Japanese Language in Tokyo, Japan

Spend a few weeks in Japan for part of your winter or summer Uni break. Learn or improve your Japanese language skills while immersing yourself at a local university with Japanese students and experiencing culture and adventure in the world’s largest city!

Program Overview

Experience culture and adventure in the world’s largest city! Japan is a land of endless contrasts and extremes, combining a unique and exciting blend of both the modern and the ancient. Students will have the opportunity to explore a refreshing and stimulating side of the world, with something for everyone. Experience natural beauty, taste amazing food, see some wild style and live in what many consider to be the most incredible city in the world!

This program is based at J. F. Oberlin University’s Shinjuku campus – located in the heart of the city! Japanese language courses are offered at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

Huge, stylish, exciting, bold and incredibly fun, Tokyo is a one-of-a-kind city. The Tokyo metropolitan area is the most populous place in the entire world and is home to absolutely everything! You can step from a bustling market into a quiet park, from a frenetic dance club to a serene temple. The best thing to do in Tokyo is to embrace it all, including the food, the festivals and the karaoke.

A few highlights of this exciting program include:

Set in the bustling city of Tokyo, the University campus is in the heart of it all. The sights, smells, boutiques and food stalls in Shinjuku station, the world’s busiest train station, are only a short walk from the university.

International Welcome
Study at a local university with a global focus, allowing you to make friends from Japan and around the world. With an enrollment of over 9,000 students, many of them from overseas, the university seeks to foster global citizens. Participants in this program will have the chance to learn the Japanese language, history and culture first-hand, as well as partake in activities built into the program to get to know local students.

Cultural Immersion
From riding on the packed (yet silent) subway, to heading out to sample Japanese cuisine at Izakaya (exquisite Japanese diners), living in Tokyo will be filled with cultural experiences every day. The program includes visits to temples, shrines, parks, gardens, museums and other famous sites to show students the best of the city. However, participants may find that their greatest cultural learning will come from day-to-day life when discovering Tokyo on their own, and come to understand how unique and special the city is.


Besides having the unique opportunity to reside in the world’s most populous greater metropolitan area for a few weeks, this program offers students a number of other exciting highlights:

  • Location – Experience the city’s energy and all it has to offer!
  • Cultural Immersion – Have the chance to learn Japanese language, history and culture first-hand, with activities built-in to get to know local students.
  • Intensive Japanese Language – There is no better way to improve your language skills than by immersing yourself 100% – living and breathing in that country and interacting with locals!
  • Beauty and Tranquillity of Tokyo and Japan – Take advantage of your free time to visit Tokyo’s famous temples, shrines, museums, markets, gardens and more, or get out of the city to experience more of the country’s serene landscapes and natural wonders
  • The Weird and Wonderful – Discover some of the more interesting and unique aspects of Japanese culture, such as ‘inemuri’ or napping on the job; maid cafes; noodle slurping; ‘yaeba’ or ‘double tooth’ where Japanese youth are paying large sums of money on attaining uneven teeth; capsule hotels; and the remarkable variety of items sold in vending machines, from live lobsters to underwear – just to name a few!
  • Economic Powerhouse – Despite its small size, Japan is a major economic power in the modern world. It currently is the 3rd largest economy in the world, after the USA and China. Japan is an immensely powerful force in the world of trade and commerce, and is a key partner for Australia

Sample Itinerary

Please note the itinerary below is a sample only and is subject to change.

Day 1 (Saturday):

Day 2 (Sunday):
Orientation Part 1
Scavenger Hunt

Day 3 (Monday):
Orientation Part 2: Campus
Placement Testing
Welcome Lunch/ Dinner

Day 4 (Tuesday):
Classes begin

Day 5 (Wednesday):
Tea Ceremony Activity

Day 6 (Thursday):

Day 7 (Friday):
Calligraphy class

Day 8-9 (Saturday-Sunday):
Free time

Day 10 (Monday):
Kimono wearing activity

Day 11 (Tuesday):

Day 12 (Wednesday):

Day 13 (Thursday):

Day 14 (Friday):
Farewell Lunch/ Dinner

Choose Your Course

This program is hosted at J. F. Oberlin University at the Shinjuku campus. Students can choose to attend one or more 2-week sessions. Students will take ONE course per session.

Course Offerings: 

  • Japanese Language: Beginner
  • Japanese Language: Intermediate
  • Japanese Language: High-Intermediate

Students will take a placement test during the program orientation.

