Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Languages, Literatures and Cultures

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Japan draws its international students by its high standard of education and affordable tuition. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has ranked Japanese high school students number one in the world for mathematics, and number two for scientific literacy. 49% or Japanese high school students go on to enter one of Japan's 700 universities. Ten of those universities rank in the top 200 worldwide, according to International Student Insurance website. Japanese culture and society is a diverse mix of the tradition and innovation, the East and West, and the natural and artificial. These seemingly opposite elements coexist  harmoniously in Japan, creating an unique experience for students. Beautiful landscapes, wonderful architecture, art and a world- renowned cuisine are other reasons why Japan is a popular study abroad destination.

Study in Japan advisor:
Keiko Aoki
Office: Kingston Hall 402
Phone: 613-533-6924

Queen's Partner Universities

  • Keio University
    This Japanese university is located in Minato, Tokyo. It is the oldest institute of higher education in Japan. It has nine faculties, which cover a wide range of academic fields, with each operating independently and offering a broad spectrum of creative and unique educational and research activities. The faculties are: Letters, Economics, Laws, Business and Commerce, Medicine, Science and Technology, Policy Management, Environment and Information Studies, Nursing and Medical Care, and Pharmacy. Courses are available in English however, students are expected to have taken JAPN 100 or above (or the equivalent) to be considered for this exchange program. Keio University also offers a Japanese Language Program (JLP) that is suited to students who wish to study the Japanese language intensively. Queen’s students are eligible to compete for the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) scholarship through Keio University.
    More information on Keio University.

Rebecca Zhao, who attended Keio University last year, talks about her experiences there:

My experience at Keio University was nothing short of amazing. As Japan’s first private institution for higher learning, Keio University’s Mita campus combines both aspects of traditional and modern. Its favourable location right next to Tokyo Tower meant a perfect way to balance my studies as well as explore everything Tokyo had to offer, from afternoon shopping trips in Harajuku to enjoying Shibuya nightlife at an Izakaya. With great academics, a lively student environment, and the variety of courses offered, Keio University undeniably steps to the forefront as the top choice for an exchange institution. I came back to Canada with renewed knowledge, wonderful memories, lifelong friendships, and a desire to go back again. Being able to have my exchange at Keio University undeniably made my time in Japan one of the best experiences in my life.

  • Kwansei Gakuin University
    Kwansei Gakuin University a non-denominational Christian private and coeducational university located in Nishinomiya, near Osaka. It is one of the four leading private universities in the Kansai region of Japan. Throughout its history, Kwansei Gakuin has had a strong international emphasis. A variety of programs aim to develop internationally-minded people who understand other cultures and countries of the world, being motivated to help others in the spirit of the school’s motto,“Mastery for Service.” Queen’s students studying for an exchange at KGU should have at least 200-level Japanese. Applicants are required to meet the Japanese Language ability requirements, and candidates will be assessed through the Japanese Language Department. Students studying at KGU will be provided accommodation in the home of a host family as spaces in residence halls are very limited.
    More information about Kwansei Gakuin University.

Jacky Fung, who attended Kwansei Gakuin University, in 2010-11 talks about her experience there: 

Going to KGU is going to a place like no other. It's situated in the suburban city of Nishinomiya; between Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto with each only 30-40 minutes away if you wish to go to more urbanized areas. Staying in the Kansai area exposes you to Kansai-ben; the dialect of the region which may be difficult to pick up at first, but is extremely rewarding to learn and understand, as you will feel more like an in-group for knowing it. Being at KGU exposes you to a multitude of connections to schools and people worldwide with 80+ exchange students from elsewhere. KGU also runs on a period system (5 a day) and everyone shares the same lunch, so everyone can gather in the Global Lounge provided by the school. The campus is beautiful, and the classes are not too difficult, and provides plenty of time to explore the vast region. Being in Kansai brings ease of access to various parts of Japan since it is situated more or less in the center of the country.
  •  Waseda University
    Waseda University is one of the most prestigious private universities in Japan. Its main campuses are located in the northern part of Shinjuku, Tokyo. Founded in 1882 as Tokyo Senmon Gakko, the institution was renamed "Waseda University" in 1902. It is known for its liberal climate symbolized by the motto "independence of learning."  Especially, the School of Political Science and Economics has significant influence on Japanese society. The alumni of Waseda University include six post-war prime ministers and prominent corporate leaders. Courses are available in English however, students are expected to have taken JAPN 100 or above (or the equivalent) to be considered for this exchange program.
    More information about Waseda University

