Study English Abroad (SEA) Program 【for 1st and 2nd year】

Study English Abroad (SEA) Program 【for 1st and 2nd year】

Further Expansion of English Proficiency

This academic program is for students to study the English language intensively while experiencing different cultures. Participants are expected to return to ICU with a broader global point of view and ability to communicate in English.

There are two programs, mainly for those who do not have a long-term living abroad experience, one for the first year students and the other for the second year students.

The SEA Program provides students with the following opportunities:



Freshman SEA Program 【for 1st year studenst】

This program is for the first year students (freshmen). Freshman participants take English language courses for about six weeks during summer break at the following English language institutions of our partner universities. Those who successfully complete the program will receive two credits of Academic Skills, an ELA course, and two credits of Overseas Academic Skills, an elective courseafter their return to ICU. The program is held at 11 colleges in six countries and its enrollment limit is 210 students.

Partner Universities(As of April, 2017)

CountryPartner Universities
Canada    The University of British Columbia
McGill University
University of Victoria
United States Saint Michael's College
Tufts University              
Ireland University College Dublin
United Kingdom The University of Sheffield
University of Sussex
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London
Australia Monash University
The University of Queensland

Points to note upon checking the website of universities under SEA Program:
In some cases, a partner university and ICU have an agreement in which the university establishes a curriculum exclusively for ICU students. For this reason, course details, fees and duration of courses listed on respective universities' websites may differ from those of actual Freshman SEA Program.


Schedule of the Freshman SEA Program


Sophomore SEA Program 【for 2nd year students】

This program is an about six week English education program held, during the summer vacation of the second year with ICU, in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. The participants take English language courses equivalent to Research Writing, an ELA course, having three credits, and elective course Overseas Research Writing with one credit. In addition to the Research Writing curriculum established solely for ICU students, the participants also attend an English language training program for students from around the world seeking to learn the language. The program's content puts emphasis on improvement of speech and listening abilities. The applicants are screened based on their grades and English skills for the program as it requires the students to study Research Writing in a short period of time. It is held at four universities in three countries and enrollment limit is 60 students.

Partner Universities(As of April, 2017)

CountryPartner Universities
Canada University of Victoria
United States Washington State University
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
United Kingdom The University of Essex


Schedule of the Sophomore SEA Program


Expenses (course fees, accommodation, travel expenses, living expenses)

Approximate expenses: starting from about 450,000 yen to more than 850,000 yen (depending on the destination , program fees, travel expenses, housing, overseas travel insurance, visa fees and living expenses, etc.)


AY 2016 Freshman SEA Program participant: Ryoko Haruta
Location:School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, (UK)

I was full of worries before leaving Japan as it was my first overseas trip and my first experience of living in a student dorm, but I completed the program without any trouble thanks to the solid support I received. A person like me, with no prior experience of going abroad, would still be able to spend a fulfilling time in this program.

SOAS offers a number of attractive course options, and I chose "International Relations" for the first three weeks of the program and "Film Studies" for the remaining three weeks. It was extremely meaningful that I studied subjects of my interest in English during the summer break of my first year at the university. The class was small and only had about 10 students, and we had time set aside for discussions and debates in every period. It was so exciting to gain inside knowledge of the politics and education in various countries through the exchange of opinions with classmates with different nationalities. In the International Relations course in the first half, I was able to learn in depth, what I have been learning so far, from a non-Japanese perspective. Moreover, my time in London was when the UK decided to leave the EU and we discussed Europe's prospects in the class, which helped broadening my perspective. I did not have any background knowledge of the Film Studies course I took in the latter half and it was the first time I heard most of the terms and theories in the class, but it deepened my interest in films as I interacted with SOAS students majoring in Film Studies and the class focused on the expression techniques used in films, which we usually watch in a casual way.

In addition to the classes, living in a student dorm was also something very memorable. I engaged in deep discussions with a student from France on English education in our countries, while matured student gave me all kinds of advice. It was a unique experience to life in a dormitory as I was able to meet with people whom I would not have met otherwise in my daily life. It was also very exciting to live in London, where people of diverse races, languages and nationalities live together.

The participation in this program strengthened my desire to get a job where I can utilize my English skills and I also keenly felt the importance of having communication skills and general knowledge in addition to language skills. All the experiences I had―the difficulties I had in raising my hand in the class even though I wanted to express my thoughts, the inability to greet classmates right away and the way I was completely baffled at a cashier because I could not identify the different types of coins―were things I would not have known unless I actually stayed in an English-speaking country. It was a very meaningful six weeks also in the sense that I realized how narrow my views had been after coming in contact with the diverse students at SOAS.



