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Approx. Time Difference
Apr - Nov: + 16 hrs
Dec – Mar: + 17 hrs
Language & Culture, Tsuru Univ.

This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.

Remember to also visit the Participants section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network
Academic Information
Program Overview

This program is designed for students who have at least one year of university-level Japanese.  It allows you to accelerate your language learning and develop a good understanding of contemporary Japan. You may complete as much as a full year of university-level Japanese on this program.

During the initial seven-week intensive language segment, language instruction is four hours a day, five days a week. During the remainder of the semester, you will continue Japanese language study for four and a half hours per week (divided into three courses).

You will take a language placement test following orientation.



You will earn approximately 26 UC quarter/17.3 UC semester units for the 18-week program. If you need to take less than the full load of units, you may use the variable unit option to reduce your total units to 21 UC quarter/14 UC semester units. No reduction in the number of courses allowed. The initial intensive language courses may be reduced to a total of no fewer than 5 UC quarter units using the variable unit option.
Academic Culture
Course Information
Courses are taught in simplified Japanese. The following courses are required.
  • Two intensive language courses of 5 UC quarter units each during the first seven weeks of the program; letter grade only
  • Three regular semester language courses of 2 UC quarter units each; letter grade only
  • Three core courses of 2 UC quarter units each: 1) Japanese Literature and Culture, 2)  Japanese History and Society, and 3) Japanese Politics and Economy
  • Two electives of 2 UC quarter units each (may include independent study or a third language course). Past electives include: Classical or Modern Japanese Literature, Japanese Cultural History, Contemporary Japanese Society, Japanese Politics and Economy, Environmental Sociology, Environment and Ecology, Calligraphy, and Elementary School Teaching Experience.

Additional Features

In addition to courses, you have the opportunity to spend one to two hours a week in local high schools assisting teachers of English and American culture.
You may also participate in a special cultural program, which includes monthly lectures about Japan and the Japanese language presented by speakers from outside the university; extracurricular activities with Tsuru University student volunteers (for example, a traditional tea ceremony, flower arranging, or calligraphy); and field trips to local schools, factories, government offices, Mt. Fuji, the theater, sumo tournaments, and Zen temples.

Independent Study

As one of the electives, you may be able to do an independent study project in Japanese or Asian studies under the direction of a Tsuru professor; however, resources in English are limited and resources for independent study topics are difficult to find. See your campus library for information on access to the California Digital Library.
Internships & Volunteer Opportunities
Fall grades for this program are usually available in mid to late January.
For more information about grades see the Academic Information chapter in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Cultural Awareness
Educational Resources
Social Conduct
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
Travel Documents
Packing Tips
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Handling Money Abroad
Scholarships and Fellowships
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
Mail & Shipments
Housing & Meals
Tsuru University Housing
Tsuru University arranges apartments that are a 15 minute walk to the campus. You will live in the same apartment building as other UC students. A homestay option may be available.
Each single-unit apartment is air-conditioned and has a kitchenette and private bath, and is furnished with a bed, bedding, table, chair, refrigerator, small stove, linens, washing machine, TV, rice cooker, toaster oven, and kitchen utensils. There is a small balcony where clothes can be hung to dry.
The entrance to the apartment, as with most Japanese homes, contains a small genkan (foyer). In the genkan, you should remove your shoes. Shoes are not worn in the apartment.
In the hallway leading to the bedroom is the kitchen. The kitchen has a narrow sink and small counter on one side. The bathroom and shower room is also off the hallway, all neatly compressed into a small but usable space. The main room, a combination bedroom and living room, has a built-in closet. A small table is provided for studying.
The apartment flooring is tatami. Tatami is somewhat fragile; it is a reed-like mat about three feet by six feet in dimension and about two and a half to three inches thick. The interior of the mat is a layer of bundled straw and over that is woven matting. Shoes (even slippers) are not worn on tatami to keep it fresh, unworn, and clean. You will sleep on a futon on the tatami flooring.
Tsuru University commits a considerable amount of money to subsidize apartments for UCEAP and keep them available each semester. Short-term students cannot rent private apartments in Japan, and Tsuru has signed contracts to reserve apartments for UCEAP. You are expected to take good care of the apartment and all the items furnished by Tsuru, as future students will use the same apartment and furnishings. You must replace any broken, damaged, or lost items, and your apartment must be thoroughly cleaned prior to departure, just as it was when you arrived.

At a Glance

  • You apply for housing when you complete the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist (including the Tsuru University application). No separate application is needed. You will receive your apartment address prior to departure.
  • All students, even those who will be receiving financial aid, make their own housing payments. Rent is due monthly in Japanese yen directly to the apartment manager. Consult the UCEAP Student Budget for the expected cost of housing. Utilities are paid to Tsuru University in cash and are expected to be about ¥17,000 per month. Utilities include gas, water, electric, phone line (for Internet access), phone usage, and Internet.
  • The apartment rooms are wired for computers. After arrival you can pay for your own phone line for Internet access.
  • There are no phones in the rooms. Students usually obtain cell phones.
  • Cooking is permitted in the rooms. The Tsuru campus has a student cafeteria (open from 9 a.m.–4 p.m.) with a tea counter (first floor, administrative center). The cafeteria is a comfortable place to get together with friends and eat.
  • Bedding is provided, but you need to obtain your own towels. You can purchase towels and other household items after arrival.
Other Housing Options
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
Extracurricular Activities
Students with Disabilities
Travel Sign-out Form
Recreational Travel
UCEAP Insurance
Mandatory Japanese National Health Insurance
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
Physical Health
Prescription Medications
Mental Health
Health Risks
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk
Crime & Prevention
Civil Unrest
Traffic & Transportation Safety
UCEAP Contingency Plans
Fire Safety
In An Emergency
The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action office.

* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.