Study Abroad in Japan

Once a small fishing village, Tokyo is now a major international capital of culture, economy and politics. With a population of 12 million, the contrast of Tokyo’s history and modernity can be seen throughout the city and its wards in the fast-paced approach to urban life juxtaposed against its architecture, traditions, and landscape, all of which make it an ideal location for study abroad. 

This program is designed for students with proficiency in Japanese, who adhere to the Middlebury Language Pledge® while studying abroad. The Pledge shows a commitment to linguistic immersion and is the key to students' successful language development and cultural integration.

Because of the suburban location of the School in Japan—in the Mitaka neighborhood, 30 minutes west of Tokyo—Middlebury students benefit from the advantages and opportunities of Tokyo while living and studying in a campus-like environment.

Middlebury's host institution, International Christian University (ICU), a non-denominational university founded in 1953, and with an enrollment of 2,900 students, boasts a national reputation for superior language instruction. It was the first liberal arts college in Japan and its academic offerings include Japanese language and literature, history, art history, psychology, linguistics, and international studies, among others. On-campus housing with Japanese roommates provides a personal view of Japanese culture and allows students to meet their Japanese peers through all student-run extracurricular activities and clubs.

Community Engagement: Guided Integration into Japanese Society

Middlebury has embedded several opportunities for students to explore Japan outside the classroom in its academic program. A key feature of the School in Japan is the Community Engagement course, where students complete a 24-hour internship with a local organization in Mitaka.  It is designed to help facilitate meaningful, reciprocal relationships between students and their host community and to help students develop and integrate skills and knowledge of Japanese language and culture. To learn more about the different internship possibilities, and see video presentations from past participants, check out the Community Engagement Database.

Middlebury Global Partnerships for Sustainability: Japan

As part of the Cultural Portfolio: Exploration course, students in Japan are working with Tottori University of Environmental Studies and the Town of Chizu to support the development of strategies for sustainable economic development and the revitalization of aging, depopulating rural areas.

For more information about participating in the Global Partnerships for Sustainability projects with the School in Japan, please contact:

Jack Byrne, Director, Office of Sustainability Integration