Machida, Japan


The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Abroad Center offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study for the spring semester, or for one full academic year in Machida, Japan. On site, the program is coordinated by J.F. Oberlin University, located in the Tōkyō area. The program is open to all majors, but is particularly ideal for students who are pursuing degrees, minors and/or certificates in Japanese language, art and/or economics.  Students may choose from a wide variety of courses offered at J.F. Oberlin University.

Tentative dates

  • Year 2017-18: Aug. 31, 2017 – Aug. 5, 2018
  • Spring 2018: Mar. 26 – Aug. 5

Informational meetings

  • Thursday, Feb. 16, 1:30-2:30, Moore 155A
  • Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2:30-3:30, Moore 155A

Application deadline

  • Year 2017-18 : Wednesday, Mar. 1
  • Spring 2018: Monday, Oct. 16

Host Institution

J.F. Oberlin University 桜美林大学 (Obirin Daigaku) is a private co-educational institution located in the Tōkyō suburb of Machida. In Japanese, the name Obirin, meaning “beautiful cherry orchard,” is derived from the cherry trees that bloom on campus in early spring. From its inception J.F. Oberlin has been committed to the idea of internationalism. J.F. Oberlin has always sought to provide students with an international outlook and with the skills that will enable them to play a positive role in today’s increasingly complex world. J.F. Oberlin firmly believes that meaningful participation in contemporary society requires a sound understanding of other lands and societies. In concrete terms, this means educating Japanese students about the outside world and international students about Japan.

Stay up to date with J.F. Oberlin faculty, staff and alumni: Obiriner Family Newsletter


The UHM Semester and/or Year in Machida program provides students an opportunity to fulfill UHM major, minor, elective, focus, foundations, diversification and foreign language requirements for graduation. Students on the program must be enrolled full-time and may earn up to 15 credits.

The period of study for the academic year is September through early August, and the spring term runs from April until early August. The Reconnaissance Japan Program is an academic program for foreign students from around the world who wish to personally experience Japan. Students may participate in either the spring semester or an academic year. The program offers Japanese language skills and training courses from the introductory to advanced levels.

The UHM Study Abroad Center appoints a designated UHM Resident Director when appropriate. The Resident Director teaches two classes, oversees students’ academic progress and mentors all participants. All students are required to take one of the two UHM Resident Director’s classes each semester. The subjects vary each semester according to the expertise of the UHM professor.


Students will be placed in one of six different levels in their core Japanese program, depending on previous study and the results of a placement examination given during the orientation period. Besides the language courses, students may also take content courses in English in the following areas: Japanese Culture, Politics, Economics, Education & Society, Management, History, Literature, Art, and Intercultural Communication. Both Japanese and foreign students enroll in the content courses.

Click here for a list of courses available at J.F. Oberlin University with UHM credit equivalencies. Course offerings are subject to availability and may change without prior notice.


Spring 2017: Petrice Flowers, UHM Dept. of Political Science. Her courses:

Fall 2017: Miriam Sharma, UHM Dept. of Asian Studies (retired). Her courses:

Spring 2018: Wayne Iwaoka, UHM Dept. of Human Nutrition, Human and Animal Sciences (retired). His courses:

Courses taken at J.F. Oberlin University will appear on UHM transcripts as UHM credits.


Max Lee

Current as of Feb. 9, 2017.


J.F. Oberlin University is located in the city of Machida, a lively, upbeat suburb of Tōkyō. Teaming with upscale department stores, small specialty stores, restaurants and cafés, Machida is a young city and its economy is geared towards young people. Well served by trains, Machida provides easy access to central Tōkyō and Yokohama, and also to nearby mountains and beaches.


Student participants live with a Japanese host family. The International Student Section will arrange homestays, in accordance with students’ preferences and needs. Students generally take morning and evening meals with the host family throughout their stay in Japan. A major value of the homestay is that it provides students with the opportunity to closely interact with and learn from host country nationals. In addition to taking students beyond the public face of the Japanese people, the contact with everyday Japanese language in a natural setting facilitates student’s understanding of the culture and enhances language learning.


J.F. Oberlin’s International Student Section (previously Center for International Studies) offers a varied program of cultural activities and excursions in and around Tōkyō for student participants. Most of these activities will be arranged for weekends or on weekdays when classes are over, in order to ensure maximum participation. A separate fee will be charged for participation in some activities.

In addition to the formal program activities, students are also encouraged to take part in the wide range of clubs or social activities on campus. Japanese college students invest tremendous amounts of their time in extracurricular activities. Most students are involved in at least one or two clubs, which can be either cultural or athletic in nature. Taking part in club life is one of the best ways to learn how the Japanese have fun.


Machida, Japan

Program Cost

Estimated program costs:

$9,868 (Spring 2017)

$21,219 (Year 2016-2017)

Costs include J.F. Oberlin tuition, housing, meals, security deposit, textbooks, ground transportation, Japan National Health Insurance and UHM Study Abroad and other incidental fees.

Roundtrip airfare between Honolulu and Tōkyō is not included; students have the option of taking the flight arranged by Third Eye Travel or making their own reservations and arriving at Narita International Airport (NRT) on the designated arrival date and time.


FOR UHM STUDENTS ONLY: In order to receive financial aid, please ensure that either: a) you are receiving financial aid during the current semester, or b) that you completethe Financial Aid application during the current semester.

NON-UHM STUDENTS (those attending other colleges and universities during the regular school year) must apply for financial aid at their home institutions


Students accepted to the program are eligible for the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) scholarship, awarded by the Ministry of Education. The JASSO scholarship is approximately $6,000.

See also the Resources page for a list of possible scholarships.


Student participants of the Spring or Academic Year in Machida program are required to obtain a student visa through the Consulate General of Japan.

Admission Requirements

This program is designed for sophomore, junior, or senior level undergraduate students. The minimum requirements are a 3.0 GPA, strong English writing skills, absolute fluency in English, and successful completion of course pre-requisites. However, students with a lower GPA may be considered in exceptional cases. A list of courses offerings is available at the Study Abroad Center. Non-native English-speaking students must have taken the TOEFL exam within the last two years and earned a composite score of 600+ or have passed the UHM ELI placement exam.

Admission to the program is selective. All applicants for the program will be judged on their academic performance, reasons for wishing to attend the program, flexibility and sensitivity.

Immediately upon acceptance to the program, students are required to pay a non-refundable initial payment (Spring, $500.00; Year, $1,000.00)  to ensure a place in the program. The initial payment will be applied toward the cost of the program.

Please note that students accepted to the program are required to attend three mandatory pre-departure class sessions totaling 12 hours. Failure to attend will result in students being withdrawn from the program.


A completed Study Abroad Center application and three academic references must be received by the Study Abroad Center by the following dates to receive consideration. Students from outside the UH System must also submit official transcripts from every college attended.


Academic Year 2017-18 (Fall and Spring semesters): Wednesday, Mar. 1

Spring 2018: Monday, Oct. 16