This year’s Kyoto Summer Program has ended successfully.
The details and pictures of this year's program will be updated soon.




Kyoto Summer Program is a short-term study abroad program provided by Kyoto University Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences (ILAS) and Kyoto University Asian Studies Unit (KUASU).

The program consists of two sub-programs: in the ILAS program, English is the main instruction language, and in the KUASU program, Japanese is the main instruction language.

Both sub-programs share a core curriculum that primarily aims to develop an understanding of the political, cultural, historical, social, and ecological issues facing Japan. Both provide opportunities to learn the Japanese language and to study with local students. The whole program is also designed to highlight Kyoto University’s unique academic culture and cutting-edge research facilities. Kyoto University students (KU students) join this program together to stimulate the opportunity of cooperative learning.

Universities with special quota for 2023 allocated from Kyoto University

ILAS program 2023
(English program)

East Asia

  • Peking University
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Yonsei University
  • National Taiwan University


  • Heidelberg University
  • Unibersity of Vienna

North America

  • Partner universities nominated through Kyoto University North American Center
  • Universities nominated through Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies/ Stanford Japan Center

KUASU program 2023
(Japanese program)

Southeast Asia

  • Chulalongkorn University
  • University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi
  • University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University
  • University of Indonesia

North America

  • Partner universities nominated through KU North American Center


Course Outline

The program consists of four major parts (listed below), and concludes with final presentations by the participants.

1. Academic Lectures

(1) A wide range of lectures delivered in English are open to both ILAS and KUASU program participants.

Example English lectures from previous programs:

  • Japan’s energy-environment conundrum (Michael HUGH, Director, Stanford Program in Kyoto Bing Overseas Studies Stanford Univ.)
  • New Sensing Technologies for 9 Billion People's Food Production & Environmental Conservation--Reduction of Food Loss and Waste-- (Naoshi KONDO, Professor, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto Univ.)
  • Big Vision, Small Steps--Social Business, Entrepreneurship, and Future Direction-- (Sachiko KUNO, Excutive Vice-President, Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Management, Kyoto Univ.)
  • Gender in Asia (Emiko Ochiai, Director of Kyoto University Asian Studies Unit, Professor, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto Univ.)
  • Whaling in Japan: Cultural Politics of Food and Conservation (Fumitaka WAKAMATSU, Program-Specific Lecturer, Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto Univ.)

(2) Some lectures delivered in Japanese that are designed mainly for KUASU students are open to all participants with a Japanese language proficiency of intermediate and above.

Example Japanese lectures from previous programs:

  • 「学校教育にみる日本文化の諸相」 国際高等教育院 教授 河合淳子
    Cultural Aspects of Education in Japan (Junko KAWAI, Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences, Kyoto Univ.)
  • 「日本語の社会言語学的諸相」 国際高等教育院 准教授 家本太郎
    Socio-linguistic aspects of Japanese (Taro IEMOTO, Associate Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences, Kyoto Univ.)

2. Fieldtrip and Cultural Experiences

Fieldtrips and cultural experiences are designed to deepen understanding of Japanese and Kyoto culture, industry, and ecology.

Example fieldtrips and cultural experiences of previous programs:


(1) Company visits

NABEL Co. Ltd., is a leading local SME (small medium size enterprises) based in Kyoto City and a top maker of an egg grading and packing system. Most of the eggs sold in Japan are packed by NABEL’s high-tech system, which is exported to 64 countries around the world.

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, enterprise solutions and device industries.

Otsuka Ohmi Ceramics Co., Ltd. is the first ceramic company in the world to successfully develop a thin, non-warping large scale ceramic panels called "toban". This technique is used for making reproduction of Art Masterpieces to preserve the memory eternally. Also they create original creations, reproduction of cultural assets, outdoor signage and exterior wall design to use ceramics optimally in delineated spaces.

Gekkeikan was founded in 1637 as a brewing sake company. Through technical innovations, a series of industry firsts, dedication to quality and sheer hard work, Gekkeikan has established a leading position. Also, it is known and loved in over than fifty countries, and is one of the world’s top names in sake.

Shogoin Yatsuhashi Co., Ltd. is a sweets manufacturing/selling business company whose specialty is Yatsuhashi, baked sweets shaped like koto (Japanese musical instrument). The company’s corporate philosophy is “Taste is Tradition”. The reason why Yatsuhashi have existed for over 300 years is very simple. They have produced tasty sweets, so that the customers love Yatsuhashi and believe in the company.

