Program for Specialists

*Online portal available after October 14, 2022

2023-24 Japanese Language Program for Specialists in Cultural and Academic Field

With the aim of providing support to specialists who require Japanese-language proficiency in order to smoothly execute their specialist work and research activities (such as researchers, graduate students, librarians, and museum and art museum curators), this program provides training for the acquisition of practical Japanese-language proficiency through a curriculum that is tailored to the characteristics of the respective specialist work, conducted at the Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai.


There are no tuition fees. Participants will reside at the Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai (single rooms) and we will cover meals, and overseas travel insurance. Airfare will NOT be covered for US applicants.

Program Venue

The program is held at the Japan Foundation - Japanese Language Institute, Kansai in Japan.


There are 2-month and 5-month courses, and both courses are primarily "language training" courses for participants requiring Japanese language proficiency for specialized work and research activities. Professional education in their specific area of expertise is NOT included in the curriculum.

Two-Month Course: mid January, 2024 – early March, 2024 (Exact dates will be confirmed later)

This course focuses on general Japanese-language proficiency and aims to assist participants to improve speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. There are also classes aimed to improve Japanese skills necessary to gather and output information for the participants' specialized work/research. The course also includes social events with the Japanese graduate school students, etc. Participants are required to make a presentation about their research themes at the end of the course.

Past Participant Comments

Gina Kim (University of California, San Diego) [2017-2018]
Karen Tsai (University of California, Santa Barbara) [2017-2018]
Lin Li (University of Wisconsin - Madison) [2016-2017]
Samuel Timinsky (University of Wisconsin - Madison) [2016-2017]

Five-Month Course: mid-July, 2023 – mid-December, 2023

The five-month course is a course where participants work on increasing their level of functional Japanese, and especially the required language abilities for conducting actual specialized work/research. During the training course, participants will independently conduct interviews with specialists in their field as well as plan their own trips to visit related facilities and, as they gather and understand research materials, they will be able to acquire the skills needed to exchange, collect. and report information in Japanese. The participants will need to independently plan their activities with an explicit theme. Participants are required to make a presentation about their research themes as their accomplishments of the course and specialized activities conducted during their stay in Japan at the end of the course.

Past Participant Comments

Elizabeth McDonald (University of California, Riverside) [2016-2017]

Application Materials

Application Deadline: Apply Through Online Portal* by 12 noon, DECEMBER 2nd, 2022 (Japan Standard Time) [7PM, December 1st, 2022 Pacific Time]

Upload your application documents to the Online Application Portal:* Visit the website to view the manual for this procedure.


Click here to contact us with any questions or to inform us of your intention to apply to one of these programs.

Notification of Results: Late April, 2023

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