Studying Abroad in Hirakata, Japan
Pacific students studying in Hirakata attend Kansai Gaidai University, which is located in the city of Hirakata in Osaka prefecture. Kansai Gaidai is a sister school program, and all services are coordinated by the Kansai's Center for International Education. Located midway between Osaka, Japan's second largest metropolis, and Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan (both cities accessible by train within an hour), Kansai Gaidai's campus is in the commercial and cultural heart of Japan, thus making it an excellent starting point from which to begin your exploration of a land that by anyone's standards is truly fascinating.
Osaka has been a major center of commerce since the 18th century, and is still a vast and expanding hub of business and industry today. The metropolis exhibits many colorful aspects as can be seen in the competition for bigger and showier street signs on display in Minami (the southern part of the downtown district). As a center of pop culture, Osaka never ceases to generate a variety of new and unique trends and expends the dimensions of the Japanese urban experience.
Kyoto was founded in the late 8th century, as evidenced by the ancient layout of its numbered avenues. While its prestigious museums house the most valuable collections of Japanese art in the country, Kyoto is a museum in its own right, and many of its temples and shrines have been designated as national treasures.
The academic curriculum in the Asian Studies Program at Kansai Gaidai has been designed to provide students with a well-rounded knowledge of not only the Japanese language, but its culture and society as a whole. The curriculum can be divided into two parts; a rigorous Japanese language program offered in the morning and a wide variety of courses, in Business, Humanities, and Social Sciences, offered in the afternoon. The combination of these two elements will enable participants to approach a wide variety of study areas while in Japan. All courses, with the exception of those concentrating on the Japanese language are conducted in English.
Students attending Kansai Gaidai can choose to either live in an international student dormitory called a Seminar House or to live with a Japanese family in the homestay program. Dormitory life may offer a somewhat limited exposure to Japanese life compared to the homestay; therefore, students staying in the Seminar Houses are strongly encouraged to participate in the our Speaking Partner Program as well as the Home Visit Program.
The international students dormitories are located in Katahoko on the grounds of Kansai Gaidai's former campus. Depending on the space available in the Seminar Houses, students living in the Seminar Houses will be assigned Japanese roommates. Room are furnished with a study desk, a lamp, closet, Japanese style-bedding, and sheets. Students living in the Seminar Houses are expected to prepare their own meals or eat at university cafeterias or local restaurants. Full kitchen facilities (including cooking utensils, plates, cutlery) are available at each seminar house.
Living with a Japanese family will provide students with not only an environment to develop their Japanese language skills, but opportunities to understand the daily life, values, and customs of the Japanese people. Breakfast and dinner are included each day, and lunch may be supplied on the weekends. Students living in homestays will be given a stipend to pay for lunch on campus each weekday.
Detailed information about each housing option is provided with acceptance materials.
Several courses in the Program are effectively supplemented by outside field trips. Recognizing the importance of on-site visits, financial subsidies are provided to cover part of the costs for organized field trips.
Experience Japan Program
In an effort to provide international and Japanese students with more opportunities to interact, the "Experience Japan Program" was initialized in the fall of 2001. In this program, Japanese students present international students with various hands-on activities that introduce Japanese culture and unique aspects of Japan through day trips, sports, cooking, or Japanese distinctive cultural activities such as tea ceremony and calligraphy.
Speaking Partner Program
The most popular friendship program among international students at Kansai Gaidai is the Speaking Partner Program. The primary function of speaking partners is to assist international students in further developing their Japanese language proficiency. In return, you will Japanese students learn your own language and culture. In this program, activities are not limited to exchange of language lessons. Students may find themselves enjoying various university events, visiting historical sites in Kyoto and Nara, and people-watching in downtown Osaka. All in all, a speaking partner will be a good resource for you while you are making the necessary adjustments to a new campus.
Clubs and Circles
Kansai Gadai's clubs welcome the participation of international students. Clubs in Japan play a very unique role in college life, and are taken very seriously. Practice sessions or meetings may be held as often as six times a wekk, and attendence is required, so it is not advisable to join more than one club. Kansai Gaidai also has other less hierarchical student groups called circles which are more focused on having fun together in a relaxed setting. Athletically inclined students may join soccer, basketball, or tennis clubs as well as the traditional Japanese martial arts clubs. Traditional Japanese culture is also represented by the tea ceremony, flower arranging, and koto (Japanese harp) clubs.
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Language: Must have completed two years of college level Japanese, with a minimum 3.0 GPA in that language.
Must have attended Pacific University full-time for at least one semester.
Application Deadline: February 8th, 2013
Fall: August/early September until mid-December
- Spring: end January/early February until mid/end May