only students at Okinawa University from an English language background, although there are many students from China and Korea as well as the local students.

O-okayama, Tokyo

The Tokyo-Yokohama district is the key region in Japan's leading commercial and industrial area. Tokyo prefecture comprises 23 wards of urban Tokyo, 27 cities and four islands with over 11 million people. Tokyo is such a huge, sprawling city that one could spend a lifetime exploring it and still make new discoveries every day. O-okayama is in central Tokyo, so UTS students at this site can experience the full Tokyo lifestyle, crowded trains and all.

Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) is perhaps the most prestigious technology-oriented university in Japan. The Japanese student population tends to be very studious, and there is a large and varied international student population. Tokyo Tech receives UTS In-country Study students as fourth-year students, who in Japan have to write a small thesis, therefore placing them into research groups under professors. Most In-country Study students will study only language and culture subjects, but in order to join a research group of people with similar interests, it is important for students to choose their professor carefully. There are many research groups working in engineering, science and information technology. There is also a well known sociologist, Professor Daisaburo Hashizume, who can take In-country Study students from Humanities and Social Sciences or Business. Design students may find a professor in the Architecture Department.


Sakai City (pop. 800,000) is in Osaka prefecture. The University is in the south of Osaka. Osaka is Japan's third biggest city, the business centre of southern Japan. Sakai's history is traced well back to the 4th century and there are many historical and cultural sites, such as Emperor Nintoku's Mausoleum.

Osaka Prefecture University is a public prefectural university founded in 1949. It has five faculties: Engineering, Agriculture, Economics, Integrated Arts and Sciences, and Social Welfare. UTS currently has exchange agreements with the Faculty of Engineering. The University has about 5,000 undergraduate and 1,200 postgraduate students. There is not a large program for international students, so this site is only suitable for UTS students with a very high level of Japanese language competency.


Sapporo boasts of dynamic cultural institutions and annually hosts a unique range of events, among them the Pacific Music Festival (PMF). The PMF adds to Sapporo's legacy of prominent activities that includes the 1972 Winter Olympic Games, Asian Games, Winter Universiade and Sapporo Snow Festival.

Sapporo University is a private university founded in 1967 with a humanities and business focus. It has about 6,000 undergraduate and 60 international students. There is a great variety of extracurricular activities, with over 60 cultural and sporting clubs. The University is located in Nishioka, the southern part of Sapporo. It is situated in a quiet residential area about 30 minutes from the centre of Sapporor and is not far from Hitsuijigaoka observation spot, one of Sapporo's main attractions. The Japanese language classes are organised to suit the level of the UTS students. Sapporo University is suitable for students in the humanities, education and business.


Yamanashi prefecture, located in the Chubu region of Japan, is an inland prefecture rimmed by steep mountains on all sides. Surrounded by scenic beauty to the south, Mt Fuji rises 3,776 metres above sea level. Being only 120 km from the Tokyo area, the prefecture has been able to prosper culturally for many years. Yamanashi has much allure, with abundant greenery, crystal clear air and water, some of the freshest fruit and best national parks, including the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. Kofu City, with about 200,000 inhabitants, can be reached within an hour-and-a-half from Tokyo by express train.

Yamanashi University is a national university founded in 1949. It is a small public university with just three faculties: Medicine, Education and Human Sciences and Engineering, and about 3,500 undergraduate and 500 postgraduate students. The University has around 150 international students, the majority of whom are from China or Korea. The University is located within walking distance of Kofu Railway Station. There is a small dormitory specifically for overseas students close to the University. UTS students attend language and culture classes run by the International Students Centre. Yamanashi University is a suitable site for students from nursing, engineering, education and business.


The Tokyo-Yokohama district is the key region in Japan's leading commercial and industrial area. Yokohama (pop. 3 million) was little more than mudflats 150 years ago, but with the end of Japan's long isolation from much of the rest of the world, the city was the closest port to Tokyo open to foreign traders. Yokohama's attractions can be summed up in the harbour and a lively Chinatown. Yokohama Bay Bridge has a walkway on the bridge, Sky Walk, that leads to a viewing area out over the bay. The high-tech industries and research laboratories that back up the Tokyo area are gathered in Yokohama district.

Yokohama National University (YNU), established in 1949 as a national university, has four faculties and two graduate schools with a combined student population of about 10,000. YNU has a large, diverse international student population and a well established system for managing them. In-country Study students do not go into professors' research groups but into the JOY Program, with language classes, humanities and social science classes, and business classes specifically tailored for short-term exchange students. Students with a high level of Japanese may also take classes with Japanese students outside the JOY Program, for example, in YNU's excellent Architecture Department.

Completion requirements

976001  Foundations in International Studies  8cp
976211  Contemporary Japan  8cp
977210  In-country Study 1: Japan  24cp
978210  In-country Study 2: Japan  24cp
CBK90481  Japanese Language and Culture  32cp
Total  96cp