Kansai Gaidai University (関西外国語大学, Kansai Gaikokugo Daigaku), almost always abbreviated Kansai Gaidai (関西外大), is located in Hirakata, Osaka, Japan. It is a private university focusing on foreign language studies. Kansai is the proper name of the large region where it is located, which includes the cities of Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. Gaidai is a contraction of Gaikokugo Daigaku, which literally means “foreign language university”. Gaidai is part of Kansai Science City, which is undergoing construction around the campus.
Kansai Gaidai is known for its large Asian Studies program for international exchange students as well as for its Intensive English Studies program for Japanese students planning to study abroad. There are currently two academic campuses: the Nakamiya Campus (中宮キャンパス) and the Hotani Campus (穂谷キャンパス). The original Katahoko campus (片鉾キャンパス) consisted of four dormitories and a gymnasium. Currently, there are about 15,000 students enrolled including two year and four year students from across all regions of Japan. Students from dozens of countries are also present for the majority of the year.
Tanimoto English School, the forerunner of Kansai Gaidai University, was established in 1945. The original Katahoko campus was founded in 1966 as a University of Foreign Studies. Today, the Katahoko campus has been converted into a public park and a municipal library. In 1972, the Asian Studies Program was formally established. The Hotani Campus was established in 1984 and currently houses the Department of International Communication and a Confucius Institute. The Nakamiya campus opened in April 2002, and now operates as the main campus of the university. In 2018, the Gakkentoshi campus moved to nearby Gotenyama, within walking distance of the main Nakamiya campus. Gotenyama Campus – Global Town officially opened on April 1, 2018 and had a dedication ceremony on June 9, 2018. New seminar houses are being planned as well to host both international and Japanese students alike. The university is also known for the collaborative effort in the formulation of the Genki Series, books used by dozens of schools to teach Japanese. Several Kansai Gaidai teachers contributed to its teaching methodology and publication.
Asian Studies Program
The Asian Studies Program is located in the Center for International Education at the Nakamiya Campus. Students from all over the world and with various majors participate in this program which is one of the largest in the area. An integral part of the program is the Speaking Partners Program which pairs incoming foreign exchange students with a local Kansai Gaidai student who helps with the adjustment of living in Japan. KGU itself sends about 1,500 students abroad every year to study abroad all over the globe.
Another part of the exchange program is the home stay program which places a limited number of students with local families to provide an immersive Japanese cultural and societal experience. For those students who were unable to get a spot in the home stay program, the school offers a home visit program which pairs a foreign exchange student with a family so that the student may visit them and participate in families activities usually weekly or as determined by the student and the family.
Accommodation for foreign exchange students are located in the Seminar Houses. Numbered 1 through 4, each house is located around the Katahoko Library and a 20-minute walk from the Nakamiya Campus. Seminar Houses 1, 2 and 4 are dormitory style with usually two students to a room with entire dormitory shared facilities. While Seminar House 3 is an apartment style dormitory with students sharing common living quarters and kitchens while sleeping in 4 separate rooms. Seminar House 4 is the newest and largest of the Seminar Houses and is the only one that is wheelchair accessible at this time. Seminar House 4 houses the most students and is the closest to the Nakamiya campus.
There is a strict zero tolerance policy against alcohol consumption in Seminar Houses, although during fall 2008 semester, Seminar House 4 was the location of a pilot project for reasonable and controlled consumption of alcohol within the Seminar House. Results of the pilot project have not been announced nor published although this project did not continue to the spring 2009 semester. As of 2010, alcohol is banned in all seminar houses after an incident.
Every year during the fall semester, Kansai Gaidai University authorizes local and international Gaidai students to organize a grandiose 2-day Gaidai Festival, held throughout the Nakamiya campus. The festival is usually held the week after the Halloween bash and is the largest event of the academic year. Various foods are prepared and student-led university clubs hold exhibitions.
