As you embark on this exciting study abroad experience and explore all the wonderful things … Read more
Semester in Japan
Live and study in Japan, surrounding yourself in the country’s unique culture while developing your Japanese language skills in an immersive language-learning environment. This comprehensive semester features private housing and expert instruction from the J.F. Oberlin University in Tokyo’s Machida suburb, along with a range of engaging cultural activities, excursions, and even overnight trips, all included in the program price. Great for Global Studies, International Relations, Japanese Language, and East Asian Studies majors, you’ll study Japanese while also choosing three or four additional courses taught in English or further focusing on specific language competencies. Outside of class, you can take advantage of being close to the center of Tokyo (but with a lower cost of living!) and practice speaking and interacting with the local community on a daily basis.
Experience all that Japan has to offer from an IDEAL location, living in a traditional Japanese district close to Tokyo as well as scenic mountains and beaches
Accelerate your language skills with engaging Japanese classes plus choose from a range of other courses taught in English
Study with just 9,000 other students at the private J.F. Oberlin University benefitting from small classes
Stay in your own off-campus private room, complete with a kitchenette included in your program price
Enjoy easy access to downtown Tokyo with a lower cost of living than being in the city center
Explore the country and culture with tons of included excursions, overnight trips, and optional add-on journeys
Get to know your new home and connect with other TEAN students during your included 2-day TEAN Orientation designed to set you up for a successful semester abroad, both academically and culturally. Spend the first day covering everything you need to know about the university, semester, and living in Japan. On day two, head out on a Tokyo city tour, visiting sights around the Shibuya, Harajuku, and Asakusa neighborhoods while getting to know the public transportation system. End the evening with a fun group dinner making okonomiyaki, a tasty savory pancake, right at the table.
You will be placed in one of J.F. Oberlin’s newly built off-campus dorms in a single 190-square-foot room. In your room, you’ll have a kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave oven, stovetop, and a sink, plus a private bathroom, balcony and standard furniture (bed, desk, closet, storage). The dorms also feature study rooms, meeting rooms, coin-operated laundries, and a TV area. They are conveniently located near public transit routes – it takes about five minutes to walk to a free shuttle bus station and about ten minutes to get to J.F. Oberlin’s main campus.
Our team works with you from start to finish throughout the study abroad process. Our program staff will help guide you through the application process to go abroad. Then, upon arrival in Japan, you’ll meet our team, who will provide in-country assistance with any academic, social, or cultural questions or issues that you may face during your time abroad. Throughout the semester, you will also meet with the Japan Resident Director for excursions and cultural activities.Meet the Team
About J.F. Oberlin University
- J. F. Oberlin University is a private four-year university located in Tokyo’s Machida suburb.
- Founded in 1946 by Reverend Yasuzo Shimizu, the university enrolls around 9,000 students offering a College of Arts and Sciences, four professional colleges, and a graduate division.
- The university is also recognized for its immersive study abroad and exchange student programs, providing international students with a comprehensive language learning environment.
Students study at the campus in Machida, a lively Tokyo suburb. The campus is located 1.5 hours by train from Tokyo’s city center.View Map
Students take 4-5 classes worth 16-20 J.F. Oberlin Credits (transferring as 12-15 U.S. credits)
You are required to take one core Japanese language course in addition to three or four other courses that can be a combination of English-taught classes and elective Japanese language classes.
Courses Taught in English
Great Works of Japanese Literature
International Politics (Japanese Politics)
Japanese Art (History)
Japanese Art (Japanese Theater)
Japanese Thought and Religion
Modern Japanese Culture
Modern Japanese History
The Japanese and International Society
Global Society (Social Impact)
Global Society and Gender
Japanese History (U.S.-J. Exchanges)
Economy and Finance
The Japanese Hospitality Industry
Core Language Courses*
*Taking one of these core language courses is mandatory
Elective Language Courses
Advanced Terms in Geography and History
Advanced: Academic Essay Writing
Advanced: Experiential Activities (a)
Advanced: Experiential Activities (b)
Advanced: Expressions in Japanese & Chinese
Advanced: Expressions in Japanese & Korean
Advanced: Modern Pop Culture
Advanced: Newscasts and Newspaper Articles
Advanced: Occupational Communication
Elementary & Intermediate Grammar
Elementary & Intermediate Pronunciation
Elementary: Experiential Activities
Intermediate: Experiential Activities
Intermediate: Modern Pop Culture
Kanji I, II
Reading I, II, III
Speaking I, II, III
Writing I, II, III
- 2.5 GPA
- You must be enrolled as a full-time degree-seeking student in a U.S. college or university.
