Experience Japanese language and culture this summer during the six-week program at Akita International University (AIU)! Heading up to Akita prefecture in northern Japan, this summer school is open to beginner and intermediate Japanese language learners. Participants will earn six Japanese language credits during this rigorous program. Act fast as there are a limited number of spaces available each summer!
AIU is located in Akita city (population about 322,000), the capital of Akita prefecture (population about 1,080,000), an ideally-sized city that provides the opportunity to get immersed in the local culture while also offering convenient access to international goods and services. Akita prefecture is known for its natural beauty and resources and the university is located close to ski areas, scenic hiking opportunities, and the Sea of Japan coastline.
Note: As of April 2017, AIU is proud to be a smoke free campus. All students are required to live on campus, where there are no smoking areas and there are no places to smoke anywhere near campus.
Mason undergraduate students only. Minimum 2.5 GPA.
Applicants must be enrolled at their home institution both at the time of application and during their stay at Akita International University, and have at least one semester of grades from that institution on their transcript at the time of application.
Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate that their English language is at a level which is required by AIU. Acceptable minimum qualifications are TOEFL iBT: 71; TOEFL PBT/ITP: 530; IELTS 6.0; TOEIC 785.
Students will take a placement exam after arriving in Akita and will be placed into one of three Japanese language sections. This is a transfer credit program* so students will automatically receive JAPA credit at Mason based on the course they are enrolled in. These transfer courses have been pre-approved by the Japanese language department at Mason.
Students placed in JPL 120 will receive:
- Japanese (JAPA) 110: Elementary Japanese (6 credits)
Students placed in JPL 125 will receive:
- Japanese (JAPA) 201: Intermediate Japanese I (3 credits)
- Japanese (JAPA) 202: Intermediate Japanese II (3 credits)
Students placed in JPL 220 will receive:
- Japanese (JAPA) 330: Advanced Reading and Speaking I (3 credits)
- Japanese (JAPA) 331: Advanced Reading and Speaking II (3 credits)
Students who are placed into a course at AIU for which they have already received credit at Mason will be given general Japanese elective credit (JAPA 2--/JAPA 3--) depending on their placement level.
*As this is a transfer credit program, courses cannot be taken pass/fail and students must earn at least a C for the course to transfer back to Mason.
|9:00 am - 9:50 am
||Japanese Language Class
General free time unless there is a scheduled field trip, event, etc.
|10:00 am - 10:50 am
||Japanese Language Class
|11:00 am - 11:50 am
||Japanese Language Class
|12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
||Lunch in the Cafeteria
|1:00 pm - 2:20 pm
||Conversation Practice*, OR
|2:00 pm -
||Japanese Culture Workshops*
*Conversation Practice and Japanese Culture Workshops (see Housing & Excursions tab) are only on scheduled days.
Course Equivalency and Plan of Study
The Global Education Office has a Course Evaluation and Registration System
(CERS), which you will use to complete the steps needed to evaluate your courses abroad, and see how they will count at Mason. This database is accessible whether you have already applied, or are just beginning to think about studying abroad. Look at the courses in the database. You are by no means limited to these courses. The database shows courses that have already been evaluated. You can request equivalency for any course not yet evaluated, through CERS.
You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to look at this institution’s courses ahead of time to see how they will match up to your Mason degree requirements. Talk to your academic advisor about what courses you will need to receive credit for during your time abroad to stay on-track for your degree. When looking at courses keep in mind that course schedules can change. We recommend having twice as many courses approved as necessary.
Students in the summer program are assigned double rooms in Komachi Hall. Each student will have a chance to have a Japanese roommate and/or suitemate(s): a roommate is a student who shares a room and a bathroom, and a suitemate is a student who shares only a bathroom.
Specific room assignments and information about your roommate/suitemate(s) will be announced upon your arrival. AIU is not able to provide the information such as name, nationality, and contact address of your roommate/ suitemate(s) in advance.
The program fee includes a meal plan at the cafeteria, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner to students. The meal plan begins with lunch on Monday, June 17, 2019*, and runs through lunch on Friday, July 26, 2019*. AIU will try to arrange to meet students’ dietary requests or needs. Students who plan to stay after July 26*, will have to pay for meals on a cash basis for any extra days.
*2020 dates coming soon
Excursions and Cultural Workshops
The Summer Program will offer culture workshops and field trips to local sites and opportunities to appreciate traditional Japanese culture. Participants in the Summer Program 2019 experienced the following culture workshops and field trips:
2019 Cultural Workshops*
- Shodo: One of the Japanese traditional arts. Students learn how to write Kanji and Hiragana in an artistic way with a brush and India ink called sumi.
- Kimono: In this program, participants will be taught how to wear summer cotton kimono called yukata.
- Sado: The traditional Japanese way of drinking tea in accordance with a set rules of etiquette. Both the host and guests share a sense of togetherness during the tea ceremony.
2019 Field Trips*
*2020 information will be updated as soon as it is available.
- Oga Peninsula: One of the most beautiful and famous sightseeing spots in northern Japan. Sites in 2017 .included: GAO aquarium, Namahage Museum, Cape Nyudo, Kampuzan.
- Kakunodate: An old castle town located in eastern central Akita prefecture. Kakunodate was established in 1620 by Yoshikatsu Ashina, the ruler of the Kakunodate area. This town has been known for its historic samurai mansions since the Edo era and remains popular with tourists from all over the world. It has an atmosphere truly appropriate to its nickname of “Little Kyoto.” The feel of traditional Japan is preserved in this quaint town. Sites in 2017 included: Dakigaeri Valley, Lake Tazawa (the deepest lake in Japan), Sakura Bark Craft Museum, Samurai Mansion.
Program Cost (2019):
- Application Fee
- Tuition for 6 credits
- Administrative services in Japan and Mason
- Meals in campus cafeteria
- Excursions, cultural workshops, and activities
- Pre-Departure Orientation
- International Emergency Insurance
- Passport fees
- Required textbooks and/or course materials
- Personal spending
Students on GEO programs must pay the advertised program cost order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Application Deposit + First Payment + Final balance). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.
Application Deposit: A non-refundable application fee of $200 for Mason students. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system.
First Payment: A non-refundable First Payment of $1000 must be received by April 20. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.
In the event that a student’s financial aid or VA Benefits is estimated to cover the entire costs of the study abroad program, the entire charge will be posted to their student account, since that is where the aid will be applied. In this case students do not pay their first payment through MasonAbroad. However students must submit their “Intent to Use Financial Aid” form by the first deposit deadline.
Final Balance: The final balance payment is due by May 5. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus your paid Application Deposit and First Payment. Students who are using financial aid may have the payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.
Financial Aid: Students who intend to use financial aid to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the deposit deadline. This form is available once you have started your application for this program in MasonAbroad.
Withdrawal and Refund Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.
For more information on payments and financial aid:
GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:
January 10, 2020
Application fee: $200 for Mason students.
Official Transcripts: An official copy of your Mason transcript is required as well as copies of official transcripts from any other college or university you have attended.
Passport Status: If you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now.
Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents.
Questionnaires: Read and complete the documents according to the instructions.
Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the deposit deadline.
*Additional paperwork may be required for this program and can be viewed inside your application.