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Higher Education in Japan

College of Intercultual Communication, Rikkyo University

The Department of Intercultural Communication has built its curriculum on the four foundational features below in an effort to teach students to consider things from multiple perspectives and develop the ability to think flexibly that underlies the knowledge, wisdom and the ability to take action in response to real-world problems.

1 Honing Japanese and English Language skills

Japanese language ability is absolutely vital for studying in Japan. In first-year Academic Skills courses, students undergo training to improve their Japanese skills, and hone their abilities to think logically and express themselves. Students can also study, hold discussions and write reports in English in the Dual Language Pathway in an effort to gain advanced proficiency in English.

2 English+1

Languages are tools for going out into the world and being active contributors to society. Students have the option to study German, French, Spanish, Chinese or Korean in addition to the global language of English

3 Connecting Theory and Practice

Learn the skills to connect knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world situations through practical, hands-on courses such as Translation and Interpreting Practicum, Teaching Practicum-Japanese Language, and Fieldwork.

4 The Study Abroad and the Dual Language Pathway

CIC curriculum includes many different ways to ensure that students’ education does not end in the classroom. As a rule, all students participate in the Study Abroad Program in the fall semester of their second year, and the Dual Language Pathway enables students to fulfill graduation requirements by taking courses conducted in English.

Message from the Dean

GARBAGE But we at CIC think there is much more to intercultural communication than that. To us, intercultural communication includes the entire process of thinking about how to deal with and live with people whose values, world views and ways of thinking differ from ours. It is thinking that all are thinking and cross-cultural communication. Skills in Japanese and other languages are vital for encountering different people and coming into contact with their diverse values and ways of thinking. However, CIC students do not seek merely to acquire language skills. Language as a tool to use for what? Is the power that think and act flexibly. In your four years at the College of Intercultural Communication, you will learn how to use your language skills as a tool to help you gather knowledge and experience. We have no doubt that you will change dramatically in the course of your studies. We invite you to fling open the doors of CIC to see what kind of person you can become!

Musashino University

Musashino B

Musashino University has a long history and tradition, established in 1924 by Junjiro TAKAKUSU, a Buddhist Scholar who is also an Order of Culture recipient. There are two campuses; Musashino Campus and Ariake Campus, both located in heart of Tokyo Prefecture.

Mission Statement

Musashino University promotes critical thinking and morals through education. Embracing the Buddhist spirit of life respect, we will play the role in constructing the society by continuous research of human and it’s relating phenomenon.


We provide opportunities to students to actively interact and appreciate various people with various backgrounds to understand its own standing in the world and exhibit its own potential to become contributing member of society.

Our University comprises of 9 undergraduate faculties, 12 undergraduate departments and 9 postgraduate research faculties. Some of the programs we offer are; Law, Economics, Human Science Pharmacy, Nursing, Environmental Science, and Education.

New Faculty Global Faculty Launched in 2016- also offered in English!

In April 2016, Musashino University will introduce three four-year undergraduate programs from the new Global Faculty; Bachelor of Global Communication, Bachelor of Japanese Communication and Bachelor of Global Business. These programs will prepare students to acquire skills and knowledge to perform in increasingly globalizing companies worldwide. The students of Bachelor of Global Communication and Bachelor of Global Business can choose the teaching medium either in English or Japanese. The students from Global Faculty will also have opportunities to study abroad in 34 universities across 14 countries such as San Francisco State University (US), Victoria University (Canada) and Sunshine coast University (Australia). In the summer of 3rd year, students will work as internship in various overseas companies such as Airlines, Advertisement and Environment Protection Organization.

Kyoto University of Foreign Studies


Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, also known as KUFS, is a foreign language university in Kyoto, Japan. Kyoto Junior College of Foreign Languages is attached to this university. KUFS specializes in 8 languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, and Global Affairs. Originally established in Kyoto in 1947, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies is a comprehensive educational institution comprised of the university, a junior college, a career college, and a high school.

The university puts great effort into educational research, not only in linguistics, but also in a broad range of background issues such as culture and customs. KUFS also implements many international exchange programs and continues to raise levels of erudition in an effort to become a bridge across the global seas.

