• Japan
    • Osaka
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
Subject Areas
Art History Arts Asian Studies Cultural Studies East Asian Studies Visual Arts
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships, Payment plans, LGBTQIA+ funding, BIPOC funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level


Price Details
The CET program fee covers tuition, housing with a Japanese roommate, activities and excursions (including an overnight excursion), visa fees, medical insurance and course materials/textbooks.

The program fee does not include transportation to/from Japan and to/from campus and meals.

Still wondering how to budget for your time abroad? CET offers scholarships, and CET staff is happy to provide advice on keeping discretionary purchases to a minimum (ex. they can tell you where to get cheap eats).
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Classes Wifi
Nov 20, 2023
Aug 31, 2023
53 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Enroll in an intensive language class. Live in a furnished Japanese share house with local roommates. Take on out-of-class projects and interview locals. The CET Japan program is designed to maximize language improvement and covers at least a full year of university-level Japanese each term. The flexible curriculum includes options for electives in Japanese or in English. The cozy campus is just 15 minutes from downtown Osaka. Weekend trips and group excursions take you off the tourist map, to hot springs, a re-created ninja village, or a ropes course in the mountains. Japanese language learners of all levels and majors are welcome to attend the fall and spring programs. The summer program has a full-time language pledge and is open to students with at least 2 previous semesters of Japanese language.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

CET believes in making study abroad accessible to students of all races, religions, origins, abilities, gender identities, and sexual orientations. We’ve gathered experiences from BIPOC students to share as resources such as the Identity Abroad pages, Perspective Pieces, and Identity Abroad Support Networks. We are also dedicated to becoming a more anti-racist organization by transforming our workplace, programs, and industry with our Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI) Action Plan.

LGBTQIA+ Support

CET supports and welcomes students of all identities on our programs. We provide program-specific information under the cultural climate section of our Identity Abroad webpages for LGBTQ individuals in each of our program locations.

Neurodivergent Support

CET makes every effort to offer accommodations comparable to that of the students’ home institution. Disclosing early helps us to make proper preparations. The accommodations offered at each program can be found on each program location's Identity Abroad page. These pages can provide a good idea about what classes are like in terms of workload and class time. Initiating one-on-one conversations with Student Service Coordinators can also help inform students' decisions and determine if a program will be a good fit.

Accessibility Support

CET makes every effort to offer accommodations comparable to that of the students’ home institution. The levels of accessibility, from wheelchair accessibility to extra time on exams, are under each program location’s Identity Abroad page. Initiating one-on-one conversations with Student Service Coordinators can help inform students' decisions and determine if a program will be a good fit.



CET is an environmentally conscientious organization at our headquarters in DC and programs all around the world. In each of our centers, we adopt local measures to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to sustainable practices. As part of our ongoing efforts towards sustainability, we’ve partnered with Cool Effect, a nonprofit focused on reducing carbon emissions through scientifically-proven, hand-selected carbon projects worldwide. For each trip taken by one of our staff members, travelers, or students, we donate to support three carbon projects chosen by staff volunteers every year.

Ethical Impact

When we set up a program overseas, we become a part of that local community. And as a community member, we are responsible for contributing to local initiatives in meaningful ways. Our website lists some local philanthropic organizations that help us fulfill this responsibility—they host our students, and we support their missions.

Program Highlights

  • Small, intensive language classes
  • Cover a year's worth of Japanese each semester
  • Electives in Japanese or English
  • A unique elective opportunity (Studio Arts Course: Character Design in a Japanese Context)
  • Apartments near campus with local roommates from Osaka Gakuin University (OGU)


CET Academic Programs Scholarships

CET is a study abroad provider with locations in Brazil, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Jordan, and Taiwan.

CET offers scholarships and financial assistance for their high school abroad, gap year abroad, and college study abroad programs. Financial assistance and scholarships are need and merit based.

Upon applying to any CET program, you'll gain access to CET's scholarships application.

