Study Abroad in Kyoto

College Study Abroad

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kyoto japan summer

Explore Kyoto, Japan

Japan’s cultural capital of Kyoto has it all, from meditative zen temples and teahouses to the world’s first Manga museum and world-class game leaders like Nintendo and Q-Games. Studying abroad in Kyoto creates a unique experience for students in a picturesque city nestled in a valley with hiker-friendly hills dotted with World Heritage sites. 

When you study abroad in Kyoto, you’ll experience a stunning mix of historical depth and vibrant, entrepreneurial dynamism. Your study abroad experience in Kyoto will be complemented by the enticing tastes, sights, & cultural ambience of the uniquely ancient and modern Kyoto life.

kyoto on map of japan
Study abroad culture and food in Kyoto
Study abroad local students in Kyoto

Every CIEE semester program has frequent study tours and cultural excursions uniquely designed to complement the program’s academics and enhance students’ cultural immersion. In Kyoto, past tours and excursions have included:

  • Go on an overnight excursion to the White Heron Castle in Himeji
  • Visit the Atomic Dome, Peace Memorial Museum of Hiroshima, and explore the scenic beauty of Miyajima
  • Visit the stunning Imperial Villas at Katsura – with its world-famous moon-viewing architecture – & Shugakuin, with gardens incorporating views of the foothills of Mt. Hiei & idyllic rice paddies
  • Take a day-trip to Nara, the capital of Japan before Kyoto, with its massive bronze Buddha
  • Partake in a classical tea ceremony and visit the home of a folk-artist potter & sculptor

If you’re a student looking to explore Kyoto life, art, history, CIEE’s study tours and cultural excursions allow you to do just that! Whether you travel to Kyoto on a winter, spring, fall, or summer program, this historic city offers something for everyone. 

Study abroad in Kyoto

Where Students Study

CIEE Kyoto
CIEE Kyoto is part of the CIEE Open Campus Block Network. It is centrally located and perfect for exploring every inch of Kyoto – from Nanzenji and Kiyomizu in the East, to Arashiyama and its amazing bamboo forest in the West; from Ohara’s stunning temple gardens in the North, to Nintendo’s headquarters in the South.

Study abroad students having a welcome lunch in Kyoto

Internships & Volunteering

Depending on their program of study and availability, students may be able to participate in an internship or volunteer. For students looking to intern in Kyoto, they may have the opportunity to gain real-world experience working in business, IT, communications, and the arts.

Students interested in volunteering in Kyoto may have the chance to work directly with their community and give back in a meaningful way.

Study Abroad Programs in Kyoto

Pocket Guide to Kyoto

  • Currency
    Japanese Yen

    Spoken Languages

    Available Transportation
    Bike, bus, feet

    Famous Local
    Haruki Murakami – an international bestselling novelist

  • Climate
    Short, hot summers; cold windy winters; mild spring and fall

    Did You Know?
    Before Tokyo became Japan’s capital city, Kyoto was the capital for more than 1,000 years

  • Airport
    Kansai International Airport (KIX)

    Social Norms
    Stepping on the boarder of a tatami mat is considered both rude and bad luck

    What to Pack
    Backpack, comfortable shoes, slippers, umbrella

Frequently Asked Questions


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A unique blend of ancient and modern, Kyoto is a good place to visit for students looking to experience Japanese culture in a picturesque city. Kyoto, Japan is a good study abroad destination for students interested in studying Japanese language, history, culture, and more!


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Considered one of the cheapest major destinations in Japan, Kyoto is a relatively cheap destination filled with ancient temples, gardens, shrines, and hiking trails. Compared to Tokyo, students can generally expect lower costs in Kyoto.


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Known for its plethora of Buddhist temples, shrines, gardens, and palaces, Kyoto has much to explore! Some of the best places to go in Kyoto include Nijo Castle, Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine, Philosopher’s Walk, and Kinkakuji Temple.


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In order to ensure our students feel welcomed, supported, and empowered while studying abroad, CIEE staff completes comprehensive diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) training. Staff provide students with advice, resources, and ongoing support both before and during their study abroad program in Kyoto.
For more detailed information on diversity in Kyoto, visit our Diversity in Kyoto page.

Study Abroad Scholarships & Grants

kyoto japan kiyomizu temple cultural excursion

APPLY IN 1,2,3!

You may be wondering if there are any scholarships to study in Kyoto. CIEE offers scholarships and grants for study abroad programs in Kyoto to students with demonstrated financial need, proven academic merit, and for specific CIEE programs. Students can apply for scholarships through 3 simple steps:

  1. Search for and apply to your dream program
  2. Review all available funding opportunities
  3. Complete the Scholarship & Grants portion of your application

kyoto summer program



Based on students' Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) from their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and enrolled institution. Complete the Scholarships & Grants portion of your program application to be considered for all awards to which you are eligible. 


Based on academic achievement. Complete the Scholarships & Grants portion of your program application, along with an essay, to be considered for all awards to which you are eligible. 


Other scholarship awards are based on program or alumni status. 


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Kyoto Study Abroad Reviews

  • "The Kyoto CIEE program was one of the most culturally enriching programs I’ve ever done. Even though it was for only 3 weeks, I met some of the most amazing people and was able to experience Kyoto in a way I didn't think possible. I would highly recommend such an experience to any peer. CIEE facilitates this experience tremendously with support from staff and instructors."

    Jesus C., Massachusetts Institute of Technology