Curriculum

Culture Classes

Participants have a wide range of choices for learning Japanese culture. The culture classes are taught by qualified and well-experienced instructors.

  • Calligraphy
  • Flower arrangement
  • Folk music & Japanese traditional musical instruments
  • Igo
  • Japanese cooking
  • Japanese dance
  • Kimono culture & etiquette
  • Koto (Japanese harp)
  • Tea ceremony
  • Traditional confectionery making

Activities in the Local Community

Many of the optional activities allow participants to meet local Japanese people and experience Japanese society outside of the classroom and homestay settings.

  • Appearance in local radio/TV shows
  • Appearance in the outdoor spectacle of Hakodate history
  • Club activities at high schools (Judo, Kendo, Kyudo)
  • Elementary school visit
  • Exchange with disabled people
  • Guided tour of the Jomon Archeological Site with students from Hakodate University
  • Participation in the Hakodate Port Festival
  • Prosecutor's office and court visit
  • Soba and Mochi making hosted by Hakodate Rotary Club
  • Writing an article in Japanese for a local newspaper
  • etc.

Most of the culture classes and extra-curricular activities are scheduled in the afternoon, and a few of them on weekend. They are run on a sign-up basis. If the number of people who sign up exceeds the maximum capacity, we use a lottery system to choose who can participate. Venues vary by classes or activities. If the venue is not HIF, participants are responsible for transportation fees to get there. A handout in English and/or a translator is available for some classes or activities, but not all of them.

日本語テーブル

日本語テーブル is a Japanese conversation table where participants can practice their Japanese with local people in Hakodate. Sometimes the 日本語テーブル time is devoted to making origami and playing Japanese games.

Japanese Movies & Books for Extensive Reading

Participants have a chance to watch a variety of Japanese movies in Japanese with English subtitles. Also, a collection of Japanese books for extensive reading is available in the student lounge.

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Comments from Alumni

  • Name:
    Emily Branam
    University:
    Swarthmore
    College

    This program for me was about self discovery more than anything. I was given the opportunity to ... more

  • Name:
    Ismail Can
    University:
    Swarthmore
    College

    Throughout my time at HIF, I feel that I made many wonderful memories, whether that be with my ... more

  • Name:
    Dabbour, Jawad
    University:
    Franklin & Marshall
    College

    HIF was one of the most incredible experiences ever. Being immersed in a homestay in Japan, ... more

  • Name:
    Ernestina Hsieh
    University:
    Yale
    University

    I feel so lucky to be here. From the fluidity of transportation from home to school or culture classes to ... more

  • Name:
    Plearn Janvatanavit
    University:
    Wesleyan
    University

    At HIF, I was able to not only improve my Japanese, but gain a better understanding of the culture. more

  • Name:
    Keanna Lundy
    University:
    University of
    Denver

    The HIF program has exceeded all my expectations and has become one of my most valued experiences. more

  • Name:
    Roba Sabawi
    University:
    Yale
    University

    In doing this program, aside from epistemic gain, I was given a wide range of opportunities to experience ... more

  • Name:
    Randy Tran
    University:
    University of
    Washington

    HIF gives you the tools, resources, and support to help you not just succeed, but to exceed! more

  • Name:
    Michelle Wan
    University:
    Emory
    University

    HIF has been a great experience for me. The program provides you with lots of opportunities to get involved with ... more

  • Name:
    Yiyang Zhong
    University:
    University of
    Washington

    TThe HIF program is wonderful in respect of not only improving your Japanese language skills, but also on ... more

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