Kyoto, Japan

Japanese Language & Culture

Program Full
Click to scroll down and read more

Information for term Japanese Language & Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 11 – Jul 8, 2023 (4 weeks)

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 9 – Aug 5, 2023 (4 weeks)


Click to Open

Step back in time in the ancient capital of Japan with the Imperial Palace, Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples and Zen gardens as your backdrop.

Take part in a traditional tea ceremony and Taiko drumming. Learn the art of making sushi, soba noodles or wagashi sweets. This immersive experience is all about soaking up the centuries-old Japanese customs and culture all around you. But don’t worry: For a taste of the here-and-now, you can still find popular shopping districts, video-gaming arcades and sidewalk vending machines selling unique products (from socks to pizza slices!) to round out the experience.

You’ll spend most mornings in Japanese language classes with native instructors, improving your skills and confidence no matter your level of proficiency. Creative cooking, calligraphy and haiku/tanka poetry workshops mix things up. Afternoons are for cultural exploration and practicing your language skills in real life – on the streets, in cafes, and on expert-guided excursions to temples, shrines, palaces, museums and more. For a fully immersive experience, you'll spend two weeks in a dormitory with other CIEE program participants and two weeks with a Japanese family where you'll join in the daily routines and learn first-hand about local customs. Together you’ll prepare and share traditional meals, go shopping in markets, visit local sites or just hang out. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that opens your eyes, ears and access to the world — and one you’ll never forget.

The Take-Aways


    Call Kyoto home for 4 weeks and come back with increased language proficiency and a greater understanding of the Japanese way of life. Bring home life stories to remember your cultural experiences. Demonstrate your language growth through a test before and after your program. On average across our programs, students learn in four weeks what U.S. high school students learn in one year.

  • College Credit

    Earn 4 college credits to either apply toward your future college degree, or to use to demonstrate your ability to do college-level work, or test out of a language level in college!


    After just 4 weeks away, you'll build self-confidence, gain a broader world view, improve your interpersonal communication skills and make lifelong friends from all across the U.S.

Location & Culture

Click to Open

Japan’s most historic city remains the hub of traditional old-world culture — and a perfect place to study traditional art, architecture, and history.

Did you know? Kyoto is home to more than 1,600 temples and 400 shrines.

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.

Here you’ll see sacred shrines rather than skyscrapers; lanterns in place of neon lights. The narrow stone streets in the center are lined with old wooden houses, traditional teahouses, and quiet gardens. But all around you’ll 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 specific identities might encounter in Kyoto.

Daily Life

Click to Open

Daily Life


Each day offers a balance between interactive instruction and cultural activities with time on your own, too. Morning classes and afternoon activities may swap places.  

  • Breakfast at your homestay or dorm
  • Engaging Japanese classes with expert language instructors, all native-speakers   
  • Lunch in the community with your fellow Global Navigators  
  • Out and about for authentic conversations in the community and a Cultural Activity   
  • Dinner and evening discussions at your homestay or dorm


  • Overnight or day excursions to top sites  
  • Quality time with friends
  • Housing

    Two weeks in dorms, two weeks at a carefully-screened homestay

  • 24/7 SUPPORT

    1 Program Leader for every 12 students and support from local staff


Click to Open

Sample Activities

  • Test your culinary skills in a Japanese cooking class. Practice the ancient arts of Japanese calligraphy and participate in a tea ceremony. 
  • 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. 
  • Check out 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. 

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, covid-related measures and restrictions 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. Get ready for maximum fun!


  • Head to the nearby historical city of Nara to see 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Great Buddha Hall of Todaiji Temple and the Kasuga Grand Shrine, & feed polite, bowing deer in Nara’s famous Deer Park.
  • Visit Osaka, a thriving port city known for trendy shops, flashy signs, excellent eateries, and youthful energy, in addition to a vibrant merchant culture!
  • Take in gorgeous views on a daytrip to Kobe – an historic harbor city nestled between mountains and the sea. Stroll near the iconic port tower and try the city’s signature dish, Kobe beef. Be sure to visit the excellent museum memorializing the Great Kobe Earthquake of 1995.

Dates & Fees

Click to Open

Dates & Fees


  • All proficiency levels.
  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship Page.

Application Fee


Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. More details about tuition inclusions can be found here.

Optional College Credit Fee

$150  Learn more 


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2023 4 weeks Deadline Passed Jun 11, 2023 Jul 8, 2023


Summer Session II 2023 4 weeks Deadline Passed Jul 9, 2023 Aug 5, 2023


Looking for funding?

Ready to change your life?