Japan: Japanese Center for Michigan Universities

A GVSU Internship or Affiliate Program

  • Japan: Japanese Center for Michigan Universities Photo
  • Japan: Japanese Center for Michigan Universities Photo
  • Japan: Japanese Center for Michigan Universities Photo

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Tell me about this program

Open to: All majors

The Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) study abroad program is a product of the strong sister-state relationship between the State of Michigan and Shiga Prefecture. JCMU is located on the shore of Lake Biwa in the City of Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Its programs are dedicated to building relationships between Japanese, Americans and other nationalities through active learning and participation in language, culture, family life and society. JCMU has been welcoming students of all majors since 1989.

Students will register for ten credits of Japanese language and will have the option to register for one or two additional courses focused on Japanese culture, business, or society. JCMU also offers an internship option in Environmental studies during the winter semester. For additional information on the various opportunities through this program, visit the JCMU website at www.isp.msu.edu/jcmu.


Applicants that apply for this program by the deadline will receive an automatic $1,900 scholarship from JCMU.


When can I go?

Academic Year: August -April (Break in December) Apply by Jan. 15, 2013

May Session: May Apply by Jan. 15, 2013

Summer: June - August Apply by Jan. 15, 2013

Fall: August - December Apply by Jan. 15, 2013

Winter: January - April Apply by Sept. 1, 2013


Where will I live?

Students may either live with a Japanese family in a homestay or in the JCMU apartments. Since homestays are an important part of the Japan experience, JCMU arranges homestays of various durations based on family availability and student prefer-ences. Students may, for example, live for one month in the Center apartments and stay one month with a family, or live for the whole semester in the Center and spend an occasional weekend with a family.

Student apartments are designed for double occupancy, each with a private bedroom/study and shared kitchen and bath-room. Each apartment is separately metered for utilities, including telephones. The residential building also contains a new computer lab, laundry, television room, weight room, and lounge. It is part of a larger JCMU complex including an academic building and a traditional Japanese garden overlooking Lake Biwa.


Who is eligible to participate?

Students must be degree-seeking and have completed at least one semester at GVSU. JCMU requires that applicants have achieved a grade point average of 2.5 or higher.


How do I apply?

To apply for this program, log on to www.gvsu.edu/oasis to begin your online application.

What credits will I receive?

For details on the courses available through this program visit: www.isp.msu.edu/JCMU. Students interested in this program will be required to secure faculty approval for the courses they wish to take at the host institution. For a list of course equivalencies for this program, visit the PIC website at: www.gvsu.edu/studyabroad

The process for securing approval for the courses you wish you take is:


(1) Print the description of the course(s) you are interested in taking at the host institution

(2) Arrange to meet with the chair of the relevant academic department from which you want credit.

(3) Present the Study Abroad Credit Form and the host institution course description to the department chair and ask him/her to complete the Study Abroad Credit Form indicating the GVSU course equivalency. Students can also secure departmental approval via email. Please forward all email approvals to Chris Borda at: bordac@gvsu.edu.


If you have questions regarding this process, contact the Padnos International Center.


Course Equivalency Guide

How much does the program cost?

Program Fee: $8,380

  • Housing
  • Tuition
  • Course materials
  • Health insurance
Other Expenses
  • Misc. Expenses ($1,750)
  • Meals ($1,500)
  • Airfare ($1,400)
  • Passport/Visa ($160)

TOTAL PROJECTED COST PER SEMESTER (Program Fee + Other Expenses) = $13,190 (With JCMU Scholarship)

Additional Program Cost Information

* Cost also reflects the automatic $1,900 JCMU Scholarship available to GVSU students who apply by the deadline.

**Based on projected costs for 2011-2012. The cost of any study abroad program depends to a large extent on the partici-pant’s personal spending habits and lifestyle. Personal travel, entertainment, gifts, souvenirs, and other types of personal spending are costs not reflected in the above estimates.


Summer Program: 

Program Fee: $7,520 * (includes housing, tuition, course materials and health insurance)

Misc.Expenses: $1,000 (passport, local travel & other basic living expenses)

Meals: $800 

Airfare: $1,400


TOTAL PROJECTED SUMMER PROGRAM COST: $10,720** With JCMU apartment (see JCMU website for homestay information)


Financial Aid

Many types of financial aid, such as loans, grants and scholarships, are available to GVSU students and can be used for meeting the cost of this program. All GVSU students in good academic standing are eligible to apply for loans. Early application for financial aid is strongly recommended.



STUDY ABROAD GRANT: Students who complete an online study abroad application by the designated priority deadline may be eligible for a study abroad grant, ranging from $500-$2,500 per semester. Grant funding is limited. The average study abroad grant award is approximately $500 per semester. Visit the PIC website at: www.gvsu.edu/studyabroad for details on this grant.

PARTNERSHIP GRANT: The Padnos International Center will provide (2) $1,000 Partnership Grants for the 2012-13 academic year (excludes sum-mer). If more than two students apply for this program, decisions on awards will be made based on the strength of a student’s study abroad application and financial need. Students may be eligible for more than $1,000, but two applicants will receive a minimum of $1,000 in grant support. Decisions on awards will be made following the deadline for applications.


JCMU SCHOLARSHIP: Applicants that apply for this program by the deadline will receive an automatic $1,900 scholarship from JCMU.


Visit www.gvsu.edu/studyabroad for information on other grants and scholarships. 


Who can tell me more?

Visit the Padnos International Center at 130 Lake Ontario Hall. Monday through Friday, 8am - 5pm and Wednesday until 7pm for more information.

JCMU website: www.isp.msu.edu/JCMU



The Padnos International Center (PIC) believes study abroad is a profound educational experience that should be accessible to all. PIC works to support students from a variety of backgrounds, encompassing ethnicity, gender orientation and expression, socioeconomic circumstances, non-traditional students, and persons with disabilities.


Semester Cost Comparison

Study abroad program costs vary depending on the program and location you choose to study. The following will provide a comparison between average semester costs at Japan Center for Michigan Universities and Grand Valley State University:




Grand Valley State University



Estimated Cost Difference



Learning Outcome

  • Participants will adapt to a different higher education system by participating in full-time studies along with Japanese and international students. With instruction provided by JCMU faculty, students will have the opportunity to engage in a different academic environment which promotes learning by utilizing different teaching methods and assessment, establishing different expectations, and by offering different disciplinary perspectives.
  • Participants will adapt to different cultural norms and expectations by living in the JCMU community and through exploration of Hikone. Students will have access to various opportunities, which will foster cross-cultural learning and exchange.
  • Participants will study Japanese language and culture which will deepen their knowledge and understanding of the host culture.
  • Participants will gain an understanding of the interdependence of our global society.
  • Participants will gain insights into their home culture by being immersed in the host culture.

All program information including courses, duration of program, dates, and other logistics are subject to change. Programs may be cancelled due to extenuating circumstances.