Program overview

Program Dates: Tuesday, July 5 to Saturday, August 12, 2017 (5 weeks)

This is the 11th year of the University of Toronto Summer Program in Tokyo, Japan. The program is designed for students who wish to enhance their Japanese language skills while learning about Japanese culture.


Each course is worth one full-year credit; students are not permitted to register for more than one course. Students will enrol in an ICU course, but earn University of Toronto credit (i.e., the University of Toronto course number and grade will be listed on the students’ UofT transcript).

Classes are small (10-15 students) and take place Monday to Friday, 8:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. Afternoons are used for individual tutorial sessions (there is a tutorial session at least once a week for each participant), language laboratory work, and Culture Program events (see ‘Program Details’ tab above). Students are also expected to study out of class on their own at least three hours per day.

Japanese Language Courses

The program offered in Tokyo comprises seven levels of language instruction with the following UofT equivalencies:

C1 – EAS122Y0
C2 – EAS222Y0
C3 – EAS223Y0
C4 – EAS321Y0
C5 – EAS322Y0
C6 – EAS462Y0
C7 – EAS463Y0

See the Faculty of Arts & Science Calendar for information on the UofT course equivalencies, including exclusions and prerequisites.
These are Humanities courses; BR=1.

Please note that ICU employs a different grading scale than the University of Toronto. In order to be consistent with the University of Toronto’s scale, grades for Japanese language courses will be adjusted. Submission of an application form is consent for implementation of the grade conversion scale.

Important: UofT students are not guaranteed entrance into upper-year Japanese language courses on return to Toronto, but will need to pass a placement test. Students interested in continuing language studies at UofT should find out as early as possible what the requirements will be for them to advance to the appropriate level on their return from Tokyo.

Placement Exam

The Japanese language courses above level C1 require students to complete a placement exam. This will ensure that students are enrolled in a level of study appropriate to their knowledge of Japanese.

The placement exam is a computerized, multiple choice test with the majority of the instructions and problems administered in Japanese script. Students whose Japanese instruction has been based primarily on a Romanized text are required to learn Kana and an appropriate number of Kanji so that the examination best reflects their abilities.

Because the placement exam occurs after students arrive in Japan, students who have previously taken Japanese courses at UofT risk being placed in a course they have already received credit for.

Evaluation of the placement exam, interview, and essay is done by ICU. Every effort will be made to enrol students in the course to which they are best suited, but there is no guarantee that students will gain access to the level required for their UofT program of study.

Information session

A detailed information session for the summer program in Tokyo will be held on the UofT St. George campus in January. This session provides an excellent opportunity to hear from previous participants, see photos, and ask any questions that you may have.

Date: Monday, January 9, 2017 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Location: Woodsworth College Residence, Waters Lounge, 321 Bloor St. West ( SE corner of St. George and Bloor)


See information session listings for all UofT programs and campuses.

Program details

Tuesday, July 5 to Saturday, August 12, 2017 (5 weeks)

This is the 11th year of the University of Toronto Summer Program in Tokyo, Japan. The program is designed for students who wish to enhance their Japanese language skills while learning about Japanese culture. This program is hosted by the International Christian University (ICU). In addition to its regular academic offerings in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, ICU runs an internationally-renowned program in Japanese language studies. Currently, more than 120 students from around the world enrol in their summer language courses.

IMPORTANT: Space in this program is limited to 10 UofT students (visiting students are not eligible). Applicants must have a CGPA of at least 3.0, and, in addition to the Summer Abroad application, they will be required to complete the ICU form. Admission decisions will be made jointly by UofT and ICU.

Skyscrapers, Shopping, Temples and Tea Houses

• The capital of Japan, Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world with a population of more than 13 million. Devastated twice in the last century by earthquake and bombing, Tokyo achieved rapid restoration both times to remain the centre of Japanese politics, economics, and culture. Tokyo also remains one of the safest cities in the world.

International Christian University (ICU) is located in Mitaka City, a suburban community about 30 minutes by train from downtown Tokyo. The beautiful campus is a wooded area of 638,000 square meters, one of the most spacious in Japan. ICU’s facilities include the library, student centre, the Taizanso gardens and tea houses, and the Yuasa Museum, with collections of Japanese folk craft and archaeological excavations.

Program activities

In addition to the Japanese language courses, ICU also runs a Culture Program. The aim of this program is to provide a diverse set of cultural contexts from which participating students can develop their understanding of the language, culture and people of Japan. The culture program includes a lecture series, on-campus activities, and a number of short trips off-campus to, for example, the National Kabuki Theater, a local elementary school, and a pottery workshop. All culture program activities are scheduled in the afternoon (some trips are on weekends). For some events there is an additional charge.

