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Japan: Kyoto

Kyoto Quick Facts

Language of Instruction
Japanese and English

Fields of Study
Japanese language, humanities, and 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

Associated Kyoto Program

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, 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 local 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.


  • Completion of elementary Japanese (Japanese 1b), or the equivalent.
  • Completion of one course on Japan, preferably in pre-modern Japanese history.
  • 9.0 GPA in Japanese courses and a 9.0 GPA overall are required.

Pomona recommends History 60 for the history requirement. Students are also encouraged to take one of the following: Art History 151 (Scripps); History 167 or 168; Japanese Literature in Translation (JPNT) 170, or any other JPNT course; or Religious Studies 104.

Notes on Application Process: The Associated Kyoto Program has an early application deadline for the fall and academic year; AKP application is due in late January. Applications for the spring semester are due in September. The application process also includes a one-hour interview with a visiting AKP representative. Students must submit a copy of a valid passport at the time of application.

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