About iUP

Message from Faculty Members

Shinji Hasebe
Kyoto iUP Program Manager
Professor,Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciencesphoto_0160 up.JPG

Hello everyone!

Kyoto iUP is a special program that does not request Japanese language ability at the application point.
And through the intensive Japanese language training, students gradually obtain the Japanese skill, and finally they are expected to take the same major curriculum for undergraduates with Japanese students. As the program manager of Kyoto iUP, I am responsible for managing the preparatory course so that all the students in the course take the skills on Japanese and the natural and social sciences enough for starting the undergraduate study. Though the course work is very tough, all the professors will support your study in the half-year preparatory course.

In addition to the task of the program manager, I am teaching mathematics in the preparatory course. The knowledge of mathematics is crucial to understand all field of science. The curriculum of mathematics is fairly different from country to country. Thus, the purpose of the preparatory course of mathematics is to supply the knowledge that is lacking to the foreign students so that they can understand the contents of the undergraduate course program at Kyoto University. I request the preparatory course students to have the knowledge and skill to solve at least the EJU (Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students) level problems at the end of the preparatory course.

20181203iup_0021_350.jpgTakenao Yoshizaki
Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences

This semester, I am teaching physics in the preparatory course of Kyoto iUP. Sharing time with talented overseas students is a new and fascinating experience for me.

One of the main purposes of my classes is to fill gaps between the curriculum of Japan and that of the students' countries. I have certain knowledge about the problems related to Japanese university entrance exams, since I had been a part-time instructor before landing a steady job at Kyoto University. In the course of preparation for my iUP classes, I examined well-known standardized tests such as the SAT, and have come to realize the notable difference in test question types between those tests and the Japanese ones. The former mainly checks basic knowledge, while the latter requires applications to classic examples of some types.

Although there seems to be some technical difficulties with handling such Japanese tests even for talented students, it is only a matter of customs. We are assisting them, and those of you who are planning to join Kyoto iUP, to overcome the difficulties and are looking forward to seeing you in the near future.

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. Sato.jpgToru Sato
Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences

Disaster of COVID-19 drastically changed the way the world works. Instead of physical traffic between people being severely restricted, a vast amount of online interaction developed in a very short period of time. As for education, online learning, as represented by MOOCs, will become increasingly important in the future. At the same time, however, we have been reminded of the importance of face-to-face classes, which we used to take for granted. The same can be said for language learning. No matter how advanced the automatic translation technology becomes, we can understand a culture only when we are able to think in its language.

Kyoto iUP opens the door to Japan to the world's brightest high school students by breaking down the Japanese language barrier at the entry stage. By studying together in Kyoto with classmates from all over the world, we hope to nurture and send out to the world a new generation of leaders who are exposed to the advanced research and education of Kyoto University together with a deep understanding of the culture of this city with its long tradition. Learning a specialized field and a new language at the same time is a big challenge, but we are ready to support those who have the strong will to overcome it.

I look forward to meeting you here in Kyoto in the near future.

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.Ruchira2018_350.jpgRuchira Palihawadana
Professor, Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences

A Stepping Stone to the Future

Some surveys say that Japanese is one of the most difficult languages to learn (e.g.: Language Difficulty Ranking by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute). However, through the pursuit of learning Japanese, you will definitely master an art of communication which is rich in strategies for conveying consideration and respect towards others. Moreover, through the pursuit of such studies, you will be able to acquire information speedily and efficiently, by associating symbols used in Japanese writing with sounds and meanings in a relatively direct way. Your learning will introduce you to Japanese 'ways' of philosophy and culture, some of which are closely related to the academic pursuits of Kyoto University.

2,732 international students from 113 countries and regions study at Kyoto University (as of May 1, 2019). You can join them in Japanese classes to compare their languages and cultures with yours, not to mention with those of Japan. Such activities will provide you with opportunities to acquire not only international friends and a global network, but also a multilateral way of thinking. We hope that you will join us in this highly diverse intellectual environment and take this opportunity to broaden your horizons through the Kyoto University International Undergraduate 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.

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!