Summer Study Abroad Programs 【for 2nd year or above】

Summer Study Abroad Programs 【for 2nd year or above】

Learning Fields of Interest

Short-term studying abroad programs held during summer break. Students study specialized subjects in English at institutions with which ICU maintains student exchange partnerships. Students will be able to earn credits as they deepen their knowledge of the particular country and region. Under this program, students may also learn a second foreign language such as Chinese, German and Korean, and other local languages intensively. The duration differs from program to program, ranging from two to ten weeks. All programs are held in an international environment in which not only students but also professors gather from countries around the world. Many participants of the Summer Study Abroad Programs later opt for long-term overseas studies.

In 2018, students may apply to participate in a program held in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Canada, the U.S., Denmark, Germany, Sweden, or U.K. All the programs offer courses which reflect local/regional characteristics as well as specialized courses of various fields.

List of Programs

AreaCountryName of UniversityName of the Program
Asia Hong Kong The Chinese University of Hong Kong (July Session or August Session) CUHK International Summer School
Indonesia Petra Christian University Petra Summer Program
Korea Ewha Womans University Ewha Summer Special Program
Korea University International Summer Campus (ISC)
Yonsei University Yonsei International Summer School (YISS)
North America Canada University of British Columbia Vancouver Summer Program
United States University of California Berkeley Berkeley Summer Sessions (Session D)
University of California Los Angeles UCLA Summer Sessions (Session A)
University of Pennsylvania Institute for Business Communication
Institute for Academic Studies
Europe Denmark Aarhus University AU Summer University
Germany Free University of Berlin International Summer and Winter University (FUBiS) Term III
Sweden Linnaeus University Linnaeus University Summer Academy
United Kingdom University of Cambridge (Field Studies in British Culture) University of Cambridge International Summer Programmes
University of East Anglia International Summer School
University of Leeds (Field Studies in British Culture) Leeds International Summer School
OTHER CIEE Summer Study Abroad CIEE Summer Study Abroad Programs (Summer 2018 Session III)




In addition to tuition, expenses of studying abroad borne by the student include travel expenses, housing, purchasing overseas travel insurance specified by ICU, insurance premium specified by host university (depending on the institution), various expenses associated with obtaining visa, living expenses (food, local commuting expenses, entertainment and so on), etc.

Approximate expenses: 90,000 to 750,000 yen (varies depending on destination, housing, program, etc.) (travel expenses, insurance, and meals are not included.)


AY 2017 participant, Erika Sakurai
Destination: University of Leeds (Field Studies in British Culture)

University of Leeds is one of the largest universities in the UK, with more than 30,000 students enrolled, including lots of international students from countries around the world. The campus is very large--so much so that it made ICU feel small. During the program, I would walk around that campus proudly feeling like I had become a Leeds student. As you would expect from a prestigious university, it has excellent facilities, including a large library fully equipped with computers, a handy convenience store, a cafeteria, and a pub.

The classes are broken up into two blocks (modules) for the first two weeks of the program and the second two weeks, and you can choose one class for each. There is a wide range of options, from British history to music or even robotics. During the first block, I took a course on "The English Country House: A Social History," where we learned all about English country houses. That class included a lot of field trips, and I went three times to see actual country houses. I was able to see British history and culture first hand, which I think was a wonderful experience. The course I chose in the second half of the program was "Introduction to Digital Photography," which was extremely satisfying. The format of about half of the class was lectures, while the other half involved examining photos that students took and thinking together about the good points and the points that could be improved. In almost every class, the photography subject that was assigned called for creativity, which was a bit difficult but was also stimulating. As I walked around the city and around the campus, I would go through a process of trial and error as I thought about what kind of picture I would take in what way, and so I got a real sense of the joy of photography and the joy of expressing myself. I would recommend this class to anyone who likes to take pictures.

Throughout the program, there were tons of social events planned. They varied, and included things like using buses and trains to go explore towns that were a bit outside of Leeds, playing sports with everyone, or enjoying the buffet at a neighborhood restaurant. Participation is voluntary, but if you are even a little bit interested, I would encourage you to go and give it a try. The reason I suggest that is because these events offer an opportunity to interact with students that you would not usually meet in your class or your dorm. It is also an opportunity to become friends with the social assistants for the program, who are University of Leeds students, which gives you the chance to hear a lot of different stories. Of course, you can also take trips on your own when you have a day off, and even without traveling, you can have plenty of fun right in the city of Leeds. Because it is a student town, the transportation is convenient and it is an easy place to live.

As you can see from what I have written above, I really enjoyed my summer at the University of Leeds. It was a short four weeks, but through this program I was able to feel more connected to the world. Also, I was able to make new friends from a lot of different countries and regions and to "bond" with them, and even though it was just four weeks, the connections I made to some of these friends were deep enough that I could not say goodbye without shedding tears. I think that just being able to have that kind of experience, which would be difficult to have in Japan, made my participation in this program worthwhile. At the same time, I feel from the bottom of my heart that I am fortunate to have chosen University of Leeds and to have been able to participate.

