The Japanese Connection

Illinois College has a strong connection to Japan through Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto and Kanazawa University in Ishikawa Prefecture. We have several programs through which students learn each other’s language and cultures:

:: Studying Abroad in Japan – Illinois College study abroad exchange programs bring Japanese students to Illinois College for a year and send Illinois College students to Ritsumeikan and Kanazawa Universities for a semester or full year (shorter summer and winter programs are also available). Tuition costs the same as at Illinois College. For more information, please refer to Study Abroad/Off-Campus Study, or contact Professor Almut Spalding, Director of Study Abroad and BreakAways,  or 217.245.3874.

:: Views of Japan BreakAway  –  A three-week study trip for Illinois College students to visit Japan, which includes a 10-day stay at Ritsumeikan University, is scheduled at regular intervals. Please refer to BreakAways for more information on dates and how to participate.

:: Intercultural Exchange Program – Every year, a group of about 25 Ritsumeikan University students visit our campus for four weeks in February and March to learn about U.S. culture and to study English. They stay with a local host family for two weeks and then move to a college residence hall for the last two weeks of their stay. Many Illinois College students are involved in this program and volunteer in their classrooms as pronunciation leaders and writing partners. Illinois College students also serve as hosts for the Ritsumeikan students. Students in the Illinois College Japanese language classes have collaboration classes with IEP Ritsumeikan students once a week to learn each other’s culture and language.

If you would like to be a host student and share your dorm room for 2 weeks with a Japanese student, please fill out the application and send it to Professor Mioko Webster, Student Adviser for the Intercultural Exchange Program. If you have any questions, please send e-mail to  or call 217-245-3269.
If you are interested in volunteering for the IEP classroom, contact Rebecca Spencer, Director of the Intercultural Exchange Program,

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