Note: There is a required minimum class size for each course/session. If the minimum class size is not met, the class may not be offered.  For more information, please contact your CISaustralia Program Advisor

Course Load: 1 course per 2-week session. All courses meet a minimum of 45 hours face-to-face in class time over 2 weeks (lectures, tutorials, workshops), plus additional independent study time (research, readings, assessment preparation) and are equivalent to 3 US / 4 Japanese credits. Note: Students who undertake a 4-week July program (2 x 2 weeks) will undertake 90 hours face-to-face in class time, plus additional independent study time and would be equivalent to 6 US / 8 Japanese credits.

  • Depending on your Australian university, “courses” may be referred to as “subjects” or “units”.
  • Each course/subject/unit you undertake on a CISaustralia program is designed to be a full-time, semester course that has been condensed to fit into an intensive, short-term program. As such, for any 1 course you study abroad, you should receive the credit points for 1 full-time course/subject/unit at your Australian university.
  • Many universities work off of a 1-for-1 equivalency (1 course abroad = 1 course in Australia), but ultimately credit approval is the decision of your faculty and Australian university.
  • CISaustralia strongly recommends that you have any overseas courses pre-approved for academic credit before you depart for your program. Some documentation that may be useful are the course outline/syllabus, program overview and the contact hours.
  • Please be aware that the courses listed below are subject to change and cannot be guaranteed year on year.
  • Your CISaustralia Program Advisor can assist with any questions or details your university needs to make a decision.

Academic Requirement: To qualify for this program, students must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 4.0 (out of 7) or equivalent. If your current GPA falls below the requirement, you may still be considered for the program but will need to be prepared to provide supporting documentation. Please contact us to discuss your situation and we will work with you to help find another suitable program if required.

Course Descriptions:

CREDITS: 4 Japanese credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: January/ July Sessions: 1 and 2

Introduction to modern spoken Japanese through aural-oral drills and exercises, and mastery of the basic grammatical structures. Emphasis on the spoken language, although there will also be exposure to enough of the Japanese writing systems to meet practical needs. Practical use and observing of the language will be emphasized.

CREDITS: 4 Japanese credits (3 US credits) / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Session 3

This high-intermediate Japanese course is an introduction to modern spoken Japanese through aural-oral drills and exercises, and introduction of the more complex grammatical structures. Emphasis on the spoken language of different types of speech styles (casual, formal, polite, etc.), although there will also be exposure to enough of the Japanese writing systems to meet practical needs. Practical use and observing of the language will be emphasised.

CREDITS: 4 Japanese credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: January/ July Sessions: 1 and 2

Intermediate introduction to modern spoken Japanese through aural-oral drills and exercises, and mastery of the basic grammatical structures. Emphasis on the spoken language, although there will also be exposure to enough of the Japanese writing systems to meet practical needs. Practical use and observing of the language will be emphasized.

COVID Safe Travel

The health and safety of our students is our highest priority. We take our duty of care for our students, their families and our Australian University partners seriously. For all of our program locations, we have developed a site-specific COVID-19 risk matrix and risk management and emergency response plans so that health and safety response protocols are monitored, managed and communicated.

In preparation for your overseas program, it’s important that you carefully read and understand information related to COVID-19 Travel Safety and Insurance Requirements.

CISaustralia monitors Smartraveller and reliable news feeds to keep up to date with the latest COVID information and any associated travel restrictions and entry requirements for all destinations where we have programs. Due to the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation, Government travel advice can change quickly. For the most up to date information on Japan, visit the Smartraveller website.


As part of the orientation, CIS participants will start getting familiar with their local neighbourhood, learn the city subway and train system, get to know the university campus and its facilities, meet faculty and staff, learn some Japanese culture tips and start exploring the wonders of Tokyo!

Excursions included within the program may vary from year to year, but here is a sample list of activities students may participate in:

  • Kimono Wearing
  • Tea Ceremony
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Calligraphy Class
  • Welcome and Farewell Meals

There is an endless number of other activities students can explore on their own (at own expense), both in Tokyo and the surrounding areas:

  • Tranquil Gardens: Check out the many beautiful Japanese Gardens in Tokyo to experience the serene feeling of Japan and Asia. The Imperial Palace Higashi (East) Gyoen (garden), Shinjuku Gyoen, Kiyosu Teien, Hamarikyu, Rikugien – to name a few.
  • Fish Market: Be sure to go to Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo, the largest fish market in Japan! Try to get to the market around 5am so you can watch the auction of freshly caught giant tuna fish. Enjoy the freshest sushi in the world, and have some famous ramen there too.
  • Tokyo Sky Tree: The world’s highest free-standing broadcasting tower. The height of the tower is 645m. Take the elevator up to the top “Tembo Deck” (observatory deck) so you can have a complete panorama view of Tokyo.
  • Tokyo Imperial Palace: Still the primary residence of the Emperor in a large park area surrounded by moats and massive stone walls, located in the centre of the city.
  • Edo-Tokyo Museum: Covers the city’s history. Tokyo was known as Edo prior to 1868. It was a small castle town in the 16th century and within a few decades had grown into one of the world’s most populous cities.
  • Tokyo National Museum: Holds the largest collection of Japanese art in the world and is the oldest Japanese national museum, established in 1872.
  • Tokyo Hot Spots: Akihabara for video games and electronics; Harajuku and Shibuya for modern youth fashion; Shinjuku and Ginza for shopping and dining; and Roppongi and Shibuya to experience the Tokyo nightlife.
  • Mt. Fuji: Ride the fastest Japanese train, the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) from Tokyo Station to Shin Fuji station. At the station, take in the dynamic view of Mt. Fuji.
  • Kyoto: Take a Bullet train further east to Kyoto, stay overnight in a Japanese inn and explore the ancient capital city.
  • Onsen (Hot Springs): Take a train to Hakone and Atami, a 1-hour ride from Tokyo. In Hakone and Atami, there are a number of traditional Inns where you can enjoy “Onsen” (hot springs) and authentic Japanese cuisine. (There are also some good spots in Tokyo).
  • Ghibli Animation Museum: Visit the famous Ghibli Animation Museum in Tokyo. Enter into the amazing world of Ghibli with famous characters like Totoro, Kiki and the Robot Soldier from Laputa Castle in the Sky. Shop in the museum store for all your favourite Ghibli products, enjoy the reading room and watch an original short animation from Ghibli in the Museum’s theatre. (Note: students enrolled in the Japanese Anime & Popular Culture course will visit this museum as part of the class).



Tokyo is one of a kind. It is the world’s most populous greater metropolitan area with over 35 million residents, and one of the most influential cities in the global economy. Life in Tokyo is fast-paced, vibrant and steeped in culture. Students will find limitless activities to do and sites to see while living and studying in Japan’s capital. There is everything from amazing food, shopping, karaoke, festivals, dance clubs and markets, to quiet and peaceful parks, gardens and temples all within the city centre and outskirts. It would take several lifetimes to explore all that Tokyo has to offer. This program will show students some of the best sites the city has to offer.

The housing and university are right in the middle of all of the action. Students can spend their free time visiting the world-famous markets, shrines and museums that Tokyo is known for, or can spend their time exploring quiet neighbourhoods by bicycle, interacting with street vendors and food cart owners.


Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, which make up about 97% of Japan’s land area. The county has the 10th largest population in the world with 127 million, who enjoy the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality in the world.

Japan’s unique civilisation has blossomed into a thriving nation, filled with traditional and modern contrasts. The country embodies a strong, warm and welcoming spirit with a rich culture ready to be explored by any traveller. The country has drawn influences from the rest of Asia for thousands of years, taking in and refining aspects to create something distinctly Japanese. Traditional culture of Kyoto geisha dance and the beautiful Zen rock gardens has evolved to also embody a contemporary-art scene, dynamic design and pop-culture trends.

Outside of the cities, Japan offers a large variety of natural wonders that shouldn’t be overlooked – including hiking in the Japan Alps and Hokkaido, coral reefs of Okinawa and forested mountains just outside of Kyoto. Public transportation in Japan is well connected and efficient, so it’s easy to explore and discover the other sides of the country besides its cityscapes.

The University

Founded in 1946 by Reverend Yasuzo Shimizu, J. F. Oberlin University aims to not only impart book knowledge to students but also at helping them to acquire a broad liberal arts education and the ability to make their own decisions. With an enrollment of over 9,000 students, many of them from overseas, the university seeks to foster global citizens and to nurture individuals who will be able to understand others and deal with circumstances in a spirit of cooperation. Oberlin students acquire practical experience through a variety of programs, including language study and academic exchange programs as well as volunteer programs and internship opportunities.

