Housing: There are three housing options available to students: on-campus international student dormitory, homestay with a Japanese family, or independent housing off-campus. The homestay certainly offers the best opportunity to learn about Japanese culture and practice the language; however, some students may find it difficult to adjust to family schedules and household rules and since some homestays may be far from campus, the commute to classes may seem inconvenient. Students in a homestay live in a single room and share the family’s laundry facilities. The four dormitories are located in Japanese neighborhoods within a 20 minute walk to campus. Rooms vary from traditional dormitory style double rooms with hallway shared bathrooms, to apartment style. All rooms have internet access and all dorms have coin-operated laundry facilities and other common spaces for students. International Programs does not recommend making independent housing arrangements as Kansai Gaidai provides minimal assistance and housing availability can be limited. For further housing details, click here.
Meals: Meal arrangements vary depending on the housing selected. Students in homestays are provided with two meals a day during the week, and three meals a day on the weekends. There is no meal plan in the dormitories—instead, students can use shared kitchens supplied with all basic cooking and eating utensils. Students can also eat at university cafeterias and local restaurants.
Orientation: The orientation program begins with a welcome service that assists students arriving at Kansai International Airport and helps students travel by shuttle bus to the dormitories on campus. All students live in the dormitories during the week-long orientation which covers immigration information, language placement tests, and other administrative first-steps, as well as introducing students to Japanese life and culture. A campus tour is also part of the orientation, and students may choose to participate in an optional tour to Kyoto for a small, additional fee.
Activities: Kansai Gaidai offers several unique activities for international students. The Home Visit program allows students who are living in the dormitories to visit and spend time with a Japanese family on the weekends, participating in family activities, sharing meals, and accompanying the family on outings. The Speaking Partner program pairs local Japanese students with international students to allow for language practice—however, it often leads to other activities and the local student can be an excellent resource for the international student. The Experience Japan program features events and activities planned and led by local students for international students—these include day trips, sports, cultural activities and cooking lesions. International students can also join the student clubs at Kansai Gaidai—these run the gamut from soccer, to various martial arts, to cultural activities like the tea ceremony club or the flower arrangement club. For more information on the activities and programs available to international students, click here.
Field Trips and Excursions: While there are no extended excursions offered through this program, students may join the optional tour of Kyoto during the orientation and the Experience Japan program offers day trips to various, nearby locations.
Life at Kansai Gaidai: The unique combination of courses in English and extensive opportunities to integrate with Japanese culture and people insure that students participating in this program remain busy, challenged and engaged. Coursework can be intense, but semester breaks and holidays provide opportunities for wider travel and downtime during which students can explore the campus and nearby neighborhoods.
Travel: Osaka City, Kyoto and Nara are easily accessible via short train rides. Students may also travel easily to Tokyo and other destinations on the main island of Japan.