Accommodation and meals

Students in Tokyo can select accommodation at an on-campus dorm, homestay with local families, or off-campus residence (Gakusei-Kaikan). A limited number of rooms are available, but every effort will be made to satisfy your accommodation needs to the best of available resources. Note that the on-campus dorm and Gakusei Kaikan have a curfew of 11:30 p.m. and most homestay families also have a curfew.

a) On-Campus Dorm
ICU’s on-campus accommodation is a shared-living coeducational dormitory, cis a shared-living coeducational dormitory, consisting of separate living pods, each with common living/dining areas. Alcohol and smoking are prohibited. Internet access is available, but students must bring their own laptop. There is no meal plan. Students should budget approximately CAD$700 for purchased and self-prepared meals.

The building is air-conditioned, and each pod has two showers, four toilets and a refrigerator.  Each room is furnished with two beds, bedding, two desks, desk lights and closets.  Each floor has a kitchenette furnished with a refrigerator, microwave ovens and induction cooktops, and a laundry room.

Double room: CAD$1,060 (paid to UofT)

b) Local Homestay
Living with a Japanese family will enable you to experience Japanese culture, daily life and also to practice your Japanese language. If you cannot be accommodated in the homestay program, you will automatically be considered for your second housing preference depending on availability.

TThe homestay program is administered by the company, Homestay in Japan. After acceptance into the program, applicants are required to apply via its website at www.homestay-in-japan.com/icu-summer/

Those who decide to participate in the homestay program should be willing to experience the Japanese way of living and the daily lifestyle of the host family. Homestays offer advantages for learning about Japanese culture and for improving Japanese language skills; however, there may be drawbacks as well, such as lack of privacy, or over-expectation on the part of both the student and the host family.

Homestay cost: approximately CAD$1,700 (paid directly to “Homestay in Japan”)
Students should budget approximately CAD$320 for local transportation costs.

c) Social Residence Higashi Koganei
This is a privately run off-campus dormitory-type residence. Private rooms are furnished with a bed, desk, chair, closet, refrigerator and air conditioner. There are shared kitchen, bathroom and bicycle parking facilities. There is no meal plan.

Higashi Koganei cost: approximately CAD$1,630 for the duration of the program (paid directly to the residence). Students should also budget approximately CAD$320 for local transportation costs, CAD$650 for meals, and CAD$80 for telephone/internet services, and fire insurance.

Group Flight

No group flight is available for this program; students must make their own travel arrangements. Please note that if you choose to arrive earlier or leave later than the available dates for the accommodation option you have selected, you will be responsible for arranging your own housing for the extra day(s).

Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO)

All students admitted to the Summer Abroad program are required to successfully complete an online PDO, which will provide information and advice on international health and safety issues. Students are also strongly encouraged to attend the in-person Japan Pre-departure Orientation on April 26 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Entry requirements

All students are responsible for making sure that their necessary travel documents are in order. Information on visitor entry requirements is available from the Consulate General of Japan.

At of the time of publication (December 2016), Canadian citizens only need a passport valid for six months beyond their return date to enter Japan as a visitor for a maximum of 90 days. Citizens of other countries may have additional requirements. Students planning to stay in Japan for longer than 90 days must obtain the correct Visa before arrival.


The deadlines for fees payable to the University of Toronto are as follows:

  • Application fee: due February 13, 2017
  • Non-Refundable Deposit of $1,000 due two weeks after admission notification
  • All remaining fee: due May 2, 2017

Cost of Studying in Japan

Amount Details
Application Fee $200 Paid at time of application
Course Fee
Domestic Students $3,550 Includes $1,000 deposit
International Students $4,705 Includes $1,000 deposit
U of T Incidental Fees $170 Estimate based on 2016 part-time summer fees
Accommodation $1,060 Based on shared accommodation in campus dormitory. Homestay is approximately $1,700; Higashi Koganei(Off-Campus) is approximately $1,630
Airfare $1,675 Estimate – cost will depend on departure location and purchase date
Meals $700 Estimate – paid on site for purchased and self-prepared meals
Visa Processing Fee $20 Estimate – paid for ICU to process visa paperwork (if applicable)
Textbooks $40 Estimate – paid on site
Medical Travel Insurance variable Students must provide proof of medical travel insurance
Miscellaneous Expenses variable All students should budget for miscellaneous expense (e.g. travel, gifts, etc.)
Approximate TOTAL Program Cost INCLUDING Field Trips
Domestic Students $7,415 This figure does not include mandatory medical travel insurance
International Students $8,570 This figure does not include mandatory medical travel insurance

Financial Assistance

The following assistance is available for eligible students in this program. For additonal awards and further details please see the Financial Aid section of the Summer Abroad website.

  • Bento Sushi Foundation Scholarship (one award at $5000; Preference will be for domestic students in Rotman Commerce, and preferably students who have demonstrated a new interest in Japan)