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Kansai Gaidai is a private, nonprofit institution composed of Kansai Gaidai University, (four-year program), Kansai Gaidai College (two-year program), the Graduate School, and the Asian Studies Program. Established in 1972, Kansai Gaidai’s Asian Studies Program today annually welcomes over 600 competitively-selected students who represent about 40 countries and regions.
The goal of the program is to provide international students with a means of exploring Japan and Asian studies through classroom instruction and interaction with Japanese people.
All the academic programs of Kansai Gaidai University are fully accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Education and Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, which is the sole accrediting agency in Japan.
The University at Albany’s exchange affiliation with Kansai University of Foreign Studies (Kansai Gaidai) enables you to study Japanese language and Asian culture, and is intended for U.S. students interested in developing Japanese language skills and in pursuing in-depth study of subjects related to Japan.
Juniors, seniors, and exceptional sophomores in all majors with at least a 3.0 GPA are eligible. Students with a lower GPA should consult with us about whether or not to apply. Participants should have completed basic coursework in the humanities and social sciences as prerequisites for the Asian Studies curriculum. Coursework in Asian Studies is strongly recommended. Prior knowledge of Japanese is recommended, but NOT required. Please note that non-SUNY students must have completed at least one year of Japanese study.
Participating students are admitted to Kansai Gaidai's Asian Studies Program. A five-credit Spoken Japanese course is required of all students. An optional three-credit course in Reading & Writing Japanese is available at all language levels. In addition to language classes, students may choose from a variety of undergraduate courses in Asian Studies (taught in English). UAlbany will award the same credits and grades as Kansai Gaidai.
General Education Information for UAlbany students: Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these General Education credits. You may file a request to have additional courses approved.
There is no credit conversion for this program. 1 Kansai Gaidai University credit = 1 SUNY credit.
Kansai Gaidai University awards A+ grades, but UAlbany does not. A+ = A
UAlbany hosts a general orientation session on campus during the semester prior to participation on the program. The program at Kansai Gaidai begins with a required one-week orientation program designed to introduce students to the basics of daily life in Japan. A Japanese language placement test is administered to all students except those with no knowledge of the Japanese language, and course registrations are finalized.
UAlbany staff is available throughout the year to assist students and their parents. The Office of Education Abroad staff at Kansai Gaidai serves as an experienced resource for solving problems for students while overseas.
Housing for our students is provided through a homestay program where students experience daily life with a Japanese family. The homestay program is indispensable, as it further enhances language learning and the appreciation of Japanese culture.
While it is strongly recommended that all participants take advantage of the homestay program, the demand for placement with a Japanese family is high, and students may be assigned dormitory housing. In fact, many students elect this option. The dormitories consist of Japanese-style rooms, and are located nearby but not directly on campus.
Experience the cultural wonders of Japan in Hirakata city. Located in the Kansai region, you will be near both Osaka city, the nation’s second-largest city, and historic Kyoto, the ancient imperial capital of Japan. You can access both Kyoto and Osaka in less than an hour’s train ride. Visit Buddhist temples, enjoy sushi and experience Japanese culture first-hand in Hirakata city.
Kansai Gaidai University specializes in foreign language study. You will study Japanese at the Asian Studies Program, where students from around the world come to learn Japanese language and culture. The inernational community on campus provides many cultural events where you will learn about Japan. Enjoy Kansai Gaidai University’s international mindset while learning about Japan.
Kansai Gaidai University offers a wide range of courses for undergraduate students. The Asian Studies Program at Kansai Gaidai University focuses on providing you with a means of exploring Japan and Asian studies through classroom instruction and interaction with Japanese people.
Course Descriptions and Syllabus
Kansai Gaidai University's Academic Calendar:
Mid January – Late May
Late August – Late December
Kansai Gaidai University’s Asian Studies Program offers a wide range of courses. As a participant, you will be required to take a five-credit Spoken Japanese course. An optional three-credit course in Reading & Writing Japanese is available at all language levels. In addition to language classes, you may choose from a variety of undergraduate courses in Asian Studies (taught in English).
Review Kansai Gaidai University’s website for more information regarding course offerings.
General Education Information for UAlbany Students
Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.
Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students
Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.
All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary.
There are three housing options for this program: living in a dormitory, doing a homestay, and making your own off campus living arrangements. If you choose to stay on campus, you will be accommodated in Kansai Gaidai’s designated student dormitory, Global Commons – YUI. All dormitories have single-occupancy rooms equipped with a desk, bed, closet, book shelves, shoe box, small refrigerator, and air-conditioner. Internet access and linen service are available. There is a tatami floor living room that is a convenient place for gathering and interacting in a relaxed atmosphere. Shared full kitchen facilities are available for cooking.
