IES Abroad Nagoya Summer – Language & Culture

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Immerse yourself in Japanese culture by spending a semester studying abroad in Nagoya!

When you study abroad in Nagoya, you will learn about Japanese culture, politics, and arts. Interested in learning about hanga (woodblock printing) or ikebana (traditional flower arranging)? Our program offers you the chance to learn about Japanese culture with hands-on classes. Your learning isn’t just limited to in the classroom—participate in course-related excursions around the city and to the historic city of Kyoto. Practice your language skills when you chat with new friends, order sashimi at a local restaurant, or ask for directions to the nearest subway station.

All this—and more—awaits you in the vibrant city of Nagoya!


IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers


9.67 Rating
based on 3 reviews
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  • 7-8 rating 0%
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  • Academics 9
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 10
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Yes, I recommend this program

Studying Through IES in Nagoya: The Experience of a Lifetime

If you had told me a few years ago that I’d be studying abroad in Japan, I wouldn’t believe you. My application process was surreal: I’d looked up a countless number of photos, blogs, and reviews of study abroad in Japan, and I couldn’t believe that I was applying to go to a country so different from my own. When I applied and found out that I was accepted into IES Abroad’s Nagoya Summer Program, I was ecstatic: I was going to Japan! I had a new perspective about the photos, blogs, and reviews that I’d seen and read. I would gather my own memories and photos just like those in the past who’ve studied abroad have done.

What I loved the most about studying abroad through IES is the support system that I had from the minute I was accepted and even now as an alumna. I remember feeling butterflies (a bit from excitement, a bit from nervousness) when I thought about my upcoming study abroad trip, but my advisor sent me a weekly newsletter and answered all of my questions (no matter how small or unimportant they seemed to me!).

The minute my plane touched down in Nagoya, two IES staff members greeted me in the airport. This was such a relief for me, as I had never been in a foreign country before--let alone one where the native language isn't English! The staff members were so polite and helped me and two of my fellow participants to the hotel that we'd be staying in for the weekend. On the train ride there, we introduced ourselves and talked about various aspects of American and Japanese culture (in a mix of Japanese and English) and just our initial reactions at being in Japan. It was comforting to have them there with me, and they assuaged any lingering fears or worries that I had about being in a country so far from home.

My first weekend in Japan was an orientation guided by two IES staff members. They gave us emergency resources, talked about some cultural differences and difficulties that we might face, and organized a traditional Japanese meal for us. It was a perfect transitioning weekend that helped me and the other participants become comfortable with our new home for the next 6 weeks.

I won't lie and say transitioning to life in Japan was easy; being in a foreign country for the first time, especially when you don't speak the official language fluently, is tough. Tasks that I wouldn’t give a second thought to in America like doing laundry and buying groceries were challenging. My advice to overcoming these challenges is this: observe how your Japanese classmates carry out their day-to-day lives and never be afraid to ask for help.

My time in Japan was short, but I felt like I had seen a lot and learned a lot about the places that I visited. Because of IES, I was able to see my host city in a new way, through several different cultural events like the community Tanabata celebration and the TAO drum performance. I also explored more of Kyoto than I ever thought I would; Kyoto is such a historically and culturally rich city with an abundance of shrines, temples, and historical landmarks, and our weekend field trip to Kyoto allowed us to visit a handful of the most famous landmarks in a short span of time. Although I was extremely tired after the trip, I'm glad that I had the chance to see so much of such a beautiful city. IES Abroad field trips supplemented an already incredible study abroad experience by helping me to see more of Japan, both geographically and culturally, than I ever thought possible.

One aspect that I loved about IES is that they organized these field trips and events, but the time commitment was never overwhelming. I still had free time so I could hang out with my new friends and go to karaoke or a local ramen shop, or plan small field trips of our own to museums and castles.

As far as academics go, Nanzan University provided a rigorous and highly beneficial language learning environment. We had classes 5 days a week, around 3 hours a day with a 15-minute break in between, and then homework on a daily basis. What I loved about Nanzan was that they provide so many opportunities for international students to interact with Japanese students, both inside and outside of the classroom. Every Friday, our sensei would invite Japanese students to our class and we would start off the class by having conversations with them for 20-minutes. There were also daily events such as the Japan Plaza where you could go and get homework help or just informally converse in Japanese, and other frequent events such as Coffee Hour where you could converse and play games with Japanese students. They also organized several field trips (some just for international students, some for international and Japanese students) to various places such as Shirakawa-go, a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site nestled in the mountains, and even a sumo championship held in Nagoya! The environment that Nanzan University provided was so inviting and fun.

If you attend, I highly recommend staying in the International Student Dormitories. For the girls dorm, you’re guaranteed one Japanese roommate, plus up to 2 other roommates from anywhere in the world! The dorms are more like 4-bedroom apartments with a shared bathroom area, kitchen area, and common area. The guys dorms are single rooms, but there is still at least one Japanese student on each floor, so you won’t lose the opportunity to converse with native Japanese speakers, even when you’re settled in for the night.

Despite only being in Japan for 6 weeks, it felt like a lifetime because of all of the incredible people that I met and places that I saw. Overall, I highly recommend studying through IES Abroad if you’re looking to get the most out of your time abroad and explore every nook and cranny of your host country, with the support of a genuine and caring staff.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Summer in Nagoya

Participating in the Nagoya Summer--Language and Culture program at Nanzan University for seven weeks this past summer truly transformed my Japanese language ability and increased my confidence. Initially terrified to travel alone for the first time in my life, I was incredibly nervous, but the IES facilitators provided so much support that I was ability to immediately make friends and quickly come to call Nanzan University home. By both intensively studying Japanese and being fully immersed in Japanese culture every day I was able to improve more in my language ability then I ever could at my home university in the US. I left the program conversationally fluent and able to navigate the city by myself. I made lifelong friends with both other international students and the Japanese students at Nanzan. We still keep in touch to this day. This program made me realize just how much I love studying Japanese and has motivated me to continue to further pursue these studies.

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My time in Nagoya

I got the opportunity to study overseas in Japan, thanks to IES Abroad and I can say that it was a wonderful experience. The immersion and activities that this program provide were amazing. Everything from spending a weekend in Kyoto, to watching the incredible TAO drums which took my breath away and more. One of my favorite things that I got to do was making souvenirs, I loving things and this program gave me the opportunity to make a furoshiki (something like a traditional japanese handkerchief) and my own chopsticks with a little carrying case. There was the added benefit that I knew that even though I was overseas and away from my friends and family, that I had a group of fellow IES students who were there to help me out and join me on my adventures. The program coordinators were informative and ready to answer questions and were some addition peace of mind while overseas. All in all, I had a great time with this program and would recommend.

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