Japanese-Language Program for Specialists in Cultural and Academic Fields 2-month course
Period: June 7- August 2, 2017

1-Japanese Language Classes

Though these last two months have gone by very quickly, we found the course to be extremely helpful. Soon after arriving at the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai (hereinafter referred to as the Center), we sat a test and were placed in one of three groups according to our Japanese language level. One great thing about the course is being able to tailor the course to your needs by choosing which classes to take, such as kanji, grammar or conversation.
At the end of the course there is a final oral presentation, where each participant speaks about their research theme, and there is a special class in order to prepare for this. These classes were roughly 1.jpgorganized by theme and we were able to receive feedback from classmates which was great practice for the final presentation. This year's presentations included themes relating to history, linguistics, art, society and literature. We each received valuable input from our teachers and thanks to them were able to confidently introduce our research to everyone at the final presentation.

Another useful class was Computer Skills, in which we learned, amongst other things, how to write formal emails to specialists and professors in our particular research fields. This included how to write interview requests, as well as letters of thanks and apologies. We also learned useful skills like how to make electronic vocabulary lists based on relevant research articles.
It was also great being able to access the Center's library. The librarians were always willing to help us search for materials and make the most of the available resources, which included useful Japanese language learning sites and apps.

There are weekly group meetings with all participants to keep up to date with information about the course, to check in with each other, and hear about extracurricular activities. Classes run from Monday to Thursday, between 9am and 3pm, leaving Friday free for individual study, cultural events and exploring.
There is also a three day research trip to Tokyo, during which we were put up at the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute in Urawa. During this time, we were able to visit museums and art galleries, meet specialists and professors, and collect various useful resources. This was a fantastic opportunity to access materials and establish connections with experts and professionals in our research fields.

2.jpgWe participated in a memorable cultural exchange with graduate students at Kobe University in which we were able to discuss our research topics, study experiences, and hear about life at a Japanese University. They showed us around their beautiful campus and library and were extremely kind hosts.

2-Cultural Experiences

The course goes beyond Japanese language acquisition by offering opportunities to participate in cultural events, such as tea ceremony, calligraphy, trying on yukata, and bunraku (traditional Japanese puppetry). Here are some examples listed below.

A-Home Visit
The home visit is a great opportunity to visit a Japanese family's home. It offers the chance to chat with a local family in Japanese, experience Japanese food and get a sense of Japanese home life. We visited families in groups of two, and were treated to delicious food, including Osaka specialties such as okonomiyaki, takoyaki and kushikatsu, and had fun listening to and trying to speak in the Kansai dialect.

B-Tea Ceremony
3.jpgWe enjoyed learning about the art of Tea Ceremony from two kind teachers. They introduced us to the fundamental concepts of the ceremony, and taught us basic etiquette such as how to enter the room, and how to receive the tea. We learned about the custom of eating a traditional sweet before drinking the matcha, to complement its bitterness and bring out the delicious flavor. We were also taught the importance of appreciating the many details, such as the beauty of each tea cup and the hanging scroll in the room's alcove. It was a unique experience being able to get a taste of this age-old ceremony. PS: don't forget to bring white socks!

C-Osaka Orienteering
This was the first event we all participated in, in order to get to know both each other and Osaka. We were split into four groups, each with a different itinerary, and spent the day exploring the city, taking photos, and chatting to Japanese people that we met. It was a good opportuning to break the ice and we later shared our experiences with the other participants and teachers.

Life at the Center

Being able to stay at the Center has been extremely useful in allowing us to concentrate on our studies.
For example, you can eat a delicious meal in the cafeteria on level three before going back to focus on your 34.jpgstudy and research. The Study Room on level two allows you to work late if you need to and print out your materials. There is also a karaoke room and a gym for when you want to have fun. The rooms are conveniently equipped with air-conditioning and Wi-Fi and have wonderful views of the ocean. We made use of our proximity to the beach by having a barbeque party, where we ate yakisoba, meat and shellfish and watched people lighting fireworks. It is also easy to go exploring as the Center provides bikes and offers a shuttle bus service to and from the nearby station.

The staff at the Center are very kind and generous and are always willing to help.

 Corinne D'Antonio (Italy)
 Florence Crick-Friesen (New Zealand)
 Norhan Diab (Egypt)
 Svyatoslav Polkhov (Russia)

Japanese-Language Program for Specialists in Cultural and Academic Fields (6-month course)

