kyoto skyline buildings lit up
Kyoto, Japan

Japanese Language & Culture

Summer '25 Applications Open

Language & Culture



4 weeks

Application Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information



4 weeks

Application Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Program Overview

Take your Japanese to new heights in the ancient and modern city of Kyoto. 

Step back in time and hone your Japanese for four weeks in the ancient capital of Japan. After language classes, delve into conversations with locals at bustling shopping districts, serene teahouses, and teen-filled video-gaming arcades. Enjoy a perfect mix of all that Kyoto offers on visits to Kiyomizu Temple, the banks of Kamogawa River, and to some of the world’s most iconic shrines—Fushimi Inari, Heian, Kitano Tenmangu, and Yasaka.

For a one-of-a-kind experience, live with a Japanese host family where you'll join in the daily routines of Japanese family life. On weekends, captivating excursions take you to Arashiyama, to visit the sprawling bamboo forest and Toei Movie Studio Park—a historical film set and theme park in one, and the cities of Nara, where more than 1,000 deer roam freely in its deer park, and Hiroshima, where you'll visit Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park and Itsukushima Shrine. This fully immersive program in Kyoto will help you improve your language skills and open your eyes to Japanese traditions and culture!

The Take-Aways

Language Growth and Cultural Competence

Come home with a higher level of Japanese and a greater understanding of Japanese culture. Use your STAMP 4S language proficiency pre- and post-test scores to demonstrate your language growth and help you earn a Seal of Biliteracy.  

College Credit

Choose to earn 4 college credits toward your future college degree. Take advantage of the credits to stand out on your college applications or to satisfy college language requirements.

Lifelong Skills and Friendships

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


hours of instruction with a native Japanese teacher


College Credits


Life-changing Experience

The Destination
  • yellow temple kyoto japan
  • kyoto box of different side dishes
  • Kyoto

The Destination

Welcome to Kyoto, home of sublime gardens, temples, old-world culture, and manga. 

Kyoto stands at the heart of traditional Japanese culture. As the former imperial capital for over a thousand years, its name literally translates to "capital city." Instead of towering skyscrapers and neon lights, Kyoto dazzles with 1,600 temples, 400 shrines, lantern-lit streets, and machiyas (traditional wooden houses). This living, open-air museum boasts the largest collection of world heritage sites globally. Kyoto is a destination every Japanese person aspires to visit at least once in their lifetime. 

Here you’ll find many fascinating things to indulge in. Karesansui (zen rock gardens) and serene bamboo forests provide a lovely contrast to modern shopping districts, video game arcades, and manga stores. Iconic city symbols like the Nijo Castle and the Fushimi Inari shrine await, and the vibrant food scene offers dishes you’ll love—Kyoto-style ramen, Kyoto-style sushi, and tsukemono pickles just to name a few. Amidst the harmonious blend of old and new, Kyoto invites you to embrace natural beauty and contemporary expression, leaving you with cherished memories that will last a lifetime. 

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


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 
  • Commute to downtown Kyoto for authentic conversations in the community and a cultural activity
  • Lunch in the community with your fellow Global Navigators  
  • Engaging Japanese classes with expert language instructors, all native-speakers 
  • Dinner and evening discussions at your homestay


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

Check out the blog posts to discover more about daily life and excursions on program.


Carefully-screened homestay

24/7 Support

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

Program Blogs


Searching for the Best "Purin"!

By Abigail Drivdahl at CIEE

I love Japanese pudding (プリン). I will wander through every Japanese convenience store looking for my favorites and trying new ones, and it is a neverending source of marvel to... keep reading


Goodbye Party 8/4/23 (part 2)

By Heather Constantinescu at CIEE

more pics of our Kyoto goodbye party


Goodbye Party 8/4/23 (part 1)

By Heather Constantinescu at CIEE

a goodbye party at AEON Mall in Kyoto


Sample Activities 

Group shot activity

Just imagine all the fun you’ll have!

  • Test your culinary skills with a sushi-making session—and get to sample your work! 
  • Immerse yourself in the green tunnel of the Arashiyama bamboo forest. Watch the light from the sun dap the forest floor. 
  • Create your own Japanese-style hand towel using Japanese tie-dying techniques.
  • Get musical with your fellow Global Navigators experiencing the marching rhythms of Taiko drumming.
  • Feed polite, bowing deer at the famous Deer Park in Nara. Visit the hall of the Great Buddha inside Todai-ji, the great temple of the East. 
  • Travel to Osaka, a thriving port city full of trendy shops, flashy signs, excellent food spots, and youthful energy!

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. 

What Students Are Saying

  • "I loved being in Japan and getting the chance to learn a new language and culture, as well as making new friends and all the different environments I was exposed to!” 

    Johny P., CIEE Global Navigator Alum

  • “I'm grateful to have had my host family and the opportunity to experience the Japanese culture at such close proximity.” 

    Denise A., CIEE Global Navigator Alum

  • “It’s an incredible experience that offers great opportunities for many who would not be able to come to Japan on their own.” 

    Delaney L., CIEE Global Navigator Alum

  • “It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I made some of the most amazing memories and made friends that will hopefully stay with me forever” 

    Nazifa S., CIEE Global Navigator Alum



  • Participants must be 14 years old and above.
  • Program open to all current high school students—Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors—of all Japanese language proficiency levels. 
  • 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


Optional College Credit Fee


Learn more about how to get college credit for your future college degree.

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!


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Program Summer Session I 2025 4 weeks Start Date End Date
Program Summer Session II 2025 4 weeks Start Date End Date

What’s Included

Interactive Classes


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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