Critical Language Scholarship Program | Hikone, Japan

Hikone, Japan

Program Dates:

May 29 - July 28, 2018

Hosting Institution:

University of Shiga Prefecture

Program Overview

The CLS Japanese Program in Hikone, Japan provides students opportunities to learn Japanese both inside the classroom and in an immersive cultural setting during an intensive 8-week language program set on the eastern shore of Lake Biwa, where one can experience the traditions of the people who have been settled in Shiga Prefecture for countless generations. Students receive a minimum of 20 hours per week of formal classroom instruction where they learn the four major skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing in Japanese.

A cultural class is included as part of the CLS Japanese curriculum allowing students to study a different element of Japanese culture each week and then participate in an activity or excursion related to that week’s topic. Previously, students have had the opportunities to learn traditional Japanese folk dancing while wearing yukata and study calligraphy under the instruction of a calligraphy master at a local Buddhist temple.

The CLS Japanese Program is hosted by the University of Shiga Prefecture (USP), an institution well known for its programs in engineering, environmental science and human cultures. USP treats their surroundings in Shiga Prefecture as an extension of their university campus by encouraging and providing their students with many opportunities that bring them in contact with the local people and natural environment around them. By living in Shiga, CLS Japanese students will have the opportunity to live in small castle town, surrounded by satoyama, a traditional farming village set in low mountains and which follow ecologically sound practices. You can find out more about USP on their website.

Outside of formal classes, the CLS Japanese program offers students many opportunities to engage with the local community and culture. In the past, CLS students have spent half of their time living in apartments with local students and the other half living with Japanese host families. These experiences allow CLS Japanese students to gain unique insight into Japanese culture and develop close bonds within a typically conservative society. Students will also have one-on-one sessions with native-speaking language partners for a few hours a week. Altogether, students will cover the equivalent of one year of Japanese instruction at a U.S. institution during the course of the summer.