While the university’s main campus is in Machida on the outskirts of Tokyo, this program is hosted at Oberlin’s Shinjuku branch campus – in the heart of the city! Shinjuku is buzzing with entertainment, galleries, theatres, bookstores, shopping, nightclubs, karaoke rooms, observation decks and upscale hotel bars and restaurants. The Skyscraper District, home to many of Tokyo’s tallest skyscrapers, is also located in Shinjuku as well as the world’s busiest train station and New National Stadium, the main stadium built for the Summer Olympics XXXII.


Oberlin University has received recognition for its innovative academic organisation; systematic, tiered undergraduate curriculum; student advising and online learning systems; career guidance; and its support for students with disabilities.

With an internationally-focused curriculum, students are enthusiastically welcomed by bilingual Japanese students and professors. The local university students are globally-minded, warm, welcoming and eager to learn from and share with international students. The program is designed so that interpersonal connections between Japanese and CISaustralia students can easily be made. CIS students have the opportunity to learn the language, history and culture first-hand in an incredible setting.


Participants on this program will stay in single, hotel-style rooms. Bedrooms are small, very traditional Japanese-style hotel rooms.

Accommodation is limited, which puts a cap on the program – first in / best dressed! Students need to pay their deposit to secure their place on this highly sought after program. Each room will have:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bed and linens
  • Bath & toilet
  • Body soap, shampoo & conditioner
  • Face & bath towels
  • Refrigerator
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi
  • Access to washing machines and dryers
  • Multiple transport options nearby

Note: Access to computers is available on campus as well as free WiFi. It is recommended that you bring your own tablet or laptop to use if you would like.

Your accommodation is not university accommodation – there are other permanent residents who will surround your rooms. We ask that you respect your neighbours during your program.

Please be aware that accommodation and rooms in Japan are typically smaller than they are in Australia and it is most likely that your rooms will be smaller than what you are used to. Additionally, the size of your room may vary depending on room availability and the length of your stay.

Program Fee & Dates

January 2025 (2 weeks)
Accommodation is limited and in high demand, which puts a cap on the program – first in / best dressed! Students need to pay their deposit by the application deadline to secure their place on this highly sought after program.
Application Deadline22 November 2024
Arrival Date11 January 2025
Departure Date25 January 2025
Application FeeA$ 95
Program Fee A$ 5,999
OS-HELP A$ 10,767
Session 1: June 2024
Application Deadline10 May 2024
Arrival Date15 June 2024
Departure Date29 June 2024
Application FeeA$ 95
Program Fee A$ 5,999
OS-HELP A$ 10,767
Session 2: June/July 2024
Application Deadline24 May 2024
Arrival Date29 June 2024
Departure Date13 July 2024
Application FeeA$ 95
Program Fee A$ 5,999
OS-HELP A$ 10,767
Session 3: July 2024
Application Deadline07 June 2024
Arrival Date13 July 2024
Departure Date27 July 2024
Application FeeA$ 95
Program Fee A$ 5,999
OS-HELP A$ 10,767


Program fees include the following:
  • CISaustralia support services before, during and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial advice
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure guide and session
  • Airport greeting (on specified program arrival date within designated arrival times)
  • Accommodation – single, hotel-style room
  • Welcome and/or Farewell meals
  • Tuition fees
  • Course materials
  • Extracurricular social and cultural activities
  • Program risk matrix and COVID-19 risk assessment
  • Risk Management and Emergency Response Plan
  • CISaustralia 24/7 on-site support – Site Director
  • Oberlin University official transcript
  • CISaustralia Certificate of Participation (available on request)

What is not included:

  • Program application fee
  • International Student Identity Card
  • Flights (CISaustralia will however provide travel guidance and support via our formal travel partner)
  • Medical insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Vaccinations (if required)
  • Meals (unless mentioned above)
  • Extra travel/excursions (other than those mentioned above)

Visa: Australia has a “Reciprocal Visa Exemption Arrangement” with Japan for a period of 90 days or less. Upon landing, Australian passport holders will be issued with a “Temporary Visitor” entry status stamp, which allows them to stay in Japan for a period of up to 90 days for non-remunerative activities. If you are not an Australian passport holder, please contact the Japanese Consulate-General for specific visa information – you may need to apply for a visa. For your visa application, you may be required to provide a Letter of Invitation and a Letter of Guarantee. CISaustralia and our onsite team in Tokyo can provide this for you. Please reach out to your CISaustralia Program Advisor for further information.

Dates are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

CISaustralia reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.

Adventure Awaits

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