AY 2017 participant, Yukino Watanabe
Destination: University of California, Berkeley (USA)

I wanted to not just study English but to study subjects of interest to me IN English, and so I took classes in oceanography and environmental science at the UC Berkeley Summer Session. The reason for my choice was that UC Berkeley has a highly developed environmental studies program, and it has a well-designed system that allows you to approach environmental issues from various angles.

The environmental science class was called "Environmental Earth Science," but when I actually took it, the main focus of the class was "soil." We did field work once a week, and so rather than just listening to the lecture, we went outside and touched the soil to learn methods of determining what type of soil it is (for example, is it clay-like or sandy?). The professor was an expert who also teaches about soil at UC Davis, which is strong in agricultural studies. This very unique course was fun, but there was a lot of homework, and in addition to the textbook and other reading assignments we had to read a number of essays and articles, so to be honest, it was very difficult for me. But because I am interested in the environment, I was glad that I had the chance to take classes at UC Berkeley that are not offered at ICU and to learn about different ways to approach the issues and about the thinking of the students I met there who have the same interests as I do.

The "Introduction to Oceanography" class consisted of lectures only. I have always loved the sea, but I hardly knew anything about the subject, so I was very glad to learn about it through the field of oceanography. What was interesting was that the things I learned in "Environmental Earth Science" could be used in "Introduction to Oceanography," and when we had a debate in "Environmental Earth Science," I found that the knowledge I gained in "Introduction to Oceanography" was extremely useful. All fields of study have connections to other areas, and even if they seem at first to be unrelated, they can be useful. It felt great when I discovered those connections.

Studying at UC Berkeley was important not just in academic terms. I believe it greatly changed the direction of my life. While I was studying abroad, I was worried about whether I would earn credits, whether I could keep up, and so on, but it also made me think about my major. But getting good results on tests and in debates gave me confidence. I am no longer hesitant to take ICU's courses that are offered in English, and it has really sunk in that I can do it if I try. I had a lot of experiences and there were times when I got a bit depressed, but through that I was able to strengthen my ability to persevere, and so I am truly glad that I was able to go to UC Berkeley. Most of all, the lifelong friendships that I was able to form there are an important memory. It was because of those friends that I was able to get through the difficult courses. There are exceptional students gathered at UC Berkeley, so while studying hard, we would sometimes help one another and have a laugh together. I want to build on this experience to do a long-term study abroad and to move forward in my life at ICU.

AY 2017 participant, Haruna Kitazawa
Destination: Free University of Berlin (Germany)

The reason why I participated in the summer study abroad program was that I wanted to learn overseas about fields that are close to my major. Since I am in my junior year, I decided on my major and am starting to study more specialized content, but I thought that I would like to deepen my knowledge at a university overseas and gain new viewpoints and ways of thinking, and so I decided to participate. The reason why I chose Germany was that the schedule allowed me to also do things like the club activities that I was hoping to do this summer in Japan. Also, for me personally, in my freshman year I went to Montreal, Canada, on the Study English Abroad (SEA) Program, and living in a society where English is not the only official language made me realize many things, so this time I wanted to try to live in that type of environment.

For the classes at the Free University of Berlin (FUBiS), you could take a total of two specialized courses taught in English, selecting one each from the A Track and the B Track. The A Track courses are held on Mondays and Thursdays, while the B Track courses are on Tuesdays and Fridays. Basically, there were three 90-minute class sessions a day, and for both classes, there were afternoon excursions (off-campus classes) once a week.

In the A Track course, "Law, Society, and Politics and Comparative Perspective," there was a ton of reading assignments for each class, so it took a lot of time to read through it all. But in the class, we simply confirmed the main points of the readings and then the rest of the class centered on a discussion of the topic for that session. There were a lot of people who actively spoke up, and at first, it was all I could do to get through the topic and try to understand what my classmates were saying in the discussions, but gradually I got the knack of it and began understanding the class better, and so I was able to speak up as well.

I was very nervous about making a presentation, but the response was better than I had hoped and that gave me confidence. More than half of my classmates were native English speakers, and so there were many things I was uneasy about, including the content of the presentation and the way I should speak, but I think that I was able to apply the things I learned in ICU's English for Liberal Arts (ELA) Program. At the same time, I also realized that just because English is your first language does not necessarily mean that you are good at presentations or that you are easy to understand, and I think that will give me confidence in my future studies.

