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Program Description:

Illinois Year-In-Japan Program

Click video below to introduce you to the Year in Japan Program!

KIEC video logo

Program Overview

The Year-in-Japan Program offers advanced undergraduates the opportunity to spend a Fall or Spring semester or an academic year developing Japanese language skills and expanding their knowledge of Japan through a variety of courses. Classroom learning is enhanced through living with host families, field trips  (two to three days in various historical sites).

The program has an on-site Resident Director who teaches one course each semester as well as overseeing academic, student, and administrative matters for the consortium. The Resident Director is a faculty member from one of the American consortium universities.

The program was established in 1976 on the campus of Konan University and has served over 600 students from a number of different American universities. The program is administered by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for a consortium of American universities that includes the University of Arizona, the University of Hawaii-Manoa, and the University of Pittsburgh.

The program is housed in the Konan International Exchange Center  [Konan University] (KIEC) of Konan University, a small liberal arts university of 10,000 students in a suburban district of Kobe. Kobe is located in the Kansai area, the middle part of Japan which includes Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka. It is the sixth largest city in Japan with a population of l.5 million and is an international port city.

The campus of Konan University is 20 minutes from downtown Kobe, 40 minutes from downtown Osaka, and less than an hour and a half from Kyoto. Combining the new and the old, this area of Japan provides a stimulating backdrop for the study of Japan.

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Application Process


Minimum Eligibility for ALL Terms: Cumulative GPA: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale with the possibilitiy of exception depending on circumstances

Dates and Deadlines

Spring Semester Program:
Deadline for Step 1: September 22 (decisions will be made within 1 week of this deadline)
Fall Semester Program:
Deadline for Step 1: March 10 (decisions will be made within 1 week of this deadline)
Academic Year Program:
Deadline for Step 1: March 10 (decisions will be made within 1 week of this deadline)

How to Apply

 Please click the Apply Now button (found at the top-right of this page) to apply. Note that you will be charged a non-refundable $100 systems fee by clicking Apply Now and logging in.

This program has a two-step application process 1-University of Illinois application, 2-Host University application:

Step 1 includes:

·1 letter of recommendation from a Japanese instructor (if you have taken a Japanese course)
·1 letter of recommendation from an academic faculty member
·Personal essay questions - done electronically
·Online questionnaires
·Submit application materials to the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Step 2 includes:


If you are nominated by EALC, you will be provided with more information and guidance  on the next steps of the host university application.

Resources and Contact Information

For questions regarding the Illinois Year in Japan Program:

For questions regarding the application process and requirements:


Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2018 09/22/2017
09/29/2017 01/11/2018 05/17/2018
Academic Year 2018-2019 03/10/2018
03/17/2018 09/05/2018 05/17/2019
Fall Semester 2018 03/10/2018
03/17/2018 09/05/2018 12/21/2018
Spring Semester 2019 09/15/2018 09/16/2018 01/06/2019 05/17/2019

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