$500 - $2,000

Program Reviews

4.60 Rating
based on 40 reviews
  • 5 rating 67.5%
  • 4 rating 25%
  • 3 rating 7.5%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.65
  • Support 4.45
  • Fun 4.4
  • Housing 4.1
  • Safety 4.9
  • Housing 5
  • Support 4
  • Fun 5
  • Value 4
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 40 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My CET Osaka experience

My CET study abroad was my first time leaving the United States. While I was excited to travel for the first time and put my language skills to work, I was also really nervous about experiencing a new culture and being in such an unfamiliar environment. My mind raced with anxious thoughts like, 'Will I make friends?' and "I'm not sure if I will enjoy it there'. However, once I began taking more Japanese language classes and started to break out of my shell, I met so many unique, wonderful people, and made memories that I truly will never forget. My study abroad helped me develop the confidence in my Japanese to interact with locals in Osaka, learn more about Japanese culture, and go to so many iconic places throughout the Kansai Region! I'm truly grateful for the experience and everything that it has taught me.

  • Safe neighborhood + great landlord
  • Immersive and educational excursions
  • Large group of diverse individuals
  • Timeframe of study abroad inconsistent with the rest of the program (term vs. semester system)
21 people found this review helpful.
Response from CET Academic Programs

Hi Gabrielle,

Thank you for choosing us as your study abroad partner and for leaving us a review!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Fall Japan

Living in Japan felt like a fever dream. The immersion in the culture was great but challenging at first. Being a foreigner was hard because I had to overcome language barriers and cultural customs. Sometimes it was hard to be away from family at 18. But being in Japan taught me lots of discipline. English is not really spoken throughout Japan so it had forced me to use Japanese skills. The language pledge was challenging at times because I was not fluent but it taught me perseverance. Another part of just being a foreigner in Japan was the way I dressed and just my look had been uncomfortable for some locals. I remember sitting in the trains and having people move away from me. It made me feel sad sometimes because I didn’t know if I was making the people feel uncomfortable but overtime I realized that they’re not used to seeing foreigners as much as I am in the U.S. The CET program did a very good job at explaining the way Japanese people may act towards you and also giving a good explanation of DOs and DONTs in Japan.

  • The friends I made
  • The food
  • Being pushed outside my comfort zone
  • My bed was not that comfy
  • Sometimes I felt lost or alone
  • We should’ve had more homework for the 100 class so we could use more Japanese skills.
18 people found this review helpful.
Response from CET Academic Programs

Hi Maile,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and leaving us a review. We hope you felt supported while studying abroad with CET and that the hard work of committing to the language pledge bears fruit in your lifetime!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Japan

I had a great time in Japan thanks to CET. They set up excursions for the students to do and it took us to places one wouldn't typically go to while traveling. Housing only a 10 to 15 minute train and walk from the school. It was located in a neighborhood filled with different restaurants and supermarkets. It was a really safe and convenient area, only a couple stops from the heart of the city of Osaka. I personally had a great relationship with the Japanese teachers, however I know of a couple friends that did not have the best experience with them. They were forced to move to a lower language class even when they had a higher language ability.

  • Language partners
  • Language Pledge
  • Culture experiences
  • Fairly pricy
  • Tons of exams and tests (at least 3 week regularly)
19 people found this review helpful.
Response from CET Academic Programs

Hi Rachel,

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review and write about your experience at CET Japan!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

New Day, New Experience

I didn't quite know what I was getting myself into when I applied for CET Japan, but it truly changed my life. The location of CET Japan is unbeatable. Being in Osaka, especially as a student at the beautiful Osaka Gakuin University, is as good as it gets while abroad. Being in the Kansai region was a great balance of city life, accessibility for traveling, and escaping to nature. After a few mere weeks in Osaka, I could picture myself living there long-term. The endless support from CET staff, teachers, roommates, and the local community is exactly what I needed while spending 3 months in a foreign country. Students in the program were very friendly and open to exploring and trying new things. I made some of my best friends while with CET. The language program is rigorous and my language skills significantly improved. The elective classes offered an opportunity to engage with other international students at OGU. I can confidently say that I was able to create a daily routine in Osaka and try at least one new thing every day. It was great to be around other students who had similar goals of travel and exploration. Boarding my return flight home, I definitely felt accomplished, and left with no regrets.