For the first time in 2015, Kansai Gaidai held a six-week intensive summer program for 20 students, focusing on Japanese language and Japanese history with several cultural activities.
The program takes place at Kansai Gaidai’s Nakamiya campus and lasts from June to July. Each week the students receive 15 hours of Japanese lessons and three hours of Japanese history lessons. The current schedule also includes several cultural activities where students can get on-hand experience of what they have learned about in class.
This course is aimed at those who have no previous experience in Japanese. Students can also travel around the country during and after the program.
In 2020, due to COVID-19, the program was suspended altogether. Additionally in 2021, the program switched to an online format.
TedxGaidai was founded in April 2012. It is an international community which comes together in Kansai Gaidai’s ICC building once a month to discuss TED videos and how the ideas relate to all of us. Following the discussion time, facilitators will mix students with different members to recap what they have talked about. Finally, the seminar ends with any comments about what was discussed at any time during the evening. A short survey is administered at the end to hear student feedback.
Some staff at Kansai Gaidai University are represented by the General Union, a member of the National Union of General Workers (NUGW), which is itself a member of the National Trade Union Council (Zenrokyo).
- Jero (Class of 2002) – Enka and Hip-hop Singer
- Masaaki Satake- Seidokaikan Karate and K-1 fighter
- Takayuki Yasuda – basketball head coach
Established in 1972, the Asian Studies Program today annually welcomes over600 competitively selected students who represent about 40 countries and regions.The raison d’être 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.A variety of course offerings relevant to Japan and Asia, taught by experienced faculty members, will provide new perspectives for participants and inspire their intellectual and personal growth. One of the special advantages of studying in our program is the fact that all courses, except for Japanese language courses, are conducted in English.Efficient language training with the latest innovations in linguistic instruction, fully equipped language laboratories, friendship programs with Japanese students, as well as the heart-warming home stay program, will all contribute to the rapid development of participants’ language proficiency and pragmatic understanding of the Japanese culture.Typically, our student body is equally balanced between males and females. About 90% of the total exchange program participants are from our affiliated institutions worldwide, and the remaining 10% enroll independently.
Kansai Gaidai University was originally established in 1945 as a small, private language school. Today, the school prospers as a private, nonprofit institution with 13,000 students. Kansai Gaidai provides excellent educational programs to its students with a special focus on international education. The university annually welcomes more than 500 international students to the Asian Studies Program.
- Nakamiya CampusHirakata, Japan5,000 – 20,000 on Campus250,000+ residents in HirakataLanguage(s) spoken on campus: JapaneseThe Experience Japan Program allows international and Japanese students to strengthen their friendships. All activities are designed by Kansai Gaidai students and publicized on campus with handmade posters. Examples of activities include:
- Day trips to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, aquarium, Universal Studios Japan
- Cooking Japanese food (sushi, sukiyaki, okonomiyaki)
- Sports events
- Learning calligraphy
- Dancing Bonodori (Japanese traditional dance)
- Making and flying kites
- Wearing a kimono
- Visiting Toei Samurai movie sets
- Speaking partner programThere are also a number of clubs and circles at Kansai Gaidai where students warmly welcome the participation of international students. Students may join the soccer, basketball or cheerleading club. There is also a wide range of Japanese martial arts clubs such as Judo, Kendo, Karate or Shorinji-Kempo. Students who wish to deepen their understanding of Japanese culture may enjoy the tea ceremony club, flower arrangement club or Koto club.
Kansai Gaidai was established in 1945 to develop in its students a sense of internationalism. Today, this school of 14,000 students is an active participant in an exchange program that sends approximately 1300 Japanese students abroad annually, while accepting approximately 600 international students. Exchange students enroll at Kansai Gaidai through the Asian Studies Program designed to accommodate international students who pursue Japanese language and Japan/Asian studies. The varied needs of international students are met within the framework of this program, the largest of its type in Japan. It offers a broad curriculum of Japanese language study along with courses in social sciences, humanities, business/economics taught in English, in addition to studio art courses
The Center for International Education at the University sponsors an orientation program prior to each semester. New students stay in on-campus dormitories until the end of the orientation program. Permanent student housing can be arranged as a home-stay, in an on-campus dormitory, or in off-campus housing.
