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Sophia University Summer School
Tokyo, Japan (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Summer
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Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: Scranton applicants only
Budget Sheets Summer
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Dates / Deadlines:
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Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 04/15/2019 04/30/2019 TBA TBA
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Fact Sheet:
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Instruction Language: English, Japanese Language Prereqs.: No prerequisites
Language Courses: Japanese/Elementary, Japanese/Intermediate
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Fields of study:
Asian Studies, Economics, History, Japanese, Political Science, Sociology, Theology/Religious Studies
Minimum GPA: 2.8 Eligibility-Class: 03 Second Semester Sophomore
Credits/Term: 3-6
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Program Type:
Foreign University Progam for International Students
Housing Options: Home Stay, Hostel/Hotel, Residence Halls
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Dining hall/meal plan, Meals with family, Prepare own food
Program Description:
Program Description:


The University 

The origin of Sophia University can be traced back to more than 450 years ago when the Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier came to Japan in 1549 to spread Christianity in Japan. The actual foundation of the university began In 1908, when three Jesuit priests arrived in Japan in response to a request from the Roman Pontiff at that time, Pope Pius X. Five years later, in 1913, they opened the first Catholic university in Japan on this Kioi site where Sophia still stands. The university will celebrate its centennial in 2013. There are currently 11,929 students enrolled at Sophia University (undergraduate and graduate students). Of the total students, 881 are international students.  

Sophia University has more than 150 partner institutions worldwide and receives exchange students based on the student exchange agreements. Every year, more than 200 exchange students study at Sophia.  For more information on Sophia University, please navigate to their home page: Sophia University.

The City of Tokyo

With a population of about 14 million, rising to nearly 20 million on weekdays when commuters arrive for work, Tokyo is the quintessential metropolis. But it is also composed of scores of small and intimate "villages", each with its own character and rhythms. From the soaring towers and flashing neon of Shinjuku to the wooden temple structures of Akasaka; from the luxury complex of Roppongi Hills to traditional winding back streets of Shitamachi; from Yasukuni Shrine where the war-dead are enshrined to Okubo where large ethnic enclaves are thriving; from the bustling center of political power in Kasumigaseki to the newest play land of Odaiba; from the quiet refinement of the Ginza to the garish technology of Akihabara; from the youth capital of music and style in Shibuya to the green mountains of Takao in the western fringes. And you are only a short train ride from such other historical and natural sights such as Yokohama, Kamakura, Hakone, and Nikko.

Tokyo is clean and safe, easy to get around, and to get things done. The low crime rate is famous, and the efficiency of the city's public transport legendary. Computerized systems keep the city functioning smoothly; shopping is easy, and information in all languages is readily available. In only a few months after moving here, you will become familiar with your neighborhood and they will get to know you.

The Summer Asian Studies Program

Entering its 50th year, the Summer Session is the oldest and most extensive of summer sessions in Japan. Though classes are also attended by students of Sophia's Faculty of Liberal Arts (Faculty of Comparative Culture), the majority of students come from abroad. Offering one of the easiest ways for students from abroad to study in Japan, the Summer Session has been attended by over 10,000 students from around the world over the years. Not a few have gone on to pursue careers related to Japan. Some have even raised families and then sent their children to the Summer Session! In addition to the classes offered, there are also a variety of field trips providing a chance to attend performances of such arts as Noh, Kabuki, and the tea ceremony and to visit sites such as Meiji Shrine and Asakusa.

Since its foundation in 1961, Sophia University's Summer Session of Asian Studies has provided the opportunity for both students and teachers to study and reflect on the relation of Japan, Asia, and the world. Located in one of the many "hearts" of Tokyo, the Summer Session allows participants not only the chance to experience aspects of Japanese culture and society themselves but also to witness the myriad ways in which the cultures of the world are both present and reflected in the maze-like urban landscape of Tokyo.


There is a wide range of courses to choose among. More important, however, are the ways the courses are linked with what it is possible to see and do in Tokyo itself. Among the special tours planned are visits to Meiji Shrine and Asakusa. It is also possible to experience first hand a range of traditional Japanese arts: Noh, Kabuki, the tea ceremony, flower arrangement, and a variety of Japanese arts on display at Tokyo museums. For more information on courses, please see: Asian Studies Courses.

The Summer Session also enables participants to experience a number of different perspectives on Japan. The faculty themselves represent diverse cultural backgrounds, and students from roughly a dozen different countries participate in the Summer Session each year. A large number of Japanese students, both from abroad and from Sophia's Faculties of Liberal Arts and others, also attend the classes. Class discussions and interaction among students thus also provide occasions for reflecting on how our various cultural backgrounds shape our understanding of Japan and the world at large.


Students have a choice of living with a family, in a hotel/hostel or in a university residence hall. More information on the housing may be found at: Sophia University Summer School Housing.



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