In my B Track class on "The Cold War," I learned about Berlin, where there are still strong traces of the Cold War era, and about the Cold War itself. The class centered on lectures by the professor, but once a week there was a seminar-style class that emphasized discussions. The course requirements on the syllabus said that no prior knowledge about the Cold War was required, but there were a lot of people there who did know a lot about it already. It seemed like the A Track class was more of a discussion format focused on understanding the concepts and principles of politics and law, while the B Track class was more specialized.

I personally thought that I wanted to give it my all in the A Track class, and so I looked at the syllabus and chose a B Track class that just had essays and tests so that the workload would not get in the way of my A Track class, but in terms of the content, I struggled more with the B Track class. In particular, I had to write a 2000-word essay, and the content and length required were a lot harder than I had imagined.

My month of living in Berlin truly sped by. So many things happened every day--both in my university course and my homestay--that it was a very rich time. The homestay in particularly was a really great experience, so I hope that those who participate in the program in the future choose the homestay option.

AY 2017 participant, Ayumi Murase
Destination: Korea University (South Korea)

I am relieved that, upon returning to Japan from the Korean Summer Program, my first thought was, "I'm so glad I went." There were many things in my classes and in my life outside of school that I thought about for the first time precisely because I went to Korea, and it gave me an opportunity to become aware of and rethink my own identity. Most of the things I thought about in Korea were complex, big issues that I cannot resolve on my own, but even so, I think it was a very valuable experience.

I took three courses at Korea University, (1) "Contemporary Korean Society," (2) "Mass Media and Pop Culture in Korea," and (3) "Beginning Korean II." The first two classes covered material that would be difficult to take at ICU and could be taught only because it was in Korea, so they were very interesting, and the Korean language class used different teaching materials than the language course at ICU, so it was a refreshing change.

In terms of the content and the topics, course (1) was the most difficult. There was a lot of difficult English vocabulary and a large quantity of reading, so it was difficult to follow each time. During the class discussions as well, at first the speed of the conversation and the students' strong accents in English made it impossible to understand what was being said, and so I was worried about how the rest of the class would be. But the British professor for the course was constantly working to resolve the students' uneasiness and make improvements to create a better class, so I went and spoke to the professor about my unease and my concerns in the class. She listened to what I had to say and in the next class, he encouraged everyone, saying, "During discussions, please make sure that all students in the group have an opportunity to speak and that you are creating an atmosphere that promotes that," and she took various other steps as well. Thanks to that, although the discussions each time were difficult, I did get the chance to express my own opinion and gradually began participating in class. The substance of the course was far-ranging, covering everything from ancient Korean history to the issues facing Korean society today, and it really dug deep into the issues, so it was all interesting topics that are worth thinking about.

When I compare my thinking before and after my participation in the summer program, my level of interest, knowledge, and ideas about Japan-Korea relations and about North Korea have clearly changed. I feel that one of the biggest outcomes of my summer study abroad is that I have gained the confidence to apply the networks and experiences I gained through this program beyond this one time and use them in my future studies.

AY 2017 participant, Marin Umeda
Destination: The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

I took advantage of the summer vacation of my sophomore year to participate in the three-week Chinese language course at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. This was an intensive course, with five hours of Chinese classes every day for three weeks, and I decided to take this course with the goal of both studying the language and making my summer vacation meaningful.

Before the course begins, you take an online placement test, and based on that students are divided into four levels. I had already studied Chinese previously, so I was placed into the highest-level class, but that upper-level class included everyone from students who could speak a little bit to those who were completely fine with everyday conversation, so at first I was worried that I would not be able to follow the class with my level of Chinese. However, by being surrounded by students whose Chinese was better than my own and putting myself in situations where I was forced to speak in Chinese, the speed at which I could learn became much faster than when I was studying in Japan. It is said that Japanese students' pronunciation, and particularly what they call "tones" in Chinese, is not as good as that of students from other countries, but on the other hand, we are stronger in reading and writing, and so I got through the course by improving my scores in the areas where I was stronger while working on acquiring speaking skills. Every day there was some kind of small test like listening, vocabulary, and so on, and you had to make a presentation once a week, so, as the course name implies, it was intensive and the amount of studying was more than what you do in a semester at ICU, but as a result, I was able to make definite advancement in my Chinese.

On Saturdays, when there were no classes, there were university-sponsored trips to Macau and Shenzhen (those who could not or did not get a visa for China went to Lantau Island). Out guides for these trips were current and former students of the Chinese University of Hong Kong who volunteered or were doing it as a part-time job. There was no set place to go or to eat, so we were able to tell them where we wanted to go and they took us. On Sundays, when there were no trips, or in my free time after classes, although I was busy I was able to fully enjoy Hong Kong.

I had daily classes, tests, and homework, and so I was busy every day with studies and having fun, so I had a fantastic time. For me, being able to enjoy the crowded streets, beautiful ocean, mountains, and delicious foods that were all different from Japan, and feeling the Chinese language with my heart and soul for three weeks was a truly priceless experience.