Japanese Studies Center for International Students

This is a one-year course in Japanese Studies for foreign students who wish to proceed to a degree program at a university in Japan or to improve Japanese language skills for future educational and career opportunities. More than 80 overseas students, including exchange students from partner universities abroad, study in this course to master language skills and gain knowledge about Japan and its people.

Those 18 years old or older with foreign nationality, who have completed or expect to complete 12 or more years of formal education in their country, and, who are qualified to enter university in the said country are eligible.

Features of this program

  • All required subjects (Basic Japanese) are given in small classes and divided into five different Japanese proficiency levels, from level 1 to level 5, and are aimed at integrated skills in all areas of Japanese.
  • The students who have completed this course can be recommended as a candidate for admission into the Department of Japanese Studies of the Faculty of Foreign Languages in the University.
  • A study trip, field trips attending Gion festival and other activities are also scheduled.
  • PBL (Project Based Learning) subjects.


  • Required subjects:
    Basic Japanese has five levels, from level 1 to level 5, which are based on the student’s proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing.
    While the Introductory level integrates all four skills in one class, other levels combine speaking and listening skills in one class, and reading and writing skills in the other.
  • Elective subjects:
    Electives have three or four classes based on the student’s proficiency. The subjects offered are:
    Composition, Kanji and Grammar:
    Each are divided into Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced levels, and are designated to supplement the required subjects (Basic Japanese).
  • Composition, Kanji and Grammar:
    Each are divided into Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced levels, and are designated to supplement the required subjects (Basic Japanese).
  • Special Japanese:
    Out of the four classes offered, each of them is aimed at strengthening the listening comprehension skills. The highest class is designed to study Japanese native culture and live with making use of movies, and simultaneously high level grammar also.
  • Japanese for Certified Tests:
    Provides students with sufficient knowledge to pass the Japanese Proficiency Test.
  • Tradition & Culture, History, Literature, Politics, Economy and Calligraphy:
    Designated to deepen understandings in each area, naturally current affairs of Japan.
  • Mathematics, English, Japan & The World:
    Assist the students with preparatory study for the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) entering undergraduate or graduate courses of Japanese universities.

Faculty of Foreign Studies

  • Department of British and American Studies
  • Department of Hispanic Studies
  • Department of French Studies
  • Department of German Studies
  • Department of Brazilian and Portuguese Studies
  • Department of Chinese Studies
  • Department of Japanese Studies
  • Department of Italian Studies
  • Department of Global Affairs

Graduate School of Foreign Studies

At the Graduate School of Foreign Studies, their goal is to foster the growth of professionals who not only excel in research, but who have strong interpersonal skills in addition to the high level of expertise needed to engage in a wide variety of fields. Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, with its diversity of foreign language education, serves as its foundation, the Graduate School is home to a wealth of researchers in foreign language fields. Their fields of expertise cover languages from all around the world, resulting in a system in which one could easily engage in topics of research spanning multiple languages. One of the defining features of the Graduate School is an interdisciplinary approach to education and research that explores different languages and cultures within the context of their relationship to each other, beyond simple differences of nationality and ethnicity.

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

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Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) is a truly multicultural and multilingual environment with nearly half of the student population made up of international students from around the world and an equally diverse faculty. Furthermore, the unique Japanese/English bilingual education system allows students to develop high levels of language proficiency while also removing the language barrier and making it possible for outstanding young people around the world to study and earn a degree in Japan. APU has welcomed international students from 131 different countries and regions since its inception.

APU’s philosophy is to create a university campus that produces graduates with the skills they need to contribute to international society based on the fundamental Principals of Freedom, Peace and Humanism, International Mutual Understanding, and the Future Shape of the Asia Pacific Region. With almost half of the faculty and student body comprised of foreign nationals from all over the world, the University has achieved a truly international campus environment of cultural coexistence. This international learning environment reflects the commitment the students and staff have to deepening mutual understanding and overcoming differences in race, religion and culture.

In order to attract the best scholars from Japan and around the world, APU admits students twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Students can choose to pursue their studies in either Japanese or English, and all official documents, student notices and guidance sessions are provided in both languages.

