Summer 2020
June 11– August 9

What’s New

  • 2019/11/07Our website has been updated for Summer 2020. Please check it out!
  • 2019/11/01HIF is now accepting applications for Summer 2020! Click "Apply Now" (the light blue button on the top of the right sidebar) to start your application.
  • 2019/10/07We are now in the process of updating our website for Summer 2020. We'll post an announcement here once it's all done.

Message from the Director General

Kohji Iida, Ph.D.
Director General
Professor Emeritus at Hokkaido University

The mission of the Hokkaido International Foundation is “multicultural mutualism (多文化共生)”. HIF has been offering diverse programs, such as homestay programs, cross-cultural understanding activities, and services to NPO’s, NGO’s, and other volunteer groups or individuals, that provide an exciting framework for promoting mutual understanding among local and foreign people. HIF also actively undertakes various operations including job assistance, independence support, and information distribution.

One of the two main homestay programs is “The International Cultural Exchange Program (国際交流のつどい)”, which led to the inauguration of HIF. It started in 1979 when sixteen American students came to Nanae-cho (a town adjacent to Hakodate) and lived together with Japanese families. That homestay was the first of its kind, and sparked the development of cultural exchange between regional communities and international students in Japan. The International Cultural Exchange Program is targeted at foreign students who already live in a dormitory or an apartment in other areas of Japan who want to experience real Japanese life with host families.

The other homestay program is “The Japanese Language and Japanese Culture Program (日本語日本文化講座夏期セミナー)”. HIF launched this eight-week summer program for foreign students in 1986. It is an academic program consisting of intensive Japanese classes together with cultural activities and exchanges with local people outside of the classroom that allow students to practice their Japanese in authentic settings. Students have numerous opportunities to learn from talented teachers, host families and local people. The contact students make through their Independent Study provides them with a deeper understanding of Japanese culture that remains for the rest of their lives.

This Japanese Language and Japanese Culture Program has a long history thanks to the cooperation of various people and organizations, including host families, local people in Hakodate, teachers, universities around the world, among others. We believe that these programs have had a positive impact on the Hakodate community over the years. That cannot be done without HIF students. As an ambassador of your family, university, and country, we hope that you demonstrate your talents fully and leave a positive influence on others. Also, please appreciate every opportunity you encounter during your stay in Hakodate and take full advantage of the program. We hope that you enjoy many face-to-face interactions with your host family and friends, build life-long relationships, and make wonderful memories of the summer.

HIF is located on a hill overlooking the beautiful Hakodate harbor. It is surrounded by a peaceful environment that contains historic buildings representing Buddhism, Shintoism, and Christianity.

Thank you for your interest in HIF. Please join us in the summer of 2020 and contribute as a member of our communities.

Hakodate, Hokkaido

Japan's northeastern island, Hokkaido, was sparsely populated until the early 19th century when Japanese people from all parts of the country came to settle the land and create the Hokkaido we know today. Whereas Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and other areas of Japan are known for their intense summer heat and humidity, the summers in Hokkaido are relatively cool and pleasant.

Hakodate is located in southern Hokkaido. Hakodate is a small, quiet, rural town, with a population of about 260,000. Hakodate was one of the two Japanese ports opened by Commodore Perry when he visited Japan in 1854. At that time, Hakodate led Japan's progress towards modernization. The night view of the town from Mt. Hakodate is considered one of the most spectacular in the world. In 2015, Hakodate was ranked Japan’s most attractive tourist destination for the second year in a row.

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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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