AY2016 Sophomore SEA Program participant: Mitsuki Tanahashi
Location: University of Victoria (Canada)

I had two reasons to participate in the Sophomore SEA Program. One was to study Research Writing during the summer vacation and I thought participating in the program would make it easier to draw up my subsequent course plan. The second was that I wanted to study English overseas in a practical way. I thought that it would be a good opportunity for me to try the English skills I had acquired in the English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA).

In the first four weeks, I took Research Writing twice a week while participating in the language program of the University of Victoria called Program 4. In the Research Writing class, we learned how to use libraries, how to collect materials and how to study each topic in depth, and I completed the summary and first draft in the final two weeks. I learned so much as I was able to learn how to write essays from scratch from a single teacher for six weeks. I liked the course more as the university supported me very meticulously.

In my class, the students engaged in discussions on topics from the textbook and learned words and grammar. It helped a lot in my daily life that we learned English expressions you can use every day and I also felt my listening and speaking ability especially improved as we engaged in practical conversations. Before participating in the program, my primary aim was to take the Research Writing course and expose myself to English, but what I gained from the program is not limited to those points. Communicating with people from different cultural areas in a foreign country without using my mother tongue and living in an environment that is different from my routine gave me a good opportunity to take a fresh look at myself. I learned different values and common practices through interactions with friends from diverse backgrounds. I once again realized that there is so much to learn about both Japan and other countries and I came to feel that I have to gain more knowledge and would like to interact with different kinds of people.

Not many people can have the chance to live out of Japan for six long weeks, interact with people from various countries and study English. For this reason, I feel that the SEA Program was significantly meaningful.


AY2015 Freshman SEA Program Participant: Ayaka Hayashi
Location: Monash University (Australia)

There are two major reasons why I chose Monash University. The first reason was that I could stay with a host family for the entire six weeks. As I had neither left my family home nor stayed abroad over a week, I expected that it would be good experience for me to stay with a family with a different culture. The second reason was that I was not familiar with Australia. I knew very little about Australia as I only studied about the country at the world history class when I was a high school student. I only knew the country has many immigrants and therefore I thought it would be fun to live in the country where various cultures are blended.

Looking back on the overseas study, great benefits I gained were that I was able to make myself understood in English much better than I thought before the participation, I gained confidence as I was able to live independently even away from my family and my listening skill has been improved and I can now catch the pronunciations not existed in Japanese language. In addition, in each class, our teacher actively asked us about our own countries regarding various topics written in the text by saying, "The situation is like this in a country appeared in the text; however, what about your country?" and therefore not only did I gain English skills but also I gained knowledge about Australia as well as other countries. As a result, I have acquired a habit of thinking, "What about it in Japan?" or "Why is it like this in Japan?" Thus, it served as an opportunity to reconsider things I had taken for granted and paid no attention to and accordingly I could broaden my horizons.

I still keep in touch with friends in Australia and I am very satisfied with my first studying abroad.



AY2015 Sophomore SEA Program Participant:S
Location: Washington State University (USA)

I participated in the Sophomore SEA Program conducted in Washington State University (WSU). I was also interested in the Freshman SEA Program; however, I could not make up my mind to participate in the program at that time as I just entered the university. Then, I thought I should study English at the English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA) for a year before studying abroad. Therefore, I selected the Sophomore SEA Program. As I wanted to study abroad in the USA and I thought that the style of the program where students shall complete the research writing in six weeks would be suitable for me, I decided to participate in the program in WSU.

In the Sophomore SEA Program, focuses were placed on the research writing and therefore I tried to have more opportunities to speak English. I consciously tried to speak to teachers. As I put myself in situations where I had to speak English (for instance opportunities such as talking to a shop assistant), it became usual for me and so I felt less reluctant to speak English. Moreover, during my stay in WSU, Japanese junior high and high school students from Okinawa were also there to participate in another program and therefore I had opportunities in observing their classes during my breaks or participating in the lessons as an assistant. It was the first time for me to observe classes and as I am taking a teacher-training course, it was good experience for me to observe classes where teachers of native English-speakers taught students of non-native English speakers.

I participated in this program as a step toward the final stage of English study I have continued. I left the family home for the first time in my life and dealt with my study and life at the same time and accordingly could accomplish my purpose of making the study abroad fulfilling by experiencing things I can experience only in the USA under the motto that experience is the best teacher. In addition, I gained confidence as I could spend the life in the USA without suffering from any health problems. It was a good opportunity to increase my motivation for and to make a step toward the next studying abroad.