(2) Lake Biwa excursion, in cooperation with the University of Shiga Prefecture

Biwa is the largest lake in Japan and is located just one hour from Kyoto. The excursion is a unique opportunity to learn about various environmental issues not only of the local area, but also around the world. A lecture about the history of the lake and environmental issues is also provided.

(3) Visiting rural Kyoto

To learn about rural culture and traditions in rural Kyoto, participants enjoy harvesting, cooking and eating with farmers in Kyotambacho-city. Also, they visit a thatched house in Miyama, Kyoto enjoying the natural beauty of the seasons.

Cultural Experience

(1) Japanese calligraphy 書道・硬筆

Participants learn about the history of characters and the art of calligraphy, and they produce their own piece of calligraphy work.

(2) Folding Paper 折り紙

In 2021, participants learnt about paper cranes and fold them virtually hoping COVID-19 pandemic will end soon. Also in 2022, participants enjoyed folding Kusudama together.

(3) Introduction of Buddhism and the temple 仏教 寺院紹介

We invite specialists of Buddhism to introduce Buddhism in Japan and a temple.

(4) Performance of Japanese traditional musical instruments 日本伝統楽器演奏

Some students from Kyoto University play Japanese traditional musical instruments like Koto, Shamisen and Shinobue.

(5) Wagashi 和菓子

With great supports with Kyoto prefecture Kashi kogyou kumiai (Kyoto prefecture Japanese sweets industrial association) youth division, the one of the theme of 2022’s cultural experience was Wagashi, participants learnt the history of wagashi, Kyo-gashi(sweets in Kyoto) and Kogei Gashi (craft confectionery).

(6) Shopping streets, local markets 商店街

Participants listened to the information about "Shotengai" (shopping streets, local markets) in Japan, focusing on Nishiki Ichiba (Nishiki Market) in Kyoto. Also participants discussed the significance of Shotengai to local communities in Japan and make comparisons with various local "markets" in other countries.

3. Interaction with KU Students

There are intercultural exchange with KU students through various activities. Some of the activities are hosted by KU students.

(1)Japanese language classes

Trained KU students do teaching practices in Japanese language classes.

(2) Discussion in English sessions

There are several discussion sessions which participants discuss diverse topics regarding the problems our world is facing today with KU students. These are hosted by KU students.

(3) “Conversation with KU students in Japanese” sessions

KU students hold these sessions to provide international students the opportunities to talk in Japanese.

4. Japanese Classes

In 2022, five levels of Japanese language classes (Elementary I, Elementary II, Intermediate I, Intermediate II, and Advanced) are provided.

These classes aim to improve Japanese language skills. At the same time, students will enjoy learning the language through activities unique to Kyoto and Kyoto University, including practicing Japanese conversation with KU students, reading about Kyoto, solving KU entrance examination questions, and discussing topics related to Kyoto, such as the protection of cultural assets.

Program Schedule

1.The program schedule 2023 (tentative)

2. List of Academic Lectures 2023


All participants

Tuition fees are waived for the participants who are selected by the universities with special quota. For Individual applicants, please see the information below.





In 2022, we began accepting INDIVIDUAL applications for the “2022 Kyoto Summer Program” on a trial basis. This year, a maximum of 2 students (ILAS program) from partner universities worldwide will be accepted. We are seeking students from a wide range of majors and therefore accept applications from students from any department.

Eligible Applicants

Applicants must be students from (a). universities that hold academic cooperation partnerships* or student exchange agreement** with Kyoto University ; AND (b). universities that have NOT been allocated a special quota for this year's program by Kyoto University.

*List of universities: academic cooperation partnerships
**List of universities: student exchange agreement

Please refer to the "Call for Application" for further details.

Call for Application for Individual Application (2023): Click here

Tuition Fee

JPY 47,000

Application Process

1. Prior Confirmation

Students who wish to participate the program should make prior confirmation to check their eligibility. Please submit neccessary information via the following form. Deadline for prior confirmation is JST 12:00pm (noon), May 25, 2023. For 2023, the prior confirmation has closed. Thank you for your apply.

The prior confirmation has closed.

The Program office will check the student’s eligibility and contact the student with further instructions, including the URL for the application system.

2. Application

All application will be done through an online application system. The URL will be disclosed to the students directly from the Program office. Once students have received the URL, please read through the "Call for Application" carefully, and make the application according to the instructions. Deadline for application is JST 12:00pm (noon), June 2, 2023.

