Kōbe, Japan

2024 program timetable


The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Abroad Center offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study for the summer in Kōbe, Japan. On-site, the program is coordinated by Kōnan International Exchange Center (KIEC). All students are enrolled in intermediate-level Japanese at Kōnan University.

application deadline: Feb. 17

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

Informational meetings: TBA

2024 Timetable

Host Institution

Kōnan University 甲南大学 (Kōnan Daigaku) is a private institution of approximately 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It was founded in 1951, but its history actually began in 1923 with the founding of Kōnan Gakuen, a private high school. Kōnan University is located in the Okamoto area of Higashinada-ku, in the eastern-most part of Kōbe. The program is housed under the Kōnan International Exchange Center (KIEC) 甲南国際交流センター


The UHM Summer in Kōbe program provides students an opportunity to fulfill UHM elective and/or Hawaiian/Second Language (HSL) requirements for graduation. This program is specifically designed for students who wish to complete their second-year foreign language requirement at UHM, earning credits in:

  • JPN 211: Intermediate Japanese for Oral Communication I (3 cr.)
  • JPN 212: Intermediate Japanese for Oral Communication II (3 cr.)

The primary focus of the curriculum is Japanese language training at the intermediate level, with specific emphasis on the development of speaking and listening skills. Language classes are small and are designed to be the equivalent of a full year of language training at UHM.

Students attend the intensive summer language classes four hours per day for six weeks. In addition, students will participate in supervised experiential learning two hours per week and attend Japan study lectures, two hours per week, throughout the duration of the program. Classroom instruction is supplemented by numerous field trips and other extracurricular activities.

Courses taken at Kōnan University will appear on UHM transcripts as UHM courses.


The UHM Study Abroad Center appoints a designated UHM Resident Director when appropriate. The Resident Director oversees students’ academic progress, mentors and/or tutors all participants. All students must participate in experiential learning activities led by the Resident Director, in addition to taking classes at the host institution.

Summer 2024: Masaru Mito, Dept. of East Asian Languages & Literatures. Click here for his student experiential learning plan.

Current as of May 30, 2024.


Kōbe (神戸), the seventh largest city in Japan with a population of 1.5 million and capital of Hyōgo Prefecture, is a picturesque port city which lies just northwest of Ōsaka. Kōnan University’s main Okamoto campus is 20 minutes by train from downtown Kōbe, 30 minutes by train from downtown Ōsaka, and an hour from Kyōto. The campus is in close proximity of the mountains and the shoreline.


Homestay: Students live with a Japanese host family in the Kōbe-Ōsaka area, and take morning and evening meals with them 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 everyday speaking and hearing of Japanese in a natural setting facilitates students’ understanding of the culture and enhances language learning.

Dormitory: Students who follow particular dietary restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, halal, kosher, etc.) will be encouraged to opt for housing in a single-gender dormitory building, where they can prepare their own meals. The dormitories are privately owned and managed, and offer the following amenities: desk and chair, bed, bedding, bookshelf, closet, storage rack, air conditioner, Wi-Fi, curtains, lighting, bathroom, sink, mini kitchen with induction heating, shoe cupboard, refrigerator, and balcony.


Excursions & Extracurricular Activities

The program fee includes two one-day trips to places of cultural interest. Visits may include Himeji Castle, Awaji Island, Nara or Kyōto.

All students in the program are invited to participate in one or several of the many sports, music, special interest or social clubs at Kōnan University. These activities, like the homestay, provide an excellent way to further develop communication skills in Japanese and to become a participant in the daily flow of Japanese life.

Program Cost (2024)

  • homestay: $3,293
  • dormitory: $3,320

Cost includes Kōnan University tuition, accommodations, all meals, textbooks, airport pick-up, orientation, ground transportation, excursions, health insurance, UHM Study Abroad and incidental fees.

Roundtrip airfare is not included in the program cost. Students have the option of taking a flight between Honolulu and Ōsaka arranged by Third Eye Travel or making their own travel arrangements.


FOR UHM STUDENTS ONLY: In order to receive financial aid please ensure that either: a) you are receiving financial aid during the preceding spring semester, or b) you complete the Financial Aid application during the preceding spring semester. UHM Financial Aid: www.hawaii.edu/fas.

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


See the Money Matters & Resources page for a list of possible scholarships.

Admission Requirements

Students are eligible to study abroad as early as the second semester of their Freshman year or later.

The program is designed for undergraduate students interested in studying Japanese language and culture and completing their second-year foreign language requirement.

The requirements are exactly one year of college-level Japanese (UHM: JPN 102 or 112) by the end of the previous spring semester, and a cumulative GPA of 3.0. However, students with a lower GPA may be considered. Students who have credits in, or are currently enrolled in an intermediate-level or higher Japanese language course are NOT eligible. 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 taken 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 to other cultures, and ability to adjust to a new cultural setting.

Immediately upon acceptance to the program, students are required to pay a $500.00 non-refundable initial payment 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 several 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 two academic references must be received by the Study Abroad Center to receive consideration.

Students from outside the UH System must also submit official transcripts from every college attended.

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