Office of International Programs

Japan: Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka

"I ventured to Japan my senior year of Rollins with no knowledge of Japanese, and a pocket guide of not-so-useful phrases. However, through my blunders and risk-taking, I met a colorful group of international friends...Together, with a ragtag trans-continental assortment of international students, I was able to scale Mt. Fuji and karaoke till dawn, navigate a train system in a language that makes no use of the English alphabet, and somehow, amidst the fun, learn more than I ever thought I would." — Rollins College Alum.

Experience Japan!

To learn more about the culture of Japan, students take courses in Asian Studies and live in traditional Japanese dorms or homestays in the city of Osaka!

Apply Now


Situated in the heart of Japan’s Kansai region, Kansai Gaidai University is close to Osaka (one of the world’s largest cities), Nara (Japan’s ancient capital), and Kyoto (over 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites). This exchange program offers students a truly unique opportunity to spend a semester in Japan; learning Japanese, studying a wide range of courses, and exploring an ancient nation rich in culture, religion, art, food, and natural beauty. Class sizes are small, and all courses are taught in English (aside from Japanese language courses). This program is a great fit for students studying History, Anthropology, Art History, CMCS, Sociology, Religion, International Relations, and International Business.

* If you plan to participate in two approved semester programs abroad, you can apply your full Rollins financial aid package to both programs as long as one of them is an exchange program. This qualifies as an exchange program so you will be allowed to carry your full aid package on this program and any other approved semester program of your choosing – whether that program is an exchange or not.

Application Information

Requirements for Admissions

  • Sophomores, juniors, seniors
  • Clean record with the Office of Community Standards and good academic and college standing
  • Professional application: materials are submitted on-time, are edited before submission, and are thorough and thoughtful.
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA


  • Spring 2020 Deadline: September 30, 2019
  • Fall 2020 Deadline: March 6, 2020

How to Apply

Incoming Exchange Students

The coordinator for incoming exchange students is Jenifer Ruby, Director of International Student & Scholar Services. For information about application and advising for incoming exchange students, please visit the website for International Student & Scholar Services. You may also contact Ms. Ruby at for more details.

Program Calendar

Fall 2019

  • Aug 23-24 : Required Arrival Window
  • Aug 27-29: Orientation
  • Sept 2: First Day of Classes
  • Nov 1-4: Fall Break
  • Dec 16: Last Day of Classes
  • Dec 17-21: Exam Week
  • Dec 24: Program End Date

Spring 2019

  • Jan 16-17: Required Arrival Dates
  • Jan 18-24: Orientation
  • Jan 25: First Day of Classes
  • Mar 16-24: Spring Break
  • May 20: Last Day of Classes
  • May 21-25: Exam Period
  • May 31: Program End Date

Spring 2020 dates similar to 2019

Getting There

Orientation & Flight

The orientation program begins with a welcome service that assists students arriving at local airports 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. You are responsible for booking your own flight. Pick-up service is available for all new international students at three locations: Kansai International Airport (KIX), Osaka Itami Airport (ITM, also known as Osaka International Airport), and JR Kyoto Station.


US citizens must obtain a student visa before departure through the Japanese consulate in the US. For more information about the visa process and visas for non-US citizens, see our Passports and Visas Page.

Academic Information


Established in 1945, Kansai Gaidai is an accredited, private institution with about 13,000 students.  The University has a demonstrated commitment to international education that shows through the relationships it has established with more than three hundred institutions around the globe. Courses are taught by Kansai Gaidai faculty and instructors. Student support and services are provided by the staff of the Center for International Education which oversees the international student dormitories, all homestay arrangements, and all international student activities, including the orientation program. Kansai Gaidai is situated in Hirakata City, just over a thirty minute train ride from Osaka City, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan. The ancient cities of Kyoto and Nara are also close by—both within about an hour train ride. Between Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara, students are able to experience Japan’s ancient traditions, temples, and arts, while also experiencing the vibrant bustle of modern Osaka City, a center for commerce and pop culture.


The curriculum at Kansai Gaidai includes Japanese language courses and courses taught in English in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Business/Economics with a focus on Asian studies. Students do not need a background in Japanese to participate on this program, though all students must take the five-credit spoken Japanese language class. Courses in Japanese reading/writing are also available for interested students. For students with a background in Japanese, appropriate course level is determined by a placement test upon arrival. In addition to the Japanese language courses, most students will select additional courses in English—all courses in English earn three credits each. For a full list of courses and further details about the curriculum, please click here. Some of the courses integrate field trips to destinations of interest near the Kansai Gaidai campuses—these include museums, temples, historic sites, business centers, and companies.  Expenses associated with these course-related trips are subsidized by the university.

Sample Course Schedule


The number of exchange places available on this program depends on how many students Kansai Gaidai sends to Rollins. The number of available exchange places changes year to year and exchange places will be allocated to Rollins students based on the merit of the application. Exchange places are not guaranteed and interested students should visit IP for advising.

Transfer of Credit

Students participating on this program will need to seek the appropriate departmental approval for all major/minor requirements and approval for General Education Requirements through Student Records. All courses on this program appear on the Rollins transcript as transfer credits and the grades are factored into the Rollins GPA. Students who successfully complete this program through Rollins will receive an official transcript from the Kansai Gaidai University. It can take up to 3 months to receive the official transcript.

Housing and Meals


There are two housing options available to students: on-campus international student dormitory and homestay with a Japanese family.

Homestay: 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.

On-campus residence hall: 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 are in a Japanese style. All rooms have internet access and all dorms have coin-operated laundry facilities and other common spaces for students. 

Visit the Kansai Gaidai University Campus Life website for further housing details


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. All students staying in both the residence halls and in homestays are provided with a declining debit card for use at the on-campus dining halls. Students staying in the residence halls can also use the shared kitchens, which are supplied with basic cooking and eating utensils.

Student Life


Kansai Gaidai offers several unique activities for international students. 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 from soccer, to various martial arts, to cultural activities like the tea ceremony club or the flower arrangement club.


Semester breaks and holidays provide opportunities for wider travel and downtime during which students can explore the campus and nearby neighborhoods. 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.


Program Fee

Homestay and Residential Hall:

The program fee is equal to Rollins College tuition and fees, and room and board for one semester.

  • Tuition: Standard Rollins tuition
  • Room and Board: $7,225.00 


Tuition and program administration, accommodation, complete medical and emergency insurance, orientation, and on-campus activities.

Does Not Include

  • Airfare from Orlando: $1,450 (estimate)
  • Visa fee: $70 (estimate)
  • Personal expenses and course materials: $1,000 (estimate)
  • Souvenirs, entertainment and independent travel: Costs will vary but an average estimate is $1,200 - $2,000
  • Travel/Property insurance (if desired): Costs will vary

Need-Based Scholarships

Scholarships based on financial need are available to off-set costs associated with international airfare, and, in exceptional cases, other costs associated with study abroad. Students apply for scholarships through the normal program application.


Advising is offered on a walk-in basis: Tuesday-Thursday from 12:30pm - 2:30pm during the normal semester. If you are unable to make it at these times, email, call or stop by to set up an appointment. We can also put you in touch with student program alumni who would be happy to share their experience with you. You may also want to review our blog site to see what past students have said about their adventures on this program.