  • weekend traveling (convenient transportation)
  • good, cheap eats
  • endless cultural sites and activities
39 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Osaka is like home!

This is a great program for those who want to acquire Japanese language, as well as experience Japanese culture while also getting to learn about it in a class setting. Due to the language pledge that all CET students take at the beginning of the program, students are more likely to acquire the Japanese language. And I loved living with Japanese roommates. It was a great way to practice the language and learn the customs. And they really help you feel at home in Osaka. I had to leave early due to the COVID-19 situation, but I can't wait to go back!

What was your funniest moment?
My funniest moment was hanging out with my housemates in our kitchen. We colored my hair and just joked around and laughed ourselves silly.
120 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Autumn, Season of Plenty

Going to Japan really helped me learn more about what kind of person I am and how countries are fascinatingly similar despite outwardly completely different.There are parts of it that I love that I can only find here. I loved the sleepy Hayao Miyazaki-esque neighborhoods with their winding roads that could lead to unexpected sights, like an unexpected cafe or a small park.
Seeing all these different places helped me feel less conscientious. At times it felt very lonely being one of a few Americans and when I first came here, I felt helpless and nothing really made sense to me. Now that I have left Japan, nothing is quite the same. I’ve learned from embarrassing and difficult times and become a more confident person. The world has become a much wider and more vibrant place, and I find myself eager to explore it.

Academics: There is no doubt you will improve your Japanese. They take their academics very seriously in this program. In addition to the immersion, there is a language pledge to discourage English speaking, and they also require one-on-one teaching in addition to the regular curriculum and excursions, but a schedule is given every week so it is not hard to know what to prepare for.

Support: The staff and roommates were always very kind and happy to help. If you had a problem or concern, they were happy to set aside some time to talk it over and offer advice if you wanted it.

Fun: Karaoke nights, eating out, and excursions were really fun times for me! Even if you cannot speak that much Japanese, it's not hard to participate and get swept up into the fun. It was a good time to relax from studying, try new food and bond with others.

Housing: As long as you keep it clean, the room I had at Lavianne was pleasant to stay in, though the bathroom leaked a bit. You cannot open the screens of the windows but the room had a functional kitchen and refrigerator. The sister apartment, Arabesque, was not the same quality, I heard. One of the students living there had to clean up after a previous messy tenant and had gotten ill from a filthy AC unit, and the units are much smaller in comparison to Lavianne.

Safety: I felt it was much safer to wander in Japan than it is here in the US, particularly after dark. I often saw children unaccompanied by adults playing by themselves in parks as the sun sets and it was not unusual for my roommates to be out very late. In addition, CET takes their safety very seriously and reports via LINE chat if something changes or is amiss, and are available if you are in serious trouble.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Anglerfish liver sushi. I wanted to try everything unusual, and this certainly served, unexpectedly found in a kaitenzushi restaurant. It's a little hard to describe, except a little strange, like ricotta cheese with an oceanic flavor topping sushi rice, but the flavor was rich if you want something much heavier than otoro sushi.
111 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Take Me Back!