- Gap students are eligible to apply but must provide an official acceptance letter proving their enrollment at a U.S. institution for the semester immediately following the program.
Events & Excursions
Events & Excursions
Our local staff arranges various activities during the semester designed to help immerse you in the local culture. These activities are included in your semester program. Additionally, if you have a specific interest or hobby, your Tokyo-based TEAN Resident Director will be able to point you in the right direction.
Below are examples of previous activities arranged for students. Note that activities change each semester.
Traditional Tea Ceremony
Learn teahouse etiquette – greetings, walking on tatami floors, drinking a bowl of tea – at a traditional teahouse in Tokyo’s well-known Rikugien Gardens. The tea ceremony (called sado, chado, or chanoyu) is one of Japan’s most important cultural activities, and involves preparing powdered matcha in a very specific, careful manner. The concept of omotenashi, or Japanese hospitality, also plays a central part of the experience – the host carefully prepares the tea in front of you then beautifully presents it.
Of course, you have to try making sushi while in Japan! The earliest form of sushi originated in China, but the type with raw fish on top of rice first became popular in Japan during the Edo Period (the 1820s). Decomakizushi is another modern style that is now common throughout the country – the sliced sushi roll reveals a design on both sides of each piece. Practice making your own designed decomakizushi with a local sushi instructor while learning more about Japanese food, culture, and table manners.
During your time in Japan, you’ll be busy both in and out of class exploring the Japanese language, culture, and local area. Read on for a taste of what’s included throughout your semester!
Kamakura & Enoshima
Explore the evolution of Japan’s old political centers, shrines, temples, and more while visiting the historic city of Kamakura and Enoshima island. The first shogun of the Kamakura period established Japan’s first military government in Kamakura run by samurai, highlighting values such as martial arts skills, loyalty, frugality, and bravery. Surrounded by mountains and sea, the beautiful city was also known for promoting Zen Buddhism and is still home to significant temples and shrines offering cultural experiences such as tea ceremonies, shakyo (sutra copying), and zazen (Zen meditation).
Close to Kamakura, the small, picturesque island of Enoshima is often portrayed in traditional ukiyo-e artwork and known for its beaches, Mt. Fuji views, Enoshima Shrine, and the local delicacy shirasu (whitebait).
Experience Japan’s traditional side by strolling through Kawagoe’s streets, sampling local sweets, taking in the traditional setting, and even trying on authentic kimono. Now called “Ko-edo,” or “Little Edo,” Kawagoe was a flourishing castle town during the Edo Period and is known for its well-preserved architecture. Along with picturesque warehouses from the Edo Period, the town’s Taisho-Roman Street brings the Taisho Period to life with its retro atmosphere created by a mix of Japanese machiya buildings, granite stone pathways, and Western-style architecture.
Mt.Takao Day Trip
The sacred Mount Takao, or Takaosan in Japanese, offers six scenic hiking trails, a great view, and a beautiful temple. Hike up the 599-meter-high mountain along Trail 6 to discover the peak’s diverse flora and fauna, Biwa Falls, and Yakuoin temple near the summit. After the hike, learn more about Takaosan’s natural, historical, and cultural beauty at the Takao 599 Museum.
2-Day Nikko Excursion
Explore natural wonders and a stunning environment during this activity-packed 2-day excursion to Nikko. Though close to Tokyo, Nikko shares more in common with Japan’s northern provinces, such as Hokkaido, drawing in visitors thanks to its majestic mountains, lakes, marshland, waterfalls, and natural hot springs believed to have healing properties. Along with exploring the region’s natural delights, you’ll also experience what life was like in a feudal Japanese town during the Edo Period at Edomura Wonderland.
4-Day Seoul Excursion
Spend four days exploring one of the most exciting cities in the world – Seoul. Combining cutting-edge technology, nature, and ancient history like no other, South Korea’s capital city is a thriving metropolis filled with countless places, attractions, temples, cafes, and more to discover.
