CIEE Arts + Sciences in Tokyo, Japan

Video and Photos

About

Take your arts and sciences studies a step further in a city that radiates light and energy (along with anime, Godzilla, and Hello Kitty). The prestigious Sophia University is CIEE’s partner school and your host for coursework in English on anthropology, art history, cultural studies, history, international business and economics, linguistics, literature, political science, and religion and philosophy. While taking your courses in the heart of fascinating, sprawling, and densely populated Tokyo, it’s easy to immerse yourself in the culture and language. Opportunities to volunteer in the community further enriches the experience. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Highlights
  • Take giant steps in your Japanese language skill, with classes at your level, from pure beginner or nearly fluent.
  • Take the bullet train to explore Hiroshima’s famous Peace Memorial Museum and see firsthand, the impact of the world’s first atomic bomb.
  • Share classes and lasting friendships – with Japanese students.

New Virtual Global Innovation Internship: CIEE x Hacker Exchange!

For ambitious students (who aren’t going to let something as inconvenient as a global pandemic impact their future plans).

Combine a 1-week entrepreneurial bootcamp with global industry professionals with a with 7- or 11-week virtual internship at companies around the world and gain job-ready skills to get you hired!

Scholarships

CIEE Scholarships
CIEE Offers More Than $8 Million in Scholarships Every Year!

We know cost is one of the biggest barriers to studying abroad. At CIEE, we dedicate real resources to help break down the cost barriers so every student who wants to study abroad, can do so.

Value
$500 - $2,500

Questions & Answers

Yes it does! You can see the pricing options for yearlong programs here:

Reviews

9.17 Rating
based on 12 reviews
  • Academics 6.9
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 12
Default avatar
Daniel
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE semester at Sophia University was great!

I did a semester abroad at Sophia Uni. in Tokyo with CIEE, and overall it was a great experience. The program provided many opportunities to travel around Tokyo with a group, and travel to destinations across Japan like Hiroshima, which other programs I've been on didn't do. Something CIEE did very well was reimburse students for cultural activities throughout the semester, and the staff did a great job keeping students informed on what activities were available and what complimentary tickets for exhibits and attractions they had on hand, which were plenty. Also, I liked the opportunity to write blog posts for CIEE and be paid for it, definitely helps to have more spending money while abroad. The staff were helpful when I had emergencies, and were always available when I had questions or concerns.

What would you improve about this program?
My only concern was that my housing situation caused me health problems due to mold exposure, so I'd recommend that CIEE be more thorough with their inspections of potential host family and dorm housing to ensure safety.
Default avatar
Rosalie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Japan Abroad 2019

Japan is the first country I've traveled to and it's a big step from Minnesota. I did a homestay and I had actually started this adventure with a close friend and roommate. Things didnt work out and suddenly I was alone and far away from home. But staff at CIEE were right there beside me to help me put my happiness above all else and make the most of my time abroad. CIEE is more than just a program, it's a collective group of people who want the best for you and have gone through similar situations. My advice to those planning on travelling abroad is to lean on the support you're given with CIEE. Dont be shy to ask for help or just someone to talk or have ice cream with. Also, dont isolate yourself. Get to know some people in the program, your classes, around your living rooms. Have fun and let loose.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I lost my key to my homestay and it was nerve wracking letting the family know. I overcame it with the aid the CIEE staff member, Hazuki, who taught me how to politely apologize and helped me get a new key made.
Selfie taken when my host family took me skiiing (I was terrible)
Ivy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Lifelong Memories

I'm not sugar coating anything when I say that I had the best time of my life here and would recommend it to a stranger, walking down the street, not even asking me, not caring in one single bit, that they should go to Japan. I've met lifelong friends that I cherish with every part of my life, and memories that will make me weep once I go back and no longer get to be in Tokyo. I will say a few things that might make you think twice about going: 1. No car, the trains are busy, but that can also make it fun. 2. There is only one Mexican place I'd actually recommend and that's "Chiles". Please go, the cook is Cuban, and will adore you if you speak in Spanish. 3. If you look a little different, you get stared at. It sucks, but have fun with it. You're a gaijin, might as well have a lot of fun with it. 4. Thrift stores just get old-fashion looking clothes and double the price. 5. They pickle everything you can imagine but they don't have actual dill or sour PICKLES.

I had a great time with the program, the trip to Hiroshima was one of the most rewarding, though bittersweet, of course. I stayed with a host family throughout the duration of my time in Japan, and I absolutely love them as if they are my own family. It was big with three children, and it wasn't abnormal for the kids to break out in song at any point in time (those were the best though - you'll never get serenaded more than in the Ito house). I don't think anyone wouldn't be able to have a very memorable time.

