The Japanese Language and Cultural Immersion Program: Advanced (J-CIP:A) is an intensive course in Akita studies taught entirely in Japanese.
Akita is emblematic of Japan's rural areas. Dependent for a long time on agricultural as the core of its economy, Akita was one of the first prefectures to experience population decline, long before Japan as a country did. As such, it has been a case study for the effects of rural depopulation and rural rehabilitation efforts.
Students in this program study Akita's unique situation and cultural assets in the classroom, then interact directly with their subject matter through research visits and excursions. Students meet with the prefectural government, visit schools and cultural landmarks, and, as a culminating experience, take part in a two-night homestay while helping a local community set-up and execute its annual winter festival.
Japanese Language Ability
Japanese language ability demands on students are heavy, limiting this course to students with advanced (N2 to N1 level) Japanese. The program offers additional language instruction, such as courses and practice in the most polite keigo forms of speech to prepare students for their government meetings. Throughout the course, students have the opportunity to develop their abilities in all four language skills - and learn to speak the local Akita dialect, as well!
Course & Credit Details
JPL 472 Japanese Language and Cultural Immersion Program is an intensive, advanced Japanese language course, worth six AIU credits. All participating students will receive a completion certificate as well as an official transcript sent to their home institution after the conclusion of that program.
What You Can Expect
Who better to describe the program than past participants? Check out the student interviews in the video above and this student voice article by a 2017 participant.
Program Schedule: 2018
Program Dates: Friday, January 5 - Friday, February 9.
Throughout the program you will have classes and activities an average of 6 days per week.
Download the detailed schedule in Japanese here.
This is a small, intensive program that will maximize your participation and interaction with your classmates, AIU students, and the local community.
Program participants live in Komachi Hall with AIU degree-seeking students as roommates.
The program includes three bus tours to Akita's culturally significant sites, all of which are directly related to the course content, to add a hands-on element to the curriculum.
Additionally, students will visit the prefectural government office in Akita City to discuss rural rehabilitation and challenges facing Akita and will also visit a rural elementary school to interact with local students and experience that community. But, of course, the highlight trip of the program is. . .
Shiraiwa Homestay and Illumination Festival
During the final weekend of the program, participants spend three days living with host families in the rural Shiraiwa Community while helping them to prepare and execute their annual winter illumination festival.
Living with Japanese families and experiencing rural family life, hiking up a mountain in the snow to plant hundreds of torches in the shape of a mythical kirin and joining the festival activities is the most memorable and exciting part of this program. It is truly an experience of authentic Japanese culture no other program or trip could offer.
AIU established J-CIP:A in cooperation with The Australian National University for the first and second iterations in 2016-2017. For 2018, the program has also opened to the University of New South Wales, also in Australia, and the National University of Singapore.
For More Information
Faculty and staff members will reach out to advanced Japanese language students at the participating institutions to call for applications. Please direct any questions through your local university to AIU!