Sega screen in Kyoto
Kyoto, Japan

Video Game Design

Program Full

STEM

Dates

-

3 weeks

Costs

$6,450

Extended Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Dates

-

3 weeks

Costs

$6,450

Extended Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Program Overview
Power up your imagination for video games in the ancient capital of Japan.

Enter the various levels of the gaming world in Kyoto. Through hands-on classes, get an inside look at how video games are made. In just three weeks, learn the basics of storyboarding, coding, and animation. Then, create a prototype for a new video game and present it to a panel of industry experts! 

Meet engineers and designers from Nintendo and Capcom. Tour video game schools, like the Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies, and studios, like Chuhai Labs, to get feedback on your project. Understand the processes of good game design and how experts leverage programming tools to make the best games. 

Discover the incredible landmarks of Kyoto, like the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine, the Kiyomizu Temple, and Nijo Castle; shop in vibrant downtown markets; and meet local teens, too. On excursions, travel to Arashiyama to see the breathtaking bamboo forest and visit Nara, famous for its deer park. In Kyoto, you’ll experience first-hand the process of creating video games and immerse yourself in the traditions of the gaming capital of the world.

The Take-Aways

Real-world Experience

Experience the game design process, grasp the basics of coding and programming tools, and come home with a simple game you code and create yourself.

Credentials For Your Future

Topics for your college essays, experience to inform your future career, and your own video game design.

Life Skills And New Friendships

Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and improved communication 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
  • KYOTO, JAPAN Video Game Design
  • KYOTO, JAPAN Video Game Design
  • Kyoto Video Game Design

The Destination

Welcome to Kyoto, home of some of the world’s greatest video game franchises.  

Japan’s capital for more than a thousand years, Kyoto is the both the center of traditional Japanese culture and a mecca for video gamers. Ancient architecture and serene landscapes blend with numerous gaming cafés and arcades, which host tournaments for new and classic games regularly. The International Manga Museum, featuring gaming titles, and the Nintendo Museum are perfect places to discover the artistic influences behind iconic video game universes. Super Mario, Zelda, Resident Evil, and Final Fantasy—just to name a few—all hail from Kyoto! 

There are many remarkable experiences that await. The city boasts zen rock gardens, incredible views of surrounding hills, districts that feel like villages from another era, and 2000 temples and shrines. At restaurants, you can try some of the best traditional flavors the city has to offer, like ramen, sushi, and the most exclusive green teas. In Kyoto's mix of old and new, traditional and modern, you'll discover a city full of inspiration that you can channel into your game design. 

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 classes with expert instructors and artists.  
  • Lunch with your fellow Global Navigators in the community 
  • Out and about for a cultural activity or workshop  
  • Dinner out in the community   

Weekends   

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

Housing

Hotel, 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

Goodbye Party 8/4/23 (part 2)

By Heather Constantinescu at CIEE

more pics of our Kyoto goodbye party

From CIEE

Goodbye Party 8/4/23 (part 1)

By Heather Constantinescu at CIEE

a goodbye party at AEON Mall in Kyoto

From CIEE

Fushimi Inari Taisha 8/1/23

By Heather Constantinescu at CIEE

One of our last excursions took place at Fushimi Inari Taisha on August 1st, 2023

Activities

Sample Activities

KYOTO, JAPAN Video Game Design

Just imagine all the fun you’ll have!

  • Experience the marching rhythms of Japanese taiko drumming as you get musical with your fellow Global Navigators. 
  • Transport yourself into your favorite video game adventures and thrill rides at Super Nintendo World, located at Universal Studios Japan in the city of Osaka. 
  • Step into virtual reality worlds and release your inner warrior as you become a Samurai or Ninja at Kyoto’s Samurai & Ninja Museum. 
  • Check out the old Nintendo Uji Ogura Plant, turned into the new Nintendo Museum, displaying a wide array of gaming products from Nintendo’s past. 
  • Pick out your favorite souvenirs and find hidden Pokémon throughout the world-famous Pokémon Centers in both Kyoto and 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.  

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

Eligibility   

  • Participants must be 14 years old and above.
  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.    
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our scholarship page.  

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

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 2024 3 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $6,450
Program Summer Session II 2024 3 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $6,450

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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