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Japan: Kyoto

Kyoto Quick Facts

Language of Instruction
Japanese and English

Fields of Study
Japanese language, humanities, social sciences

Host Institution
Associated Kyoto Program (AKP) Center
Doshisha University


Program Dates
Fall semester: early September to mid-December
Spring semester: early January to late April

Faculty Liaison
Peter Flueckiger

Special Note

Applications from students interested in studying in the fall or spring semester of next academic year must submit their application by the same due date. See the Application Deadline page for more details.

Kyoto offers ample opportunities to experience both classical and contemporary Japanese civilization. Japan's capital from 794 to 1868, Kyoto's rich textures of ancient and modern embody Japanese culture and spirit. The Associated Kyoto Program (AKP) is co-sponsored by several major American colleges and universities: Amherst, Bates, Bucknell, Carleton, Colby, Connecticut, Middlebury, Mount Holyoke, Oberlin, Pomona, Smith, Wellesley, Wesleyan, Whitman, and Williams. The program accepts approximately 45 students from the member institutions each year and utilizes facilities at Doshisha University. 

Academic Program

The academic year is divided into two semesters of 12 weeks each. Each semester all students take intensive Japanese language, which is taught at a number of different levels by Japanese instructors (2.0 Pomona course credits). In addition, each semester students select two classes from at least five available electives (1.0 Pomona course credit each).

The elective courses are taught in English by visiting American faculty members from AKP member institutions and scholars who reside in Kyoto. Specific courses vary from year to year in accordance with the availability of staff, but the choices usually include art history, economics, literature, history, politics, and religion. Students may make individual arrangements to take non-credit classes in Japanese traditional arts and crafts at their own expense. Participants are also encouraged to join undergraduate activities at Doshisha University.

Living Arrangements

Students live and take their meals in homes.  Students are responsible for paying the program deposit to AKP directly and will be refunded directly, in yen, at the start of the program.  

Number of Students

Approximately 2–4. Pomona students are part of a national applicant pool. Total group approximately 45.


Required 9.0 GPA overall and in Japanese language courses, and junior year class standing. Minimum of one year of college-level Japanese at Pomona; some of the participants in the program have had two or more years of Japanese. At least one course on Japan, preferably in pre-modern Japanese history. Pomona recommends the following courses for the history requirement: History 60, plus one of the following: Art History 151 (Scripps); History 167 or 168; ALL 170, 171, or 174; Politics 161; or Religious Studies 103.

Students must submit a copy of a valid passport at the time of application.

Pomona applicants are part of a competitive national pool. Applicants should possess the flexibility to adapt to a different culture, the social and emotional maturity necessary for living with a host family, as well as the intellectual sophistication and seriousness to benefit fully from the program.

Application Procedures

The Associated Kyoto Program (AKP) has an early application deadline (Friday, December 20, 2013 for the fall 2014 academic year program). The OSA requires students to complete AKP's paper application and submit it to our office in mid-December. The OSA will retain a copy for our records and, during the mid-semester break, we will send the originals to AKP by their due date in mid-January. Students should NOT complete AKP's on-line application.

The application process also includes a one-hour interview with a visiting AKP representative. The OSA will use the hard-copy AKP application we retained to assist with the interview.

Please refer to the Application Deadline page of the OSA's website to learn our internal application due date. Though the hard-copy AKP application is due in the OSA in mid-December, the Pomona Application due date is the same as all other approved fall programs (mid-February).

Internet Link

Study Abroad