What would you improve about this program?
It's kind of frustrating about the schedule and how you can't see the courses. But, that's a Sophia problem not a CIEE one. Also, pickles.
Default avatar
Betty
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A little bit of everything

This program offers a lot of fun events that really made things fun and the orientation in the beginning really helped to make friends with the others in the program. There's amazing support from the on-site staff that I would say it's a lifesaver. I got to go to various places and experiences various things like sushi making, washi making, and attending a philharmonic orchestra performance for free because of this program. I also really appreciate the transportation reimbursements they do for their events and they also offer cultural reimbursement for things you do on your own. I've met some really amazing people through this program and the director of the program also gave me some advice when I asked about career paths,etc. It's definitely worth picking this program if you want to be in Tokyo.

What would you improve about this program?
I think some things like the housing application/match-up could be done better but to be honest, it's a great program that's well put together.
Default avatar
Angela
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spring Semester in Tokyo

Arriving with the sakura in full bloom was the perfect start to an amazing study abroad. You quickly make friends with others in the group as you go on scavenger hunts and explore the city. The program and your peers are very supportive and we all share the same fears about being in a new country. My homestay family was very flexible and caring. My host mom would send me messages reminding me to drink water and eat salty things when the heat wave hit Tokyo.

Soohorang & I
Rachael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Tokyo Program

Throughout the application process to CIEE's program, every question I had was either followed by a rapid email reply, or a phone call. The longest I ever waited for a response was when my flight was delayed on the way to Tokyo, and I couldn't check my emails on the plane.
One major thing that I had worried about while studying abroad was financials, and CIEE made sure to sponsor multiple excursions, adventures, and activities for its students. These excursions include going to Hiroshima and Miyajima, touring Kamakura, going to Sumo, getting tickets to museums, and much more! Furthermore, I was able to experience multiple cultural day trips, and be reimbursed after. Not only does this help save money for the students, but it allowed us to go on twice the amount of adventures that we normally may have!
Something that future participants should know is that if you're at any time feeling stressed out, or just need someone to talk to, CIEE has an office that is conveniently located on the Sophia campus that you can relax in any time between 10 and 5. Even if you just go to the office for a quick lunchtime snack, you'll be sure to leave in a happier mood then when you came. Talking to the CIEE staff is like talking to a friend. Be it movies or places to go, the office staff will help you out.
From my time in this program, I have gained a large support network, ideas for future jobs, and have met some highly influential people that I can call my friends. Everyone in the program has a unique background, and this really helps to create an ongoing network.
TLDR: If you wish to have fun, learn a lot, meet people, and make amazing memories, apply to CIEE's Tokyo program.

Kevin
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A ride of a life time

One of the best experience ever. Studying abroad 3 times, I would say Tokyo has been the most fun and eye opening. The program itself is great, they are there to support you and help you with what ever you need, they make the extra mile to make sure you are safe and enjoying your experience in Tokyo. CIEE staff is one of the best around and they personally try to get to know you as a student and person. CIEE you are truly the best!
Tokyo is such an amazing city to visit and to live there for 4 months has been a dream come true. I recommend everyone who is questioning whether or not to study in Tokyo to take the leap of faith. The city is welcoming!
The academics however could be a bit better. Sophia University is a great school but may not be what many students from a foreign country is use to. Faculty can be a bit more organized and lectures can be more clear. There was a lot of self teaching and not much help and support from the school itself. The language class was very difficult and demanding but really rewarding. The professors for the language classes are use to teaching foreign students and have so much passion in teaching students who want to learn Japanese.
Homestay or dorm, either experience is a fun and meaningful one. I did home stay and was a bit challenging for me but over the 4 months I learned so much from my host family and they contributed so much to my experience.
The city and country has so much to do, you will never be bored. I miss Japan already and I only left about three weeks ago!

What would you improve about this program?
The academics can be a lot better. School and the scheduling was a major problem in the beginning for many students as there were limited classes and limited time slots for students to choose from. For students who don't really have any flexibility in their academic path/ schedule, it may be a bit difficult to get classes to fulfill requirements. As with the process of choosing homestay or dorm. Very little details were given and not much guidance in what to choose. It would be insightful for new students to learn about experience with homestays and dorms from past students.
Kevin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure of a lifetime

CIEE sets you up to have a great experience in such amazing country. They give you a home base to plan your grand adventures through the wonderland that is Japan. I traveled throughout Japan's major cities and experienced Japanese culture in all different parts of Japan. I was able to embrace a different education system and try exotic new foods. I did so much in one semester but my all time favorite memory was scaling Fuji san ( Mt.Fuji ) with my friends. I was able to climb to top in time for a epic awe-inspiring sunrise it was such amazing time. One tip I would give is make friends with Japanese students it will help with your language skills plus they are funny and extremely nice and make great friends.I just recently had my friend from Tokyo come visit me in Boston and we had so much fun. I definitely recommended this program anyone that wants amazing study Abroad experienced. I will definitely be looking for a job in the future that revolves around Japan.