Period: October 5th 2016- April 5th 2017

'Academic community' at the Kansai Kokusai Center

Robert HornUK

 Sadly it will soon be time for us to leave the Kansai Kokusai Center, and as I write this I am reminded of a great many happy memories of our time here over the past few months. Perhaps the biggest emotion is one ca1.jpgof gratitude to the patient and kind teachers, librarians and staff here.
 I know that I am not alone in having thoroughly enjoyed this experience because whenever I meet a researcher from my course in the library or in the cafeteria, they would remark how sad they are to leave, and how they wish they could study here for longer.
 This course does not just aim to teach Japanese, it specifically aims to teach you Japanese language and skills that are relevant and suitable for your research, and as a researcher in Japan. For example, there are opportunities to present your research in Japanese as well as writing a research proposal in Japanese. The teachers were particularly patient and kind in explaining to us our mistakes in our written compositions. Of course there are also small-group courses that focus on grammar and kanji as well as conversational language skills. In addition to language learning, there is also time set-aside for you to do your own research and to gather whatever research materials you need in two weeklong research periods.
 I brought with me a lot of books that were useful for my research from my country to Japan. However, one especially good facility that the Kansai Kokusai Center has is its library. It is a great resource for Japanese ca2.jpglanguage study with many books in many different languages. In addition to this the library is a very comfortable place to study - there are many dissertations and books that are likely to be relevant to your research here. If there is a book that is not stocked here, the helpful and friendly librarians are able to request it from any university library in Japan, at no cost to you, through the inter-library loan service.
 Obviously the main purpose to come to the Kansai Kokusai Center is to pursue your research and to improve your Japanese level. I can confidently say that the environment here is very conducive to those purposes. However, as the Kansai Kokusai Center has many courses and groups of people from around the world constantly coming and going, the atmosphere is generally very good and there are lots of interesting people to meet.
 Thanks to the Kansai Kokusai Center course and the diligent and kind teachers and library staff, we were able to improve our Japanese language level and pursue our research in a positive and supportive environment. Because we were living and studying with other researchers it really felt like there was and 'academic community' here at the Kansai Kokusai Center. As well as developing friendships with other researchers and course participants, we were able to learn from their research and deepen our knowledge and further our interest in Japan and Japanese culture. This really was a rich and valuable experience.

'Specialized Reading' class...

LEE, Hee Won (Korea)

 Those who participate in this program will basically have their research subjects deeply connected to Japan and the Japanese language. I participated in this program with the aim of reading the works of "Kim ca3.pngSa-ryang", who was a Chosun-born literary man working in Japan during the period of Japanese imperialism. Since I have never studied Japanese properly before this program, I was worried about whether my goal could be implemented properly or not. I was also worried that it would be possible to read Japanese texts from the 1930s~1940s, not modern Japanese.
 However, reading the original Japanese language works of Kim Sa-ryang was the thing I wanted to do the most during my stay here. For this reason, I started reading Kim's works with my teacher after around a month spent here. The first piece I have read was Kim's representative work titled "光の中に". I did not have abundant knowledge of Japanese Kanji, and I was not used to the grammar, so I had to carry out the translation by looking up the dictionary continuously to find the meaning of each letter on a line of the work. It took a lot of time, and there were many difficulties in understanding the contents. Nonetheless, now I can read "光の中に", and I was also able to read "天馬", which is actually my favorite work of his.
 Now in Korea, most of the major works of Kim have been translated and distributed. Nevertheless, it is inevitable that researchers may not be satisfied with reading only the translation and to proceed with their research. As I expected, when I read the original, I could see the contextual meaning of the literary works that only the original can convey, and the points of artistic imagination that the artist wanted to reveal. In particular, the process of reading the work by grasping the meaning of every character, I feel like that I am myself the writer, and nuances of the meaning are more clear. It was a very interesting and precious experience.ca4.jpg
 I am still thinking that this might not have been possible if I had to do this alone. Nonetheless, this was made possible thanks to that I was able to read together with the 'specialized reading' teacher once a week. My teacher read the works with me according to my reading speed, helped me understand the social atmosphere and grammatical characteristics which the work based on. This led me to continue this work to the very end.
 I was able to learn many things that helped me to understand Japan, and study Japanese during this training. But in the end, I cannot hesitate to say that the most precious and meaningful time was this 'specialized reading' class. I hope that the researchers who participate in this program will add depth of research through this experience.
 Thank you.

Great training for researchers in the field of comparative studies

Ping-Heng Chen (Taiwan/Germany)

  "It is a pity that this year the sakura in Osaka is late," a friend wrote me in an email. One week before traveling back to Germany, I still feel a bit unreal that the six months program is coming to a close.ca6.jpg
 I am a cultural anthropologist and my interests are in visual studies and the Latin American area. Before I joined this program, I had visited Japan several times to collect material for my dissertation on Yasu Kohei (Juan José de Jesús Yas), a photographer and pioneer of Japanese migration to Central America in the 19th century. At the beginning of my doctoral research project, I planned to work mainly with Spanish language material. However, as I realized that there are many exhibitions and publications on Yasu in Japan, the comprehension of Japanese texts became important to my research.
 ca5.jpgDuring this program, the teachers offered an array of classes that were tailored to our language ability. I obtained very useful training in grammar, reading, writing, and conversation, all of which was particularly effective due to the small class sizes. In addition, we were given classes geared toward the advancement of our research, such as proposal and report writing, oral presentation, etc. What I have enjoyed most was the time we spent with tutors at the library to read and discuss our research material (research papers, essays, and archival documents). In these occasions, I have gained many insights and inspirations.
 When I went back to Fujisawa (photo), Yasu's hometown in Iwate, this February, I enjoyed so much my new ability to just talk with people and listen to their ideas on Yasu's life. All of this has greatly enriched my research.
 The sakura is not yet blooming here. However, I have so many nice images of my stay at the Center with me. There are the window view of the Osaka bay, the seagulls, the cats around the Center, calligraphy class, the temples in the mountains, library, the pastry we shared at the weekly Wednesday meetings, and senseis' talk and jokes. I will surely look back to my time in Osaka with many fond memories.

