winter kyoto japan snow
Kyoto, Japan

January in Kyoto

Study Program



3 weeks



3 semester hours

4.5 quarter hours


Application Deadline

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Dive deeper into Japan's history and culture this January in Japan’s ancient capital! Kyoto is the premier hub of traditional Japanese culture and is filled with palaces, temples, gardens, museums, and theaters. Coursework is taught in English at CIEE Kyoto and is complemented by immersive co-curricular activities designed to increase intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences


Contrast the dazzling Golden Temple and more serene Silver Temple; stroll the Philosopher’s Walk.


With its rich cultural, religious, and artistic traditions dating back 1,200+ years, soak in Kyoto’s depth.


Either as a drink or green tea flavored pastries, ice cream, and other desserts.







  • kyoto students together yellow shrine lake
  • kyoto welcome dinner ciee student

Your Destination

Kyoto is located in the Kansai region in the western part of Honshu island. The cities of Osaka, Kobe, and Nara – which are also must-visit destinations in Japan – are nearby and easily accessible by train. Kyoto was the capital of Japan from 794 to 1868 and was formally called “Heian-kyo,” which literally means, “The Capital of Peace.” While today Tokyo is the official capital of Japan, Kyoto is often called the country’s “cultural capital,” for its preservation of numerous cultural, religious, and artistic sites and traditions. Kyoto provides an ideal environment for students to immerse themselves in the Japanese language and culture.

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Kyoto.

The Culture

shrine kyoto japan student group visit


Every CIEE program is complemented with co-curricular activities and excursions designed to enhance academic and intercultural learning. In Kyoto students may:

  • Tour the Kyoto Imperial Palace grounds where emperors of old resided, and two of the Imperial Villas at Katsura and Shugaku-in
  • Take a walking tour of the Higashiyama District to experience traditional Kyoto
  • Visit the Kyoto National Museum, first opened in 1897, one of Japan’s oldest and most distinguished
  • Explore the amazing collection held by the Kyoto International Manga Museum
  • Travel to the nearby former capital city of Nara, home of Nara deer park, the Great Buddha Hall at Todaiji Temple, and the Kasuga Grand Shrine

Program Blogs


What an eventful week it has been in Japan!

By CIEE Kyoto at CIEE

Week 1 in Japan! Authored by Swapomti Surampudi Flight Crazy Moments I flew in from San Antonio to San Francisco and then San Francisco to Osaka, Japan KIX airport. The... keep reading


Earn credits by reading manga in Kyoto! Yes, it’s true!

By College Study Abroad at CIEE

Have you ever woken up in a 1,200-year-old city and found yourself only three minutes from the world’s first International Manga Museum? Well, buckle your seatbelt because CIEE Kyoto has... keep reading

What People are Saying

  • "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 did not 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



During January in Kyoto, students will have the opportunity to dive deeper into traditional Japanese culture and history and to learn more about Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto. Students will also be able to participate in a range of complementary co-curricular, personal, and professional development activities to help facilitate integration into the host community as active global learners. 

CIEE Kyoto is conveniently located in the city of Kyoto with easy access to the city’s comprehensive train and bus networks. CIEE Kyoto is the home base for students and a safe zone for them to learn, grow, communicate, and collaborate.



Language Requirements

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

Additional Requirements

Please refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


Students take one 3-credit course.

Program Credit

Total credit: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits

Course Credit

CIEE course: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Academic Culture

Courses are designed by CIEE and adhere to standards and expectations consistent among U.S. higher education institutions. Students have ample opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom by interacting with local students and communities. Classes will be scheduled Monday through Friday with possible weekend excursions or volunteer work. The course is a full semester in content, so the pace is accelerated, and the workload is demanding. Regular class attendance and participation is expected and required. Students play an active role in their own education and take part in group projects. Interaction with fellow students and professors is expected.

Class Format

Courses taught at CIEE Kyoto are exclusive to CIEE students. Classes are scheduled Monday-Friday and are held in Kyoto. Attendance is strictly enforced both for classes and required co-curricular excursions. Students should expect an average of two hours of preparation required for each hour in class. Instruction is supported and augmented online by our learning management system, Canvas.


Assessment is based on the individual’s overall performance in the course, including exams, quizzes, research papers, individual and group oral presentations or projects, and participation. A U.S. grading scale of A-F is used.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Language of Instruction


Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


Course Information

Visual and Performing Arts

Semester Credit

History, Philosophy, Religion

Semester Credit

Social Sciences

Semester Credit

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
"(GI)" denotes courses that originated at CIEE's Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple CIEE sites.

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Program January 2025 3 weeks Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $4,150

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via CIEE's School of Record, which carries an additional fee of $500.

Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel protection with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300*

Educational Costs = $2,445**

Housing = $1,325***

Insurance = $80

Total Fees = $4,150

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $315

International Airfare = $1,600††

Local Transportation = $100

Books & Supplies = $100

Personal expenses = $145†††

Total Costs = $2,260

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

See Scholarships

*non-refundable fee

**direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

***Housing fees listed are for financial aid purposes only and should not be considered a basis for calculation of refunds.

For groceries if you plan on making your own meals, budget more money if you plan on eating out regularly.

††round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

†††$100 emergency fund + cell phone expense + toiletries (Sim requires one-time fee of $25)

What's Included



Pre-departure Advising

Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions

Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet


Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city

On-site Staff

Full-time program leadership and support in your city

Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities

Excursions and/or Study Tours

Travel Protection

CIEE iNext travel protection

24/7 emergency on-site support


Our STaff

Conor Aherne

Center Director

Conor’s passion for Japan began 12 years ago when he studied abroad in Tokyo. He holds an MA in Japanese & Asian History from Saitama University and is a specialist in Kyoto history.

Izumi Wada

Student Life Coordinator

Izumi was born in Kyoto and studied abroad in the US when she was in high school. She is passionate about helping students make their study abroad experience meaningful and fruitful (and baking bread on the weekend!).

Natsuki Kwapong

Student Life Coordinator

Natsuki previously managed in retail, has a loving family of two sons and, in her spare time, she likes to work out and watch Netflix. She looks forward to welcoming you all to Kyoto!

Get Started Steps

Get Started

Here’s what you need to do to take the next steps:


Start an Application 
You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience!


Connect With Your Campus Study Abroad Office 
Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad. 


Contact Us 
Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.

Request Info