Osaka Castle

Studying abroad in Japan

Since 2017, Hesston College students have had the chance to earn four transferrable study-abroad credits in Japan during May Term. Coursework includes preparatory study of Japanese language and culture during the last eight weeks of the spring semester, as well as a three-week mini-term during which we visit multiple locations across the southern half of mainland Japan.

Mt. Misen - Miyajima - Hiroshima
Mt. Misen – Miyajima – Hiroshima

Hiroshima: City of Peace

Students will stay in Hiroshima for nine days, studying language and culture in cooperation with Hiroshima Shudo University. Extracurricular experiences will include staying in a traditional guest house, visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, and exploring the island shrine of Miyajima.

Then it’s all aboard the high-speed train for a tour of culutral landmarks in six stunning cities, beginning on Kyushu, the southernmost island of mainland Japan.

Japanese Language Study

  • Master essential grammar, vocabulary and phrases in spoken Japanese
  • Learn to read all three Japanese phonetic syllabaries: hiragana, katakana and romaji
  • Start down the path of ultimate Japanese literacy by studying beginning Kanji
  • Practice speaking and listening with the many Japanese international students at Hesston College
  • Navigate public transportation, restaurants, and other simple, everyday situations independently in spoken Japanese
  • Forge lasting international relationships with host families in Karatsu and Osaka

Japanese Culture Study

  • Visit multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites spread across Japan
  • Become acquainted with the varied landscapes, long history and ultra-modern cities of Japan
  • Develop deeper understanding of East Asian cultures and history
  • Form new relationships with Japanese student partners from Hiroshima Shudo University
  • Earn four credits of transferrable study-abroad coursework
  • Gain a broader worldview through fulfilling study and personal experience

Itinerary, Syllabus

How to sign up

May Term in Japan appears in the 2018-19 Hesston College course catalog as IDS 121, with space for up to 15 participants.


Based on the current exchange rate between dollars and yen, the per-student cost will be $3,500. This includes airfare, transportation and lodging, program fees and most meals. An initial deposit of $1,500 is due in December 2018. Please send notice of interest and any questions to André Swartley: andre.swartley@hesston.edu

Hope to see you in Japan!