3. Selection

If necessary, selection will be made by the Program office. Students will be notified of the selection results by June 5. Final notification of acceptance into the program will be sent after confirmation of the payment of the participation fee.


ILAS Program

Giving students a choice from 11 classes was also great since it allowed us to manage the time difference better and tailor our schedule to our interests. As for the field trip, they were very illuminating about Japanese culture. I enjoyed the expertise brought on fashion and kimonos. Although sometimes translation was an issue, the content was interesting and eye-opening.

(2022 Summer Participant from Columbia University)

It goes without saying that Japanese classes were interesting and impactful. It is amazing how much we can learn in a span of 10 hours! Even as a multilingual person, learning a new language is always an exciting and rewarding challenge.

(2022 Summer Participant from Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati)

I also have to attribute it to the teacher/student ratio of Japanese class. This allowed me to practice and improve my speaking skills a lot. Every day after class, I would learn some new monologue by heart because I enjoyed it so much.

(2022 Summer Participant from Technical University of Munich)

The field trip and cultural experiences were also very intriguing as it helped us to explore Japanese culture more virtually. In the field trip, observing the technology advancement of Sake production from traditional methods to machinery based and to whole other innovations of cosmetics was remarkable to see.

(2021 Summer Participant from Addis Ababa University)

The academic lectures addressing a vibrant assortment of topics firstly presented opportunities for students to encounter novel and intriguing subject matters as well as insightful ideas of respectable scholars, which came to be further developed by the students themselves through final presentations and reports.

(2021 Summer Participant from Yonsei University)

The field trip and cultural experiences were also very intriguing as it helped us to explore Japanese culture more virtually. In the field trip, observing the technology advancement of Sake production from traditional methods to machinery based and to whole other innovations of cosmetics was remarkable to see.

(2021 Summer Participant from Addis Ababa University)

I also really like the Conversation in Japanese session because it helped me practice my Japanese speaking skill which is my weakest. We talked about favorite anime, Olympics, and some trivia about Japan. This session forced me to use Japanese to express my thoughts which I seldom do before. I really enjoyed using Japanese to talk with Japanese people. I hope someday I could speak Japanese as good as Japanese people.

(2021 Summer Participant from University of California, San Diego)

One of my favorite aspects of the class was our Breakout Rooms, in which we could ask questions to actual Kyoto University students. Here, I was able to converse and practice my learned phrases while getting to know my peers in Japan better. I must admit, I might have asked some non-sensical and basic questions, but the Supporters were incredibly capable of and patient in answering them.

(2021 Summer Participant from Columbia University)

We had consensus on gender equality, transition point of the world marked by COVID-19, the way to ease cultural difference——kindness and understanding, etc. What made our discussion more interesting was the diversity of the stories we told that based on our different background to support our points. It is true that diversity spurs interaction among civilizations, while in turn promotes mutual learning and their further development.

(2021 Summer Participant from Peking University)

I think Kyoto University truly put much effort in planning and organizing the academic and student activities. They managed to keep a well-balanced ratio of lectures and other meetings, even putting up two different shifts, so that students from every time zone can join. Even though we could not come to Kyoto in person, I felt welcomed and sometimes almost forgot I am not sitting in a Japanese classroom but in my Viennese flat.

(2021 Spring Participant from University of Vienna)

I particularly enjoyed the cultural experience. I think the origami activity is very meaningful. As crane origami is a symbol of blessing, good hope, for sure it is great to fold crane in this situation. To show our praying that the COVID-19 could end soon, so that we could get back to a normal and happy life. We folded the crane together in the break out room, and finally shared how many cranes did we fold. A communication and interaction as such is really warm.

(2021 Spring Participant from The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

In the program, I could learn something new and have enough time to digest and process, but I also had time to explore Kyoto and had fun with classmates. During the lectures, I got the chance to learn topics in various fields. Those lectures truly broadened my horizon and made me aware of the important issues in Japan and worldwide.

(2019 Participant from National Taiwan University)

I made lots of friends through the program. We would give unconditional supports to each other when overcoming challenges. Every moment, day and night we spent together were gorgeous and unforgettable.

(2019 Participant from The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

The program was a wonderful experience to understand Japanese culture and society better, get in touch with Asian students and to explore the city, as well as Kyoto University. Particularly the Japanese classes and the contacts with other like-minded students, might likely impact on my professional and academic future.

(2018 Participant from Heidelberg University)

KUASU Program

フィールドトリップでは、先生の着物の歴史の説明で、日本の着物への理解が深まり、日本人が伝統的な装いと現代社会を融合させていることに感心しました。 学術的な講義では、トピックはどれも興味深いものだった。私はほとんどのトピックについて初耳でしたが、各先生は2時間の講義の中でそれぞれのトピックに 興味を持たせてくれました。落合先生の講義を聞いて、 アジアのジェンダー問題というテーマをもっと理解したいと思い、次の学期はアジアのジェンダー問題の講義を受講することにしました。

(2022 Summer Participant from George Washington University)

ジェンダー、持続可能な開発目標(SDGs)、各国の市場特性など、さまざまなトピックについて話し合っていた時間のおかげで、 文化の多様性が非常に大きいことが気づきました。 それ以来、考えは広がり、自信を持って自分の国の考えや文化を表現できるようになりました。

(2022 Summer Participant from University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi)

特に印象に残ったことはファイナルプレゼンテーションだと思います。プレゼンテーションのために、グループで準備しました。 いろいろな国から来た学生のみんなさんはチームワークに積極的に参加し、自分の国の文化をシェアしました。 プレゼンテーションの前に「頑張りましょう」とお互いに応援し合って、いい思い出を作りました。 また、他のチームのプレゼンテーションを聞き、日本の文化だけではなく、他の多くの国の文化も理解して、とても楽しかったです。
Final presentation impressed me the most. We have prepared it in a group. The participants from all over the world joined the preparation actively, we shared our cultures. We cheered eachother with the word “頑張りましょう”(Let’s do our best.) before the final presentation. It was one of the nice memories. I also enjoyed listening to other presentations which taught me the cultures from other countries.

(2021 Summer Participant from University of Languages and International Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi)

プログラムへの参加を通じて学んだことは日本の文化と日本についての面白いことです。 例えば、日本語授業で日本の小学生の自由研究についてよくわかりました。 それ以外に、徳島県のゼロウェィストを目指している町についてのことを学びました。 たくさんの新しい単語と言葉と知識を学びました。色々な国と文化交換をしていて、異文化コミュニケーション能力を高めたと思います。
I could learn about Japan and Japanese culture through this program. For example, in Japanese class, we learnt summer research assignments for Japanese elementary school students. Besides, we learnt about the town which aims zero waste in Tokushima Prefecture. I learnt many phrases and knowledge. Thanks to the program which allowed me to exchange cultures with others, I improved the intercultural communication ability more.

(2021 Summer Participant from National University of Singapore)

一番は外国の友達がたくさんできたことです。特にFree Dayのアクティビティの間、皆さんとおしゃべりしたり、 ゲームをやったりして、最高でした。優しくて、面白い学生さんとたくさんであったのは、自分は運がいいなあと思います。 仲良しになった友達もいます。このプログラムが始まった日には、新しい友達が欲しいなと思っただけですが、 こんなにいい仲間ができるのはすごく嬉しかったです。プログラムが終わった後もまだ連絡しています。 時々一緒にゲームをやったり、自分の国を紹介したりしてすごく楽しいです。
I could make many friends from other countries. Specially, Free day activity was the best to chat with friends, play games. I had such a luck to meet kind and interesting students a lot. I made good friends through this program who I expected to have before the program. We still keep in touch each other. Sometimes we play games and introduce our countries each other which are really interesting.

(2021 Summer Participant from Chulalongkorn University)

日本語のクラスでは京都に関する文章、俳句、短歌などを勉強した。 文学作品を読むことで、母国で学んだことと全く違う日本の魅力を強く感じ、 また自分が勉強すべき方向を見つけた。今後もたくさんの文学作品を味わい、 日本の美と文化を楽しみたいと思う。
In Japanese Class, I learnt literature, haiku and tanka which related on Kyoto. Thanks to them, I could find another attractive aspects of Japan not only that I have learnt in my country. I could also find the direction of my study. I would like to read more literature to enjoy the beauty of Japan and culture.

