Wake Forest University Program at Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakata, Japan
Hirakata is a small, interesting town located in the heart of Japan. Hirakata is surrounded by the well-known cities of Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe. Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan and is home to some of the country's most beautiful temples and gardens. Osaka, the second largest city in Japan, is a major port and business center. Kobe, with its winding streets and beautiful parks, is a smaller city not to be missed.
The Wake Forest program is based at Kansai Gaidai University. The university enrolls 14,000 students annually and has an international student population of over 400. All international students are enrolled in the unique Asian Studies Program. It is designed to provide international students with a means of exploring Japan and Asian studies through classroom instruction and interaction with Japanese people. In the spring of 2002, Kansai Gaidai University moved to a newly built, beautifully laid out campus with state-of-the-art language laboratories, classrooms, athletic facilities, and a library. The new campus is a short walk or bus ride from the Hirakata train station. From Hirakata students can visit Hiroshima, Mikko, Tokyo, Kyushu, and Sapporo.
Fall and Spring Semester.
A Wake Forest faculty member accompanies the students to Hirakata, oversees the program, and teaches one course. Students are required to take a Japanese language course. In addition, students choose from a variety of courses in areas such as Business, Economics, Social Sciences, and Humanities. WFU/Japan Course Approvals
Students may also select classes in Japanese brush painting and ceramics. The courses are taught in English by Kansai Gaidai faculty who have either studied in an English-speaking country or are native English speakers. Several courses are supplemented by field trips to nearby sites, including Kyoto National Museum, Great Buddha in Nara, Toyota Motor Company, and the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima City. Kansai Gaidai University offers a wide variety of athletic and cultural clubs and international students are encouraged to join one or more of them. A few examples are baseball, karate, rugby, soccer, flower arrangement, shogi (Japanese chess), film making, and international friendship.
The Wake Forest faculty director will arrange excursions to places of historic and cultural interest. These trips may include Tokyo, Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, and Mt. Fuji. The faculty director may also arrange for students to attend musical, cultural, and martial arts performances.
Students may choose homestays with Japanese families or dormitory housing. The homestay option is highly recommended and is an excellent way for students to practice their Japanese. Families are carefully selected by the housing office of Kansai Gaidai University. The dormitories offer Japanese style rooms that are shared by two students. Rooms are wired for Internet access and kitchen facilities are available. The dormitories are within easy walking distance of the campus. A Home Visit Program is available for students who choose the dormitory option. This program allows students to interact with a Japanese family on weekends and learn about culture and daily life.
Students pay the current Wake Forest tuition. Students are responsible for round-trip airfare, housing, meals, textbooks, personal travel, and expenses. An additional meal fee is required upon arrival for students participating in the homestay option. Students pay for housing upon arrival in Japan.
*Previous study of Japanese language is not required.
*Students must have at least sophomore standing to participate in this program and must demonstrate a serious interest in the study of Japanese culture and language.
*Majors in all disciplines are eligible to apply.
Students are able to apply for scholarships such as NSEP, and Gilman for the Kansai Gaidai program in addition to WFU abroad scholarships. For more information on these scholarships, please visit their respective websites or contact the Center for International Studies. The Center for International Studies also administers their own scholarship.
Jessica Francis, Assistant Director of Study Abroad
Center for International Studies
Phone: (336) 758 3890
Kansai Gaidai University
Asian Studies Program