Summer Program: HIF Japanese Language and Japanese Culture Program

Already thinking about a summer language program for next year? Check out HIF, which has a February application deadline!

Program Objectives

The HIF Japanese Language and Japanese Culture Program is a university level intensive summer course that focuses on proficiency-oriented instruction. The program aims to help participants acquire or improve communication skills in all aspects of Japanese language with the following combination. Please refer to To Improve your Japanese Proficiency for the detailed information of each category.

The class hour of Japanese class is 140 class hours and equivalent to two semesters of Japanese study at most universities. Past participants have found this program to be highly demanding, as they needed to study for at least 3 hours per day on their own to manage homework assignments, quizzes, weekly tests, midterm and final exams and to maintain class participation.


Academic Background

Applicants should be enrolled at an institution of higher education in an undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate course. Professionals or graduates with at least an undergraduate degree are invited to apply.

Japanese Level

Applicants should have studied Japanese for at least one semester at any appropriate institutions, and have attained a proficiency of higher than Novice-Mid as outlined in the ACTFL proficiency guidelines.

Non-academic Requirements

Applicants should have willingness to abide by the program’s regulations. Also they should be able or willing to adapt to new situations with social and cross-cultural sensitivity.

Selection of Applicants

Applicants are selected for admission by the HIF Selection Committee by reviewing all submitted materials. Please note the enrollment in the Japanese Language and Japanese Culture Program is limited to 60 and if there are a large number of applicants it may not be possible to admit all applicants even if qualified.

Program Instruction

Academic Credits

Participants who satisfactorily complete the Japanese Language and Japanese Culture Program will receive certificates of completion and grade transcripts. Since HIF is not an affiliated institution, participants are responsible for consulting their academic dean to find out if it is possible to transfer credits to their home institutions. Most participants have received credits equivalent to one year’s work from them.

Class levels
Intermediate-Low or above (2 classes), Intermediate-Mid or above (2 classes), Advanced-low, and Advanced-Mid or above. Levels are determined in accordance with the proficiency guidelines of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Participants’ levels are assessed through placement tests in reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, as well as prior Japanese language study.

Class size
10 students

Japanese Class: Independent Study

This independent study is designed to enhance your Japanese proficiency by accomplishing your individual study objectives in addition to the HIF basic Japanese classes. The study objectives, method, timelines, and the tangible result should be discussed and defined by consulting with your instructor. You may choose a theme related to your interests provided that you can finalize and submit the outcome before the Summer Program is completed. You are required to report the progress of your independent study to your instructor at least once a week so that you can refine your work. The instructor will evaluate the work including the final product. Participants are expected to prepare outlines for their independent study in advance.


The eight-week homestay provides you with full immersion in Japanese language and Japanese culture. Host families volunteer to participate in the program not merely to accommodate you but also to help you to practice your Japanese skills and deepen your understanding of Japanese culture. The homework and class topics are also expected to reflect your homestay experience. Please note some host families accommodate more than one student and they provide each one with an individual room.

Japanese Only Rule(日本語だけルール)

To maximize learning in the program, all participants must observe the Nihongo-Dake (Japanese Only) Rule from the moment they enter designated areas of the school building. Participants are encouraged to avoid using languages other than Japanese at school.

For more detailed information, see the HIF homepage:

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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