My experience searching research sources

Yang Qin (China/Australia)

 During the whole span of the six-month stay, I really enjoyed utilizing the databases and digital archives as well as borrowing sources and references through the Inter Library Loan system (a.k.a. ILL, the person who coined this name must have spades of humor!) for my research in the field of Chinese classical studies.
 It may sound strange, but Japan does have an extraordinary tradition of Chinese classical studies and preserve enormous amount of historical sources, including both classical texts and commentaries written in kanji characters by Japanese scholars. They were categorized as kanseki 漢籍 and had been preserved in various libraries, public or private, in universities or in temples.
 Well supported by the center (funding, visitscheduling and search tips), I travelled several times to Kyoto ca7.jpgand Tokyo,spoiling myself reading rare sources in some of the most prestigious bunko 文庫 libraries and university libraries. Each varies as regard to their localities, interior styles, accessibility, and copy services(of course prices, too), but for me one thing they share in common is the high level of user friendliness, thus, user satisfaction. For example, established by members from the Iwasaki family, the Seikado Bunko Library (photo) is rightfully proud of its location on top of a hill (it is like a pilgrimage to a sacred place) in a quiet suburb of Tokyo and its Western-style building designed in the Taisho period.
 100.jpgSitting in the reading room, a guest-room-looking chamber with only a dozen seats, inhaling the familiar 'old-book smell' that emits from the deep yellow thread-bounded pages, mostly prints over two or three centuries old, what an experience it was for both my senses and my mind. Well, I can go on and on talking about my tours to these wonderful places, but I will let you find out for yourself.
 Back to the Center, librarians here were efficient 'managers of reference' who kept meticulous records of my reading log and tirelessly executed my book requests. They were like nice 'fairies' that spoiled me by fulfilling my wishes to read. It was really the first time that I felt how handy it was to read books here. I am still thrilled about my journey of discovering important research sources with all the help from this splendid training program.

Enjoy your Tajiricho!

Jo, Iksang (Korea)

 Although we came to study Japanese in this program, of course it is impossible to just study every hour for the entire 6 months. Therefore, I would like to introduce some leisure activities which can be done within a 3 km radius of the Kansai Kokusai Center.
 If you walk about 3 minutes from the center, there is a beach and a walking path. The beach is called Marble Beach (photo) and its promenade is perfect for walking or jogging. Of course, it's also enjoyable to sit down and watch the ocean and to hear the sound of the waves. You can also have a barbecue party at this beach park by borrowing a grill at reception of the Center. It is the most picturesque place closest to the center. Highly recommended! Also in the immediate vicinity, "Rinku Port North" where yachts are anchored is also a tasteful place to watch the sunset. There are many cats so if you are a cat lover, take a cat's snack on your walk and you will soon be able to make friends with the local cats! Within the center there is a small gym in which it is possible to do simple exercise, but if you want a better equipped gym I can recommend the gym affiliated to "Suehiro Park", which is about 15 minutes from the center by bicycle. I haven't been there myself, but I heard that one can do various activities such as aikido, swimming, trampolining etc. for free. Every single course participant who used it during the last 6 months recommended it.
 First of all, I will introduce the restaurants of Okonomiyaki, the true specialty of Osaka! There are two Okonomiyakiya, each with a different style, close to Yoshiminosato Station, which is about 10 minutes by bicycle. "A" and "B". The former has a homely feeling, the latter has a younger and more fashionable design, and both are very delicious. The chefs know the Japan Foundation center program, and they are experts in the local Osaka dialect. I think talking to them will also be an interesting experience. Ramen is delicious in "C" very near the Center or "D" in Hagurazaki Station.
 Perhaps a regrettable thing about life in this neighborhood is there aren't too many cafes. In fact there are few unique cafés, only the chain-store cafes. However, close to the Center there are many izakaya. What I would like to recommend the most is "E", which is about 5 minutes away from Hagurazaki Station. The atmosphere and the taste is wonderful. There are also many good izakayas around Hagurazaki station, so how about enjoying it while also helping the local economy?


2013 Japanese Language program for Overseas Students (University Students/Spring Course)

Period:May 7th - June 20th 2013






The Program

Students from China, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan, Slovenia, Romania, Russia and Kenya participated in this 6 weeks program.

In classroom interactions we had Discussion and understanding Japan,Speech, Interview and Japanese language Variety through which we were able to talk and learn different kinds of new Japanese Expressions.

Other than that, we also had some cultural activities such as, how to wear a kimono, calligraphy, flower arrangement, Japanese drums, Aiki-Jujutsu, Japanese tea ceremony.and Study Trips (Nara, Kyoto and Wakayama). We had the opportunity to visit Nara and Kyoto where we saw famous shrines and temples. In addition to that, we visited Sennan City Shindachi Primary School; Osaka market sales control building and Kobe Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institute. We interacted and interviewed students from Ritsumeikan and Mukogawajoshi University and some locals after which we made presentations on information that we gathered.

During the program, not only did we study Japanese but also experienced many things such as culture, Study Trips and interactive programs.


Japanese Classes.

