Study English Abroad (SEA) Program

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:

  • To study English spontaneously in a country where English is spoken.
  • To earn a portion of the ELA (English for Liberal Arts Program) credits toward the bachelor's degree, while experiencing cultural and academic circumstances different from those in Japan.
  • To learn how to interact amicably with people who have different cultural backgrounds.
  • To learn more about themselves and become more self-confident, through the experience of being a minority.
  • To prepare for the courses taught in English at ICU.

Freshman SEA Program 【for 1st year students】

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. ELA Stream 1 and 2 students who successfully complete the program will receive two credits of Overseas English, and three credits of Overseas Academic Skills, elective courses, and ELA Stream 3 and 4 students will receive two credits of Academic Skills, an ELA course, and three credits of Overseas Academic Skills, an elective course after their return to ICU. The program is held at 10 institutions in 6 countries and its enrollment limit is 230 students.

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, and the U.S. The participants take English language courses equivalent to Research Writing, an ELA course, having three credits, and an elective course Overseas Research Writing with three credits. 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.

Schedule of the Sophomore SEA Program

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

Approximate expenses: starting from about 420,000 yen to more than 790,000 yen (depending on the destination , program fees, travel expenses, housing, overseas travel insurance, visa fees and living expenses, etc.)


AY2019 Freshman SEA Program Participant: Saki Koyama
Location: Saint Michael's College (USA)


I participated in the Study English Abroad (SEA) Program based on the idea that English study in the first year would be the preliminary preparation for the second year. Studying abroad soon after entering the university should be an excellent opportunity to see how well you can demonstrate your English ability at the point of just becoming a freshman.

At Saint Michael's College, I took both morning and afternoon classes of different content for each day, on the purpose of improving the "four skills of English" and expand my vocabulary. As each class was designed to work on different skills and had a clear objective to achieve, I had a very productive learning experience. I studied with students from Columbia during the first three weeks, and for the other three weeks, my classmates were students of various nationalities: China, Taiwan, Iraq, Congo, India, Turkey, and so on. It was interesting to know that the way of thinking and understanding varied very much depending on what cultural backgrounds each student was raised in and influenced by in terms of personality development, even if we wrote something on the same theme.

Although six weeks was a short period, realizing that I had had a narrow view of the world by putting myself in an environment full of diversity, I came to realize the importance of having multifaceted views. And I understood that the important thing is not to "be good at English," but to "be able to use English as a tool." I believe that is what is expected in the second year and after.

AY2019 Freshman SEA Program Participant: Miyuki NAKA
Location: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (USA)


The English program of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee aimed to develop three skills: reading, speaking, and writing. Other than pronunciation practices and daily conversation lessons, we had assignments of recording the conversation in pairs and groups. The teachers would point out my errors in pronunciation and the way I used words, which was very helpful. On top of those, we had a Research Writing class specially designed for ICU students.

Classes were basically held from Tuesdays to Fridays, and on Mondays, we had free-to-participate field trips to visit places such as theme parks, lakes, and so on. Also, there were plenty of opportunities to do volunteer activities, and I participated in a local festival as a staff. It was rewarding that the local people and children were pleased with my English even though it wasn't great when I taught Japanese Origami to them. The interaction with the community was very precious and valuable.

On holidays, I went to cafes, bookstores, and to see musicals. A conversation partner who was assigned to help every ICU student as a part of the program took me to restaurants, movies, and famous places in Milwaukee. Having opportunities to use English other than in classes helped me a lot to get used to English conversation.

With all those stimulating experiences, I came to have an aim to learn English and improve my English skills continuously. With active actions and attitude, not only English skills but also various abilities will come along.

AY2018 Freshman SEA Program Participant: Chihiro Yamasaki
Location: School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, (UK)

There were three reasons that I hoped to achieve by participating in this Freshman SEA program. They were to gain experience living abroad on my own, to improve my English language ability, and to experience London, a city that values diversity.

Living in London was very pleasant. The residence hall that we ICU students stayed in was hygienic and had good facilities, and since the nearest station to the residence hall was a terminal station, I was able to enjoy a stroll around London and suburban cities such as Oxford, Canterbury, and Brighton on my days off.

For the first three weeks at SOAS, I took an art course, and for the latter three weeks, I took an international relations course. Since the professors who gave the lectures spoke in a way that made the material easier to understand, it was not that impossible to follow the lectures. One weekend I went to a clothes shop in London and I was told, "Your English is good, so I thought you grew up in London."

Outside of my studies at university, in addition to visiting nearby cities, I visited acquaintances, investigated the women's suffrage movement that was staged in London, etc. I spoke with the locals on the streets and in pubs, which was an invaluable experience as I got to hear their voices directly.

I believe that the real appeal of the Freshman SEA Program goes beyond its academic value. What one can experience from being thrown into that foreign land called London is nothing but the experience of getting to know oneself. This experience will certainly be an invaluable asset to me as I continue my studies at ICU and, furthermore, as I go about my life.

AY2018 Sophomore SEA Program Participant: Ryohei Kamimura
Location: University of Victoria(Canada)

The reasons why I participated in the Sophomore SEA Program are that I wished to broaden my choices with regard to course enrollment by completing Research Writing (RW) during the summer vacation period and that I thought participating in the program would be a chance for me to improve my English language ability, as much as possible, through attending classes abroad.

The University of Victoria campus was huge and rich in nature -- it was the kind of campus where you could encounter deer and squirrels. The climate was very comfortable with temperatures not hot and the humidity low. For a change of scenery, I sometimes wrote my RW paper sitting on a bench in a square that had a fountain.

In RW classes, the instructor offered sincere advice to each student which was suitable for their interests, and I was able to complete my RW paper in a short time frame of just two weeks.

In an English language program called Program 4, I was taught in classes consisting of a diverse mix of study abroad students who were from Korea, Macau, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand and so on. Facing with a situation where English was the only verbal communication tool, I took it upon myself to understand and to communicate, and we were able to open up to each other. We did things together such as eating out downtown, watching movies, getting together and chatting in the lounge of our dormitory, and we were able to deepen our relationship with one another. There was time for activities in the afternoon, and various events were organized for us. We were also given the opportunity to interact with study abroad students from outside our class, and I felt that to widen the range of people with whom we interact, the only thing that was needed was to act in a way that would enable that to happen.

I wish to conclude by stating that it is thanks to my fellow ICU students whom I met through this program that I was able to have a productive six weeks, and I feel grateful. They are truly precious and special to me.

Page top