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HIF Summer Japanese Language and Culture
Hakodate, Japan (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Summer
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Restrictions: F&M applicants only
Budget Sheets Summer
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Fact Sheet:
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Language of Instruction: Japanese Housing Options: Homestay
Term: Summer Program Advisor: Claire Retterer
Area of Study: Japanese
Program Description:
Program Description:

HIF Summer Japanese Language and Culture

Program Components

The Hokkaido International Foundation (HIF) offers an eight-week summer intensive program on Japanese language and Japanese culture every year. This program consists of the three major components as below. “Homestay”, “Japanese Language Class” and “Independent Study” are closely related to one another in order to promote students’ learning. Former participants found it important to establish a balance of the three so that they can take full advantage of the program. None of the three can be downgraded or lost.

Japanese Language Class

HIF classThe Japanese language classes meet for three hours every morning, Monday through Friday. Past participants have found this program to be highly demanding, as they needed to study for at least 3 hours per day on their own to manage homework assignments, quizzes, lesson tests, midterm and final exams and to maintain class participation. Both committed and proactive participants benefited a great deal from this schedule.


HIF hostThe eight-week homestay provides you with full immersion in Japanese language and Japanese culture. Host families volunteer to participate in the program not merely to accommodate you but also to help you to practice your Japanese and deepen your understanding of Japanese culture. They are also willing to learn the language(s) and culture of your country. The homework and class topics are expected to reflect your homestay experience.

Independent Study (IS)HIF project

The overall objective of IS is to enhance your Japanese proficiency and autonomous learning skills by focusing on your individual study objectives. It is your responsibility to design the project, but you will be supported by your instructor and a “support group” of your peers to achieve your goals. You may choose a theme related to your interests and long-term goals. You will finalize and present the outcome to an audience before the summer program is completed. You are required to report the progress of your IS to your instructor and support group members at least once a week so that you can refine your work. Participants are strongly encouraged to choose a theme for their IS before the program begins. (Please see the past examples below.) This will provide you with sufficient time for a full discussion of your project’s objectives, methods, timelines, etc. with your instructor and support group members.  

About HakodateHIF trip

Japan's northeastern island, Hokkaido, was sparsely populated until the early 19th century when Japanese people from all parts of the country came to settle the land and create the Hokkaido we know today. Whereas Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and other areas of Japan are known for their intense summer heat and humidity, the summers in Hokkaido are relatively cool and pleasant.

Hakodate is located in southern Hokkaido. Hakodate is a small, quiet, rural town, with a population of about 270,000. Hakodate was one of the two Japanese ports opened by Commodore Perry when he visited Japan in 1854. At that time, Hakodate led Japan's progress towards modernization. The night view of the town from Mt. Hakodate is considered one of the most spectacular in the world. In 2015, Hakodate was ranked Japan’s most attractive tourist destination for the second year in a row.

Franklin & Marshall Academic Policy
F&M requires all students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution or off-campus study program. You can typically find this information on the program partner's website. In many cases, this will be four or five courses for a semester. Many programs grant course credit in U.S. semester credit hours. Franklin & Marshall will award four F&M course credits for a total of 15 or 16 U.S. semester credit hours.  If the total number of credits for your program is more than 16 or less than 15, divide the total number by four to find out how many course credits you will receive (this includes summer study).

Courses on off-campus study programs must be taken for a letter grade, not on a pass/no pass basis. Grades from off-campus study program courses will appear on your Franklin & Marshall transcript, but they will not be calculated into your cumulative GPA.

Courses taken off-campus may be able to satisfy major, minor, language or distribution requirements (Arts, Humanities, Social Science, Non-Western Cultures or Natural Science Lab) in addition to general elective credit. Courses may fulfill more than one requirement. Please note that Franklin & Marshall cannot issue transfer credit for a course taken in a department that is not represented at the College.  If a course does not clearly fall under a department, the off-campus study advising staff can help you determine whether or not it can be accepted for credit.

Franklin & Marshall Housing Policy
Housing options during your off-campus study program will vary by program. Some programs may allow students to choose their housing option; other programs require all students to live in a certain type of housing. Typical housing arrangements may include apartments, homestays, or on-campus housing at a local university. Please visit the program homepage to determine your program's housing options or requirements.

Please note that some programs may offer students the option to pursue independent housing (outside of the regular housing options provided by the program). F&M does not allow students to choose independent housing unless there is a significant academic or cultural reason (such as wanting to live in a homestay when only apartment housing is provided). Independent housing carries many risks and F&M and the program provider cannot provide any support to students who pursue independent housing. Students who are interested in pursuing independent housing will need to contact their off-campus study adviser to petition for approval to pursue this option.

Financial Policy, Financial Aid and Scholarships
During the academic year, students will continue to be eligible for financial aid during a term of off-campus study.   This includes federal and state loans and Franklin & Marshall merit scholarships and need-based grants.  In general, eligibility for financial aid is based on Franklin & Marshall tuition, cost of housing and meals from the off-campus study program, and an allowance for books and personal expenses.  Your annual estimated family contribution as generated by your FAFSA will remain the same regardless of program costs. Students who receive Grant-in-Aid benefits will continue to access these benefits for the semester off-campus. This benefit is only available to students of eligible full-time F&M faculty and staff.

Students may be eligible for additional scholarships outside of F&M, please review the Scholarships section of the website for more information.

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