CET Japan: Spring 2020 is a time I will never forget. The friendships that were created, the experiences I had, and the academic breakthroughs I grew from makes me want to return to Japan every day. I will elaborate on each area below, but I wanted to provide a summary of my experience in Japan.
I would like to start off by saying that my study abroad program in Osaka was unfortunately cut short due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. While unfortunate that I had to return to America only after two and a half months in Osaka, the CET Administration handled the situation professionally and did what was right for the safety of its students.
While the course load for the CET Language Classes were intense, the growth in my proficiency was far beyond what I was hoping for. Due to the support I had from my professors and newly made Japanese friends, I felt that I was having a great time conversing in Japanese rather than studying all day for lackluster results. Luckily, my housing situation provided a large dining space where many family-style dinners and nights I will never forget took place. The amount of fun and great experiences I had with my loving roommates struggles to fit in this review section. By saying the housing, transportation (especially to sightseeing locations), and safety were amazing, I am doing this program a disservice. Do yourself a favor and apply for CET Japan.
Academics: I studied third year Japanese during my time in Osaka. CET Japan is famous for its rigorous and fulfilling language courses. All I can say is wow. I have never learned so much in such a short period of time. The elements of immersion and the language pledge brought my language proficiency to a level I had only hoped to achieve (keep in mind, the immersion only lasted 2.5 months). While the remainder of the course was moved online, while in Japan I absorbed so much material not only from the great professors but being able to speak Japanese with my enthusiatic-to-help roommates.
Support: While time in a foreign country can be quite difficult, CET faculty and roommates were very understanding and happy to help. Whether it was a mental health issue or having a cold, everyone was ready to lend a hand.
Fun: There were countless nights of exploring new parts of town, singing karaoke till our voices were gone, and gaming sessions in our sharehouse. While I cannot tell every story here, I say one has to experience it for themselves. This was arguably the best time I had during college, if not my life.
Housing: I was fortunate to have my own room with seven other men in a sharehouse. It was located in a nice neighborhood with two fully functioning kitchens, two full bathrooms, and a nice porch in the backyard. Each room had its own heating and cooling, so it could be set to your individual preference. The dining room was the best feature for me. It was great for having gatherings and meals with all my new friends.
Safety: Japan as a whole is famous for its safety. CET Osaka Japan's location was no exception. I cannot recall a single time (even while travelling the whole country) that I felt unsafe.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Do not be afraid of new experiences. Be open to everything; whether it be food, travels, or meeting new people. Everyone in this program is caring and wants to have a great time with you. Do not be shy and let the fun take over.
120 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Growth and Enjoyment in Osaka

I'll be co-opting the format used by Oliver for my review, because his seems quite well organized, and because he and I spent about 85% of our time in Osaka together, so our reviews will probably be rather similar.

Academics: 9/10
It's fairly obvious from the get-go that CET is a very academic-oriented program, which takes itself very seriously. About 3 hours of class per day, with 1 one-on-one class per week, and the option to take elective courses with the rest of the international program at the school provides a really great environment for academic growth. I came into the program with a pretty solid foundation in Japanese, and was placed into the level 3 class with two others, making us the largest class in the program, with the level 1 class having a single person, the level 2 class having 2, and the level 4 class having 2 people. This is actually where I found my only issue with the academic portion of the program: level 3 seemed to be a catch-all for people that weren't novices, but also weren't nearly fluent. I was the top of my class by a good margin, while there was one person in my class that probably shouldn't have been, and noticeably slowed us down. However, I was clearly not good enough for the level 4 class, while this other person was clearly above the level of the level 2 class, which made for a rather awkward class environment for us in level 3, because we were all at pretty distinct levels. That aside, the academics were very good. The academic director of the program even offered us a kanji workshop twice a week for those of us who wanted to get ahead in our writing, though I was the only person that took her up on the offer. Still, it was one more great academic resource that I was very happy to make use of. And the electives we were able to take, while outside of CET jurisdiction and thus not really a reflection on them rather on the school, were also outstanding. My religion elective class went on a number of trips to important religious historical sites in and around the region, allowing for even more growth.

