About iUP

Message from Faculty Members

prof tsutsumi photo.JPGYoshio Tsutsumi
Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences

Hello everyone!

I am a mathematician, and I teach mathematics courses for Kyoto iUP. I would like to start by asking the following question: "Will you dare to spread your wings and fly?" I wished that I could fly high in the sky when I read the novel "Jonathan Livingstone Seagull" by Richard Bach in my university days. It is a story about a seagull who wishes to fly for flying's sake, and does not think of flying as a tool for survival in everyday life. Of course, flying in the sky is a metaphor for freedom. The novel was a best seller around the world. Over forty years have passed since then. To tell the truth, I am not sure how high I have been able to fly, but I can definitely say that I am very happy to have spread my wings and tried to fly high in my youth.

Kyoto iUP will help you to groom your wings before spreading them, and Kyoto University will give you opportunities to fly high in the sky. Through the Kyoto iUP courses, you will be able to bridge the gap between the ways you learned in high school in your home country and the study of your major at Kyoto University. Mathematics is a good tool to describe models for natural science and social science, and studying mathematics is a good way to practice reasoning. Mathematical reasoning will be helpful for your career, no matter what you major in.

I hope you will spread your wings and fly high in the sky, and I look forward to meeting you in my mathematics class as students of Kyoto iUP.

Message_Prof.Kim.jpgのサムネイル画像Chul-Woo Kim
Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences
Professor, Dept. of Civil and Earth Resources Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering

One day I received a request from the Kyoto iUP to write a piece for prospective international students. No doubt I was asked to do this because I have been attempting to educate both international students and Japanese students for global workplace since Kyoto University started an international course for Civil Engineering in 2011.

I clearly remember when I first joined a Japanese university as a visiting researcher in 1996. I was thinking at that time I could survive everywhere in the world If I could speak English. However, it turned out to be a disaster later. The real challenge was to survive outside campus without Japanese language skill. But I soon overcame the uneasiness thanks to many Japanese friends around me. When I realized, strangely enough, I was enjoying talking with Japanese friends not in English but in Japanese.

Since then whenever I accept international students in my laboratory, it reminds me of my first time in Japan.

In my laboratory, almost half of members are international who rarely speak Japanese, but the laboratory is functioning very well, and researches have been progressed very smoothly thanks to active exchange between researchers and students, regardless of their ethnicities, religion, experiences. They know very well about importance of learning from differences and of teaching one another. Therefore, I am very keen about importance of diversity to make our society sustainable even including Kyoto University.

Faculty of Kyoto University also well recognize importance of diversity and of learning from differences, which is a driving force for the Kyoto iUP. In the frame work of diversity and sustainability, we are seeking talented and motivated international students who have challenging spirits. We provide every aspect of knowledge here in Kyoto iUP, which will be the engine of your success and nurture your hopes. I believe you will accomplish your dream in Kyoto University through Kyoto iUP, if you have challenging and creative minds.

We are ready to welcome you. Now the ball is in your court.

Photo_Prof. Yoden.jpgShigeo Yoden
Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences

Hello everyone!

I joined the Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences in April 2020 and I am teaching an advanced physics class in the preparatory course of Kyoto iUP program. This bridges the gap between the physics students learn in high school in their respective countries and the physics they learn in their first year at Kyoto University. Using past questions from the Kyoto University entrance exam as teaching materials, the class is designed to help students to make transition from a learning style of choosing the correct answer in a short time to one of thinking carefully and deeply and deriving the answer logically. From this year, we will also be introducing a practical element to learning physics in Japanese, and will be using both Japanese and English in the classroom.

As a mentor, talking to the students reminds me of my two-year stay as a JSPS visiting scholar at the University of Washington in the USA over three decades ago. In addition to my research activities at the department, I became good friends with my colleagues through various sports such as jogging, swimming, skiing and sailing. Since then, we have kept in close contact with each other. I hope you will also be able to enjoy such a pleasant university life and develop your student exchange as well as your studies under Kyoto iUP program.

Prof.Kawai2018_350.jpgJunko Kawai
Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dear prospective students of Kyoto iUP,

I am Junko Kawai, a professor at the Education Center for Japanese Language and Culture (ECJLC), Kyoto University. I would like to wholeheartedly welcome you to Kyoto iUP.

If you are considering Kyoto iUP or already planning to apply, you might be a bit nervous about your language ability and coming to Japan for undergraduate study. Please do not be afraid! We, all the staff of ECJLC, are here to work with you. As long as you take initiative and keep a positive spirit, and the more you try to use Japanese, the more natural this foreign language will become to you.

Learning the language is not only a tool for communication, but it will also help deepen your understanding of Japanese culture and local people. It will help you make local friends, and you might find that it will also enhance your awareness of your own culture, yourself, and your educational goals.

With Kyoto iUP, you will have ample opportunities to learn about Japanese culture and society as well. Kyoto University is located in Kyoto, the heartland of the ancient traditions that make Japanese culture so distinctive. At the same time, Kyoto is a dynamic and innovative city. Regardless of the academic field you choose, you will be enriched by the time you spend in this city and in this country.

I am looking forward to seeing you in Kyoto University in the near future.

Asc.Prof.Sasaki_02.jpgYuki Sasaki
Associate Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences

Hello, everyone! My name is Yuki Sasaki, and I'm in charge of Japanese language and Japanese cultural education in the preparatory course of Kyoto iUP.