Jeremy Davison (BAH '12), participated in an exchange at Waseda University. Here is what he has to say about his experiences there:

At Waseda University, depending on one's Japanese proficiency, courses are taught either in Japanese or English. Since I had only studied Japanese for one year prior to my departure I took all of my courses in English through the School of International Liberal Studies. I stayed with a Japanese family, and because of that my Japanese improved much quicker than my peers who stayed in residence. I was able to learn a great deal about the history and culture of Japan in general, and of Tokyo in particular. I would recommend anyone who is interested in Japanese culture, and who is studying the Japanese language, to go on exchange in Japan.

Queen's Special Study Abroad Program

Kwansei Gakuin University Cross-Cultural College
Canada-Japan Collaborative Program for Educating World Citizens as Future Leaders

The Cross-Cultural College is a partnership between Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU) and three Canadian universities – Queen’s, the University of Toronto and Mount Allison University. Students can choose between three different course options of varying lengths, earning credits towards their degrees. The KGU Cross-Cultural College provides a unique opportunity for Canadian and Japanese students to learn and study together in both Canada and Japan in order to gain a deeper understanding of each other’s cultures and study mutual issues facing their respective countries, while at the same time earning academic credits towards their degrees. Queen's University students in the Faculty of Arts and Science who are in their 2nd or 3rd-year of an Honours Bachelors degree program are eligible to apply. In particular, arts and social sciences students who have a strong interest in multicultural and comparative studies as applied to Asia and Japan will be particularly keen about this program.

KGU CCC Information Sheet

More information about the program and the application form is to be found on the International Programs Office website.

Work/Internship Opportunities

  • The Canada-Japan Co-Op Program
    The Canada-Japan Co-op Program is a Canadian university/college based, international co-op/internship program linking some of the best engineering, science, business and arts discipline undergraduate students from across Canada with highly committed Japanese businesses. The Canada-Japan Co-op Program formally integrates an undergraduate student's Canadian academic studies with valuable work experience in a Japanese company. The program is open to Canadian universities and colleges and is currently administered from The University of British Columbia.
    More information about the Program

  • The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme
    The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme aims to promote grass roots internationalization at the local level by inviting young overseas graduates to assist in international exchange and foreign language education in local governments, boards of education and elementary, junior and senior high schools throughout Japan. It seeks to foster ties between Japanese citizens (mainly youth) and JET participants at the person-to-person level
    More information about JET

  • SWAP Program - Working Holidays
    SWAP Working Holidays is a non-profit program that offers young Canadians a truly unique opportunity to explore the world through work and travel. Originally the Student Work Abroad Program, many countries now permit non-student youth to participate, so we’ve evolved our name into SWAP Working Holidays! For more than 30 years, we’ve been assisting thousands of young Canadians plan their working holidays. On a SWAP program, you have the chance to live and breathe another culture from the inside rather than simply passing through as a tourist.
    More information about SWAP

  • Kwansei Gakuin University Cross-Cultural College (Internship Option)
    Global Internships (GI): GI is a 2-week, 3.0 unit course held in Japan in August. After preparatory study at KGU, each pair composed of a student from Kwansei Gakuin University and a student from a Canadian university, will work together for a week, gaining practical experience in a real business environment (such as Panasonic, Toyota and etc.) in Japan. Internship locations will be allocated before students arrive in Japan. After completing their internship, students will prepare and present a report.
    More information about this option available on the International Programs Office website.

Other options

Japan-Canada Academic Consortium (JACAC)
Senior undergraduate student representatives from member institutions in both Japan and Canada will meet and exchange opinions and ideas about a common topic of interest to students today. The goal of this forum is to provide students with the opportunity to interact with their peers from a different culture, in order to gain insight into their current areas of academic interest and to encourage a flow of ideas between Canada and Japan.

For more information please visit JACAC website