Program Details

The Illinois Year-in-Japan Program offers students the opportunity to develop their Japanese language skills and expand their knowledge of Japan through the intensive language program and Japan studies courses in Kobe.
Location:
Kobe, Japan
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Academic Year, Fall Semester, Spring Semester

Program Overview

Program Description:

The Illinois Year-in-Japan (YiJ) Program offers students the opportunity to spend a life-changing fall or spring semester or an academic year developing their Japanese language skills and expanding their knowledge of Japan through the intensive language program and Japan studies courses. Classroom learning is enhanced by living with host families, field trips to historical sites, and various social activities. The program, which boasts a long and successful history, is administered by the University of Illinois’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures for a consortium of American universities that includes the University of Arizona, the University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa, and the University of Pittsburgh. YiJ is housed in the Konan International Exchange Center of Konan University in Kobe, thirty minutes from Osaka and an hour from Kyoto, the classical capital of Japan. Since the launch of the program in 1976, YiJ has served over 600 students from universities in the U.S. Any university student is welcome to apply.

Additional Program Information

Scholarships:
Yes

Program Reviews

Overall Rating

5.0

Based on 16 Reviews

  • Best Thing You'll Ever Do
    5.0
    03/13/20

    At the beginning of the application process, I admit I wasn't so sure if I was ready enough to go on a study abroad trip like this. But I"m so glad that I took a chance and went, because it was the most unforgettable experience of my life. My host family

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    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • It is more than you could imagine
    5.0
    10/29/19

    Everything that you have here is more than what you could ever imagine. Academically, it is a happy experience, but never an easy one. You will be placed in one of the several levels after an exam. Do not worry about whether you did good or not because

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • An Amazing Adventure Time
    5.0
    09/28/19

    I participated in the Year-in-Japan program in 2019 spring. Although the five-month period is not long, I have had a wonderful life every day. YiJ is already a well-established, mature program, so you can get a colorful experience and enough support

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    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • An Amazing Opportunity to Learn About Japan and Yourself
    5.0
    09/23/19

    Hi! My name is Miriam, and I attended the Year in Japan Program (YiJ) for the 2016-2017 academic year. Overall I can’t express enough how much it helped me towards my personal and academic goals. The combination of daily language classes and living

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • A Great Learning & Personal Growth Experience
    5.0
    09/08/19

    My name is Monica, and I was a part of the YIJ program in the Fall semester of 2018 (September-December). There are many great things about this program, such as the Host Family option, and Intensive Japanese language courses (with great teachers!). However,

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Wonderful Experience in Japan!
    5.0
    08/30/19

    Hello! My name is Zoe, and I’m a senior with a major in East Asian Languages and Cultures and a minor in Informatics. I wanted to do the study abroad in Japan for several reasons: I wanted to improve my Japanese, learn about and experience Japanese

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • The Best Way to Experience Japan
    5.0
    08/22/19

    I was one of the 30-ish exchange students at Konan University in fall 2017. It was a very fun and unique experience overall. I believe we all have some sort of stereotype views about Japan. Most of them are pretty much accurate, but you really can't

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Don't just travel Japan. Live it.
    5.0
    08/16/19

    I went on the Year in Japan (YiJ) program my senior year of college (2015-2016) and it was by far the best year of my college career. Hesitant to be away from home for a long period of time, I was actually only planning to do half of the YiJ program (i.e.

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Great Experience
    5.0
    08/15/19

    Going abroad is usually a very rewarding experience no matter where you go, and the YIJ program is no exception. However, it is easy to have a bad experience if the program itself is not organized properly or the staff are not helpful. I was happy to

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Cool Times in Kobe
    5.0
    08/12/19

    I’m not a huge fan of traveling, so at the outset of my college experience I hadn’t even considered studying abroad, but by chance I wound up spending a semester in the Year in Japan program, and I am so glad that I did. While in this program, you

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    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • The Most Fun and Rewarding Adventure of My Life
    5.0
    08/10/19

    I can easily and confidently say that participating in the Year in Japan Program has been the greatest, bravest, and perhaps craziest decision I've ever made. Dare I risk sounding cliche and say it was life-changing? I can't imagine myself now without

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Year In Japan
    5.0
    08/08/19

    My time doing YiJ was arguably the most fulfilling experience I have ever had. This program definitely helped me develop a number of skills useful for navigating life in Japan and encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. My host family was incredibly

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Fun and enriching experience
    5.0
    08/01/19

    I studied abroad through the Year-in-Japan program for Fall 2018 and could not have been happier with my experience. One of the things that make the Year-in-Japan Program stand out is that it’s based in Kobe, without doubt a city brimming with charm

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Best year of my life
    5.0
    07/31/19

    As the title says, the year in Japan was the most fulfilling and exciting year of my life. The program provides you with plenty of freedom to do what you want outside of class, but at the same time, the faculty are very helpful and will not hesitate you

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • Great people make a great program!
    5.0
    07/17/19

    My favorite part of the Year-in-Japan program is the people who make the program possible. Just to mention a few, the staff are always caring and professional. The instructors are knowledgeable and enthusiastic in teaching. Living with a Japanese host

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
  • My Time in Japan on YIJ
    5.0
    07/17/19

    I was on the Year-in-Japan program in the Spring of 2017 and it was a huge part of my college experience as well as why I came to Japan after college on the JET Program. The program is a great way to experience Japan, make Japanese friends, and learn

     read more
    Bottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
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