Kansai Gaidai University is located in Hirakata city, Osaka prefecture. Osaka is the second largest metropolis in Japan, with Tokyo being the largest. From Hirakata city, there is easy access to Osaka city and Kyoto (Japan’s ancient capital) within half an hour by train. Nara, a traditional city of temples and shrines like Kyoto, is also located relatively close. Frequent and reliable transportation by train, bus and taxi allow residents and visitors to travel freely to various cities and attractions.
For more information about Kansai Gaidai and their Asian Studies Program visit:
The University is situated in Hirakata City on the Yodo River midway between Kyoto and Nara, Japan's ancient capitals, and Osaka, Japan's second largest modern industrial metropolis next to Tokyo. Located in the cultural heart of Japan, the campus provides an excellent starting point from which to begin exploring of a land that, by anyone's standards, is truly fascinating. Many of the cities in the Kansai region are extensively utilized in the Asian Studies Program through field trips, independent research, and/or case studies.
Hirakata boasts a number of historical monuments including ancient tombs, Buddhist temples, and Shinto shrines that attest to its long history. For instance, next to the Kansai Gaidai campus is a 5th century tomb, and within a fifteen minute walk lies a 17th century Shinto shrine. Still, many people who visit Hirakata today come to enjoy its amusement park, Hirakata Koen, which is famous for a huge chrysanthemum festival in the fall.
Students may only apply for one semester at Kansai Gaidai due to the limited space available. While you are at Kansai Gaidai in your first semester, you may be able to apply for a second semester, but space is not guaranteed. If you are interested in spending two semesters in Japan talk with your Program Coordinator.
End of August - Mid-December
End of January - End of May
Kansai is a smoke-free campus. Smoking is prohibited not only on the campuses themselves, but also in all university-owned facilities, including student dormitories, gymnasiums, athletic fields, etc. Students may choose to live in a dormitory among other Japanese and international students or to participate in the homestay program with a family in the surrounding community.
On the weekend after the orientation, those students who will be participating in the homestay
program will meet with their “Japanese family” and an office staff member to discuss household rules, dietary habits and expectations. The meals included for homestay are breakfast and dinner as well as all weekend meals. For lunch on weekdays, a lunch allowance will be provided for students to eat at the on-campus cafeteria. If a student is uncomfortable in a particular host family, both the CIE and Global Education should be contacted as soon as possible. Although a host family is a personal relationship, you DO have the right to request a new family if you feel unwelcome or unsafe. It can be difficult to realize if you are just experiencing culture shock or are not in a welcoming environment and our office and CIE can help you if you find yourself in this situation. Perfect matches cannot be guaranteed, but most students are fully satisfied with their host families and do not experience major difficulties.
The homestay is a popular option and often times more students select a homestay than there are host families available. Students initially selecting a homestay should be aware that there is a possibility they will still be placed in the dormitory if they cannot be matched with a family.
For those students electing to live in a dormitory
, a larger meal allowance will be provided to cover three meals per day. Students may also choose to prepare meals in the dorm kitchen, eat at on-campus cafeterias, or explore the nearby restaurants. Full kitchen facilities are available in the dormitories including dishes and flatware. The newly built dormitories on the Gotenyama Campus provide a single room. The dorm will be shared with either another international and native Japanese students. Multiple washers and dryers are also available as well as a shared kitchen. A native Japanese Resident Assistant helps students with any questions or adjustments. During winter break, if students wish to stay in the dorms, an additional fee will be charged.
A student who wishes for the independence and diversity of the dorm but also wants to experience life with a Japanese family can opt to participate in the Home Visit Program
. This program allows students to become acquainted with aspects of Japanese culture and daily life through interaction with a Japanese family on the weekends.
"Kansai Gaidai provides all of the bedding items you need if you are staying in the dorms including a pillow, comforter, sheets, and a pillowcase. An extra blanket is not needed if living in the dorms – the bedding is plenty warm enough and the heat can be controlled from each room. If you are staying with a host family, an extra blanket is a good idea because many Japanese families turn off the heat at night during the winter."
When you arrive at Kansai Gaidai, you will get help from the international office to set up a bank account to deposit money. Part of the reason you get an account is because you will receive a meal stipend. The meal stipend will be automatically deposited into this new account and through this account you will have access to this money. The money is deposited as one lump sum each semester. Therefore, if you will be abroad just one semester, all your money will be deposited at once. If you will be at Kansai Gaidai for a year, you will receive a deposit each semester.
Please note: There will be approximately a 6-week delay from the time you arrive at Kansai Gaidai until the stipend is deposited into your account. Plan to have enough money on hand to sustain yourself until your stipend is deposited.
"The stipend (meal plan) at Kansai Gaidai is a little different than Millersville. They really don’t have any real meal plan at Kansai, so what they do is they give you a large lump sum of money and that’s your food money for the semester. You’re free to spend it as you like. I know that many of the students have used it to take trips to Okinawa, Hiroshima, Tokyo, etc. and others have used it to buy games. I would just eat at cheap places and pocket the difference, but others would spend it all to buy all kinds of things to cook. I guess it just depends if whether you like to cook or not. Even some students would pull their money together and eat together that way they didn’t have to spend so much on food. Also, if in the dorm, you won’t see that money for at least a month after you arrive. During orientation week, the school will set you up with a short class that will teach you how to fill out a checking account application (it’s surprisingly hard to do). The whole thing is in kanji so they’ll translate it for you. Plus, the application has to be filled out perfectly. I mean PERFECTLY! So until they get those submitted to the bank (the school will do that for you) and you get setup, about a month will have passed. So please have some extra money ready for food and stuff until you’re reimbursed. It is a good idea to bring your debit card. The school has an international ATM that you can access your money in America from anytime during school hours. Bring that!"
Students register for courses during orientation. Registration is a lottery process. If you draw a higher number, you will register later. If you do register later, some of your first choice classes may already be full and you will need to select from your alternates. This is why it is so important that you have ample alternate courses selected and approved in advance.
Courses are comprised of two parts: Japanese language courses and Asian area studies courses. For language courses, students are divided into levels of instruction according to the results of placement tests conducted during orientation at Kansai Gaidai. Asian area studies courses are offered in various fields ranging from business and economics to religion, history, culture, and politics. These courses are all taught in English by professors with extensive academic backgrounds in Japan and Asia and considerable experience teaching international students.
Check here for course offerings.
Note: no prior Japanese language ability or experience is required. However, all students are required to take an introductory 5-credit Japanese language class. There is also an option to take a 3-credit Kanji and Reading class.
||# of classes per week
|Japanese (Levels 1-8)
|Kanji and Reading (Levels 1-8)
*The mandatory Japanese course includes the study of four skills (i.e., speaking, listening, reading and writing).
CREDITS & GRADE CONVERSION
Grades and credits convert easily from Kansai Gaidai to Millersville University. Kansai Gaidai uses the same A to F grading system and 0.0 to 4.0 GPA scale as does MU.
"When I was registering for my classes, I was not able to get into one of the classes that I truly wanted. I made sure to put my name on the waiting list and then I found out who the professor was for that specific class. During the orientation process, they give you time to meet with the professors and speak to them, so I visited the professor of the class that I wanted. I spoke with him directly and he was able to assure me that he would be able to fit me into his class. The professors are very nice and welcoming, so take advantage of that!"
"Kansai itself is a very interesting place in regards to figuring out how the culture and approach of individuals are pushed forward. I learned from every single experience I've gone through in the Kansai area, especially comparing it to Tokyo." - Francisco