kyoto skyline buildings lit up
Kyoto, Japan

First Year Abroad in Kyoto

Dates

-

12 weeks

Costs

Credit

12 - 13 semester hours

18 - 19.5 quarter hours

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

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Contact Us

Dates

-

12 weeks

Costs

Credit

12 - 13 semester hours

18 - 19.5 quarter hours

Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Overview

Put your global education first! See Kyoto and start college at the same time on CIEE’s First Year Abroad program. Earn college credit during a 12-week semester, taking classes from a wide range of subject areas. Immerse yourself in the local Japanese culture by engaging in activities and excursions with first-year peers and other CIEE study abroad students.

Design your own experience by staying in Kyoto for the duration of your program, or by studying in multiple locations via our fall + spring combinations. Along the way, you’ll develop skills and knowledge you simply can’t get in a U.S. classroom. Broaden your horizons, create relationships that last a lifetime, and return home to complete your college degree with a newfound confidence. 

Extend your international experience by combining this program with a second semester in Monteverde or Seville to complete a full academic year abroad.*

*Please note that students will be required to return to the U.S. during the break between semesters due to visa restrictions.

Start an application to view the academic year options available on this program.

Unique Experiences

Cultural Immersion

Experience Kyoto's rich heritage of ancient temples, traditional tea ceremonies, historic gardens, and the art of geisha

College Credits

Stay on track with your 4-year graduation requirements and earn up to 13 credits per semester

Lifelong Skills and Friendships

Jump right into independence, far away from home, and bond with other U.S. and international students

Destination & Activities
  • kyoto japan fushimi inari shrine student tour
  • kyoto welcome dinner ciee student
  • kyoto spring river boats cherry blossoms

The Destination

Japan’s most historic city remains the hub of traditional old-world culture — and a perfect place to study traditional art, architecture, and history. While Tokyo is the official capital of Japan, Kyoto is often called the country’s “cultural capital.” With a wealth of well-preserved historical and religious landmarks (including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites), Kyoto is like a living, open-air museum — and a perfect place for studying Japanese language and culture.

You’ll also find find modern shops selling snacks (for your fix of Poky and Matcha Kit Kat!) and noodle or curry houses catering to hungry students. Adventurous eaters will love Nishiki Market, which has over 100 food stalls and shops of its own. You can fill up on samples, skewers, gyoza dumplings, noodles-and-more-noodles, and pickled everything! Mountains of rice-cake mochi and other wagashi confections come in all shapes and colors. Go for a grilled baby octopus on a stick if you dare! 

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 marginalized identities might encounter in Kyoto.  

Students may study in Kyoto for a maximum of 12 weeks (fall or spring).

kyoto summer study abroad program temple visit

Excursions & Activities

Ample activities and day-trips will be offered to immerse you in Japan’s culture and historical heritage.  Each semester typically includes five day-trips or one overnight and three day-trips. 

  •  Visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace and two Imperial Villas, where former emperors lived in high style.  
  • Climb to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, ascending Inari Mountain while passing through thousands of bright-orange torii gates. 
  • Explore the Kyoto International Manga Museum and its collection of 300,000 comic books! See manga-related exhibits and read any of the 50,000 manga on open shelves that you like. 
  • Feast your eyes at world-famous Nishiki Market, or sample traditional tofu, yuba, and saikyo-yaki — uniquely Kyoto-styled grilled fish. 
  • 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 

Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. 

Housing
Academics

Academics

First Year Abroad offers foundational college courses taught by CIEE local instructors to start your four-year college degree. We combine rigorous intro-level academic courses with unforgettable experiences outside the classroom to create a curriculum fostering academic, intercultural, and professional skills that help you succeed in college and the world beyond.

Our curriculum includes general education courses from major disciplines that offer you college credits to stay on track. Choose lecture and lab courses from the Arts and Humanities, World Language, Natural and Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Social Sciences, as well as courses specifically designed to help you develop organizational, writing and study skills to thrive in college. 

GPA

2.7 minimum high school GPA

Language Requirements

There are no specific language requirement for this program.  

Additional Requirements

  • You must be 18 years or older at the time of program departure. 
  • You must be a recent high school graduate (no more than 18 months post-high school graduation). 
  • You must be in your first year of college, having completed no more than one semester of college post-high school graduation

For more information, 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.