In this program, we had four kinds of classes besides cultural activities as mentioned above. These are Discussion and understanding Japan,Speech, Interview and Japanese language Variety. In the Discussion and understanding Japan classes; we compared our countries to Japan in terms of traditions, education and environment etc. In the process, we not only got to learn about the Japanese society but also the societies of other different countries. As a result through comparison with other countries, we had a deeper understanding of Japan and the Japanese people.

We studied necessary expressions used in an interview in the interview classes and analyzed the information we gathered from interviewing university students and locals.

At the end of the program we presented the result of the interviews through power point presentations.

Speech classes involved writing and presenting of speeches after learning basic expressions. The first speech was about our universities’ activities while the second one was about countries.

In Japanese language variety classes, we learned about the expressions used by the youth in their daily lives, Kansai dialect and the use of onomatopoeia. It was therefore exciting to be able to understand the Kansai dialect and the youth expressions during interviews, home visits and interactive gatherings.

Besides the classes, there were study consultations, introduction to study materials and 2weeks feedback. Thanks to the six weeks Japanese classes, we have improved our speaking ability of the Japanese language and can now talk with full confidence.


Interactive programs.

In the six weeks of the program, we had 4 interactive gatherings. First was a visit to an elementary school. During this visit, we made presentations about our countries using the posters that we had made after which we had lunch with the pupils. It was very exciting to present about our countries in japan.

Then we had interactive sessions with university students. We conducted interviews in two universities. During the second interview, three participants of the program gave speeches. It was good experience for them to have been able to give speeches in front of Japanese people.

The final session was with the local people. The elderly had lots of opinions that were different from those of the youth. The locals were very nice to us and answered our questions nicely. It was a very happy experience for all of us to have the chance to interact with the Japanese people.





Cultural activities.

Cultural activities were 6 and they included: Aiki-Jujutsu, calligraphy, tea ceremony learning how to wear a kimono, Japanese drums and flower arrangement. Participants can choose 3 of these activities. I experienced Aiki-Jujutsu, Japanese drums and learning how to wear a kimono. Everything, from learning how to defend myself to the way of beating drums and wearing a kimono became unforgettable memories for me.




Advice for future participants 

Since it is a long training period, there are points to consider before your travel to Japan.

First, there will be visits to an elementary school and a home visit therefore, it will be good to bring something that represents your country.

There will be many trips in the 6 weeks period so a small bag and medicine will be very handy.

Though there are hospitals and drugstore in Japan, bringing your own medicine is highly recommended.

During the program, you will have many speeches and presentations to give so bringing your own laptop will be highly beneficial.



We thank Izumisano Municipal Daiichi Elementary School, Ritsumeikan University, Mukogawa Women’s University and other organizations for their cooperation to this program.  

2012Japanese‐Language Program for Overseas Students (University Student / Autumn Course)

Japanese-Language Program for Indonesian University Students (Commissioned by Osaka Gas Foundation of International Cultural Exchange)

Period: November 6th- December 20th  2012

Dorina – Hungary

                                                          Ali – Indonesia

       Joy – Thailand


About the program

This year’s program was attended by 33 college students from 16 different countries. In this program many fun activities were held aiming to improve the participants’ confidence with speaking Japanese. In class, we used Japanese to discuss many different topics about Japan. We also had a variety of activities related to the Japanese culture. For example: Noh and Kyogen,kimono, Japanese drums, Tea ceremony, calligraphy, Japanese flower arrangement, martial arts and self-defense classes. In addition to that there were a home visit and visiting an elementary school and various universities. We visited Osaka Gas’s exhibition centerand gas plant and leaned about the latest gas equipment and LNG. We all travelled to Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima as well. Moreover, using after-class time and weekends, we were able to do some research and visit a various places according to our interest.


Japanese lectures

 The lectures are divided into four branches; Variety, discussion and understanding Japan, speech, and interview. In these four branches not only did we practice the Japanese we have learnt so far but we also learned new words and expressions. Furthermore, we practiced the correct use of the grammar we know. In the “Variety” lectures we studied the language currently used by youth in Japan (若者言葉) and the Kansai dialect. It was a whole lot of fun. In the “discussion” lectures we talked about many different things in Japan: family, tradition, environmental issues and so on, comparing them with our own countries. In speech, everyone chose their own topics and we practiced the correct way of writing and giving a speech. The interview class has to be the most difficult but it was very interesting as well. We were divided into groups and we worked together, choosing a theme and holding interviews with residents from the area around the center and college students of different universities. We then had to prepare a presentation that we gave in front of our classmates, professors and guests from outside the center too. All four classes were amazingly helpful.

Apart from these lectures there were different types of classes. For example: consultation sessions with professors (one on one time), classes for introducing studying materials like books and websites, and classes to reflect on what we accomplished in learning Japanese or what we learned about Japan’s culture and society. It goes without mentioning that our language proficiency improved greatly because of using it all day every day.



                Japanese-Language Class                                                               Final Presentation  


Interactive gatherings

Over these 6 weeks we had three types of gatherings.

Firstly, we were divided into groups to hold interviews with residents from the area around the center based on the methods we learned in class. We got the chance to speak with them and find out their opinions about many topics, learning the proper language and way to speak to them. This I think is a chance we couldn’t have gotten if not for this gathering.

