Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Kyoto, Japan
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Year
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: UPENN applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring, Year
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad Click here for a definition of this term Language Prerequisite: 2 semesters of college level language for fall or full-year program; 3 semesters for spring
Click here for a definition of this term Credit Available For: College Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English, Japanese
Other Eligibility Requirements: Grades of B or better in Japanese Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0
Click here for a definition of this term Housing Options: Apartment/Off-Campus, Homestay Click here for a definition of this term Application Deadline: Fall/Year: March 1, Spring: September 15
Program Description:

Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies

Kyoto Consortium LogoEstablished in September 1989, the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese is a consortium of 14 American Universities, including Penn, which sponsors a rigorous, two-semester academic program for undergraduates who wish to do advanced work in Japanese language and cultural studies. Doshisha University’s Imadegawa campus, where KCJS is located, is bounded on the south by the Kyoto Imperial Palace and to the northeast by the renowned Shokoku-ji Temple. There is a subway station directly underneath the campus, and city buses regularly stop in front of the campus. KCJS is housed in the Fusokan building on the Imadegawa campus, and KCJS students have access to on-campus facilities including the main library, computer labs, cafeteria, university Co-op bookstore, stationary shop, travel agency, and convenience store.

For additional information, visit the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies website.
The City of Kyoto

Kyoto was Japan’s imperial capital from 794 to 1868 and remains a city rich in traditional culture and history. It is considered one of the most historically and culturally important cities in Japan. Surrounded on three sides by densely forested mountains and crossed by a number of rivers, it is one of Japan’s most beautiful cities, with Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, ancient palaces, and arts and crafts centers.  The official language is Japanese, and the city’s population is 1.47 million.

Did you know…?

Kyoto has 1,600 Buddhist shrines, and 400 Shinto temples.  Among these, the 17 historic monuments of ancient Kyoto are a collective UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The program at the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies is for College credit only.

Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0

Language Prerequisite: Successful completion of 2 semesters of college-level language for fall or academic year program; successful completion of 3 semesters of college-level language for spring program. Grades of B or higher must be earned in all college-level Japanese language courses.

Language of Instruction

English, Japanese


A full course load at the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies consists of 16 points (the equivalent of 4 Penn CUs) per semester.  Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

Japanese Language: 2 CUs (8 KCJS points)
KCJS Elective Courses: Two 1 CU elective courses (each worth 4 KCJS points)

KCJS Academic Calendar
KCJS Course Catalog for Incoming Exchange Students
Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. Please review Penn Abroad’s academic policies for more information.

Japanese HouseOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by KCJS prior to the start of each semester. 

Language Courses

KCJS offers 2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year, and 5th year Japanese.  Whether or not each level is offered each term, however, is dependent upon enrollment.
Community Involvement Project (CIP)

The CIP is a unique opportunity which enables KCJS students to go beyond the four walls of the classroom into Japanese society, both within the university setting and in local communities. All students are required to participate in the CIP as part of the Japanese language program. By developing direct and meaningful ties with Japanese people, students will learn how to put their language skills to real use in tangible ways that relate to their personal interests and develop a more nuanced and refined understanding of various aspects of Japanese culture.

Read more about CIP and hear from the student perspective through the CIP Blog.

Group Excursions

Each semester, the entire KCJS group takes a trip with at least one overnight stay. Past destinations have included Okayama, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Shikoku. Read more here.

Buddy Program
Fushimi Inari Shrine
As a KCJS student, you will have the opportunity to be paired with a Japanese language partner for the entire semester or year in order to further strengthen your language skills and extend your social network in Kyoto.

Student Associations

Many KCJS students also join international groups such as the Doshisha Exchange Student Association (DESA), Cosmopolitan (another exchange circle at DU), or the Kyoto University International Exchange Society (KIXS).

Kyoto Consortium campusParticipants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

There are three housing options at KCJS: living in a Japanese household, living in an apartment, or living in a guest house (Kajiwara House). KCJS assists in all housing placements, and students are required to live in KCJS-provided accommodation. 

View more information on the Kyoto Consortium Housing Options page.

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  Please review Penn Abroad’s financial policies.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. Visit the Student Financial Services Study Abroad policies page for more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad.

Budget Sheets

Academic Year

Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad: Supports undergraduate study abroad focusing on geographical areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to US national security. (Excludes study in US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.) These US government grants entail a service obligation.

Review the Penn Abroad application process.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Kyoto, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant.