About the Asian Studies Program (ASP)

Where can I learn the basic facts about the Asian Studies Program?
Is this program a degree-granting program?

The Asian Studies Program does not offer academic degrees. If you study for two semesters and meet the requirements for completion, you will receive a 'Certificate of Completion.'

Students have generally had little difficulty in transferring credits earned at Kansai Gaidai to their home institutions.

However, we strongly suggest that, prior to applying to our program, any student not from a KGU-affiliated institution contact the appropriate officials at their home institution to confirm the acceptability of credits earned at Kansai Gaidai.

Does KGU accept students for two years or more?

KGU accepts students in the Asian Studies Program for one semester or for one academic year (two semesters).

Where can I find the list of courses being offered?

Please refer to the updated course offerings listed at the following URL:

As for course syllabi, our Registrars Office will post them on Course Syllabi・Descriptions in late June for the following Fall semester, and in December for the Spring.

What kind of studio art courses does the Asian Studies Program offer?

We offer three studio art courses: Ceramic Techniques, Manga Drawing, and Koto (Japanese Harp) Basics.

The medium of instruction for Ceramic Techniques and Manga Drawing is English, while Koto Basics is mainly taught in Japanese.

While students with no previous Japanese language training will be allowed to register for Koto Basics, such students may find it challenging to follow the instructions.

What kind of opportunities for participating in extracurricular activities does the Asian Studies Program provide for international students?

Please refer to our URL below:

We also offer some programs to enhance interaction with local students and local communities, such as our Speaking Partner Program, the Experience Japan Program and Home Visit Program. You can also participate in extracurricular activities with local students.


Admission Procedures

When is the application deadline?

Application documents must be received by the Center for International Education during the following periods:

  • For Fall enrollment: January 10 – May 15
  • For Spring enrollment: August 1 – November 1
How do I begin my application process?

Kansai Gaidai accepts applications through its online application site K-GENESYS only. The following are the procedures to obtain access to the K-GENESYS:

<For those applying through one of our affiliated institutions>
You must first contact the exchange coordinator of your home institution in order to be nominated for consideration for acceptance. User ID and Password will be issued to you upon receipt of the nomination message from your home institution.

<For those applying to us independently>
You must send an inquiry email message to [ ] with the following information:

  • 1. Name (Family Name, Given Name)
  • 2. Name of Home Institution
  • 3. Address of Home Institution
  • 4. E-mail Address
  • 5. Semester for which you are applying
  • 6. Desired duration of study (one semester or one academic year)
User ID and Password will be issued to you upon receipt of your inquiry email message to [ ].

Required Documents

【Form A】 Application for Admission
What do I fill in for my Grade Point Average (GPA) and mailing address?

You are requested to fill in your overall average academic point by the system of your home institution (i.e. 7.9 on a 10.0 scale, 16.4 on a 20.0 scale, etc.).

Regarding the mailing adress, either of the Coordinator's address at your home institution or your own home address is acceptable as long as you can receive mail from us in a timely fashion.

【Form B】 Two Letters of Recommendation Cover Sheet
Who should write the letters of recommendation?

You should submit two letters of recommendation, from current or former instructors or academic advisors at university-level institutions. There is no specific template for a letter of recommendation, but each should be prepared on institutional letterhead and sent together with the Letter of Recommendation cover sheet.

【Form C】 Japanese Instructor's Reference Form
Can the Japanese Instructor's Reference Form be accepted as one of the letters of recommendation ?

Yes, a 'Japanese Instructor's Reference Form' can be counted as one of the two Letters of Recommendation provided that the other Letter of Recommendation is NOT prepared by the same Japanese instructor.

【Form D】 Medical Information Form
Would it be acceptable for one doctor to fill out a portion of the form, and another doctor answer the rest of the questions?

We can accept two separate 'Medical Information Forms' as long as all the questions are answered between the two. 

【Form E】 Essay
Is the essay form meant to be first printed out, and the essay handwritten and mailed?

No. You are requested to first input your essay, then print it out and send it and other application documents by delivery service.

【Form F】 Japanese Language Background Questionnaire
Does a student without any knowledge of the Japanese language have to submit this questionnaire?


【Form G】 Confidential Financial Questionnaire
I will be on the exchange program between my university and Kansai Gaidai. Do I have to submit this questionnaire?

No. This questionnaire is waived for students from our affiliated institutions.

Transcripts of Record
What is the language and GPA requirements for the exchange students?

Please refer to the eligibility of the ASP at the URL below:

Four Identification Photographs
What do I do for my photos on application?

You are requested to attach one photo on the designated place of the application【Form A-1 】 The rest of the photos should be enclosed with your application documents.

Certificate of English Proficiency(e.g. TOEFL score)
I am not a native English speaker. What score am I required to have in the case of TOEIC test?

Our required mimimum TOEFL score is 80 on iBT or 550 on ITP. Submition of TOEFL score is waived for students from our affiliated institutions.

Passport copy (if available at the time of application)
I am currently applying for a new passport. Do I send a copy of the old one, or wait for a new one?

When a new one is available, please send us a copy of it via email attachment.

A non-refundable application fee of US$50 (This fee is waived for studensts from our affiliated institutions.)
What is the payment method?

Credit card payment through Online Payment System or Postal Money Order are acceptable.

How should application documents be submitted

How should application documents be submitted

◆The forms and items listed below must be submitted to the Center for International Education via delivery service.

  • 【Form A】 Application for Admission *Must be completed online first and then printed out.
  • 【Form D】 Medical Information Form
  • 【Form E】 Essay
  • 【Form F】 Japanese Language Background Questionnaire ☆
  • 【Form G】 Confidential Financial Questionnaire ☆
  • Academic Transcript(s) *Original copy(is)
  • Four Identification Photographs
  • A copy of Passport *If it is available at the time of application. If not, send it as an email attachment as soon as you obtain it.
  • Certificate of English Proficiency (e.g. TOEFL score) ☆

◆These forms listed below must be submitted directly from the instructor, via delivery service or email attachment.
Alternatively, students may enclose sealed recommendation letters when they send their application documents to us via delivery service.

  • 【Form B】 Letters of Recommendation
  • 【Form C】 Japanese Instructor's Reference Form

◆The fee below may be paid either by credit card through the Online Payment System or by Postal Money Order.

  • A non-refundable application fee of US$50 ☆

☆ waived for students from our affiliated institutions.



Can an independent student get financial aid and/or scholarship?
Are there any scholarships that exchange students can receive from Kansai Gaidai?

No scholarships are available for exchange students. Some scholarships/grants, etc., administered in your home country may be available while you are abroad.

Part-Time Employment

Can a student work while they are participating in the Asian Studies Program?

Those who enter Japan on a visa with the status of "Student" may NOT engage in any employment unless they are granted a work permit from the Japanese immigration office. As per Kansai Gaidai regulations, this permit will NOT be granted for the first three months after entry to Japan. This means you may not engage in any type of part-time employment until your second semester. Also, Kansai Gaidai homestay regulations stipulate that homestay program participants may NOT engage in any part-time employment.


When should I pay tuition and fees?

All necessary fees must be paid before or during the orientation week. It is recommended, however, that you complete the required payments before your arrival at Kansai Gaidai so that your course registration and other necessary procedures can be completed without delay or complications. Since financial arrangements vary depending upon enrollment status, specific information regarding your financial obligations will be sent to you together with your Certificate of Eligibility (COE).

How can I pay fees to Kansai Gaidai?

The following options are available for payment of fees to Kansai Gaidai University. You may use one or a combination of these options to complete your payments:

  • Credit card through the Online Payment System
  • Wire transfer (bank transfer)
  • Cash payment at our General Affairs (Shomu) Office during the orientation week.

For more information, please refer to the following payment method section:

About how much will it cost for a semester at Kansai Gaidai?

Tuition and housing fees, as well as estimated meal costs, are described at the following URL:

Does the bank balance have to cover the tuition and fees for a whole academic year (two semesters)?

No. Please send us copies of the bank note certifying that the balance covers payment obligations for at least one semester.


Will I need some yen in cash when I arrive in Japan?

Yes. We suggest that you have at least JPY50,000 in cash for your immediate needs. Although payment by credit card has become more common in Japan, Japan is still a cash-oriented country. The number of shops, especially small neighborhood shops, that accept credit card payment is limited.

Please also note that payment by check, including travelers' checks, is not accepted at any local shops in Japan.

I am a full-exchange student/a JASSO Scholarship student. When will I receive my meal allowance/JASSO scholarship?

The meal allowance for full exchange students and the JASSO scholarships will be deposited directly into applicable students’ bank accounts in Japan around the end of the second month of a semester (subject to change). Assistance in opening a savings account will be provided during the orientation week. Since it takes approximately three weeks to process these payments, please have sufficient funds for necessary expenses during the first two months of the semester.

Is there a bank office or an ATM at the University?

There is no bank office at the University, but two kinds of ATM are available on campus. ATMs of Sumitomo-Mitsui Bank and of Japan Post Bank are conveniently available to students. There are also several other banks available in Hirakata. We recommend that you open a savings account with the Sumitomo-Mitsui Bank, Hirakata Branch. At the beginning of each semester, representatives of Sumitomo-Mitsui Bank come to Kansai Gaidai to help you open your bank account right here through our office rather than going to the bank by yourself.

Please refer to the information of banking matters at the URL below:

Tips on Credit Cards, Debit Cards, etc.

Japan is still a cash-oriented country. Shops which accept payment by credit card are still limited.

If you wish to use a cash advance service by credit card or to get access to your bank account in your home country by debit card, etc., try the Japan Post Bank ATM on the Nakamiya Campus. If your card has a “PLUS” or “CIRRUS” mark on it, it should be accepted. If not, a trip to Osaka or Kyoto (40-minute train ride) will be required.

Service fees and maximum withdrawal limits vary. You may wish to confirm the policies applying to your account prior to departing from your country. Banks in Japan may also apply their own fees and limits for such transactions.

How can I have money sent from my home country?

1. Wire Transfer
The fastest, safest (yet most expensive) way to have money sent to you from home is by wire transfer. In order to have money transferred by wire, you should first open a bank account upon arrival at our university. You should then send the following information to a person who will transfer funds to you:

  • Your Bank Account Number
  • Name of the Bank, Name of Branch Office
  • Address and Phone Number of the Bank
  • The Bank’s Swift Code

It will take a few days to receive money in your bank account after the transaction is initiated. We advise you to open a savings account with the Sumitomo-Mitsui Bank, Hirakata Branch.

The address of this bank is:
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Hirakata Branch
21-10, Okahigashi-machi
Hirakata City, Osaka 573-0032 JAPAN
Phone (072)-846-2551

2. International Postal Money Order
To have money sent by international postal money order, the person who will be sending you the funds must go to a local post office and ask that this check be issued. There may be a limit as to how much can be sent. This can easily be determined at the post office.



I will be staying in a dorm. What facilities are available?

There are four dormitories at our university which are co-educational and Japanese-style. Rooms are floored with "tatami" mats upon which futon are placed for sleeping.

Two students will share one room. Each student has his/her own desk, closet, drawer space, futon (mattress) and bedding.

Each dormitory has kitchen(s) with some cooking utensils, shower rooms, and laundry facilities. There are also storage rooms, student lounges and computer rooms.


When will I find out about my homestay host family?

Homestay arrangements are not usually finalized until one week prior to the orientation period in order to avoid problems caused by last minute cancellations. Therefore, we are not able to provide any information on your host family prior to your arrival here. The information will be provided during the orientation period.

What do you suggest I should bring for my host family?

Although you are not expected to bring any presents for your host family, it would be nice if you bring an inexpensive gift, such as picture book about the area where you live, candy, T-shirts, etc. Also, host families will no doubt enjoy looking at photographs of your own family and friends.

Before/after the semester

Will I need to find a place to stay until I'm matched with a host family and move in?
If I fill out the residence portion, am I thus required to make any payments in order to reserve my space in a residence?

All incoming international students are requested to stay at one of our dorms during the orientation week. Following this, homestay students will check out of the dorm to move to their homestay. Therefore, you do not need to find your own place to stay. We do not charge an accommodation fee during the orientation week.

Are there any accommodations available during the winter break?

Yes. One or two dormitories remain open during the winter break, and the charge is around JPY 45,000. Homestay arrangements are not made during this period.

Can I stay in the dorm during the summer before/after the semester?

No. All Kansai Gaidai's dormitories are closed during the summer months for repairs and cleaning. Therefore, students extending their stay from the spring to the fall semester should be aware that they must secure their own housing during the summer.


Will I have the accommodation I requested?

Yes. Unless you hear from us otherwise, you will be assigned to the accommodation you have requested when you applied for our program. Please be advised, however, due to the increasing number of participants, we may have some difficulty in securing an adequate number of host families or accommodating all the students who request to live in our international student dormitories. Should it be necessary to ask you to choose some alternative, we will give you adequate notice prior to your departure from your home country.

Also, given this difficulty, we would like to urge you to inform us immediately if you have to withdraw from our program, especially if you have requested a host family. We have had several cases in which families decided not to host another student because of the disappointment they experienced due to the sudden cancellation by a prospective student without advance notification. This kind of behavior can damage the trust we have established with our homestay families, and make it difficult to operate our homestay program.

Does Kansai Gaidai provide housing for married students?

No. There are no special accommodations designed for married students or families at Kansai Gaidai. Thus, married students or students with families wishing to live together must find off-campus housing.

Those students who are on full-exchange arrangements have housing options of dormitory or homestay as housing benefits through the exchange program.



Can trunks and boxes be shipped prior to my arrival?

You should have no difficulty in mailing parcels to Japan through your local postal system.
Simply address them as follows:

Your name "NEW STUDENT"
c/o Center for International Education
Kansai Gaidai University
16-1 Nakamiyahigashino-cho
Hirakata City, Osaka 573-1001 JAPAN

We will hold parcels addressed to you that arrive before you do. Large trunks, etc., which cannot be mailed through the postal system may be shipped through a shipping agency. However, upon arrival in Japan such items are usually held at the port of arrival for customs inspection, and you will probably have to claim them in person. There also may be some difficulty in having the items transferred from the port to Kansai Gaidai. If you choose to ship items in this manner, please be sure to check all the details with your shipping agent, and understand that we cannot help you in bringing your trunks, etc., from the port to Kansai Gaidai. Also please be aware that shipping parcels back to your home country from Japan may be quite expensive.

How can I be reached while in Japan?

You will have your own mailbox on campus, so you may wish to give the above address to your family and friends.

You can also be reached by phone. International phone calls can be made to Japan from overseas by directly dialing:
Int'l – 81 (Country Code) – 72 (Area Code for Hirakata) – XXX – XXXX

The Center for International Education will not page you when a call comes in to our office, unless it is an emergency.


Is there a time frame for when the school can provide transportation from the airport to the university?

Our pick-up service is available for all new international students on the designated arrival days.

Please refer to arrival information at the URL below;

Can I arrive in Japan earlier than the university's designated arrival period?

As long as you obtain a student visa to Japan prior to your departure, and have a place to stay in Japan before coming to our university, you may enter Japan earlier than the designated arrival dates. We strongly suggest that you ask your local Japanese Embassy/Consulate regarding how early you are allowed to enter Japan.


What will be introduced during orientation?
Where can I stay during orientation?

You will be temporarily housed in university housing during the orientation period. If you participate in our homestay program, you will move in with your family at the end of the orientation week.

What do I do about meals during orientation?

Meal service is not available in the accommodations, and the kitchen facilities therein may not be used during the orientation period.

Cafeterias on campus are available to newly arrived students. They serve various types of reasonably priced food.

There are also several restaurants in the area serving meals at reasonable prices (approx. JPY500-600).



Can I purchase medicines, contact lens solution, etc., in Japan?

Yes. You can find most kinds of medicine here. Students wearing contact lenses should bring at least a month's supply of the necessary solutions, so that if you are unable to locate what you need here, you will have a supply to last you until more can be sent from home.

Also, please refer to the sheet enclosed with your Certificate of Eligibility for detailed up-to-date information concerning legal regulations on the importation of medicines. Please note, there are some pharmaceutical products that are not allowed to be imported to Japan.


Does the school provide medical insurance?

No. You are required to bring your health insurance and/or join the Japanese National Health Insurance upon your arrival.

Please refer to the information at the URLs below:


What kind of clothing should I bring?

The climate of Hirakata is relatively mild. Seasons are quite distinct. Summers (late June – mid-September) are sultry, thus neat but cool attire is appropriate (e.g., sandals OK, but avoid halters, tube tops, short shorts, etc.). Winters (December – February) are cold and damp. You will need a warm coat, sweaters, thick socks, and gloves. Note: Few Japanese homes are centrally heated. Thermal underwear and dressing in layers is essential. Spring and fall are mild and pleasant, with the exception of early/mid-June when there is a 2-3 week rainy season.

How about traveling in Japan?

The transportation system in Japan is well developed and extensive. You will have no difficulty in finding means to visit places of your interest. In addition to a nationwide railway system, many private railway lines are available in major cities. There are also networks of express buses and inter-island ferries.

Students in our program often take short weekend trips to places such as Hiroshima (Peace Park), Ise Shrine (known as one of the oldest shrines in Japan) and Tokyo (the national capital), etc. During longer breaks (spring recess or winter break), longer trips to Kyushu, Okinawa (southern part of Japan) or overseas Asia are easy to arrange.

Transportation costs vary according to the type of service, and students often benefit from special discounts on some routes. Youth hostels, located throughout Japan, also help keep costs down.

The Japan Railway Pass is available only for people coming to Japan as tourists and can be purchased only outside of Japan. You, as a student, are not eligible for this program.

Any advice on Electrical Appliances?

The Japanese electricity supply operates at 100 volts. Most of the outlets will only accept a two-prong plug. Some outlets will not accept a safety plug on which one blade is longer/wider than the other. Before you bring an appliance from your home country, you should be certain that it can operate on a 100-volt electrical supply. If your appliance has a three-prong plug, you should purchase an adapter in your home country.

Most computers do work in Japan. However, it may be difficult to find a printer that can be connected to your computer. If you bring a computer or a printer, it will also be very helpful to bring along the system installation discs.

Do I need to bring personal articles such as towels, soap, etc.?

Yes. None of our accommodations provide towels, soap, or other personal items for your use. However, futon sets (Japanese bedding), a pillow, sheets, and a pillow case are provided by the University upon arrival for students living in the dormitories. Almost any item used in your country should be found in our area, though some things may require a little searching or travel.

How should I budget my living expenses?

You may find living in Japan rather expensive. Please make sure that you will have adequate funds to cover expenses necessary in Japan.

You should not count on earnings from part-time work, since it is illegal to work part-time without receiving special permission from the immigration office. Such permission will not be granted until the second semester at Kansai Gaidai, if granted at all. Students participating in our homestay program are not allowed to engage in any part-time paid work.

If you are in the homestay program, your family will provide breakfast and dinner on weekdays, and three meals per day on weekends. Lunches can be taken at one of the on-campus student cafeterias. Prices range from about ¥200 to ¥500. To help you in making realistic estimates, the following are examples of prices for various items:

  • Airmail Letter: ¥110 (min.)
  • Airmail Postcard: ¥70 (min.)
  • Haircut: ¥1,500-¥4,000
  • Magazine/Comic book: ¥300-1,000
  • Movie Ticket: ¥1,500 (with student discount)
  • Basic Bus Fare to Hirakata Station: ¥230
  • Box of Cereal: ¥200
  • Liter of Milk: ¥200
  • 10 Eggs: ¥200
  • Hamburger: ¥160-¥350
  • Pizza (9inch): ¥1,800
Hirakata City

A city of 400,000 residents, Hirakata City is situated on the Yodo River midway between Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital and a world-class tourist destination, and Osaka, a modern industrial and commercial metropolis. Hirakata boasts of a number of historical monuments including ancient tombs, Buddhist temples, and Shinto shrines that attest to its long history. For instance, there is a 5th century tomb near the university dormitories and, within a fifteen minute walk from the dorms, a Shinto shrine dating from the 17th century. Many visitors come to Hirakata today to enjoy its famous amusement park, Hirakata Park (Hirakata Koen).

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