APU has developed a bilingual education system in which 80% of undergraduate classes are held in both Japanese and English. Students learn not only about these languages, but also use them as a learning medium and therefore acquire a high level of language skills and specialist knowledge which can be applied to the world of international business and academia.

In Japan, students usually have to be enrolled in university for at least 4 years in order to graduate from an undergraduate degree program. However, with the Accelerated Graduation Program at APU, students are given the option to graduate in 3 to 3.5 years.


College of Asia Pacific Studies (APS)

  • Students at the College of Asia Pacific Studies are given a solid grounding in the areas of international relations theory, international social sciences and regional studies before proceeding to specialize in one of the four following areas: environment and development; hospitality and tourism; international relations and peace studies; and culture, society and media.

College of International Management (APM)

  • Students at the College of International Management are given a solid grounding in international business through a range of foundation papers before proceeding to specialize in one of the four following areas: accounting and finance; marketing; strategic management and organization; and innovation and economics.

Language Education

  • Japanese Language Education – Prior to arriving at APU, new enrolees are sent specially designed learning packages through the pre-enrolment education program, to give them a head-start in their language studies. After arrival, but before regular classes begin, students undergo a 1-week long intensive hiragana and katakana training session, which teaches the two basic writing systems of the Japanese language. With these preparations, students are able to start their classes with a basic understanding of the Japanese writing system.

    The standard Japanese language curriculum is made up of six levels, from Japanese Foundation Course I through to Advanced Japanese Course. Interested students may also choose to take more specialized Japanese subjects such as Career Japanese, Japanese Language and Culture, and Japanese Project classes.

  • English Language Education – Newly enrolled Japanese language basis students complete an English proficiency placement test that determines the starting point for their English language studies.

    By learning from English textbooks, writing academic reports and making presentations, students prepare themselves to take liberal arts and major education subjects offered in English.

    The TOEFL-ITP and TOEIC-IP tests are offered on-campus providing students the opportunity to objectively measure their level of English language proficiency. Students can also choose to further develop their language skills by participating in short-term language immersion programs held over the summer or winter breaks, or semester and year-long study abroad programs.

  • Asia Pacific Language Education – Six languages of the Asia Pacific region (AP languages) are currently offered at APU, namely, Chinese, Korean, Malay/Indonesian, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese. Not only are these six languages used widely around the world, they are also spoken by a large number of native speakers right here on campus offering learners the opportunity to hear and learn their target language on a daily basis.

    In addition to studying under the instruction of our highly experienced teaching staff, language learners can also continue their studies outside the classroom with the many native speakers of their target language studying right here on the APU campus. APU students also have a proven track record of producing outstanding results in off-campus language speech contests, a testament to their daily hard work. Held on campus, Multicultural Weeks offer our students the opportunity to learn more about the language, history, culture and traditional performing arts of the region where their target language is spoken.

Freshmen Education Programs

APU offers a range of First Year Student Workshops for freshmen to develop the knowledge, study methods, and skills they need to enjoy a successful learning experience at APU.

  • First Year Student Workshop I – This workshop is designed to boost students’ motivation and problem awareness skills. In addition, the workshop also aims to nurture the study skills students need in order to get the most out of the APU learning style that values the development, experience and sharing of knowledge and focuses on problem solving and policy development. The workshop also offers students the opportunity to master, during their first year, the academic skills they need including how to review and quote the literature and write up a report
  • First Year Student Workshop II – Utilizing the multicultural environment we have on campus, Workshop II aims to provide opportunities for domestic and international students to interact and develop cross-cultural understanding skills through exchange and communication with fellow students of differing values systems and cultural backgrounds.

Learning Support

  • SALC (Self-Access Learning Centre) – SALC offers a range of language support options for students studying English or Japanese. English-basis “Pair Advisors” (PA) are available to provide language learning support to students looking to raise their English speaking and writing skills. Japanese speaking PA are also available for language learning support and Japanese conversation practice.