Student life revolves around a variety of settings including classrooms, clubs, library cafeterias, and lounges. International students are welcome to participate in campus clubs and circles. Student interests range from athletics such as soccer, basketball, and martial arts clubs to Japanese culture in the Tea Ceremony, Calligraphy, Flower Arranging, and Koto (Japanese harp) clubs.
Located in Hirakata City, Osaka, Kansai Gaidai is accessible, within a one-hour train ride, to Kyoto and Nara, the ancient capitals, and Osaka, the second largest business hub in Japan. Kansai Gaidai has two campuses in Hirakata: the Nakamiya campus and the Hotani campus. The Center for International Education, the centerpiece for the Asian Studies Program is located at the Nakamiya campus.
Hiram students who would like to apply as an exchange student to Kansai Gaidai may apply through the Study Away Office by completing the exchange application and making an appointment with the director of study abroad.
Kansai Gaidai students who would like to apply as an exchange student to Hiram College must contact Nicole Gatrell (firstname.lastname@example.org), listing your name as it appears on your passport, date of birth, and country of residence, when you would like to attend, your current class status (freshman, sophomore, junior), and area of interest.
Tuition and Fees: Students participating in this exchange program pay tuition, room, and board to their home institutions.
Note: Current COVID regulations in Japan require a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival at extra cost to students (US$1,430 – 1,910)
About Kansai: 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. Kansai Gaidai has two campuses in Hirakata: the Nakamiya campus and the Gakkentoshi campus. The Center for International Education, the centerpiece for the Asian Studies Program is located at the Nakamiya campus. Currently affiliated with over 383 institutions in 54 countries/regions, Kansai Gaidai offers great many university sponsored study abroad programs through which over 1,830 Japanese students are sent abroad each year
Fall: August – December
Spring: January – May
Language of Instruction: English
Chances of placement on exchange: Excellent
Areas of study: Asian Studies Program: ASP provides international exchange students with a means of exploring Japan and Asian studies through classroom instruction and experiential learning in interaction with local people, society and culture.A wide variety of course offerings (more than 60) in the social sciences, humanities, and business/economics Japan-and Asia-related topics, taught entirely in English by experienced faculty members. Previous Japanese language training is not required.Rigorous Japanese language courses ranging from introductory through advanced levels.
Kansai Gaidai Internship Program (KGIP) is a unique offering for the participants of the Asian Studies Program. Through this program, selected students are able to intern at business firms, organizations and local schools to gain experience working in Japan.
Kansai Gaidai University has an enrollment of about 13,000. Exchange students enroll in the Asian Studies Program, which draws almost 600 students each year from more than 250 universities around the world.
Kansai Gaidai relocated to a new campus in 2002, so all the facilities are new and offer the highest level of comfort.
Located in the cultural heart of Japan, the campus provides an excellent starting point from which to explore a fascinating and historical region of Japan. Many of the cities in the Kansai region are used in the Asian Studies Program for field trips, independent research, and case studies.
Osaka has been a major center of commerce since the eighteenth century, and is still a vast, expanding hub of business and industry today. As a center of pop culture, Osaka never ceases to generate a variety of new trends and give birth to new dimensions of the urban experience in Japan.
Kyoto was founded in the late eighth century, and retains much of its ancient character. While prestigious museums house the most valuable collections of Japanese art in the country, Kyoto itself is a fine museum in its own right. Fortunately, the city was not damaged in World War II, and therefore many of its temples and shrines are now national treasures for everyone to appreciate.