TEAN has a rolling admissions process. We recommend submitting your application anytime from June for Spring applications, and from January for Fall applications. Late applications may be considered. Contact TEAN if the application deadline has passed.
|Spring Deadline||Oct 1|
|Fall Deadline||April 1|
|Program Ends||Late Dec|
Fees & Inclusions
Tuition, fees and housing: $16,950
- Full tuition
- Guaranteed prearranged, guaranteed housing
- Comprehensive overseas health insurance
- Services of local Resident Director
- Two-day orientation program with meals and transportation
- Included cultural activities, excursions, and trips
- Wireless Internet access in housing
- Local SIM card/cell phone for access to services on local networks
- Access to low air fares and pre-arranged flight itineraries
- Travel arrangements and advice
- University and course selection advice
- Official academic transcripts from host institution
- Credit approval and transfer assistance
- Academic advising
- Help with student visa preparation
- Airport pickup and reception
- Host university orientation
- A truly one-of-a-kind adventure!
What’s Not Included
- International airfare ($1,100)
- Books ($500)
- Meals during the semester ($30-40/day)
- Airport transfer at end of semester ($30)
- Travel insurance ($350)
*Numbers are estimated based on previous student experience and budget. Actual amounts will vary depending on the student.
Apply for TEAN scholarships – starting at $1,000 – for the chance to receive money specifically for studying abroad. Each year we award thousands of dollars in need- and merit-based scholarships, diversity scholarships, a full ride scholarship and more. Visit our scholarships page for details!
We Love Tokyo
Niaya Harper Igarashi
Resident Director - Japan
Shibuya & Harajuku
My favorite areas are the Shibuya and Harajuku areas, where you can find all the latest fashion, new cafes, and unique sub-cultures. These areas can get crowded, but right in between the two, you can take a break in Yoyogi Park or walk through the tranquil grounds of Meiji Shrine. I also recommend exploring the many less-traveled backstreets throughout the neighborhoods where you may run into an unexpected gallery exhibition, boutique shops, and see some interesting architecture.
Kamakura Day Trip
About a one-hour train ride from Tokyo will take you to Kamakura, a coastal town that used to be one of Japan’s political capitals and features several historical temples and sights. My favorite thing to do in Kamakura is to take the hiking trails through the mountains to the well-known Great Buddha statue. After hiking, there are many places to eat and shop along the way before reaching the seaside where, in the right weather, you can get a nice view of Mt. Fuji.
Tell us a little about what you do at TEAN?
I currently work on our New Zealand, Fiji, Japan and Southeast Asia programs. My role as team lead and Program Manager is to make sure everything on these programs is running smoothly working with our team. It includes everything from making sure students have pre-departure information on time to making sure they submit all of the items they need to study abroad (i.e. transcripts, courses, contracts, arrival details, payments, visa confirmations).
Where did you study abroad?
I studied with TEAN in Melbourne, Australia at Deakin University. It’s a more traditional campus, just outside the city but being able to live in the city and commute gave me the best of both worlds. Honestly, Melbourne has something for everyone – think sporting events, art, music, theatre, comedy, laneway cafes/restaurants/bars, shopping, the list goes on. Melbourne is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most liveable cities, so why wouldn’t you choose to study there? If you’re looking for a Melbourne equivalent in New Zealand, check out Wellington known as the coolest little capital in the world. It’s a smaller city, but that makes it an easy city to get around by foot. It’s a very accessible city for study abroad students.
What brought you back to Melbourne to live and work after graduation?
When I graduated, I knew I wanted to return to Australia. My time studying abroad had given me that exposure to living abroad and I wanted to spend more time there as a professional. For my career, It was great to gain work experience at a university abroad. I’m so glad I went down this path or I might not have ended up at TEAN today!
Packing for study abroad is always a challenge and popular topic, as a frequent flyer – what insider tips do you have for someone packing for the semester?
I’ve become pretty good at packing light over the years since there have been so many times earlier on where I’ve overpacked. I took half of my closet and never touched the majority of it. You will hear the advice – pack everything you think you’ll need then take half of it – and it’s so true. My other advice is to pack articles of clothing you can mix and match to create different outfits to help reduce items. Also try to keep the shoe situation under control, they take up a lot of room. Bring a couple pairs that are super versatile (and comfortable).
If you were going to study abroad tomorrow on a TEAN program where would you go?
I’m biased, but I would study on one of our New Zealand programs. Since working with our TEAN New Zealand students, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand several times and have visited all program locations. I also recently lived in New Zealand for a year based out of Auckland. I love the idea of going for a semester, joining a tramping club on campus and getting out into the beauty of New Zealand in my free time!