Language Pledge: 7/10
You'll find that I have a similar opinion to other reviewers in this regard. CET is very strict about the language pledge, which while good academically, is not so good for the people in the lower levels in about every other situation. The level 4s could basically only hold real, in-depth conversations with eachother, the program workers, actual Japanese people, and sometimes me or one other lower-level student, if the topic was something relatively common. The level 1 student could express themself only through one or two-word sentences. Essentially, while I like the pledge for what it is and for the growth I was able to obtain through it, I think it could maybe have been a little more lenient on the lower-level people, who often felt very isolated when we went out as groups, because they couldn't really participate in the dialogue.
Housing: 4/10
The housing wasn't great. I lived in Lavianne, an apartment complex in Ibaraki, which is two stops away from Kishibe where the school is. That's actually not a detriment, I thought the location of my housing was really good. Sure, sometimes it got annoying that half the program could literally walk to the college, while we had to make a 30-40 minute commute by train, but we lucked out in having a great mall nearby, and a great running path. The real issue I had with the housing was that it was a tiny old apartment being shared by two people. When we arrived, my roommate and I found both of our chairs broken and had to wait for them to be repaired. We slept on futons 3 inches away from one another. The bathroom was a plastic room in the corner with no ventilation, and the shower leaked for the first 3 months. All in all, it was a generally uncomfortable living situation, though luckily the program keeps us so occupied, and there's so much to do in Osaka, that we never had to spend overmuch time in the rooms.
Roommate: 9/10
I was very lucky in that my roommate and I got on like brothers from the get-go. We didn't argue a single time, we had set times when we both had to be in the room no matter what, to go over schoolwork and so I could ask any questions I had, we had set nights a week when we ate dinner together no matter what. Even when he got a job and became much more busy, he always made sure he was there for our arranged times. We even got into the habit of watching Japanese reality TV together once or twice a week. I only give this a 9 because some weekends he wouldn't come home until the next afternoon, which was kinda scary, and because I know that not all roommate pairs were as close as we were.
Safety: 10/10
Japan is weirdly safe. We often passed elementary school aged children walking to school alone in the mornings, something which would never fly in the US, especially in such a large city as Osaka. I spent a semester in Bilbao, Spain, and the difference was night and day. Even though nothing ever happened to me in Spain, a number of people in my group were assaulted or robbed, and I never felt quite safe walking alone at night. In Japan, though, I could walk through the seediest part of Shinsaibashi or Nanba, the nightlife districts of Osaka, alone and at night, and never feel unsafe. Sure part of that is that I'm a 6'2" man, so I'd probably feel safer than most regardless of where I am, but the fact remains that it always felt safe. Even with all that inherent safety, though, CET went above and beyond in their preparing us for the city. We had a number of safety orientations at the beginning to tell us exactly how to get by and how to be safe in Japan, and I always felt that the coordinators and program leaders would answer the phone if I felt unsafe for any reason. I really can find no fault with the program as far as safety. If you need proof that Japan is safe, my friends and I missed the last train in Shinsaibashi one night, and instead of hanging out and waiting till morning for the first train, we just walked home. We walked 14 miles home, through 3 or 4 smaller "cities", started at midnight and arrived home at about 6am, and not once did any of us feel unsafe.
Fun: 8/10
Not much to say in this regard. It's an intensive academic program in a foreign country. You'll have your fair share of work, but also an even greater opportunity to explore and experience new things. The program hosts a number of amazing trips, the trains connect virtually the entire country, and the nightlife in Osaka is great. There's always something to do, for those willing to search for it. Plus, all students at Osaka Gakuin University get free access to the school gym, which is a great gym that's often not too busy. Sometimes it'll be filled with like 30 high schoolers just sitting on the machines, but for the most part it's essentially empty.
Food: 10/10
If you like Japanese food, you're in luck, because this program does, in fact, take place in ?Japan. There's easy access to literally any food you want, and if you can't find something, there are grocery stores in most areas. There's even McDonald's, Taco Bell, and other American bad food restaurants that are easily locateable if you get homesick for horrible food, like my friend did.

All said and done, it's a really great program and I'd recommend it to anybody who wants to immerse themselves in Japanese language and culture and come out far more knowledgeable than they went in.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
There are a couple contenders, but the most unfamiliar thing that I ate with relative frequency was chicken heart. It's just a pub food in Japan, so whenever we went out, we inevitably ate some skewered chicken hearts. It made me a little queasy to consider at first, but it's really quite good once you try it.
102 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

I believe it is possible to get through the program without knowing any Japanese. The program can be overwhelming due to the language pledge and not being able to communicate effectively at first can be hard, even for people who've studied plenty of Japanese language but not gone to Japan before, but I know there was a student in my program (Fall 2019) who went in with no Japanese and passed the...

I participated in CET Japan's Summer term which ended in early-mind August, so I was able to return to my home institution for the Fall Semester and continue like normal right after. My university has a credit checklist for study abroad students which will show what programs and classes are approved for credit at the home institution. So, after making sure that the courses I was in were on the...