Kansai Gaidai is located in the city of Hirakata (pop. 408,000), midway between Osaka, Japan’s second largest city, and Kyoto and Nara, the ancient capitals of Japan. An efficient public transportation system and the famous “bullet trains” make it easy to travel within the region and to other areas of Japan.
- The Asian Studies Program is designed as a one-year study abroad experience, but students may elect to enroll for just one semester.
- Students take Japanese courses in the morning and Social Sciences, Humanities, Business/Economics, and Studio Art courses in the afternoon. The program provides students with an opportunity to obtain firsthand knowledge of the culture and language of Japan.
- Efficient language instruction through the latest innovations, fully equipped laboratories.
- Homestays are encouraged, but on-campus residences are available.
- Advance registration for classes.
Fall Semester: Late August to mid-December
Spring Semester: Late January to late May
- Japanese Reading, Writing, & Speaking classes are required for all program participants. These classes are open to all language levels, although prior study of Japanese will prove very useful
- The majority of classes offered have an Asian Studies focus. Be willing to use these classes as electives or general education as few will satisfy specific degree requirements
- Courses are very experiential in nature and will give students a far greater appreciation for Japan and life in Asia
- Kansai Gaidai University Grading Scale
Language of Instruction
- Class Level: Upper-division status (completion of 60 units)
- GPA of 3.0 or above and good academic standing to departure
- Check course descriptions for any prerequisites.
- Special Note to Business Majors: In order to receive credit for upper-division courses abroad, you must have already completed your Pre-Core course work at CSUSM. Please see our Kansai Gaidai for Business Majors page.
15 semester units. Typically this equates to 4-5 classes/semester.
Students are offered a wide array of housing options, from homestay, to dorms, to apartments.
- Students pay their normal State University Fee to CSU San Marcos, currently $3,858/semester. No tuition or fees due at Kansai Gaidai University.
- Homestay (including two meals per day): $3,081* per semester. On-campus Dormitory (double): $2,169* per semester
- Health Insurance: $265/semester
- Cost of meals and personal expenses will vary, but average $800 per month.
- Sample 2020-21 Budget
*Prices found on Kansai Gaidai’s website have been converted from JPY (Japanese Yen) to USD (US Dollar) currency for reference.
For Fall/Year Semester Study: March 1
For Spring Semester Study: September 1
*Apply early. This program generally fills before the closing deadlines.
How to Apply
- Visit the Kansai Gaidai website at www.kansaigaidai.ac.jp/asp/ to learn about the University.
- For life in and around Japan, visit a good tourism site such as the Japan National Tourism Organization.
- Consult with the CSU San Marcos Study Abroad Advisor in ELB 588 to determine if you are eligible for this program.
- Consult with a faculty advisor in your major/minor department to determine which Kansai Gaidai courses will count toward your major/minor/GE. Complete a Study Abroad Credit Approval Form.
- Flexibility is required for course selection. Courses for the current semester are posted after the application deadline. Review courses that were offered the previous semester.
- Registration in Kansai Gaidai courses takes place after arrival. A registration lottery number is assigned during orientation.
- Order an official transcript from CSUSM and any other college from which you have taken a semester or more in classes (even if you have already transferred credit to CSUSM). Please pick your transcripts up in person and deliver them to ELB 588.
- Keep in mind that transcripts are now taking 7-10 business days to process. Plan accordingly.
- Please tell the Study Abroad Advisor of your intent to apply. You will be nominated online and then sent a User ID and password to the online application system, KGENESYS.
- Please be sure to follow the checklist and attain the proper number of letters of recommendation, passport pictures, and medical clearance. This is a time consuming and detailed application, so please double check for errors.
- Once accepted, you will confirm participation on KGENESYS, so writing down this login and password is recommended.
- Submit additional application details to Global Education here: CSUSM General Study Abroad Application
- Submit your flight details to Global Education here: Flight Information Form
- Attend the pre-departure orientation and consult with the Study Abroad Advisor as necessary regarding the Student Visa process after Kansai Gaidai acceptance.
