Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University


International Programs

Gateway Program (8-Week Intensive Japanese Language Program)

Click here for 4-Week Program
4-Week Gateway Program

*2020 Summer APU Gateway Program has been cancelled.

Program Overview


May 28th (Thu) - July 31st (Fri), 2020

Program Hours

The Gateway Program Japanese Course is a 6-credit language subject which meets 12 times a week. Activities and field trips are scheduled during the week and on the weekends.


– Weekend home (farm) stay
– Overnight trip to Nagasaki (Atomic Bombed city)
– Elementary school visit
– Theme-based interviews with locals
– Scavenger hunt in Beppu city
– Hot spring steam-cooking experience (Jigoku-Mushi)
– Yukata (Japanese traditional clothing) experience
– Tea ceremony
– Calligraphy and more!


Applicants must meet one of the following two requirements:

  1. Applicant must be enrolled in a Japanese or overseas university, or an equivalent institution of higher education, for a period encompassing the date of application and the date of program completion, or must have graduated from a university or equivalent institution of higher education.
  2. Applicant must be a graduate of a high school or other secondary education institution, or must have completed 12 years of schooling in a foreign country, or equivalent schooling, and must be scheduled to enroll in a two-year college or four-year university in Japan or another country.

* In the case of 2, applicants are required to submit additional application documents.

[English requirements for non-native English speakers]

500 or above 61 or above 700 or above 5.5 or above

Number of Participants

Minimum number of participants is 9.
*If the number of participants is less than 9, the program will be cancelled.

Discover Oita, Japan

No. 1 Hot Spring in Japan. (Oita Promotional Video)

Program Schedule (Sample)

Period Time Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri
1st 8:45 - 10:20 Japanese Japanese Japanese Japanese Japanese
2nd 10:35 - 12:10 Japanese Japanese Japanese Japanese Japanese
3rd 12:25 - 14:00 Cultural Activity
4th 14:15 - 15:50 Japanese Japanese

Japanese Level

Level Target Students
Beginner ~ Elementary Students studying Japanese for the first time.
Pre-intermediate Students who have completed approximately 150 hours of Japanese study, are proficient in reading and writing hiragana and katakana, and can recognize approximately 150 kanji characters.
Intermediate For students who have completed 300 hours and can read and write approximately 300 kanji characters.


An additional aim of the Japanese class is for students to deepen their understanding of Japanese culture. During your time at APU, you can expect to take part in a range of different cultural activities including Japanese tea ceremony and calligraphy. Previous students have also visited local schools and interacted with members of the community. If you prefer extracurricular activities with more of an academic focus, there are also optional courses you can take.


Tea Ceremony




School Visit

Overnight Trip to Nagasaki

You will make a short overnight trip to Nagasaki during the program.
This trip will allow you to see a different part of Japan and help you understand the various cultures and historical backgrounds present in the country.


Weekend Home (Farm) Stay Trip

You will stay with a local family which would not otherwise have the opportunity to meet people from different countries. Because most of the host families operate farms, you will be able to experience farming life, traditional home cooking, and a variety of other activities unique to rural Japan.


Application Information

(Download) Application Information Handbook

Nov, 2019 -
Mar, 2020

Click here to apply!

  • Online ApplicationNovember 22nd, 2019 – March 16th, 2020
  • ・*Screening Fee (11,750 JPY) PaymentMust arrive by March 16th
  • ・Submitting Application Documents by mailMust arrive by March 16th
  • To:
    Gateway Program Team,
    Academic Office,
    Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
    1-1 Jumonjibaru, Beppu, Oita, 874-8577 Japan
    TEL: + 81-977-78-1101

*In the event of cancellation of the program, the screening fee of 11,750 JPY will be refunded. The bank transfer fee incurred when you paid the screening fee will not be included.

  • ・Application DeadlineMonday, March 16th
  • ・Screening
  • ・Screening Result NotificationTuesday, March 31st
  • ・Program Fee (533,250 JPY) PaymentWednesday, April 15th
  • ・Medical Consent Form SubmissionWednesday, April 15th
  • ・Online Pre-survey SubmissionWednesday, April 15th
  • ・Overseas Medical Insurance Purchase
  • ・Dispatch of Admission Approval and Pre-departure Package
May 26-27
  • ・Check-in to AP House 3
May 28
  • ・Program starts!
  • ・Orientation



Gateway Program Instructor


ABD (Completed course work and Comprehensive Exam of PhD in Japanese Linguistics), University of Wisconsin-Madison