    A wide range of reading materials including books and proficiency exam handbooks are available in English and Japanese to meet the needs of learners, from beginner to advanced levels. In addition to English and Japanese, a range of books and learning materials are also available in any of the six Asia-Pacific (AP) languages currently available at APU: Chinese, Korean, Malay/Indonesian, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese

    A range of TOEFL grammar study groups are arranged for students at different proficiency levels in addition to exchange and language learning activities to help international and domestic students interact and improve each other’s language skills. A “language-partner” system is also available for students looking to teach their native language and learn another.

Canadian Academy


Canadian Academy (CA) is a private international school approved by the Japanese Ministry of Education, accredited by the US-based Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS), and certified to award both the US high school and International Baccalaureate diplomas.

CA offers an advanced college preparatory education based on International Baccalaureate programmes taught in English. In high school, students can take either the full Diploma Programme, or certificates in individual Diploma courses. CA is authorized for both the Middle Years Programme (MYP), taught from grades 6 to 10, and the Primary Years Programme (PYP), taught from age three to grade 5. CA and the IB provide the transferable education that international students require.

The student body is made up of as many as 40 different nationalities with about 18% North American, 8% European, 56% Asian (including 25% Japanese) and 18% representing the rest of the world. Approximately 15 high school students live on campus in the dormitory. The current enrolment is approximately 580.

Canadian Academy’s nine-acre campus is a purpose-built facility, opened in 1990 on Rokko Island in Kobe. CA’s facilities include not only fully equipped classrooms, science laboratories, multi-purpose rooms, a fitness centre, and specialty teaching areas designed with modern educational needs of the students in mind, but also two gymnasiums, and two theatres. CA is the centre of students’ daily lives. The school itself is ideally located in the residential area of Rokko Island, a modern urban centre, which also boasts a hospital, parks, shops, restaurants and other schools.

The Early Learning and Activities Centre (ELAC), opened in January 2008 enabling CA to more fully meet the growing academic and extracurricular needs of its international and multi-aged student body. ELAC contains specially designed classrooms on the first floor for the two- through five-year-old programs, as well as the P&G Black Box theatre and a second gymnasium on the second floor. These facilities provide flexibility for the scheduling of a multitude of athletic and artistic events.

Gloucester House, one of only a few international dormitories in Asia, consists of two separate living units (houses) and a recreation centre. It provides a living option for students from outside the Kobe area. Each unit contains a kitchen, lounge, six student bedrooms, and three bathrooms. Besides modern accommodations for the students, each 12-student unit includes a dorm parent apartment so that a family relationship can grow among students and their resident advisors, who are also teachers at CA. Although self-reliance is expected, students share in communal tasks and follow rules that are designed to promote respect for each person’s welfare and property.

The Herbert Norman Library and Media Centre circles the school’s central atrium. This facility brings together the most modern sources of information including videos, CD-ROM and web-based magazines, encyclopaedias, and a wealth of reading material for all ages. The library contains nearly 42,000 volumes.

Technology is represented by a school-wide network of iPads & computers located in Technology Centres, mobile mini-labs, the library, and in every classroom. Canadian Academy also operates a one to one laptop program for all students from Grades 3 to 12. Specialist staff assist teachers to integrate computers into the curriculum.

Their athletic facilities include two full-size gymnasiums, a fitness centre with an aerobic zone, soccer fields (one artificially turfed), two tennis courts, and elementary school playgrounds.

Canadian Academy boasts two beautiful theatres, the main building Theatre and the P&G Black Box theatre in ELAC. The P&G Black Box theatre can be configured in any number of ways to accommodate smaller productions as well as unique types of events. Both theatres are equipped with professional-level sound and lighting control booths. The main theatre seats almost 400 people and can serve as an exam site for 100 students. It is used for student performances in music (band, choir and orchestra) and theatre. It is also used for student assemblies and for our High School graduation ceremonies. Visiting professional groups use either of these venues for community performances.

Their modern cafeteria, with seating for 300 students, serves lunch to the school community. Breakfast and dinner are also available in the cafeteria for residents of the Gloucester House dormitory.

