The Reconnaissance Japan Program is an academic program for exchange students from overseas partner institutions, as well as selected individual applicants, who wish to learn about, and personally experience, Japan. Students may participate in Reconnaissance Japan for either a single semester or an academic year. The program offers Japanese language skills and training courses from the introductory to advanced levels. A wide variety of culture and civilization courses on Japan taught in English are also offered each semester. Reconnaissance Japan allows students from other countries to learn about and experience Japan within the supportive environment of J. F. Oberlin University's Center for International Studies.
The academic year at J. F. Oberlin consists of two fifteen-week semesters. Spring Semester begins in early April and concludes in early August. Fall Semester begins in mid-September and concludes in late January. There is a one-month summer vacation between the two semesters, a two-week winter vacation from late December through early January, and a two-month spring vacation after the conclusion of Fall Semester in January. Participants in Reconnaissance Japan may arrive in either Spring or Fall, and may continue their studies for either a single semester or an entire academic year (two semesters). (For further information, please see eligibility requirements.) Students continuing for a full academic year may use the long summer or spring break between semesters for sight-seeing or other independent activities. It is also possible to use the break for conducting fieldwork for credit in some areas of Japanese Studies. Students interested in pursuing fieldwork may design a suitable project after arriving at J. F. Oberlin in consultation with faculty advisors and the Office of International Programs.
Typically, participants in the Reconnaissance Japan Program enroll in J. F. Oberlin's Japanese language program (usually 5-8 credits) plus two to three academic content courses (usually 4 credits per course) per semester. Students with exceptional Japanese-language skills may also enroll in any of the regular courses taught in Japanese in one or more of J. F. Oberlin's academic departments. (A few of the regular courses are also open to students without extensive Japanese language background.) Please be aware that if a student registers for less than 10 credits a semester, his/her student visa will be revoked.
Participants in the Reconnaissance Japan Program can choose to:
- Live in a homestay with a Japanese family
- Live in Fuchinobe International House (student residence hall)
- Or make their own living arrangements.
Homestay arrangements will be made by the Office of International Programs (OIP), in accordance with the preferences of each student.
Quite apart from formal and informal activities at J. F. Oberlin, Reconnaissance Japan Program participants will also find plenty to do off campus. Machida City, the Tokyo suburb where J. F. Oberlin is located, is a lively, upbeat town which is neither too big nor too small. In Machida are up-scale department stores, discount shops, small shops selling traditional goods such as tea or kimonos and quiet coffee shops that feature all-you-can-eat lunch hours. Machida is a young city, and its economy is geared towards the college crowd. Machida is also convenient in terms of location. Well-served by trains, it provides easy access to downtown Tokyo as well as nearby mountains and beaches. The Odakyu commuter rail line, which has an express stop in Machida, runs between Shinjuku—the new power center of Tokyo—and Odawara and the Izu resort area. The Yokohama Line runs from Hachioji and Mt. Takao with its Tokugawa period shrines, to Yokohama with its Chinatown and trendy shopping areas. For those who want to travel to Kyoto and beyond, the Yokohama Line also offers access to Japan's famed "bullet train" (Shinkansen) from Shin-Yokohama station.
J.F. Oberlin University will provide one tuition scholarship per semester, determined by a separate scholarship application process.