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Programs : Brochure
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Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU)
Hikone, Japan
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Summer I,
Summer II
Budget Sheets Academic Year,
Summer I,
Summer II
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2016 10/15/2015** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Summer I 2016 01/31/2016** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Fall 2016 02/15/2016** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Academic Year 2016-2017 02/15/2016** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Summer II 2016 02/29/2016** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
 Program Type:
 Language of Instruction:
English, Japanese
 Housing Options:
Dorm (double), Host Family
 Minimum GPA:
 Program Specialist:
Sakhi Vyas
 Language experience required:
 Areas of Study:
Program Description:
Jump To: Photos Overview Location Academics Cost Housing Itinerary Resources

Photo Gallery

Program Overview

The Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) was established in 1989 as a consortium of fifteen public universities in Michigan seeking to create a more sustainable and successful study abroad experience in Japan for American students. A product of the strong sister-state relationship between the State of Michigan and Shiga Prefecture, JCMU's programs are dedicated to developing the bond between the United States and Japan through academic programs, research exchanges, business development activities, and grassroots social, cultural and intellectual interactions. In addition to serving the fifteen JCMU consortium member institutions, JCMU welcomes undergraduate and graduate students from colleges and universities worldwide, visiting scholars from across the globe, K-12 teachers and students and professionals from a variety of fields. In its short history, JCMU has grown to offer programs throughout the year, including academic-year, semester-long, May short programs, summer semester and culture/career hybrid programs.

Students must complete the application here on BroncosAbroad in order to get study abroad approval by WMU. Additionally, students must complete an application to JMCU in order to be accepted into JMCU's study abroad program. Application materials may be found online through the host university's website.

See the Japanese Programs Quick Comparison sheet for more information about Study abroad programs in Japan:
2012.WMU Study Abroad Programs in Japan - Quick Comparison.pdf

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The JCMU Center consists of a beautiful and spacious academic building, an adjoining residence hall facility, and a lakefront garden. The academic building contains classrooms, a library, two computer assisted learning laboratories, Apple Hall (the main lobby and lounge), the Shahakunage Room (a traditional Japanese-style room), conference rooms, faculty and administrative offices and a restaurant. The residential building contains apartment suites designed to accommodate a total of 52 students, live-in faculty and administrative staff. Apartment suites have two single bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen. There are also two apartments specially designed to be fully accessible to students with disabilities. The building also contains a computer lab, a fitness room, laundry facilities and a recreation room.

JCMU is located in Hikone, a city of approximately 100,000 people situated on the eastern shore of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture. Hikone is a castle town which traces its origins to the early seventeenth century, when a cluster of samurai residences and commercial establishments grew up at the foot of the castle. The original castle buildings survive, as do many of the traditional industries. Located off the beaten tourist track, Hikone has preserved much of its charm and traditional values while being a 45-90 minute train ride away from the large cosmopolitan cities of Kyoto, Nagoya, and Osaka. Given its location, students and visitors have easy access to a wide range of cultural resources.

Shiga Prefecture is located in the center of Honshu, the largest island of the Japanese archipelago. Shiga has long been important strategically and economically as a crossroads of the major east-west and north-south transportation routes. It is important culturally and historically as a province immediately adjacent to the ancient capital city of Kyoto. Shiga is the site of innumerable temples and private villas built over the centuries by members of the court and military aristocracy. Today, the prefectural government is positioning Shiga as an important national tourist and high technology region to foster future economic growth, while preserving the natural beauty for which the region is famous.

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Academic Eligibility
GPA 2.5 or higher.

Academic Credit
WMU credit will be awarded for courses successfully 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 for Global Education. This approval is obtained by completing the Course Pre-approval Form available from the HIGE. Students are urged to work closely with academic advisors and HIGE staff to plan a course of study allowing for steady progress toward their degree.

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Cost & Financial Aid


The program fee includes: tuition, international health and emergency insurance, housing, and student activity fee.

The program fee does not include: airfare, meals, passport fee, immunizations, and personal expenses.

Program fees are subject to adjustment due to changes in actual exchange rates or other factors. In addition, programs may be modified or cancelled in the event of insufficient enrollment. Program dates are subject to slight adjustment by the home/host university.

Note: For tax purposes, the university requires the program fee billing to be divided into qualified fees (tuition) and non-qualified fees (non-tuition costs). The total program fee equals the study abroad commitment fee plus qualified fees and non-qualified fees added together.
      Commitment fee
      + Qualified fees (tution)
      + Non-qualified fees (other costs)
      = Total program fee

Commitment fee: The study abroad commitment fee is billed in advance, after the student submits the commitment form. The remainder of the program fee will be billed to the WMU student account for the semester of enrollment.

Students applying for this program may be eligible for the President's Grant for Study Abroad.

Financial Aid
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.

Please note: Disbursement of financial aid may not coincide with the start date of the program abroad so plan ahead. Some out-of-pocket costs may occur prior to financial aid disbursement for the semester, such as the commitment fee, passport, airfare, immunizations, visa or residence permit fees (if applicable). These costs vary by program and WMU Study Abroad Specialists are available to answer questions about the program budget.

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Students can either stay in on-campus residence hall apartments or Home Stay with Japanese families. Visit JCMU's Student Life for more information.

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Additional Resources

Host Institution Information (external links)
Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU)

Country Information (external links)
Japan - Lonely Planet
Shiga-ken - Lonely Planet
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:
Sakhi Vyas

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