Secondly, there was the chance of interacting with college students. Just as the above we were divided into groups and we interviewed them. But this time was slightly different as some of the participants in our program gave speeches in front of the students. Of course there was Q&A time after the speeches. We also got to know the values and point of views of students of our generation.  Furthermore, we got an opportunity to receive a ‘Hiroshima dialect’ lesson by the students of Yasuda Women’s University as a part of the program.  



                    Kobe University                                                                         Ritsumeikan University 



             Yasuda Women’s University                                                       Kwansei Gakuin University 


Lastly, there was a visit to an elementary school. Different from the previous gatherings we didn’t give speeches or interview the students. Instead, we introduced our own countries to them. And in return they introduced some of Japan to us. We got to see how they spend lunch break and recess. And this time we learned the proper language and way to speak to children. 


Cultural activities

We had 6 different activities over these 6 weeks. They included: Kimono, Flower arranging art, calligraphy, Japanese drums, tea ceremony and martial arts& self defense. Every participant had the chance to try three of them. We’d first learn about the art and then attempt doing it ourselves. It was a lot of fun, we created memories for life.

For example, in kimono we got to wear traditional kimonos, learn the names of their components and the meanings of the emblems imprinted on them. What a fun experience it was! Not only was it fun to wear something so luxurious and expensive but we also got to learn something new in the process.

In the Japanese drums event we watched the professionals perform before us, and then they gave us the chance to try it out ourselves. Learning how to play those drums was difficult but again it was a chance to learn something new while having fun at the same time.



                    Kimono Wearing                                                                                   Japanese Calligraphy 



In this program we got to improve our Japanese level, learn about many different websites that can help us study Japanese and of course we got to make new friends. 

Advice for participants to come

  • Speak in Japanese as much as you can!
  • Don’t shy out! Gather your nerves and just talk!
  • Don’t worry about making mistakes!
  • If you have the time, go see many places!
  • Introduce your country’s culture every chance you get!
  • Make many friends of different countries!




Visit Osaka Gas Facilities


Translated by Maha– Egypt



We thank Osaka Gas Foundation of International Cultural Exchange (OGFICE), Hiroshima International Center(HIC),Kobe University, Ritsumeikan University, Yasuda Women’s University, Kwansei Gakuin University, Izumisano Municipal Daiichi Elementary School and other organizations for their cooperation to this program.  


2012  Japanese-Language Program for Overseas Students (University Students/Winter Course) 

Period: Jan 8th - Feb 21st 2013

▼About the program

During six weeks, 25 participants from 8 countries were taking part in different activities to gain confidence in speaking Japanese. Students from China, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Slovakia, Slovenia, Belarus and Romania were improving Japanese language abilities having such classes as speech, discussion and interview.

During the interview classes we explored Japanese language and Japan.

During the speech classes we prepared and performed speechs about different themes.

We mede a speech to the students of Ritsumeikan University and Kobe University.

During the discussion classes we were comparing different aspects of life (family life, wedding, traditions and customs, education, life style) in our countries.

We had a discussion with students in Kobe University.

And to deepen our understanding of Japanese society problems, we were interviewing students in Ritsumeikan University and Kobe University.and local residents.

Also we visited all must-visit sightseeing spots, such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe and Hiroshima, were we had a really good time. In Tokyo, we had the chance to learn about earthquakes in a visit to the Sona Area. When we saw the Asakusa tradicional constructions and, at the Tokyo Furusato Matsuri event, the Matsuri from different regions, we were able to meet the japanese tradition and culture. It was an amazing experience. In the trip to Hiroshima, we cooked our own okonomiyaki and now, back in our home countries, we can taste a little bit of the japanese cuisine whenever we want. Then, at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome) we learned about the war history and the importance of peace through the memories of the atomic bomb victims.

In addition, we experienced such cultural activities, as Wadaiko (Japanese Drums), wearing kimono, Kado (the art of flower arrangement), Aikijujutsu (martial arts), Sado (tea ceremony) and Shodo (calligraphy).



 Exchange meeting with Kobe University                                      Exchange meeting with Waseda University



                                                 Exchange meeting with RitsumeikanUniversity



▼Our experience

During this 6 week stay, we've gained experiences that will stay with us for whole life. We didn't only learn about japanese people, but its society too,so it made everything more educational.

When we had home visit, we visited volunteers houses, where we felthow the real japanese house and living customs work in areal life. Together with hosts we talked and spent a great afternoon.

A day which we spent together with elementary students was a important experience for us, because we had a chance to talk  about our own country in japanese.

When we went to SONA AREA, we learned not only about how earthquake can be dangerous, but also how to survive if such catastrophy does occures.

Thanks to this program we didn't learn just about Japan, but also importance of friendship and team work. We all believe this experience will help us become better once when we return back home!



 Aikijujutsu                                                                                Flower arrangement




Kansai Center provides different activities for the resident students. For example, bicycle rental, self-study room which can be used 24 hours a day, big hall where you can use projection and also different sports equipment. Furthermore, single rooms are spacious as also you have your own privacy. Because the Center is so close to the sea,the view is really beautiful. One of services is also the self-study room. When you have to prepare for the presentations you can always bring your own paper and use the printer there. Center's accomodation is concentrated to make your studies easier.


