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Study Abroad in Kyoto

College Study Abroad

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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.


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  • kyoto students train ride
  • kyoto students abroad

Study Tours & Cultural Excursions 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. 

About the Center

Centrally located in the upscale office district of Karasuma Oike, CIEE Kyoto features three classrooms, a student lounge, a student life office, an academic advising office, and complimentary WiFi and printer access. In addition to the Center's amenities, students have easy access to cafés, convenience stores, gyms, and more. CIEE Kyoto is also only two minutes from the closest subway station and a 10-minute walk from the city's main shopping street, Nijo Castle, Kamo River, and the former Imperial Palace.

Beyond the Center, students will find CIEE Kyoto is situated in the perfect spot in downtown Kyoto, making it easy to explore every inch of the city. From Nanzenji and Kiyomizu to the east, Arashiyama and its amazing bamboo forest to the west, Ohara's stunning temple gardens to the north, and Nintendo's headquarters in the south, students will have easy access to the area's most important landmarks and attractions.

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Where Students Study

CIEE Kyoto
CIEE Kyoto is part of the CIEE Open Campus Block Network and is centrally located and perfect for exploring every inch of Kyoto.

kyoto dragon statue at the heian shrine

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.

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Semester in Kyoto (fall 2025)


Study Abroad Programs in Kyoto

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  • Kyoto, Japan
  • Study Program

Learn Japanese language and culture, further your studies with courses on humanities and social sciences taught in English, and experience all that Kyoto has to offer.

Program Interests
  • Ancient City
  • Mountains to Hike
  • Small City
winter kyoto japan snow
  • Kyoto, Japan
  • Study Program

Kyoto is the premier hub of traditional Japanese culture and is filled with palaces, temples, gardens, museums, and theaters.

Program Interests
  • Ancient City
  • Mountains to Hike
  • Small City
bamboo forest walkway kyoto japan
  • Study Program

Immerse yourself in Japanese culture, further your studies in humanities and social sciences, and experience all that Kyoto has to offer.

Program Interests
  • Ancient City
  • Mountains to Hike
  • Small City
yellow temple kyoto japan
  • Kyoto, Japan
  • Study Program
  • Multi-Location Offering
  • Part-Time Internship

Study abroad in Kyoto – one of Japan’s most traditional cities – in CIEE’s Open Campus Block program.

Program Interests
  • Ancient City
  • Mountains to Hike
  • Small City
Pocket Guide to Kyoto

Japanese Yen

Spoken Languages 

Available Transportation 
Bike, bus, feet

Famous Local 
Haruki Murakami – an international bestselling novelist

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

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

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!

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.

Read more: How Much Does it Cost to Study Abroad?

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.

Kyoto is located in the southwest area of Japan’s main island of Honshū in the Kansai region. The seventh-largest city in Japan, Kyoto is about 5 hours southwest of Tokyo by car. 

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

miyajima temple study abroad student

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
temple tour in kyoto with ciee

Study Abroad Scholarships


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