[Teaching Experience]

University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Iowa
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

[Research Interest]

Japanese Conversation Analysis, Japanese Linguistics, Japanese Pedagogy


Now that you decide you want to study Japanese in Japan, how do you want to do it? Outside of the classroom, do you want to do sightseeing in the cosmopolitan big cities, just as you do as a tourist? Or, do you want to make life-long Japanese friends who are interested in your culture and to spend your weekend by a local farmhouse, talking with the family all night? If it is the latter, Gateway Program is for you. You will have precious opportunities for studying Japanese in intensive Japanese classes, participating cultural activities, as well as communicating with local people. We, experienced instructors, help you for that purpose, by paying special attention to each of you as a Japanese learner and an individual. Our goal is to bring your Japanese proficiency and understanding of Japanese culture up to the next, advanced level, in the authentic, local setting in Beppu, Oita. The Japanese students on APU campus are very interested in foreign cultures, which promotes exchange between you and them, as well. We are looking forward to seeing you!


Gateway Program Instructor


MA in Japanese, University of Wisconsin-Madison
BA in English and English, American Literature, Nara Women’s University

[Teaching Experience]

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Vanderbilt University
Harvard University

[Research Interest]

Japanese linguistics, language teaching, pedagogy, second language acquisition


Welcome to the APU Gateway Program! If you are looking for a place to learn Japanese language and culture as well as experience something unique and different during the summer, then our Gateway Program is the right place for you. You will be able to create unforgettable memories. I am very excited to work and learn with you, and I am looking forward to seeing you at APU in Beppu!


Gateway Program Instructor


M.A., University of Iowa (Japanese Pedagogy)

[Teaching Experience]

Kansai Gaidai University
*Summer programs:
-Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University: Gateway Program
-St. Edward’s University: Summer Program at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
-Middlebury College: Language School
-The University of Alabama: Summer Program at Kansai Gaidai University
-University of Iowa: Summer Program
-Central Connecticut State University: Modern Pacific Asia Summer Program

[Research Interest]

Second Language Acquisition, Materials development


I’m sure that you will have a lot of precious experiences and wonderful encounters through this program. You will not only be busy learning the language, but enjoying yourself with many special activities. The location is also a good environment and very attractive. Beppu is a city rich in nature, surrounded by the sea and mountains, and is very famous for the hot spring resort. When you want to refresh yourself you can go to a hot spring and relax, or go to eat delicious local foods. Also, you will have opportunities to visit many interesting places in the Kyushu area. I hope you will choose this program and have a very special time of your life.


Students are guaranteed a single room in AP House 3 which is off-campus university-arranged housing. It takes 10 minutes to APU from the nearest bus stop.

AP House 3


Single room


1st Floor Lounge


Participation Fee

Screening Fees 11,750 JPY
Registration Fees 32,500 JPY
Program Fees (Tuition and Program Activities Fee) 429,000 JPY
Housing Fees 70,000 JPY
Bank Transfer Fees in Japan 1,750 JPY
Total 545,000 JPY

* Meals, airfare, local transportation, medical insurance, and personal expenses are not included in the program fees.

  • You may take one academic course from the College of Asia Pacific Studies (APS) or College of International Management (APM), with a fee of 45,000 JPY per any additional credits.
  • Most APU lecture courses are worth 2 credits (90,000 JPY).


*This scholarship applies to the students from APU’s partner universities only.

APU applies for the JASSO Scholarship in fall for the follow year’s programs. JASSO Scholarship is a benefit-typed scholarship with a monthly stipend of 80,000 yen per month. The results are usually announced in late January, and if the university’s application is accepted, prospective Gateway students can apply for the JASSO Scholarship. Because a limited number of students are awarded this scholarship, students must have enough funds to cover the cost of the entire stay.

You can learn more about the JASSO Scholarship from this link.

Student Voice


I decided to participate in the APU Summer Gateway Program because of my desire to improve my Japanese language skills in an immersive environment, and to explore a part of Japan that is outside of the main tourist cities. My favourite memory from my time here has to be either our overnight trip to Nagasaki, where we got to visit one of the most beautiful cities in Kyushu and eat Nagasaki castella, or the frequent visits to local onsen with my classmates in Beppu. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in this program, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to explore rural Japan, gain confidence in their Japanese language skills, and make unforgettable memories that last a lifetime.