 Hiroshima study tour                                                                                                Kyoto study tour



▼Things you should better bring with you:

Before coming to Japan you should pay attention to the following things

  • Bring your own medicine. Medicines in Japan might not be effective for you

  • It may rain, so an umbrella might be helpful

  • Bring souvenirs from your country for the home visit family

  • Any materials which will help you to introduce your country to others (photos, CDs, traditional costume,


  • Make a research about Japanese lifestyle.

  • Also check prices in Japan up on the internet or ask your acquaintances to calculate the amount of money you need to take with you.



▼Last comments

During all of the six weeks we spend here, we were surrounded by friendly atmosphere, which was created owing to our teachers and staff working here.  Every day exchanging greetings and speaking simple Japanese, they provided us with mindful service, which have helped us to have really good time while fulfilling the program tasks. This “friendliness” helped us to abandon our fears and improve our confidence in speaking Japanese. It also helped us to realize the necessity of helping others when they are in trouble. We want to thank our teachers and the Institute staff. This feeling of gratitude will stay with us even when we return home, helping us to continue studying Japanese.


We thank Kobe University, Ritsumeikan University, Waseda University, Kaizuka city Elementary Schooland other organizations for their cooperation to this program.  




                                                                      Final presentation


平成25年度 日本語学習者訪日研修(高校生)








AW13highs-5-2.jpg       ゆかた                      和太鼓

AW13highs-34.jpg                                       授業風景        











 AW13highs-56.jpg       民族衣装で高校へ                   高校の授業に参加














Japanese-Language Program for Overseas Students (Outstanding Students) / Canon Vietnam Japanese-Language Program / Japan Latvian Society in Kansai Japanese-Language Program

When: 19 August 2015 -2 September 2015

Farewell speech of representative participants

Japanese only →Farewell speech in Japanese






 Tips for future participants (From  65 participants in the year 2015)

What do you think they should bring to Japan?

・some comfortable walking shoes (you will walk a lot)
・sun protection cream
・Toiletries (soap/shampoo/conditioner/toothpaste)
・an umbrella (you can buy one at a 100 yen shop but strong winds destroy those easily.)
・Some souvenirs (visual materials from your country will come in handy!)(for home visit family)
・a lot of money (if you will buy a lot of souvenirs)
・Conversation skills

Things you probably won't need

・towels (they are provided)
・so many clothes (there is a laundry service.)
・Tissue paper
・too much baggage!
・adapters; In Yamada Denki, you can buy adapters really cheap. Visit that place first

What kind of preparations do you think they should do before participating in the program?

・Look up all possibilities of transport (bus, trains, plane, bicycle…)

・Practice lots and lots of small talk in Japanese!!!
・Revise vocabulary, kanji. Practice writing and hearing.
・The level of the participants is very high, so you have to prepare very well before coming.
・Study more to be able to communicate with everyone in Japanese, so it is better to work hard before coming to this program.
・Prepare self-presentation speech.

What attitude do you think they should keep during the program?

・Speak in Japanese as much as you can, it will be a good practice and also some people might even be thankful for it.

・Be on time always! Japanese people are always punctual.

・Energetic and positive.
・Try to participate in all the activities.
・Gain as much as new experience possible.
・Keep an open mind! Japanese food maybe an acquired taste, but you may enjoy some things if you are open-minded.
・Don’t sit in your room, go explore the center.
・Use your free time wisely and go out to explore the city. Not only famous tourist attractions, but also smaller parts of the city. See local life.
・Go to sleep early! Rest is important!

・You should spend your money wisely.

・Be friendly! You will be surprised how close you can become with the other participants in just 2 weeks.
・You should try to talk to everyone! There are a lot of good people participating and you can make many good friends!
・You will encounter people whose are different from yours (religion, way of living, beliefs), please respect them. If you have any questions, ask them kindly and thoughtfully.
・Please talk softly well when you are travelling together in a large group.

・Realize not everyone know a lot about your country so some prepared to answer all kinds of questions.
・You represent your country not only yourself. So you have to do your best for all the duration of this program.

・All your best! It will be the best 2 weeks of your life!!! 



Manga: Memories of the Program


Please read this manga made by a participant!



※This manga is made based on the writer's experience in Japan and her personal opinions.  Please know that there may be a part different from the actual events or the program contents.


The Japanese-Language Program for Overseas Students (Partner University Students) (Spring Course)

Period: January 29th - March 14th  2013

Things we learned:

From the beginning, with the help from our teachers, we had to learn how to study Japanese independently. It was very important for us to overcome small challenges. For example, speaking in Japanese on the phone or finding your way and the departures of the trains. Through various scenarios we became better at speaking Japanese. For example, we spoke with elementary school children, made formal introductions, and spoke with local elderly who spoke in Kansai dialect.


About the UP Program:

The Japanese-Language Program for Overseas Partner University Students (Spring) was a 6 week program from January 29, 2013 to March 14, 2013. There were 30 participants from Korea, China, Taiwan, USA, Indonesia, Thailand, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Romania, Australia, and Russia.


