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Kyoto, Japan

Creative Writing in the Land of Manga

Summer '25 New Program!

Arts & Culture

Dates

-

3 weeks

Costs

$6,450

Application Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Dates

-

3 weeks

Costs

$6,450

Application Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Program Overview
Draw inspiration from Japan’s ancient capital as you craft your own manga stories. 

With their diverse genres and storylines, manga have become the bestselling comic books in the world. Through expert-led classes, enter the Japanese comic book universe in Kyoto, Japan’s cultural and artistic capital. Experiment with Japanese visual storytelling techniques in character design, plotting, and sketching, discovering your own creative process, from concept to creation. 

Meet manga artists and industry professionals. Trace the history of manga at Kyoto International Manga Museum and Kozanji Temple, which houses the Choju Giga, a thirteenth-century scroll thought to be the origin of Japan’s manga heritage. Team up with other Global Navigators to create your own short manga project—inspired by your adventures in Kyoto! 

It won’t be hard to find story ideas exploring iconic sites like Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine and Nijo Castle and bustling downtown markets like Nishiki. On excursions, travel to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka and to Akihabara, the heart of manga culture in Tokyo. In and out of Kyoto, you’ll dive into the world of manga while living your own exciting densetsu (story). 

The Take-Aways

Real-world Experience

Experience Kyoto through the eyes of a manga artist and visual storyteller. Try out Japanese storytelling techniques and structures to develop your own creative process. Come home with the skills to create original works.

Credentials For Your Future

Topics for your college essays, experience to inform your future career, a creative manga project to showcase your storytelling skills and increasing manga literacy.

Life Skills And New Friendships

Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and improved communication and leadership skills. Enjoy a broader worldview and diverse friendships from across the U.S.

45

Hours Of Expert Instruction

3

Weeks Pursuing Your Passion

1

Life-changing Experience

The Destination
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The Destination

Welcome to Kyoto, the heart of Japanese culture, where the history of manga is preserved. 

A city in which creativity is woven into both the traditional and modern, Kyoto is a playground for manga and art enthusiasts. Weave in and out of dozens of manga shops in Teramachi street and contemporary art galleries in Higashiyama ward as well as distinctive museums in Nakagyo ward, like the Kyoto International Manga Museum, which showcases a vast collection of manga from various genres and eras. In the northwest of Kyoto, Kozanji Temple behold the scrolls of the first manga in Japan, created in the 13th century! 

With a population of over 1.4 million, Kyoto is Japan’s cultural capital, and there’s so much to explore and experience—the stunning cityscape from the Kiyomizu Temple; the natural beauty of Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and Tetsugaku No Michi (the Philosopher’s Walk); the historic districts that feel like traveling back to ancient Japan; famous landmarks, like the Kyoto Imperial Palace; and unique street art and food. Don’t leave without trying Kyoto-style ramen, Kyoto-style sushi, and tsukemono pickles!  

Cultural Awareness 

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

Daily Life

Monday–Friday  

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 the hotel 
  • Hands-on learning with expert instructors and manga artists 
  • Lunch with your fellow Global Navigators in the community 
  • Out and about for a cultural activity or workshop 
  • Dinner with your fellow Global Navigators in the community

Weekends   

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

Housing

Hostel, shared rooms with other Global Navigators

24/7 Support

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

Program Blogs

From CIEE

Art to dye for

By David Drumm at CIEE

There's something about bright colors and patterns that helps make the hot days of summer a little more bearable. These students created magnificently colored "te-nugui", (literally "hand towels"), by using... keep reading

From CIEE

Gamers in Tokyo

By Larry Bogan at CIEE

We embarked on an exciting field trip to Tokyo, a city renowned for its blend of traditional culture and cutting-edge technology. The trip aimed to inspire our budding game developers... keep reading

From CIEE

High school visit ( 7/16/2024 )

By Miyoko Stocker at CIEE

The students visited Kyoto Hokuryo Koukou/high school. They took 2 classes with the Japanese students, ate lunch in the classrooms, and participated in various club activities. They became fast friends... keep reading

Activities

Sample Activities

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Just imagine all the fun you’ll have!

  • Throw shuriken stars and inspect warrior swords as you get transported back in time at the Samurai Ninja Museum!
  • Leaf through the pages of all the manga you want at the world’s first International Manga Museum, located in the middle of Kyoto.
  • Visit the home of Japanese pop culture, Akihabara, Tokyo, and the Tokyo Anime Center!
  • Explore the lush, green path of the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, as the sun shines through its towering bamboo.
  • Channel your energy during a Taiko drumming session as you discover this Japanese artform that’s over 10,000 years old.
  • Hop on rides inspired by iconic Japanese anime and manga characters at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.

Please note activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when arranging activities is always to enhance your experience. 

Eligibility

Eligibility

  • Participants must be 14 years old and above. 
  • Program open to current high school students—Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. Students must have completed Freshman year of high school before traveling on program. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our scholarship page

For more information, refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

Application Fee 

$25 

Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. Find additional details about what’s included with your tuition.    

More questions? Find answers, get application support, sign up for virtual presentations, or contact us

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Costs

Program Summer Session I 2025 3 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $6,450
Program Summer Session II 2025 3 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $6,450

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 Balance = $6,450

Total Fees = $6,450

Estimated Costs

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

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

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 Balance = $6,450

Total Fees = $6,450

Estimated Costs

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

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

What's Included

Interactive Classes

Housing

3 Meals/Day

(Dietary Needs Accommodated)

All Ground Transportation

(Once In-country)

Optional Flight Chaperone

(Flight Cost Not Included)

Pre-departure Advice and Orientation

Access to Local Phone and WIFI

All Cultural Activities and Excursions

Comprehensive Medical and Travel Protection

24/7 Emergency On-site Support

Our Staff

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.

Ready to change your life?

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