Kansai Gaidai’s Asian Studies Program academics page has separate pages explaining their Japanese language courses, Asian and Japan studies courses, and studio art courses. Kansai Gaidai also has a syllabus page for more detailed information.
Students who participate in the Asian Studies Program during the SPRING SEMESTER (i.e., Spring, Full Year, and Calendar Year students) have access to unique internships in Japan. These are credit-bearing experiences based on the hours of the internship, reports, and feedback from the internship site. For most experiences, 30-60 hours = 1 KGU credit. Participants will attend a pre-training and orientation. Upon completion of the internship, they will make a report to reflect their experience.
Kansai Gaidai University or 関西外国語大学 – private higher education institution in Japan. Kansai Gaidai University began its activity in 1945. In Hirakata the main building of the university is located.
Application process and the cost of tuition. The admission process involves prior academic performance evaluation. It is worth mentioning that Kansai Gaidai University is characterized by a mild competition among the students, there are only 2 applicants per seat.
The composition of the university. Being a medium scale university, Kansai Gaidai University teaches more than 19 thousand students. Foreign citizens can submit their applications along with the local students. Both students and the academic staff can participate in the university’s international exchange program
|Experience the cultural wonders of Japan in Hirakata City. Located in the Kansai region, you will be near both Osaka, 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 firsthand in Hirakata City.|
Kansai Gaidai University specializes in foreign language study. You will study Japanese in the Asian Studies Program, where students from around the world come to learn Japanese language and culture. The international community on campus provides many cultural events where you will learn about Japan. Enjoy Kansai Gaidai University’s international mindset while learning about Japan.
|[insert photos in WordPress program page]|
|AcademicsAcademic ProgramKansai 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 SyllabusKansai 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 and course lists.
The course syllabi can be shared with your academic advisor(s) at your home campus to determine how each course will count toward your degree. If the syllabi for the term(s) in which you would like to study abroad are not yet available, please refer to the syllabi from the previous year.General Education Information for UAlbany StudentsCredits 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 StudentsCourses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.TranscriptAll 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. Faculty AccommodationsHousingThere are two housing options for this program: living in a dormitory or doing a homestay. 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 storage box, small refrigerator, and air-conditioner. Internet access and linen service is 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.
You are not allowed to live in an off-campus house/apartment/shared house during this program.MealsThere is no meal plan for this program. You may choose to purchase meals in the cafeteria, cook, or eat out at local restaurants.CostsESTIMATE OF COSTSReview this program’s Estimate of Costs. Note, there may be several tabs in the Estimate of Costs. Please be sure that you are reviewing the tab for your anticipated semester abroad. More InformationClick for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.
Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.EligibilityAcademic RequirementsJuniors, seniors, and exceptional sophomores in all majors with at least a 3.0 GPA are eligible to apply. If you have a lower GPA, you should consult with the UAlbany study abroad program coordinator.
Previous 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.ExcursionsExperiential LearningUniversity-arranged excursions are not included in this program, but you may also enjoy other tourist attractions and events off campus, on your own.Student Clubs and OrganizationsTaking part in extracurricular activities will be a good source of interaction with Japanese students. The clubs and circles at Kansai Gaidai University 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, and 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 the tea ceremony club, 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.ScholarshipsFunding OpportunitiesMost 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.TestimonialsIn 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
ContactSpeak with an Advisor[html]LocationAbout the CityKansai 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.Travel DocumentsA valid 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.DurationApplication AvailabilityApplications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:Spring/Winter/Spring Break programs: JulyFall/Year/Summer programs: DecemberProgram DatesAcademic Year 2020/202108/26/20 to 05/30/21Fall 202008/26/20 to 12/19/20Spring 202101/18/21 to 05/30/21OverviewAbout the ProgramKansai 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 annually welcomes over 600 competitively-selected students who represent about 40 countries and regions.Program OrientationsUpon 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.