Study Abroad

IES Tokyo: Language and Culture

  • Location: Tokyo, Japan
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Language of Instruction: English, Japanese
  • Class Eligibility: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors


COVID-19 Protocols and Travel Warnings

  • You can read about this program’s COVID-19 safety protocols at this link, then read the CDC Travel Warning and U.S. State Department Travel Advisory at the respective links. For more information about Haverford College Study Abroad and the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, read the Study Abroad homepage here.
  • IES requires all study abroad students to be fully vaccinated before they can participate in any IES program. 

IES Abroad Zoom Around the World Virtual Information Sessions

*Students hoping to fulfill their language requirement on this program should consult with the Japanese department prior to their departure if they are thinking of continuing their language study upon return. 

Located in the coastal town of Makuhari New City in Chiba Prefecture, the IES Center is just 30 minutes by commuter rail from the heart of Tokyo, and within walking distance of Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS). Known as a “model metropolitan area for the 21st century,” Makuhari juxtaposes modern corporate headquarters of companies such as Canon, IBM, Sharp, and Seiko Instruments with traditional Japanese gardens and a beach on Tokyo Bay. Students can visit the Chiba Marine Stadium, home of the Chiba Lotte Marines (a Japanese professional baseball team), or stroll through the splendid Makuhari Seaside Park and enjoy its mihama-en (traditional Japanese garden) and shorai-tei (tea ceremony room).


Prior Japanese language knowledge is strongly recommended, although not required. Beginning Japanese students should possess a basic working knowledge of hiranga and katakana alphabets prior to starting the program.

Academic Credit

Each semester, students must carry a minimum of 15 credit hours, which is equal to 4 credits at Haverford.  Students are not permitted to take less than 15 credits unless they have the permission of their dean and advisor in advance. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above.


Students choose from the following required and optional program requirements, taking 15-18 credits per semester (courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified):

Japanese language course (required, 6 credits); Japanese language electives (must be placed in 300-level Japanese or higher, 2 credits each); English-taught IES Abroad area studies courses or KUIS area studies courses, which may include the field placement and its accompanying seminar.

Founded in 1987, KUIS is a modern university enrolling approximately 3,100 graduate and undergraduate students, and is located a five minute walk from the IES Abroad Tokyo Center. The university strives for excellence in International Studies, Foreign Languages, Intercultural Communication, Japanese Culture and Linguistics, and hosts state-of-the-art facilities along with an international faculty.

Field Placements
Students may take an optional 3-credit course, Social Organization in Japan. The course is required to participate in the weekly field placement. Students act as participant-observers at local businesses, non-profits and governmental organizations, experiencing first-hand the local culture and Japanese social and work interactions. Students discuss their experiences and learn more about Japanese culture and society in the accompanying seminar. Please note: this is not an internship.
Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

Course Highlights

Anthropology, Art, Asian Studies, Economics, Environmental Studies, History, International Relations, Japanese, Marketing, Sociology, Urban Studies

Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad


The program begins with a three-day orientation that introduces students to the IES Abroad staff, their fellow students, KUIS and the city of Tokyo, and covers important topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety.

Number of Students

About 40 students attend the program each semester.

Housing/Meal Plans

Homestay – Living with a host family allows students to gain first-hand experience with Japanese customs, manners, and cuisine while they forge life-long friendships. Students who choose to live with a Japanese host family should be prepared to adjust to Japanese customs, manners, and diet. Students living with Japanese families receive breakfast seven days a week, and dinners Monday through Friday. Homestay opportunities may be limited. Accommodations vary by placement.

Residence Halls – Students live with Japanese university students and young professionals – each hall is configured differently. They are single-sex, privately managed, and offer single rooms with shared common spaces and bathrooms. Internet access is available at an additional cost. The residence halls offer a meal plan (included in the program fee) that provides breakfast and dinner daily, Monday through Saturday (no meals are provided on Sundays or public holidays). The cuisine features typical Japanese set menus. There is also a common kitchen for student use, and rental refrigerators are available for student rooms, as well as inexpensive student cafeterias on the KUIS campus.

Shared Apartments – Live with Japanese university students, other IES Abroad students, and young Japanese professionals in this privately managed co-ed building. Each apartment suite of 3-4 residents is single-sex, and offers single rooms. You will share a kitchen, bathroom, and washing machine with your roommates. Meals are not included.

Students should expect to commute 40 to 90 minutes. Haverford students may not opt for independent off-campus housing – that is, housing not arranged by the program.


IES Abroad Zoom Around the World Virtual Information Sessions


Freeman-Asia Scholarship
Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA) provides scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia.

Bridging Scholarship
The Bridging Project offers scholarships to American undergraduate students participating in study-abroad programs in Japan. Funding from private foundations and major U.S. corporations, through donations to the nonprofit US-Japan Bridging Foundation, makes it possible to award about 100 scholarships each year to assist students with the travel and living expenses they will incur while studying abroad in Japan for a semester or an academic year. Applications are accepted twice a year for Bridging Scholarships.

Additional Resources

View Scholarship Information

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • PDF
  • Program List


  • Semester
  • Fulfills Language Requirement


  • Semester I: Late August to mid-December
  • Semester II: Late March to mid-July

Application Deadlines

  • Semester I: March 15
  • Semester II: October 1

Faculty Contact