JAST (Japanese Studies at Tsuru)

HOMEEnglishGlobalJAST (Japanese Studies at Tsuru)


JAST (Japanese Studies at Tsuru) is a unique single semester program for international students to help them polish up their Japanese and deepen their understanding of Japanese culture. Through JAST, students can immerse themselves in the small rural community of the city of Tsuru, while attending two months of intensive language training and undergraduate courses that follow the intensives.


Name: JAST- Japanese Studies at Tsuru
Spring Program : 7-week intensive courses + 14-week regular courses from February to July.
Fall Program : 7-week intensive course + 13-week regular courses from August to December.
Requirement: Participants must have studied Japanese at least one year
 (two semesters or three quarters).
Number of students: Around 10 students each semester
Housing: Tsuru International House (dormitory)


Main Focus: Language and culture study with focus on humanities and sociology
Duration: Spring Program (February to July), Fall Program (August to December)


A. Intensive Japanese Program (February-March / August-September)

The Intensive Japanese Program is offered during the summer/spring recess for seven weeks. The aim of the Program is to develop students’ overall language ability to interact with Japanese students and local people, and to make students ready for academic courses in the following semester.  Several cultural sessions are included to provide students with hands-on experience of Japanese culture.

There will be two 90-minute sessions each morning five days a week (Monday to Friday) adding up to 60 sessions (approx. 90 hours) plus cultural sessions over seven weeks.

Intensive Japanese Description

Intermediate Japanese I

Integrated communication skills (grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening, reading & discussion)

Intermediate Japanese II

Writing and formal communication skills (kanji, composition, speech presentation)

  • Students are expected to take both Japanese I and II.
  • There will be a placement test (Test of Japanese Language Proficiency) at the beginning of the course to allocate students to appropriate levels.
  • All the instructors have an MA and extensive experience teaching overseas and in Japan as qualified Japanese Language Instructors.
  • Students tutors are available to help students with the course work.

B. Undergraduate Courses (April-July / September-December)

Undergraduate courses are composed of compulsory subjects and specialized optional subjects.  Students are required to register for a minimum of 16 units (12 units of compulsory subjects and a minimum of 4 units of elective subjects).  Each subject comprises a weekly 90 minute session (total 18-21 contact hours).

Undergraduate compulsory subjects Description

Intermediate Japanese III

Integrated communication skills with a focus on vocabulary and kanji

Intermediate Japanese IV

Integrated communication skills with a focus on grammar

Intermediate Japanese V

Integrated communication skills with a focus on speaking

Japanese Studies I
(Japanese and  Contemporary Society)

Discusses sociolinguistic aspects of Japanese language, such as dialects, speech styles, gender differences and politeness.

Japanese Studies II
(History and Culture)

Deepening the understanding of Japanese History and Culture in relation to Buddhism

Japanese Studies III
(Politics and  Economy)

Attempts to make each student a socially and culturally literate person who observes and asks questions about this nation’s politics and economics

  • Students with a high Japanese language competence may take advanced level Japanese language subjects instead of JAST modules.
  • Japanese Studies subjects are conducted as seminars, and students are expected to make an individual/group presentations.  Field study trips will be organized as such opportunities arise.

C. Elective subjects

Students are expected to register a minimum of two elective subjects from the subjects offered at Tsuru University.  Students can take the following two subjects designed for JAST students.

Intensive Japanese Description

Elementary School  Internship

Internship experience (English language/intercultural program) at local elementary/secondary schools.  Students are expected to attend school classes every week, to work with teachers and other school staff members, and to submit journals and a final report at the end of the program.

Independent Study

Pursuing academic interests with support from academic staff. 

Students are to submit a research objective prior to registration, to meet their supervisors every week to discuss their research, and to submit an essay at the end of the program.


One of the strong points of the JAST program is that participating students can benefit from the close relationship between the university and the community, almost impossible to experience in big city life. We have developed a program that connects students and the community in the most effective way by having student volunteers, staff, and the local community working together.

1) Speech Presentation

All the international students are invited to participate in this Japanese Language Speech Presentation.

2) Visiting Local Schools and Institutions

Students are invited to visit elementary schools, junior high schools, and other institutions.

3) Cultural Experiences

Students can participate in traditional festivals and ceremonies. They can also enjoy lessons in Tea Ceremony, Flower Arranging, Calligraphy, etc.

Possible off-campus activities:
  Zazen (Meditation) Sessions    Zen temples in Tsuru
  Sightseeing                   Mt. Fuji 5th Station, Fuji Five Lakes, Tokyo Metropolitan area
These extracurricular activities will be arranged by JAST Coordinators in cooperation with student tutors.

4) Student Tutor System Program participants will receive day-to-day support from Tsuru University regular students, tutors who are working in cooperation with coordinators. 


Students will be living in Tsuru International House. Tsuru International House is a brand new hall of residence, the first of its kind at Tsuru University, to house primarily international students from partner universities and Japanese students with a strong will and potential to study abroad. 
The four-story building houses 48 students on the second, third and fourth floor. Each floor has four four-room-in-one-unit-components. Each unit has a common space, a refrigerator a sink and an IH cooking top. Four shower cubicles, four restrooms and laundry facilities are located on each floor to be shared with people on that floor.


Study Abroad Office operates within Global Communication Center.

For more information, contact:

Study Abroad Office
Tsuru University (www.tsuru ac.jp)
3-8-1 Tahara, Tsuru, Yamanashi, Japan 402-8555
Tel: 81-554-43-4341 (ext.685)