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Programs : Brochure
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CLOSED IES: Tokyo, Language Intensive
Tokyo, Japan (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Host Program Website: Visit host website for more information
Restrictions: PSU applicants only
Budget Sheets Fall,
Fact Sheet:
Dormitory, Homestay
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
Courses Offered:
Anthropology, Art, Asian Studies, Culture, Economics, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, History, Japanese, Language, Marketing, Political Science, Sociology, Urban Studies
Type of Program:
Study Center
Language of Instruction:
English, Japanese
Language Requirement:
3 semesters
Education Abroad Adviser:
Whitney Longnecker
Internship Available:
Non-Penn State Students:
Global Programs Scholarships:
Diversity Grant-in-Aid, Grant-in-Aid, Whole World Scholarship
Program Description:

Starting fall 2015, the IES: Tokyo, Society and Culture program will merge with the IES: Tokyo, Language Intensive Program to create one cohesive curriculum called IES: Tokyo, Language and Culture. Please visit the IES: Tokyo, Language and Culture program for more information and to apply.

Program Overview     

Student in Geisha GarbTokyo, the capital city of Japan, exemplifies the balance sought after in Japanese culture. Whether it is skyscrapers overshadowing Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines or green-haired cos-players standing next to suited businessmen, you will experience a metropolitan culture that is both exotic and familiar. From the modern neo-glow and high fashion in Shinjuku and Shibuya to the downtown traditions along the Sumida river in Asakusa: no matter what your interests are, chances are you'll find a part of Tokyo that fits you. Day trips to neighboring Yokohama are also popular destinations.
Courses are taught at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS), a private university dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in International Studies, Foreign Languages, Intercultural Communication, Japenese Culture, and Linguistics. Students will intensively study the Japanese language during their semester abroad by taking 10-credits of Japanese language. The rigorous language program requires serious dedication and requires students have at least three semesters of Japanese language study prior to arrival. After a long day of memorizing kanji, though, students can enjoy the evening at the Tokyo Disney Resort (only one train stop away!)

In addition to the 10-credits of Japanese, students can take six to nine credits of English-taught IES area studies which includes a large selection of courses, including  anthropology, art, business, economics, history, political science, and sociology. A field placement program is available. An optional additional Japanese language course, Introduction to Japanese Translation and Interpretation, is also available for three credits for students who place into the 300-level Japanese course onsite. Information about the range of available courses can be found at the IES website.

Program Quicklinks     

Course Offerings
Housing and Meals
Program Costs
Financial Aid & Scholarships
More Information
How to Apply
Other Useful Links

Education Abroad Credits

The GatesYou will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad.

To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the IES Tokyo Course Equivalency List*. Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.

*The University Office of Global Programs is committed to making its websites accessible to all users. As such we are currently developing a new course equivalency database which will launch in Academic Year 2014-2015. In the meantime if you require an accessible version of the course equivalency information provided for this program please contact


Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program.

Eligibility Requirements Based on Language Ability

Students applying to the Language Intensive track will be asked to take the Japanese Computerized Adaptive Test (J-Cat) administered by Kanda University. Students will need to score a minimum of 150 to be placed in JP301, which is the lowest level of Japanese offered in the Language Intensive Program. Students who receive a score below 150 will likely be moved to the IES: Tokyo, Society and Culture program. Final language placement is determined on-site in Tokyo, however, prospective students should be aware that the language intensive track will only be available to those who meet the minimum score. 

Housing and Meals

IES provides students with either a homestay or a room in an off-campus residence hall. Both include some meals (usually breakfast and dinner). You will be responsible for providing the remainder of your meals. Whether staying with a host family or in a residential hall, you will likely commute 40 to 60 minutes, as do most Japanese residents in the Tokyo area. If you have particularly high commuting costs, you will receive a monthly subsidy from IES Abroad.

Program Costs

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the fall budget sheet and spring budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.

Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.

IES Public School Grant

As a Penn State student you will automatically be awarded a $1500 Public School Grant. IES has created this award to make their programs affordable to you. This award has already been calculated into the Budget Sheet.

For More Information

For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative

To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.

For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs of Penn State students currently studying abroad.

How to Apply

If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page. 

You must complete the following materials in your application:

  •  Education Abroad Questionnaire
  •  One academic recommendation
  •  Signature Documents

Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.

Other Useful Links

Getting Started
Schedule an Appointment
Cost & Funding
Health & Safety
Parents & Family

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2015 09/15/2014
09/30/2014 03/24/2015 07/12/2015
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.

Indicates that deadline has passed