(2021 Summer Participant from University of California, San Diego)

私の専攻はマーケティングなので、「日本企業における組織(そしき)と経営(けいえい)」という学術講義で大いに勉強しました。 コロナは多くの面で日本企業の運営方式を変えました。それと同時に、「学校教育にみる日本文化の諸相」という学術講義からも多くのことを学びました。 日本とアメリカの小学校での同年齢の学生の指導方法の違いを紹介したビデオを見て、 アメリカの小学校の教育方式は伝統的な中国の教育方式と似ているような気がしました。
I major marketing so I have learnt a lot from the academic lecture “Organization and Management in Japanese Companies” . Due to COVID-19, the operation of Japanese comapanies changed with many aspects. All the more, I have learnt a lot from the academic lecture ”Cultural Aspects of Education in Japan”. I saw the video showing the different educations between Japan and the US. I thought the education in the US is similar to Chinese ones.

(2021 Summer Participant from George Washington University)

私の大学では、ネイティブ話者から直接日本語を学び、練習する機会がありません。 このプログラムに参加できて本当に幸運であり、感謝しています。 このプログラムでは、より高いレベルで日本語を学ぶことができますが、 日本語しか使わないのでちょっと大変です。 先生の教えをすべて理解するのは大変でしたが、日本語力を伸ばすのにとても役立ちました。
In my home university, there are not enough opportunities to learn and practice Japanese directly from native speakers. I am very fortunate and grateful to be a part of this program. This program allows me to learn Japanese at a higher level, and it surely is challenging for me to use Japanese all the time. It was difficult to understand everything the teacher taught in Japanese, but it was very helpful for me to improve my Japanese.

(2021 Spring Participant from University of Indonesia)

最初は、オンライン形式で本当に留学プログラムができるか 疑問に思っていました。 しかし、初日からどのイベントに参加しても、京大のリーダーやスタッフさんは とても丁寧に企画してくれていました。 大塚オーミ陶業へのフィールドトリップの発表は詳しかったのに分かりやすくて、 クイズやビデオもとても面白かったです。 このプログラムに参加し、京都への興味がさらに強くなりました。
Before participating this program, I wondered if it was really possible to run a studying abroad program online. However, from the very first day, no matter which event I attended, the leaders and staff at Kyoto University organized them very well. The explanation on the field trip to Otsuka Ohmi Ceramics was detailed yet easy to understand, and the quiz and video were very interesting. Participating in this program has further strengthened my interest in Kyoto.

(2021 Spring Participant from University of California, San Diego)

このサマープログラムのおかげで、「国境を超えた友情」というものを体験することができました。 留学生は皆、違う国から来て普段は違う言葉で話していますが、このプログラムに参加し、お互いの文化や言葉を交流させることで、友達になりました。 京都大学のサポーターさんたちも私たちにやさしく話しかけてくれ、いろいろなところに連れて行ってくれました。 このプログラムならではの素敵な体験をたくさんできました。
By joining this program, I could experience “friendship beyond borders.” The international students come from different countries and usually speak different languages, but we became friends with each other by exchanging each other’s culture and languages. The supporters of Kyoto University talked to us kindly and took us to many places. I had a lot of great experiences unique to this program.

(2019 Participant from Chulalongkorn University)

私は日本語中級Ⅰのクラスを受けました。先生は大変優しくて面白かったです。 先生は日本語の文法を面白く、分かりやすく教えてくれました。 日本語の授業では、私も京都大学生たちと会話の練習ができ、分からないことがあれば、 京都大学の学生に手伝ってもらいました。
I attended the intermediate Japanese class. The teacher was very kind and entertaining. She taught us Japanese grammar in a way that was easy to understand and interesting. In the Japanese classes, I was able to practice Japanese conversation with Kyoto University students, and whenever I couldn’t understand something, they kindly helped me.

(2018 Participant from University of Indonesia)

このプログラムでは、日本文化の授業がたくさんありました。書道は面白い授業の一つだと思います。 書道の授業の中で、“感謝”と書きました。京都大学の先生とサポーターへ自分の気持ちを伝えたかったからです。 親切なサポーターには本当に感謝しています。
This program offered many classes about Japanese culture. For me, Japanese calligraphy was one of the interesting classes. In the class, I wrote 感謝 (“Gratitude”) because I wanted to deliver my feelings to the professors and the students of Kyoto University. I sincerely thank the kind supporters.

(2018 Participant from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi)











Please contact < kyoto_summer* >(* → @) for any questions regarding the program.

Program Coordinators

KAWAI Junko, Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences, Kyoto University/Unit member, Kyoto University Asian Studies Unit.
HAN Liyou, Associate Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences, Kyoto University.
ZHANG Zikang , Program-specific Assistant Professor, Center for the Promotion of Interdisciplinary Education and Research, Kyoto University.