J-PAC (Japan Program at Chiba) is offered to undergraduate students from academic institutions with which Chiba University has university-level student exchange agreements, and whose academic interest is in the area of Japanese culture and society. J-PAC is divided into two programs; International Liberal Arts Program, which offers to students irrespective of their area of specialization, and Japanese Studies Program, which is designed for students who specialize in Japanese studies at their universities. Both can accommodate students for four terms, i.e. for two semesters from October to early August, for two terms either from October to February (i.e. Fall semester) or from April to early August (i.e. Spring semester).
Applicants should send their completed applications through their home institutions.
Note that J-PAC is NOT a language course for students whose only aim is to improve their Japanese language skills.
International Liberal Arts Programme This program welcomes students from science and engineering as well as students from humanities. Students can choose subjects according to their interests and concerns. Courses are offered to attain the following four goals:
A number of courses will be offered in English, including courses where both Japanese and English will be used, and especially for international students so the student will be able to select courses that match his/her language level. The courses offered in this program feature collaborative learning, where classes are split into smaller groups, in which students collaborate and learn from each other while working on a given task, thus making classes of their own.
Japanese Studies Programme. Students can take Japanese language courses according to their levels of proficiency and attend courses in Japanese Studies together with Japanese undergraduate students. They can also choose from a variety of specialized lectures and seminars offered at different faculties depending on their interests, concerns and Japanese language levels.
At the same time, students are expected to carry out their own research projects using the Japanese language. They are advised to take Research Work (Humanities) A and B, the courses specifically designed to help them pursue their research projects, and submit a research paper, or to enrol in a project-type course, such as work on preparing an exhibition leaflet at the National Museum of Japanese History in the student's native languages (Research Work (Humanities) C and D). In either case the students gain an active learning experience, which goes far beyond acquiring knowledge in the classroom.
The students are encouraged to participate in the Universal Festival, an event where students from different areas of the world introduce their countries and cultures to the audience, and to engage in joint events with Japanese primary schools in the vicinity of Chiba University. Both projects help the students practice how to deliver their thoughts in the Japanese language, and are meant to broaden their relationships with the local Japanese community.
Those students who are interested in and want to focus on a specific area of Japanese studies with the intent to pursue their academic interests in the future may apply for funding (scholarship) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT). We accept six students recommended by embassies. Note that Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship (nikkensei) can only enrol from October to August in the following year (eleven months).
Chiba has an International Support Desk (ISD) offering support to students with questions or in need of advice regarding everyday-life issues. This is part of the Integrated Student Support Center that offers student counselling.
One of the advantages of living in the Chiba area is that living expenses are not as high as in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, though they are located very close to each other.
Note that it is not customary to tip in Japan. For example, you do not need to tip at restaurants or taxi drivers. Refer to the following table to get an idea of how much things cost to plan your budget.
Trains are the major means of transportation in Japan. Transit network systems in city areas are complex but very efficient and punctual. During commuting hours, trains are extremely crowded especially in metropolitan areas.
Fares generally depend on how far you travel. You must purchase a ticket at a ticket vending machine before you ride the train. If you are a frequent train user, you might want to purchase a prepaid electronic pass, Suica or PASMO, which saves you the trouble of buying a ticket every time you travel. If you are a degree-seeking student (either undergraduate or graduate student) and use trains to commute, you are eligible to apply for the student discount commuting pass (Teiki-ken).
The bus transportation network is also quite extensive in city areas and very punctual. Each bus stop has a unique name, usually named after the area or a nearby landmark. On the bus, an announcement will tell you the next bus stop. The fare can be paid using Suica or PASMO for most bus services in city areas; the fare is paid before or after riding, depending on the route.
Chiba-U is located in the prefecture of the same name. The area has been a major center of worldwide soy sauce production since the Edo period and remains the top producer in Japan with Kikkoman headquartered in Noda.