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Study Abroad Office

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172260
400 Culbertson Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717-2260


Heather Dolan - Study Abroad Program Assistant

Tel: (406) 994-7151


Anna Greenberg - Study Abroad Advisor and Outreach Coordinator

Tel: (406) 994-7151
Fax: (406) 994-1619


Susan Welker - Study Abroad Manager

Tel: (406) 994-5719
Fax: (406) 994-1619


Alyson Roberts - CCIS Advisor and Coordinator

Tel: (406) 994-7044
Fax: (406) 994-1619



Kumamoto, Japan Study Abroad Program
Kumamoto Gakuen University
Country: Japan
Location: Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture
Language: Japanese, English
Level(s): Undergraduate and Graduate
Subjects: Japanese Language, See Academic Program Se
Length: Academic year: September - July (Sept.- January; April - July)
Cost: MSU Tuition, plus room and board in host country
Deadline: March 1 for following fall (Some exceptions may apply)


Program Overview



Kumamoto Gakuen University has a long history of active participation in international exchange. From its inauguration in 1942 as the Institute of Oriental Languages where English, Chinese, Malay, and Russian were taught, the tradition of "world-watching" educational research has continued. KGU has valued independence, freedom, and cooperation since its foundation. Its three main educational principles are: "Deep Respect for Freedom and Liberty", "Mutual Friendship between Teachers and Students", and "Warm Heart of One School as One Family".

Academic Program

A wide range of majors is offered in the Japanese language: Commerce, Management, Economics, International Economics, Anglo-American Studies, East Asian Studies and Social Welfare. For students not fluent in Japanese, more limited courses are available: 

Fall Semester:
Japanese I and II B (offered in three proficiency levels)
Special Lectures on Japanese Affairs
International Relations and Current Issues

Spring Semester:
Japanese III and IV B (offered in three proficiency levels)
Japanese Economy and Business

Full-year Courses: (given bilingually in Japanese and English)
Seminar II (Contemporary Japanese Issues)
Cross-Cultural Communication
Comparative Linguistics

Language of Instruction

All levels of Japanese; some courses in English are offered. Students are strongly encouraged to take the Japanese Language class offered at MSU before applying to KGU. Two years of college-level Japanese (or equivalent) are required to take regular classes in the Japanese language.


Students who have completed one full academic year of university level work at MSU with a 3.0 GPA by the time they begin studies in Kumamoto are eligible.

Academic Credit

Credit will be awarded at MSU for all courses taken and passed at Kumamoto. The student's academic adviser at MSU, in consultation with the Office of International Programs will determine how these credits will apply to degree course requirements. However, successful study at KGU satisfies MSU's Multicultural/Global core curriculum requirement. Students are urged to work closely with the their adviser and the Office of International Programs prior to departure to plan a course of studies which will maintain steady progress toward their degree.






Japan is an island country composed of the four main islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu, along with some surrounding smaller islands. It has a temperate monsoon weather that clearly shows seasonal changes. The beautiful scenery of the changing seasons is very impressive.

Kumamoto is a city of history and culture surrounded by vast nature, composed of beautiful plains that spread almost endlessly beside strong-looking mountains. On the first visit to Kumamoto, the dynamics of nature enraptures people. Mt. Aso is an active volcano with an outer caldera 50 miles in circumference, and its eternal action of burning is the symbol of Kumamoto, or the "Country of Fire."

Kumamoto has been flourishing as the castle town of Lord Kiyomasa Kato and the Hosokawa clan. Kumamoto Castle, which still remains in Kumamoto City, is a distinguished castle whose construction took Lord Kiyomasa Kato seven years to build starting in 1600. As it was built to apply toward practical warfare, the inside of the castle, which is 5.9 miles in circumference, has a solid structure complete with wells, secret underground passages, and stone walls designed to prevent an enemy invasion.

Marks of history remain all over Kumamoto. For example, Kumamoto Prefecture contains the largest number of ornamental ancient tombs in all of Japan. There are more than 280 of these tombs recognized in the country, and more than 120 of them are in Kumamoto. In Kikusui, several ancient tombs such as the guasi-national ruin of Eta-funayama Tomb still remain. The Tumulus Tomb Festival, one of the three fire festivals in the prefecture, is held here. All of these elements, and more, make Kumamoto an important city of history and culture in Japan.





Cost and Included Benefits

Students receiving exchange placements at Kumamoto Gakuen University will pay tuition at MSU in the same amount as if studying in Bozeman. Students who are not awarded an exchange placement at KGU will need to pay the "study abroad" fee to attend KGU. (Visit the International Opportunities Resource Center for more information about this fee.) Each student is responsible for his/her room and board in Japan, as well as trans-Pacific travel expenses.  Several scholarships are available for students planning to study in Japan. Remember to plan for extra expenses such as internal travel and personal spending money as well as for unexpected changes in the exchange rate.

Financial Aid

Financial aid may be available for study abroad at KGU. Additional costs for study at KGU (e.g. travel to and from the study site) may be used in calculating student's financial aid package. Students are responsible to apply to the Office of Financial Aid.


Applications are available in the Office of International Programs at 400 Culbertson Hall.


Applications are due in the Office of International Programs on March 1 to study in Kumamoto the following fall.

Additional Information


For additional information contact:

Anna Greenberg
Study Abroad Advisor
Office of International Programs
400 Culbertson Hall
Phone: 994-7151

Dr. Marilyn Bolles
Modern Languages
325 Reid Hall

Dr. Brett Walker

History Department
2163 Wilson Hall

To speak with an MSU faculty member who has visited Japan contact:

Greg Olson
Health & Human Development

Cliff Montagne
Plant, Soil & Environ. Science