Kansai Gaidai University


Kansai Gaidai University is a prestigious university located in Hirakata-shi, Osaka, Japan. Kansai Gadai offers students an amazing opportunity to participate in the Asian Studies Program for a semester or academic year. Focusing on the Japanese language for half of the program, and various studies pertaining to Asia and Japan for the second half of the program, which are all taught in English, students will get a well rounded experience. More details and reviews can be found below!


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Yes, I recommend this program

Kansai Gaidai Academic Year 2007-2008

My study abroad experience in Japan impacted the trajectory of my career. I studied abroad from Fall 2007 to Spring 2008; it was an interesting time to be in Japan as I got to see what campaign coverage looked like from Japan's perspective in the lead up to the 2008 election. I stayed with my home stay family the entire year and have gone back to visit them since. Hirakata is well situated to travel throughout the Kansai region and Japan. I found my classes interesting and just challenging enough.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have stayed in Japan for at least part of the winter break and done some more traveling.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Kansai Gaidai Study Abroad

I had a wonderful experience at Kansai Gaidai. The Japanese classes were challenging and I really felt my language skills improve during my time there. The school helped me arrange a homestay with a Japanese host family. The staff was very helpful in solving problems. I met lots of great people from all over the world and was involved in lots of fun activities within the program and in the community. If you are interested in Japanese culture I would highly recommend the Kansai region and Kansai Gaidai University!


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Ana Margarida Cardoso

Ana Margarida Cardoso is from Guimarães, Portugal, and is now taking her masters degree in Strategic Communication in Lisbon. She’s 21 years old and enjoys dancing and reading. She also loves writing (has two novels published in Portugal) and she’s in love with travelling and getting to know other cultures.

Highlights: One of the highlights is, undoubtedly, the “Arigato Event” (or “Thank you Event”) that we used to make at the end of each week, when we left the town. All of the group would go to the stage and put up a show to say “Thank you” to all of the community, that received and treated us so so well. It was a very emotional moment, where our feeling of gratitude overflow from our dances and singing. It’s not a professional show, but that’s not the point anyway. We just wanted to say “thank you” from our heart and give a good time to all of those that made that week an amazing and unforgettable one!

On a more personal and academic level, I feel like this trip gave me much more confident to deal with the unexpected. With WCI, I learned that magic really happens when I’m out of my comfort zone, and that I can do much more that what I thought I was able to. That allowed me to face the world in a different, positive way. Also, I love getting to know more about different cultures and WCI allowed me to really get to know Japan not from the point of view of a tourist, but really from the perspective of the local communities. I made great friends while there that I still keep in touch. Last year, I went to the USA to meet with one of them, and she also visited me in Portugal! It really shows how powerful this experience is, that allows you to create really strong bonds in such a small amount of time!

Morning: We used to wake up really early in the morning, in order to enjoy the day to the fullest! So, usually, I woke up around 6h40am and then had breakfast around 7am. Breakfast was one of my favourite times of the day, because my host families really put a lot of effort into being all together, talking about the plans for the days. I remember that I always felt more excited about the day that was awaiting for me after sharing with them what I was going to do with the World Campus Group. Around 8am, I would meet with the group. Normally, we had some time to talk to each others about the time we spent with our host families and would share our experiences with them... And afterwards, we would start our activities and interact with the local communities!

Afternoon: It’s not easy to describe a “typical” afternoon, since World Campus offers the opportunity to do so many different things everyday! But we were always working with the local communities, whether it was getting to know the city we were in with college students, or helping preparing a festival, or helping the farmers taking the weeds out of the rice fields. The one thing that was common in all afternoons was that I felt like I was always learning something new. The WCI group in itself is wonderful to get to know more about different cultures, since we’re all from different places. Also, the activities sometimes pushed us out of our comfort zones, and that allowed me to realize that I could do a lot more that what I thought I could. It helped me build up confidence.

Evening: Before returning to our host families, we would make a wrap-up of the day. We would discussed what we’ve done and share opinions about what we saw and done. Then, our host families would come to pick us up. I loved to sit with my host families, during dinner, and just tell them what I’ve done during the day. They showed a lot of interest in knowing what I liked more, and would tell me more about that specific topic. Sometimes, in the evening, they would also take me to some local festivals, dress me in a kimono or play board games with me. They also would explain to me the meaning behind some of their rituals, like the tea ceremony. I felt like those were precious times that really allowed me to get into the Japanese culture!