|Restrictions:||WMU applicants only|
|Dates / Deadlines:|
|Program Type:||WMU||Housing Options:||Apartment|
|Minimum GPA:||2.5||Program Specialist:||Sakhi Vyas|
Otaru University of Commerce (OUC) is a national university located in Otaru, on Hokkaido, the northernmost of the four main islands of Japan. OUC was established in 1910 and reorganized as a university in 1949. The university is renowned for its academic excellence and has an enrollment of more than 2,500 students. OUC offers bachelor's and master's degrees in Economics, Commerce, Law, and Education, as well as a Center for Language Studies with a language laboratory. This program offers courses in business and economics (in English) and intensive Japanese language training.
WMU students interested in this exchange program may be able to contact students from the host institution currently studying at WMU. Contact the Haenicke Institute Study Abroad office for information.
Students must complete the application here on BroncosAbroad in order to get study abroad approval by WMU. Additionally, students must complete an application to Otaru in order to be accepted into the university's study abroad program. Application materials may be found online through the host university's website.
2013.WMU Study Abroad Programs in Japan - Quick Comparison.pdf
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Otaru is a historic seaport on the northern island of Hokkaido, located on the northern tip of Hokkaido's Shiribeshi district. The city is in a stunningly beautiful location, surrounded by mountains on three sides and facing Ishikari Bay. It has a population of approximately 156,000, and is a harbor city well known for its beautiful canal and historic buildings. Otaru has four distinct seasons, similar to the weather in Michigan. In winter, skiing is available nearby.
Otaru is about 35 minutes from Sapporo via express train. Sapporo is the main city on the island of Hokkaido and the fifth largest city in Japan. Sapporo is a modern city which hosted the Olympic Games in 1972, and it is the site of the nationally renowned Snow Festival, which takes place every year.
Otaru is approximately a 16-hour train ride by JR limited express from Tokyo. Students interested in going to Tokyo sometimes choose to go by airplane from Sapporo since the flight only lasts about one hour.Back to Top
Minimum 2.5 GPA. Completion of Japanese 2010.
See the Japanese Programs Quick Comparison sheet for more information about Study abroad programs in Japan: 2011.WMU Study Abroad Programs in Japan- Quick Comparison.pdf
The main portion of a student's curriculum consists of Japanese language and culture courses, but students also enroll in business and economics courses taught in English. Courses taught in English include: Intermediate Macroeconomics, the Japanese Economy, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and Introduction to Japanese Management (this is not a comprehensive list). It is also possible for students to do an internship in a Japanese company to see firsthand how Japanese businesses work.
Japanese courses are available at four levels. Elementary Japanese I provides an introduction to the basic Japanese used in daily life. Students learn to read and write Hiragana, Katakana, and about 100 Kanji characters. Elementary Japanese II is a continuation of Elementary Japanese I, and students learn to read and write simple passages as well as practice speaking. In Intermediate Japanese I, students continue to improve their speaking, listening, reading, and writing ability. In Intermediate Japanese II, students learn to speak, read, and write about basic issues as well as learn at least 450 additional kanji.
WMU credit will be awarded for all courses completed on this program with prior approval of the student's academic advisor, academic advisors in departments outside of the student's major department (if the student plans to take classes outside of his/her major), and the Haenicke Institute Study Abroad office. This approval is obtained by completing the Course Pre-approval Form with their academic advisor(s), available from the WMU online application. Students are urged to work closely with academic advisors and study abroad staff to plan a course of study allowing for steady progress toward their degree.
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The program fee includes tuition, fees, WMU health and emergency assistance insurance, and orientation. Each student is responsible for the following costs: housing, meals, airfare, Japanese health insurance, books, local transportation, passport, visa, and personal expenses. Remember to plan for extra expenses, such as weekend travel personal spending money, etc.
Several scholarships may be available for this program, including the AIEJ (Japanese government) and JASSO scholarship, but these scholarships are distributed through external organizations and WMU makes no guarantee regarding availability.
Students applying for this program may be eligible for the President's Grant for Study Abroad.
Students eligible for federal or state financial aid may use their awards for studying abroad. After a student has been accepted to the program, he/she must complete required paperwork with WMU Financial Aid to apply financial aid to the program costs. It is the student's responsibility to complete the paperwork prior to departure and to maintain compliance with financial aid regulations while studying abroad (i.e., remain enrolled full-time). Non-WMU students must apply for financial aid through their home university.
Note: program fees are subject to adjustment due to changes in actual exchange rates or other factors. In addition, programs may be modified or canceled in the event of insufficient enrollment. Program dates are subject to slight adjustment by the home/host university.
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Host Institution Information (external links)
Otaru University of Commerce
Country Information (external links)
Japan - Lonely Planet
Otaru - Lonely Planet
U.S. Department of State Information
Country Specific Information - Japan
Culturegram - Japan
VISA (external links)
Consulate-General of Japan in Detroit
Program faculty directors:
Professor Jeffrey Angles
Associate Professor, Japanese Literature & Translation Studies
WMU Faculty Director Homepage
Professor Rika Saito
Assistant Professor of Japanese Language and Literature
Study Abroad Specialist:
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