The homestay program allows you to experience daily life with a Japanese family. It is indispensable, as it further enhances language learning and the appreciation of Japanese culture.
While it is strongly recommended that you take advantage of the homestay program, the demand for placement with a Japanese family is high, and you may be assigned dormitory housing. In fact, many students select this option. The dormitories consist of Japanese-style rooms, and are located nearby but not directly on campus.
There is no meal plan for this program. You may choose to purchase meals in the cafeteria, cook, or eat out at local restaurants.
Juniors, seniors, and exceptional sophomores in all majors with at least a 3.0 GPA are eligible. If you have a lower GPA, you should consult with the UAlbany study abroad program coordinator about whether or not to apply.
Completed basic coursework in the humanities and social sciences as prerequisites for the Asian Studies curriculum. Coursework in Asian Studies is strongly recommended.
You are required to take a 5-credit Japanese course during this study abroad program.
SUNY students: Prior knowledge of Japanese is recommended, but NOT required.
Non-SUNY students: Must have completed at least one year of Japanese study prior to the start of the program.
Taking part in extracurricular activities will be good source of interaction with Japanese students. The clubs and circles at Kansai Gaidai warmly welcome the participation of international students. If you are athletically inclined, you may join soccer, basketball, or the cheerleading club. There are also a wide range of Japanese martial arts clubs such as Judo, Kendo, Karate, or Shorinji-Kempo. Surprisingly enough, some international students have even been able to speedily improve skills and earn advanced ranks within the hierarchies of those activities.
If you wish to deepen your understanding of Japanese culture, you may be interested in exploring clubs such as tea ceremony, calligraphy, flower arrangement, or Koto (the Japanese harp). An on-campus community volunteer club named "Himawari Club" may also interest you since the club organizes activities that give you a chance to interact with local Japanese children/people in the vicinity of the university.
Most financial aid and academic awards will apply to semester programs.
External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.
More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.
In Their Own Words
“I had a great time in Japan! The country is so beautiful, and the train system was easy to understand so traveling was simple and fun. I also made a ton of friends, and the classes were interesting. I'm really glad I went during the spring semester because the cherry blossoms were so pretty!” – Arielle Westcott, English major
“It was a great experience in Japan. I went to the Yukata fitting event that Kansai Gaidai offered us and we learned Japanese traditional Bon Dance, it was really fun and I really enjoyed meeting the people there. – Qinyi Lin, Economics major
Speak with an Advisor
About the City
Kansai Gaidai University is located in Hirakata City, near Osaka, the second largest business metropolis in Japan. Osaka and Kyoto are just under an hour from campus by train. The location of the program offers an excellent starting point for your exploration in Japan.
A valid U.S. passport is required to participate in this program. A valid U.S. passport is required to participate in this program. If you are a U.S. citizen, you are required to obtain a visa to enter Japan.
For all other nationalities, please check with your government and the Consulate General of Japan to determine whether you are required to obtain a visa for this program.More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.
Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:
Spring/Winter/Spring Break programs: July
Fall/Year/Summer programs: December
Academic Year 2018/19
Academic Year 2018-2019
08/27/2018 to 05/26/2019
08/27/2018 to 12/23/2018
01/17/2019 to 05/25/2019
About the Program
Kansai Gaidai is a private, nonprofit institution composed of Kansai Gaidai University, (four-year program), Kansai Gaidai College (two-year program), the Graduate School, and the Asian Studies Program.
Established in 1972, Kansai Gaidai’s Asian Studies Program today annually welcomes over 600 competitively-selected students who represent about 40 countries and regions.
Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. The fall semester pre-departure orientation will be conducted the Saturday before the end of Spring UAlbany classes and in late November/early December for the spring term abroad.
Upon arrival at Kansai Gaidai University, you will attend a mandatory program orientation. This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by International Office of your host university.
UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.
Kansai Gaidai University's International Office staff serve as an experienced resource for resolving issues that you may encounter in while abroad.
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
NOTE: The "decision date" for your program is the date by which you have access to the post-acceptance required materials, questionnaires, and learning content items for your program. It is NOT the date by which you must notify UAlbany of your decision as to whether or not you will participate in the program. Your nonrefundable deposit and commitment to the program is expected within two weeks of your acceptance by UAlbany.
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.