skip to Main Content

Kwansei Gakuin University

Program Terms:

Spring Semester & Academic Year


Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU) is an independent institution for higher education, offering Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD degrees in over 35 different disciplines to a student body of over 24,000. Founded in 1889, the university maintains academic standards that rank among the highest of those of all Japanese universities and colleges. KGU places a large emphasis on producing “global citizens,” and in 2014 was selected by the Japanese government as one of 37 out of a total of 800 universities nationwide to receive funding under the Top Global University Project.

The Nishinomiya Uegahara and Nishimoniya Seiwa Campuses are located in the city of Nishinomiya, a residential city of 488,000 situated between the cities of Osaka and Kobe. The campus is located in a beautiful, quiet, and serene area surrounded by lush vegetation, while also being just a train ride away from booming metropolitan cities. Nishinomiya itself is famous for its sake microbrewery district, cake factories, and as the home of the Hanshin Tigers baseball team. The Nishinomiya Uegahara Campus houses 8 of the 14 KGU undergraduate schools, 12 graduate schools and 2 independent professional graduate schools. It is also home to the Contemporary Japan Program. (Source: CJP Brochure PDF)

KGU provides extensive support programs for their exchange students with their Center for International Education and Cooperation, Orientation Support Team, Global Student Network, KGU Health Center, and KGU Counseling Room. Exchange students are also encouraged to participate in student clubs or circles. This is the main opportunity exchange students will have to engage with local Japanese students and participate in KGU’s campus life. These clubs and circles consist of both cultural and athletic organizations such as, calligraphy, Japanese flower arrangement, tea ceremony, chorus, capoeira, fencing, kendo, sumo, volleyball, and even hula.

Academic Details:

The Contemporary Japan Program is specially designed for incoming exchange students to Kwansei Gakuin University. Exchange students are offered a choice between two study tracks that will define the main focus of their time at KGU, the “Japanese Language Track” and the “Modern Japan Track”. Exchange students are also able to select elective courses to learn more about “Contemporary Japan” from a variety of aspects such as language, culture, society, economy, and politics. Undergraduate students can also take classes conducted in English from various KGU Undergraduate Schools.

In the Japanese Language Track, students will be placed into levels based on a placement test during their Orientation Week. Students are required to enroll in more than 7 credits, 5 being from their mandatory Japanese Language Course, and the others from Elective Courses. There are 8 proficiency levels, from Beginner to Proficient, but prospective students should be able to fluently read, write, and pronounce the Japaneses Hiragana and Katakana scripts before they arrive.

The Modern Japan Track is for students who wish to study Japan in English courses. Students are required to take more than 7 credits, 2 being from the mandatory Modern Japan Seminar, and the others from Elective Courses (including Japanese Language Courses). Students who wish to take elective Japanese Language Courses are required to take the Japanese Placement Test held before the beginning of each semester.

Students with exceptional Japaneses language ability are allowed to take regular university courses taught in Japanese. In order to prove their proficiency, students must show proof of having passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) N1 before the beginning of the semester or receive a score of Level 8 in the Japanese Placement Test before the beginning of the semester. In this situation, students will still be required to participate in the JLT or the MJT programs, and take a mandatory Academic Japanese level 8 course, along with the JSC Modern Japan Seminar (for MJT students) to supplement their regular university courses.

KGU-Sponsored Scholarship: Exchange students can apply for a scholarship through KGU along with their application to KGU. Applicants will be informed if they will receive the scholarship roughly a week before arriving in Japan. However, there are circumstances in which students may not be informed until after their arrival in Japan. Note: Please be informed that the number of available scholarships has decreased over the last several years, and that applicants should not expect to receive a scholarship. All students must plan for financing their exchange without the help of this scholarship.

Housing Details:

KGU offers two accommodation options for exchange students: dormitory and homestay.  

KGU strives to place exchange students in accommodation of their choice. However, please note that accommodation is limited and if KGU is unable to place an exchange student in suitable accommodation, an alternative option will be offered.


  • Sophomore standing
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA

Useful Links for Exchange Students:

Program Budgets:

Back To Top