I’ve decided to participate in the programme as I’ve always been interested in Japan and its culture. The best memory is probably the chance to get to know APU students, teachers, and friends who I met at APU. The students were really helpful and friendly. The buddy system incorporated in the programme is a good way for us to be immersed in the experience of what it means to be a true Japanese student in a Japanese university. One of my memorable experiences was the homestay programme as it allowed me to truly experience a Japanese lifestyle with a local Japanese family. The grouping was great, as beginners who were unable to converse as efficiently in Japanese were put in groups with people from different class levels.
Personally, I would recommend APU Gateway Programme to everyone who is interested in experiencing the Japanese lifestyle and culture. It has been a great experience for me, and most exchange programmes last for a few weeks. However, in 2 months, you get to experience most of what you intended to and get to know the culture, town, school, and people as well. I was really glad that I chose APU as my destination, and I’m glad that I’ve met many great friends in the programme.

TANG Yee Ning Elaine (CANADA)

Making the decision to go to APU was one of the best decisions of my life because I loved it there. The people in the Gateway program will be your new best friends for these two months and while the intensity of the program is no joke, I still loved it. The homestay weekend was a highlight for a lot of us in the program because we could spend time with a family and get a sense of what their everyday life was like. I personally really like the countryside so that was a plus as well. Over the weekend, we picked vegetables on the farm, went to the onsen (I didn’t know there were also cold onsen before), visited a lot of temples, got our fortunes told, and ate a lot of good food made by our lovely host mom. We were put into groups of three or four with one of the host families so everyone’s experience was a little different but still amazing nonetheless.

LIM Gerald Wen Yuan (SINGAPORE)

My experience with APU Summer Gateway Program was an immensely fruitful and eye-opening. In the span of 2 months, I learned so much Japanese that I was able to converse comfortably in the basics with my APU buddies, and other Japanese citizens too! The culture of inclusiveness was strongly felt, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with my newfound friends. It was the biggest highlight of my life. I highly recommend this program for anyone interested in Japanese culture!


I’m studying Japanese with the aim of becoming a multilingual translator and, at the time, I really wanted to test my level of Japanese proficiency with native speakers. I enjoyed getting as much as I could out of the Japanese classes. APU is a perfect university for students of differing levels of Japanese proficiency. Furthermore, the culture shock here isn't as hard-hitting because there are a lot of English-speaking international students who can help you, which is also good for students who aren't comfortable with their Japanese just yet. Studying at APU was great and it let me experience a unique international culture that I have never seen before, not even in America.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Does APU offer any scholarships for the Gateway participants?
A: (Students from APU’s partner universities only) APU applies for the JASSO Scholarship in fall for the follow year’s programs. JASSO Scholarship is a benefit-typed scholarship with a monthly stipend of 80,000 yen per month. The results are usually announced in late January, and if the university’s application is accepted, prospective Gateway students can apply for the JASSO Scholarship. Because a limited number of students are awarded this scholarship, students must have enough funds to cover the cost of the entire stay.
To learn more about the JASSO Scholarship, please visit this link.
Q2: When will the application information be posted online?
A: The application information will be updated on our website in November.
Q3: What kind of student clubs/organizations can I participate during the program?
A: We encourage study abroad students to get involved in one or more of our over 160 clubs to enhance their experience, learn something new and simply have fun. To see a list of clubs/organizations, please visit this link.
Q4: Is it possible to transfer credits I acquire at APU to my home institution?
A: If you plan to transfer credits, we advise you to talk to your international office at your home university.
The Summer APU Gateway Program Japanese Course is 6 credit as a language subject with 142 class hours(as of 2019.).

One official transcript will be sent to you in early October. A Certificate of Participation will also be presented to participants who have successfully completed the program.
Q5: Is it possible to send a package to AP house before my arrival?
A: Unfortunately, APU or AP House 3 cannot keep your belongings prior to your arrival in order to avoid the loss or damage.
Q6: Can I use my credit card in Japan?
A: All Post Office ATMs in Japan let you use overseas-issued credit cards. For a full list of card types accepted, refer to the Japan Post website.

The Post Office ATM is located next to Building E (APU cafeteria).

Credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, American Express, JCB) can be used at department stores and major shops, however it can be difficult in small supermarkets and retailers. Cheques are not accepted, and Swift payments at the cash-register of shops using your bank cash-card are not available.
Q7: Where can I exchange money?
A: You can exchange money at the airport, post office and banks. However, we strongly recommended you to bring at least enough cash with you to survive for your first couple of weeks as there are no money exchange services in the vicinity of APU.


The Academic Office
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
TEL: 0977-78-1101
FAX: 0977-78-1102