Office of International Programs

Japan: Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka

"I ventured to Japan with no knowledge of Japanese, and a pocket guide of not-so-useful phrases. 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!

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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. 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

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 2020

  • Jan 17-18: Required Arrival Dates
  • Jan 20-24: Orientation
  • Jan 27: First Day of Classes
  • Mar 14-22: Spring Break
  • May 20: Last Day of Classes
  • May 21-27: Exam Period
  • May 31: Program End Date

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 general information about the visa process and visas for non-US citizens, see our Passports and Visas Page.

Academic Information

Kansai-Gaidai University

Established in 1945, Kansai Gaidai is an accredited, private institution with about 13,000 students.  Kansai-Gaidai has a longstanding commitment to internationalization and has been offering study abroad programs for international students for more than 30 years!  All courses are taught by Kansai Gaidai faculty and instructors. Kansai Gaidai is situated in Hirakata City, just over a thirty minute train ride from Osaka City, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and a center of commerce and pop culture. The ancient cities of Kyoto and Nara are also close by—both within about an hour train ride.


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 one Japanese language class. In addition to Japanese language, students also take 3-4 additional courses. 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


Transfer of Credit

Most courses are worth 3 credits but some of the Japanese language courses are worth 5 credits.  Students take 4-5 courses total and earn 14-17 credits. Courses on this program appear on the Rollins transcript as transfer credit; the grades are displayed and are factored into the Rollins GPA.  It can take up to three months for grades to be processed and appear on the Rollins transcript. For information on approving courses for major/minor and General Education/rFLA requirements, and other academic policies, please visit our Academic Information page.

Housing and Meals


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.

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.

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 in the halls.

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

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 other costs associated with study abroad. Students apply for scholarships through the normal program application.