IB Program Information

The International Baccalaureate Organization’s Diploma Programme is a demanding pre-university course that leads to external examinations and is designed for highly motivated high school students aged 16 to 19. The program has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving IB Diploma holders access to the world’s leading universities.

Students study six subjects selected from the subject groups. Normally three subjects are studied at higher level (HL) and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level (SL). All three parts of the core, extended essay, theory of knowledge and creativity/action/service (CAS), are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme.

Students who pursue the Diploma take six subjects; one each from Groups 1 to 5 (below) with an additional subject from 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6.

  • Group 1: Language A1
    Generally the student’s strongest language, usually English at CA.
  • Group 2: Second Language
    An additional language, taken either at A1 (HL or SL), A2 (HL or SL), B (SL or HL) or ab initio (SL only).
  • Group 3: Individuals and Societies
    Humanities and social sciences: such as economics, Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS), geography and history.
  • Group 4: Experimental Sciences
    Subjects such as physics, chemistry, biology.
  • Group 5: Mathematics
    The subjects are, in order of increasing difficulty, Mathematical Studies SL, Mathematics SL, and Mathematics HL.
  • Group 6: Arts and Electives
    Subjects such as visual arts, music, theatre arts. A subject from this group can be replaced with another subject from Group 2, 3, or 4.

The Middle Years Programme (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is a course of study designed to meet the educational requirements of students aged between 11 and 16 years. The curriculum may be taught as an entity in itself, but it is flexible enough to allow the demands of national, regional or local legislation to be met.

The eight subject groups provide a broad, traditional foundation of knowledge, while the pedagogical devices used to transmit this knowledge aim to increase the students’ awareness of the relationships between the subjects. Students are encouraged to question and evaluate information critically, to seek out and explore the links between subjects, and to develop an awareness of their own place in the world.

The MYP aims to encourage students to develop:

  • the disposition and capacity to be lifelong learners
  • the capacity to adapt to a rapidly changing reality
  • problem-solving skills, practical skills and intellectual rigour
  • the capacity and self-confidence to act individually and collaboratively
  • an awareness of global issues and the willingness to act responsibly
  • the ability to engage in effective communication across frontiers

respect for others and an appreciation of similarities and differences

The eight subject groups are:

  • Language A
  • Technology
  • Arts
  • Physical Education
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences
  • Language B

The International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme (PYP) is an inquiry-based, student-centred educational framework which focuses on the development of the whole child. The PYP is inclusive of all students from BBP-Grade 5 and aims to develop internationally-minded students. The curriculum is composed of a balance five essential elements:


  • Significant, relevant content that we wish the students to explore and know about, taking into consideration their prior experience and understanding.


  • Powerful ideas that have relevance within the subject areas but also transcend them and that students must explore and re-explore in order to develop a coherent, in-depth understanding. These concepts are form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective, responsibility, reflection.


  • Those capabilities that the students need to demonstrate to succeed in a changing, challenging world, which may be disciplinary or transdisciplinary in nature. These include thinking, communication, social, research and self-management skills.


  • Dispositions that are expressions of fundamental values, beliefs and feelings about learning, the environment and people. The twelves PYP Attitudes are: appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect and tolerance.


  • Demonstrations of deeper learning in responsible behaviour through responsible action; a manifestation in practice of the other essential elements.

Core-subject classroom teachers teach the traditional subjects such as Math, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies which are integrated into the Programme of Inquiry. Single-subject teachers, Art, Music, PE, Japanese, Library, and Technology collaborate with the core-subject classroom teachers to make meaningful curricular connections.

Language Learning

Canadian Academy strongly promotes international mindedness on the part of everyone. The school encourages access to different cultures, perspectives and languages. The acquisition of more than one language enriches personal growth and helps facilitate international understanding for both the student and his/her peer.

An important part of language learning is the continued use of the student’s mother tongue. Research indicates that a student who has a strong foundation in their mother tongue is a much more confident learner of additional languages. By continuing to have opportunities to engage in a mother tongue, learners are able to build on the language skills they have already established and it facilitates the learning of additional languages.

Furthermore, it enables students to remain in touch with their culture and makes it possible for students to re-adjust to their home community and/or education system, should they return.