This is a reciprocal exchange relationship between SJSU and Okayama University. It is primarily for the study of Japanese language and culture, but limited other courses are available.
- Take courses in English
- Earn SJSU resident credits for all completed courses.
- Pay your normal SJSU tuition and fees.
- Use your financial aid and apply for scholarships.
- Immerse yourself in Japanese culture and learn the language
- Study for the Spring semester or an academic year
- Gain an advantage when applying for jobs and graduate school.
Okayama City is the prefectural capital of Okayama Prefecture which is located in the southwest region of the largest island, Honshu. Okayama. The city has a population of about 700,000. Okayama City was formed just over 400 years ago, as a castle town for Okayama Castle, which had been built by Ukita Hideie, a daimyo in the Warring States period of Japan. In ancient times, the suburban area in the west was called "Kibi no Kuni," and boasted a considerable influence at the time. It is a region blessed with a rich natural environment, including mountainous districts and open plains, the two major Asahi and Yoshii rivers, as well as the Seto Inland Sea. It is also a key focal city of the Chugoku/ Shikoku region, located at the cross point of rapid transport networks. Okayama City attracts people as a center of distribution, economy and culture. Not far from Okayama Station, the "Culture Zone" is where art galleries, museums and other cultural facilities are centered. Korakuen (one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan) is also located close to the Culture Zone.
The university was founded as a teacher training school in 1870 and upgraded to university status in 1949. Now, it is one of the largest national universities in Japan. Okayama University has 11 faculties, 7 graduate schools, 1 attached research institute, 3 university libraries, 1 national joint-use research institute, 6 campus-wide facilities for education and academic studies, 7 joint-use facilities, a health & medical center and various research and educational institutions belonging to each faculty. It is one of the most important universities in the Chugoku-Shikoku area, supporting a student population of about 13,600, of which about 470 are international students from more than 50 countries.
Exchange Program Okayama (EPOK) was established with the purpose of encouraging international students to understand Japanese language, culture and customs through immersion at the university. Most courses are taught in English, except for Japanese language courses.
- be enrolled as an SJSU student for one semester prior to departure, or be a California community college student eligible to enter SJSU by the semester of departure,
- have Sophomore, Junior or Senior standing by the semester of departure,
- have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher.
- There is no language prerequisite, but students are strongly encouraged to take beginning Japanese prior to participation in the program.
Exchange Program Okayama (EPOK) is a program organized by Okayama University that encourages students to learn and understand Japanese culture, customs and social backgrounds. Classes are offered in English and Japanese. Okayama University and EPOK provide students the ideal setting for studying abroad; one that nurtures education and learning while at the same time offers students an environment for freedom, growth and experience. Students will live and interact amongst the Japanese people, and they will experience first-hand what life and living in Japan is like.
EPOK offers an extensive curriculum to its students. Many of the offered courses are to encourage an understanding of Japanese culture, customs, and social backgrounds. Classes are mostly offered in English except the Japanese Language Courses, and many classes integrate the exchange students with the rest of the local student population at Okayama University.
Besides the Japanese Culture and Language Courses, students can also take major specific courses that are available. Example fields include courses in:
- Asian Studies
- Global Studies
- Hospitality & Tourism
- Political Science
Students can also conduct an Independent Study which involves conducting/participating in a research project on a specific theme or studying a specific subject/topic related to a student’s major field of study. In either case, students pursue this course individually under the supervision of a particular professor of Okayama University. EPOK students who have completed one semester at Okayama University and have adequate knowledge on the specific theme/subject that they wish to study, are able to take Independent Study during their second semester of residence.
For more information on their academic curriculum and a full list of courses outlined in their Syllabus, Click Here.
Students who are fluent in Japanese may also take other courses in regular university departments
. Exchange students can choose classes from the ones offered by the faculty they belong to but they are required to obtain the lecturer’s permission to take the course before registration. Most courses are taught in Japanese. Exchange student without the required level of Japanese language proficiency may not be allowed to register.
Fall Semester* Early October – Late February
Spring Semester Early April – Late August
*Please note: This exchange is for an academic year or the Spring semester. Since the Fall semester goes until late March, only students who are graduating or don’t mind missing the SJSU Spring semester may participate for the Fall semester only.
Student life at Okayama University offers authentic experiences in Japanese education as well as in Japanese culture and lifestyle. Students will be offered a wide range of academic, athletic and cultural activities that will make them get a taste of what it is like to study and live in Japan amongst its people
Student Clubs, Societies and Activities:
Okayama University offers a host of diverse student clubs, societies and activities. These clubs create great opportunities for exchange students to interact with Japanese and other international students. Some of the clubs offered include American Football, Tea Ceremony, Japanese Traditional Music, Kendo, Judo, bowling, swimming, horseback riding. International students are welcomed and are encouraged to join a club or society to meet local students, as well as to improve their command of Japanese language. Clubs can prove to be beneficial to students' education, health and social skills, as well as in adjusting to life at the University and Japan.
there are volunteer groups who provide assistance to international students in their lives in Japan. Organizations such as the Advisor's Room of the center for Global Partnerships & Education and WAWA (translated from Japanese as peace circle) host occasional sport activities and parties to give opportunities for EPOK students to meet new people.
Language Education Center:
offers unique opportunities for international students to exchange with Japanese students at "L-café such as English and Japanese café, SACRA". These places offer students chances to learn both Japanese and English through conversations and cultural activities to build understandings among students from various backgrounds and countries.
Okayama University offers student accommodations in their new International Share-House where international students can share a unit with a Japanese student. This will provide great opportunities to exchange with Japanese students in daily life as well as those from other countries and regions. Students will share a unit with 3 other international students and a Japanese student. Each student will have their own private room, but will share a full kitchen, living room, and bathroom in their unit. For more information Click Here.
BUDGETING FOR YOUR SEMESTER
**These costs are current as of 2018–19. These are estimated costs for the whole semester. Consult the Bursar’s Office for up-to-date information on tuition and fees. Personal expenses do vary between students: those who eat out at restaurants or plan to travel frequently should estimate higher.
* Health Insurance: All outgoing exchange students are required to purchase the SJSU-approved University health insurance plan through JCB Insurance Services. Additionally, you are required to have Japanese national health insurance.
- SJSU Tuition & Fees: $3,900.00
- Round Trip Transportation: $1,500.00
- Room & Meals: $2,400.00
- Health Insurance $450.00*
- Books & Supplies: $150.00
- Personal Expenses $2,000.00
- Total $10,400.00
FINANCING YOUR SEMESTER
Students who are participating in certified SJSU study abroad programs can use all of the financial aid including grants, scholarships, and loans (except work study) for which they are normally qualified. For more information click Here.
Scholarships for study abroad come in many forms: SJSU Study Abroad Scholarships, Program Specific, National and International scholarships. Find links for these scholarships and online scholarship search engines by clicking Here