1.During the course of the program

Every day we spoke in Japanese with the foreign participants and little by little became better. We were able to use Japanese in everyday life. With our foreign friends we were able talk about various cultures and also learn about them. During Osaka orienteering we learned how important it was to work together. The teachers gave great advice on studying and working in Japan


2.Traditional Cultural Classes


  • Japanese drum, aikijujitsu, tea ceremony, kimono, flower arrangement, calligraphy,And a comic story (told by a professional storyteller).

The program arranged Japanese traditional classes. Aikijujitsu and Japanese drums were a great work out for the body. The time we spent wearing kimono and drinking tea made us feel the essence of being Japanese. We won`t forget the beautiful flowers arrangements we made. We used traditional tools to write beautiful kanji.

  • Elementary school visit, home visit, Osaka University visit and Osaka Red Cross Hospital visit.

It was very informative to speak with people other than Japanese teachers and learn about Japanese society. In the elementary school we gave presentations about our countries and answered any questions the students had. We learned about the unique lifestyles of Japanese elementary school through playing, eating, and cleaning together. During home visit we were introduced to modern Japanese lifestyle at home. We were able to eat homemade food and have a good time with our host family.  At Osaka University we were able to meet many Japanese and foreign students. We went to an interesting Japanese class. At the Osaka Red Cross Hospital we learned about various cities that are affected by natural disasters and how the Red Cross helps them.

  • Kansai ben and slang

Through the local people we heard Kansai ben and the students taught us specific words to use. They also taught us how to properly use slang that is used by young Japanese people.



Exchange meeting with RitsumeikanUniversity                     Kimono


3.What we did in free Time

  • Went to Denden town and bought otaku paraphernalia
  • Played soccer and tennis outside and played ping pong and badminton in the hall.
  • We went shopping in Aeon mall, Namba, and Umeda.
  • We had a BBQ party at the nearby beach.
  • On weekends we traveled to various places in Japan. 


Study Trips

1.Nara and Kyoto

 We visited historical places that we studied in our home Universities. In Nara we felt the deep Japanese history. Despite it being very cold we were able to enjoy our time.


 In Hito to mirai bosai senta we learned many things about preparing for natural disasters. We were very impressed by the reporter from the Kobe newspaper who gave very accurate accounts about the Kobe earthquake.

3.Hiroshima and Miyajima

 We were shocked by visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Peace Memorial Museum.  Since 1945, the people of Hiroshima show us how they overcame great tragedy. We stayed one night at a traditional Japanese hotel, went to the onsen, walked on the beach and felt deeply relaxed.



  • Definitely bring a laptop and a Type-A adapter.
  • Bring a big suitcase and don’t back a lot of clothes so you can buy lots of gifts.
  • Bring your home gifts for people you have met in Japan.
  • Don`t bring a lot study materials. But bring a small dictionary.
  • There are a lot of study trips so bring comfortable walking shoes.
  • You will meet various people, so make business cards with your name, country, college, and e-mail addresses.


4.24UPs.JPG 3.24UPs.JPG

Presentation                                        study tour




Special thanks to:Osaka Red Cross Hospital, Hito to mirai bosai senta, Kobe shinbun, Osaka University ,

Ritsumeikan University and other educational institutes.


The Japanese-Language Program for Overseas Students (Partner University Students)(Summer Special Course)

Training period: 2014.07.15~2014.08.01


About the Students:

On July 15th, 2014, thirty-five people from thirteen different countries and regions arrived at The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai.
. (People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Kingdom of Thailand, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Commonwealth of Australia, Canada, United States of America, Spain, Kingdom of the Netherlands, United Kingdom of Great Britain, and Republic of Hungary) Looking back, we were all very nervous and reserved at first but soon after we all became friends, and by the time the program ended, we were like long time friends. Although in the beginning we did not feel very confident while speaking Japanese, thanks to some of the cultural activities in the program and interactions with Japanese people, our Japanese improved little by little.

1&2 UPSP夏.png

About the Program:

During this eighteen-day long program, we had the opportunity to participate in exchange activities related to the topics discussed in our classes, visit Osaka University, interact with Japanese students, visit Japanese households, and travel, along with many other things. Thanks to all that, we were able to more deeply understand the significance of Japan and its society and culture. When the Japanese students came to visit us in the center, we also learnt about Japanese dialects such as Osaka-ben as well as Wakamono Kotoba. Also, activities such as wadaiko, aikijujitsu, shodo, and kimono wearing were great cultural experiences. Out of these activities, each student could choose two depending on their interests within Japanese culture. We were really impressed.

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About the Center

 This center has taken great care of us. There are many facilities that students can use to study; for example at the library, you can borrow books and read or study in silence. Also, there is a lounge where we all would gather at night after dinner everyday to share experiences from our countries as well as sing songs. Since most of us have never been to Japan, the experiences we had in Osaka and the program have been great. Thanks to the warmth of Osaka, we didn’t feel so much of a cultural shock and we were able to enjoy ourselves from the very beginning.

Lastly, words cannot possibly describe our gratitude for all those who made this experience possible for us. Not only are we more skilled at speaking Japanese now, but we’ve also made friends that we will have for the rest of our life. This is an experience that we will never forget. Thank you so, so much.


To all those who made the program possible, as well as those from Osaka University and the other organizations that collaborated, thank you very much.