Requirements

All students take four courses per semester (or two courses per block) 

Program Credit

12-13 U.S. semester/18-19.5 quarter credits

Course Credit

CIEE courses: typically, 3 U.S. semester credits; 45 contact hours 

Language courses:  4 U.S. semester credits; 60 contact hours for Beginning Language levels and Intermediate Japanese; 3 semester credits; 45 contact hours for all other language instruction

Lab courses: 4 U.S. semester credits; 60 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

CIEE First Year Abroad students are assisted by a comprehensive academic support system to develop the tools and skills necessary for successful undergraduate studies while abroad and with the transition to attending college in the U.S. These services are provided by CIEE in partnership with Dean College, the Academic Home and School of Record for FYA. These academic support services may include one-on-one, group, or online advising and tutoring.  

CIEE academic staff support students with resources and guidance on academic norms, study habits, and success strategies for first year students studying abroad. Tutors are trained and experienced educators with expertise in their subject areas. They provide assistance with core course concepts, study strategies, academic writing, research, and time management.  

Together, academic support staff and tutoring provide the resources and guidance needed to achieve academic success and make the most of your study abroad experience.

Class Format

Block Courses (Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin, London, Paris, Rome, and Sydney): Take two courses per six-week block for two blocks. You can even take one block in one location and do your second block in another! Block courses are 3 or 4 U.S. credits, contain requisite contact hours and content, and count for the same credit as if they were spread out over a traditional semester. This allows for more intense study of fewer subjects at once. Completing two blocks will give you 12-13 U.S. semester credits to keep you on track to graduate within four years.  

Semester Courses (Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Kyoto, Monteverde, Prague, Rabat, and Seville): The 12-week semester for 12 - 13 U.S. credits allows immersion in four courses at once, including labs or language classes. At this pace, you have ample time to dive deeply into course content while still experiencing your new home culture. It also allows you to study multiple subjects at once. Most colleges offer 12-15 week semesters, so this format is setting you up for a familiar course structure back home.  

Embedded Intercultural Components: Courses have built-in co-curricular and other academic content tailored to your study abroad location. Museums, galleries, visits to local monuments, guest speakers by local experts, and other academic activities bring your studies and the local culture together in exciting ways.  

Experiential Learning: Highly trained local instructors guide you to discovery in small classes that emphasize active learning. Short lectures are enhanced with activities that foster inquiry, like: creative projects, collaborative problem-solving, case study analyses, panel discussions, visits to local sites, conversations with peers, and reflecting on these experiences. Activities are built to impart knowledge and gain critical skills: academic, social, and emotional.  

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Our academics include a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusions, including in course design, instructor training, and course content.  Emphasis is placed on hearing and considering diverse perspectives on important issues. This also includes comparing how local and home cultures approach key topics. All students are equal partners in creating a community of inquiry and all learning styles are accommodated. Support is offered to those who learn at different rates.  

Grading

The U.S. grading scale of A-F is used. Students are graded on the basis of attendance, class participation, homework, project work, presentations, and mid-term and final examinations. Learning outcomes assessment is continuous through personal reflections, evaluation feedback, self-assessment, and requirements as set out in course syllabi. 

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

English

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.

Courses

Course Information

For information about how these courses will be transferred back to Dean College, please refer to the course equivalency chart.

Visual and Performing Arts

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Social Sciences

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Literature, Linguistics, and Writing

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Natural Resources, Conservation, and the Environment

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Psychology

Course
Language
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.

Interested in an academic year program? CIEE offers exciting customizable First Year Abroad (FYA) programs in select locations. Talk to your Enrollment Coordinator if you're interested in any of these combinations, and please note that visa and departure requirements may vary depending on your chosen program combination.

 

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Program Fall 2024 12 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $24,800
Program Spring 2025 12 weeks Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $24,800

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, you will pay your CIEE program fee (fee varies by location) and Dean College tuition and fees ($2,900 total for all locations) directly to Dean College.

Federal financial aid and state aid (Massachusetts residents only) is available through Dean College. Students applying for need-based financial aid from Dean College must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using the FAFSA School Code for Dean College: 002144.

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.

Program Fee = $24,800*

Total Fees = $24,800

Estimated Costs

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

*CIEE Fees: $21,900; Dean College Fees: $2,900

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.

Program Fee = $24,800*

Total Fees = $24,800

Estimated Costs

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

*CIEE Fees: $21,900; Dean College Fees: $2,900

What's Included

Tuition

Housing

Pre-departure Advising

Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions

Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet

Orientation

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

Get Started Steps

Get Started

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

1

Start a CIEE FYA Application
You’re one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience! You need to apply and be accepted by both CIEE and Dean College to join FYA. Don’t worry! We’ll help you through the process!

2

Complete the Dean College FYA Application
You will receive an email with a unique link to your personalized Dean College application after completing your CIEE FYA application.

3

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

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