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 (JFOU), 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 history.  Students may choose from a wide variety of courses offered at J.F. Oberlin University.

Important Note: Per JFOU’s application requirements, all students must have completed at least one semester of university/college before turning in an application to the Study Abroad Center.

Program dates:

  • Year 2023-24: Sep. 1 – July 31
  • Spring 2024: Apr. 1 – July 31

Informational meetings: 

  • Wednesday, Feb. 7  2:30-3:30  Moore 155A
  • Thursday, Feb. 15  3:00-4:00  Moore 155A

Schedule an appointment with a Study Abroad Adviser on STAR Balance.

Application deadlines:

  • Year 2024-25: Friday, Mar. 1 (4pm HST)
  • Spring 2025: Tuesday, Oct. 15 (4pm HST)

Host Institution

J.F. Oberlin University 桜美林大学 (Ōbirin Daigaku) is a private co-educational institution located in the Tōkyō suburb of Machida. In Japanese, the name Ōbirin, meaning “beautiful cherry orchard,” is derived from the cherry blossom trees that bloom on campus and in the surrounding area in early spring. From its inception JFOU has been committed to the idea of internationalism. JFOU 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. JFOU 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 Obirin Gakuen Foundation of America (OGFA) Newsletters

Spring 2023/Summer 2023 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 (minimum 12 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 the appropriate core Japanese level, depending on previous study and the results of a placement examination during the on-site orientation. Students may select optional language courses for additional credits, and also may 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.


All students are required to enroll in at least one resident director’s course.

Spring 2024: George Wang, UHM School of Cinematic Arts. His courses:

Fall 2024: Brian Szuster, UHM Geography and Environment. His courses:

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

Current as of Feb. 2, 2024


J.F. Oberlin University is located in the city of Machida (町田), 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 two major train lines (JR Yokohama, Odakyū), Machida offers easy access to central Tōkyō and Yokohama, and also to nearby mountains and beaches.


Student participants live in one of two buildings comprising Fuchinobe International House 桜美林大学国際寮.  The dormitory buildings are within a short walk from Fuchinobe train station, on the JR Yokohama Line.  A school bus runs between the campus and Fuchinobe station.  Dormitory residents include both international and Japanese students.  Each single room is a small studio, furnished with a bed, fridge, microwave, electric pot, wired internet, shower, and toilet.  Laundry facilities, kitchens, student lounges with large-screen cable TV, and ovens are in shared areas.


J.F. Oberlin’s Center of International Student Exchange (CISE) 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

Click here to view a video made by the students from  2016-17.

Program Cost

Year 2023-24: $18,528

Spring 2024: $8,678

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 complete the 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.

UHM Study Abroad Center Scholarship

See also the Money Matters & 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

Students are eligible to study abroad at JFOU if they have completed at least one semester of university/college at the time of application.

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 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.


  • Year 2024-25: Friday, Mar. 1 (4pm HST)
  • Spring 2025: Tuesday, Oct. 15 (4pm HST)

Please note: The Study Abroad Center is closed on weekends, and Federal and State holidays.