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Linda Harris (Commonwealth of Australia)
Julia Zhu Wei(Commonwealth of Australia)
Catherine Antoinette Bryant(United States of America)
Gustavo Florez(Spain)

The Japanese-Language Program for Indonesia University students (Commissioned by Osaka Gas Foundation of International Cultural Exchange)

Training Period: 19th July 2016 - 2nd September 2016

About this program

This program took place between 19th July and 2nd September 2016 with 38 participants from all over the world. Participants came from 16 different countries and areas; Korea, China, Indonesia, Australia, America, New Zealand, Hungary, Slovenia, Poland, Germany, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Canada and Malaysia. This programme is not only to study Japanese language but also to experience Japanese culture which we are unable to experience in our own countries. Such cultural experiences included aikijujutsu, wadaiko, tea ceremony, calligraphy, kimono and ikebana. Not only did we get to experience Japanese culture through these fun events but also through home visits, language exchanges with university students and people in the community, university visits and class trips to places like Kyoto, Nara and Wakayama. This programme was a short six weeks and really went fast. Being unable to speak in your native language is definitely a struggle but it is such a rewarding experience. Our Japanese has improved so much and I have made so many good friends here from all over the world that I will never forget.


About the classes

We had lots of different classes in this program, all of which required us to express our ideas in Japanese. In discussion class we learnt about various social issues as well as various aspects of Japanese culture, which we then compared to our own countries. During our literacy class, we used the computers in the PC room and were shown various websites to benefit our Japanese language learning. We also had interview classes where we formed groups and interviewed Japanese university students and volunteers in the area on a topic of interest. Lastly, we had a speech class, in which we presented two speeches; one on our country and one on our university or student life. At the end of every two weeks we would have a summary session where we would reflect on interesting things we learnt as well as cultural differences between Japan andour own countries.

Osaka orienteering

During the first week, we had the opportunity to get to better know Osaka's business district. We were split into groups of four, and each group went to different famous tourist attractions in Osaka. The tourist attractions included historical places and commercial districts where you could buy lots of different kinds of items. For instance, our group went to the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living. Here, Japanese housing from the Edo period to Showa period was exhibited. If you see the traditional houses, it looks as though you are in a movie set. Here, you can experience kimono wearing as well, so there were many people walking around wearing kimonos. Further, we were tasked with taking a photo of all our group members with Japanese people, and interviewing this person about his life. Lastly, after the orienteering day, we had a practice presentation where we explained what kind of experience we had to other groups.

During the Orienteering day, our group was really able to get to know each other better and become close in a short span of time. It was a particularly fun day where we got to learn lots of new things and speak with the locals.

Home visit

As part of the program, we were able to experience life in a Japanese household through a home visit. In groups of two to three students, we each spent time with a host family, learning about Japanese lifestyle while also improving our Japanese. Most of us we able to have dinner together and were treated to a buffet of Japanese food kindly prepared by our host families. It was only a few short hours, but I really became close with my host family and found myself wanting to spend more time together. It was definitely one of the highlights of this program.


Cultural experience

During this program, we were able to participate in various cultural experiences including ikebana, calligraphy, taiko drumming, tea ceremony, aikijujutsu and an opportunity to try on a kimono. We were each able to choose three activities and were then divided into groups by our choices.


Taiko drumming

Through the cultural experience opportunities we had a chance to listen to and play the Japanese "Taiko" drums. Listening was not only amazing, but also at that time there was a great deal of emotion in the music. Furthermore, everyone was able to participate in drumming alongside the Taiko group and it became a great experience for us all. Lastly, we could understand that if we are in Japan in the future and wanted to try something new, there are these kinds of groups that will be hospitable and welcoming.

Osaka gas

On the 26th of August, we were given the opportunity to tour Osaka Gas. There, we were introduced to the methods in which gas is transported, and shown around the facilities. After that, we went to the Hug Museum where we were able to see the vision of a future house, and we made our own snacks using some of the newest models of kitchens. It was an incredibly fun and educational day.


Japanese inn

For 2 days we were in Kyoto and stayed in a traditional Japanese inn. From an interest in Japanese, many people have searched about Japan or watched anime. From these things they gain an idea of a traditional Japanese atmosphere and traditional culture. In order to further understand those things and ascertain the true feeling of them, staying in a traditional Japanese inn was a great experience. From the moment we entered into the inn, the atmosphere completely changed. We were able to enter the traditional room, sleep atop the tatami mats on futon, and eat a traditional meal. On top of all this, we could relax in the Japanese public bath space. Wherever we went within the inn, the smell, the sights, everything allowed us to experience traditional Japan and its history.


University visit

During these six weeks, we had the chance to visit two Japanese universities; Ritsumeikan University and Kobe University.

During our visit to Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, we separated into groups and had lunch together in the cafeteria and were then given a tour of the campus. We were also given a presentation by two exchange students, where we had the opportunity to ask any questions we had on student life and studying at a Japanese university. It was a short amount of time, but everyone really enjoyed this experience and made lots of new friends.

At Kobe University, we interviewed the Japanese students on a topic of interest as part of our interview class and were then given a presentation on student life from the perspective of an international student. After we finished our interviews, we had lots of time to talk to the Japanese students and made many new friends, as well as learning lots about Japanese universities and student life.