I believe that students who visit this website are interested in learning Japanese. If you are learning Japanese, wouldn't it be great to be able to communicate with Japanese people and people from other countries using Japanese?

That said, no matter how much grammar you study, it won't be easy for you to be able to communicate effectively. You need to know when a certain expression should be used and the meaning and nuances of that expression. In my classes, I try to design lessons so that students learn the significance and nuances of the language through classroom activities. For example, if we are dealing with a certain type of conversation, you can learn what meaning and nuances can be communicated through that type of conversation in the context of Japanese culture.

I believe that language skill, ultimately, is the ability to articulate one's thoughts and opinions in an appropriate manner. Our mission is to help students achieve a bright future.

To all students desiring to expand their horizons, we look forward to receiving your application.

Prof Yamato2.JPGYuko Yamato
Associate Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences

Hello, everyone. My name is Yuko Yamato. I'm in charge of Japanese language education for Kyoto iUP students.

Every Japanese learner has their own goal when learning Japanese. In the case of Kyoto iUP students, the goal is to become able to study your major in Japanese. Achieving such a goal is not easy, but I believe you can attain the level of Japanese skill that you want, and supporting your Japanese learning is my mission within Kyoto iUP.

Before joining Kyoto University, I worked as a program coordinator for a preparatory education program for international students at the undergraduate level. Many of the students who joined the program started to learn Japanese from hiragana and katakana after coming to Japan. In addition to that, they needed to study many Japanese technical terms in their major fields. It must have been a tough challenge for them, but all of the students improved their Japanese competence during the preparatory education program period, and went on to successfully study their majors at national universities in Japan. That's why I am sure you can also do it if you have the motivation to study as a Kyoto iUP student.

Regardless of your major, studying in Japan will be a valuable experience for you. Learning with Japanese students and other international students will be useful in helping you to cultivate new perspectives.

I will be happy if I can support you in gaining the courage to take an important step toward your dream. I look forward to seeing you at Kyoto University.

2019ss_IUP_05052.JPGYukinori Okada
Senior Lecturer, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences

Thank you for visiting our web site!

Kyoto University is famous for its school tradition of liberalism. What is this "liberalism"? Let's show a specific example. One day, a bright idea flashed into your mind, but most scientists ridiculed it, "it can't be" and "it's no way." In such a situation, you might feel depressed and abandon the "no way" idea. In our university, however, you can research it without any hesitation until you are satisfied. Our university even encourages you. Kyoto University provides you with an environment where both you can boldly challenge to difficult problems whatever you are interested in, and you can research thinking outside the box. Because of the "liberalism," many researchers who are Kyoto University graduates won great prizes such as Nobel Prize.

Some of you may be anxious about living in Japan rather than studying. There are many international students from various areas at Kyoto University. You are sure to find the senior students from your region. You can always ask Kyoto iUP's staff members for advice if you have worries about your student life, e.g., study, course, dormitory, move, paperwork for public office, and so on. Advising services for international students by experienced professionals such as doctors and clinical psychologists are also available. There is a clinic on our campus, so there is nothing to worry about if you get sick.

We look forward to hitting the ball back from your court!

prof akuzawa photo.JPGKoyo Akuzawa
Senior Lecturer, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences

Hi, I'm Koyo Akuzawa, one of the Japanese language teachers at Kyoto University. If you are considering studying in Japan, the Kyoto iUP program is a great choice. All you need is enthusiasm for academic study. Japanese proficiency is not required at the time of enrollment, as you will be provided with an intensive Japanese course before enrolling in the undergraduate program.

It is challenging to step into an academic world where a non-familiar language is spoken, but I assure you it's worth the effort. You may be anxious about the problems that you'll face, but the professors and staff members will be always ready to support you. Also, you'll find a good bunch of talented friends to study with.

By the way, have you ever thought about the value of learning Japanese? You may come up with the following things: you can communicate with Japanese people, you can gain a deep insight into Japanese culture, and you can obtain new perspectives. They are all benefits of learning Japanese! But equally importantly, you can provide Japanese people, including me and the Japanese students at Kyoto University, with a great number of things, such as your knowledge and your perspective. The contribution that you can make by learning Japanese is incredibly valuable. That's one of the reasons I hope to help you to improve your Japanese!

I'm looking forward to seeing you at Kyoto University.

prof kawachi photo.JPGAyaka Kawachi
Senior Lecturer, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences

Hello everyone!

My name is Ayaka Kawachi. I teach Japanese at the Education Center for Japanese Language and Culture. Before I joined Kyoto University, I taught Japanese as an elementary-level coordinator to international students studying in English-based degree programs in Japan. I saw many students who didn't continue studying Japanese at an intermediate level because it was difficult for them to keep working on their respective majors, as well as a Japanese course.

The Japanese language education provided by Kyoto iUP aims to help students acquire sufficient Japanese language proficiency to study specialized subjects at the undergraduate level. A preparatory course is provided in the first six months to help accomplish this. The professors teaching the core subjects and those teaching Japanese language work together to provide the best possible program. Even if you have never studied Japanese before, you can join us! The preparatory course is designed to help students with little or no Japanese proficiency acquire intermediate-to-advanced level Japanese.

This might be hard work, but if you have the motivation and determination to succeed, we will support you with everything we've got. Also, overcoming difficult challenges together with fellow students from all over the world will help you forge new and lasting friendships. I hope you will join us and discover a whole new world.

I am looking forward to seeing you at Kyoto University!