Located in the heart of Yamanashi, about a 45-minute drive from Mount Fuji and surrounded by the beautiful nature of Japan, the International College of Liberal Arts is an excellent choice for international students as well as local Japanese students who seek an international education offered in English by a highly qualified faculty of instructors who themselves come from diverse backgrounds.
Unlike most Japanese universities, which require students to choose their major at the time of admission, at iCLA students are not just encouraged but also required to experience a vast range of courses from different disciplines throughout their studies, and choose their major after having had time to explore the curriculum and discuss their ideas with their peers, family and school counsellors. Although most students choose their major after about a year of study, in some cases, iCLA permits students to change their career in their second year, without losing any credits already earned. This versatility is rare in Japan.
In this current day in age of ever-advancing technology that brings about change in all aspects of our daily life and affects the jobs of the future in ways that are unpredictable, the most important characteristic a person can have is psychological versatility and adaptability, as many people will need to reinvent themselves and change career paths multiple times in life. The degree to which one is able to reinvent themselves will depend on the breadth of their knowledge, experience, and patterns of thinking. This is why a degree in the field of Liberal Arts is so crucial, for it was born with an aim of connecting the arts and sciences together. In light of the era in, it comes as no surprise then that the field is currently going through its third major resurgence in history. To provide the best education of the future, iCLA cultivates students’ abilities to understand and synthesize various bases of knowledge, to think critically about what is real, relevant, and important, and to develop solutions through creative problem-solving skills. Moreover, in order for students to realize their own opinions, they are openly encouraged both within and outside of class to engage in discourse with their peers, who come from a diverse background of over 30 different countries, and develop their social and linguistic abilities in order to access knowledge and experience from other cultures and contexts directly.
The bachelor programs offered at iCLA include 4-year programs in
Global Business & Economics
Interdisciplinary Studies, and
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American-style liberal arts education in English
Extremely rare in Japan is the offering of a western liberal arts education in English. This form of education, unlike most universities in Japan offers students a wide-range of courses and pushes them to expand their areas of knowledge while developing their interests and finding their trajectory forward in their personal in career development.
An education in Liberal Arts provides students with a balance of arts and sciences, where students learn among all else to be versatile in their way of thinking and to connect disciplines of knowledge together to form a more complete picture of the world.
Japanese Language Support
Regardless of your chosen major, iCLA offers highly effective Japanese Language Courses ranging from very beginner to highly advanced levels so that all students can graduate with a working capacity in the language in order to access Japanese culture & society for the rest of your life.
Abundance of Japanese Culture
Through the school’s experiential workshops, extracurricular activities, student clubs, Students at iCLA enter into a world that is uniquely rich in Japanese culture, with access to Japanese art, music, literature, performance, martial arts, calligraphy, film, anime, and manga, to name a few. Moreover, with a 50-50 mix of Japanese and non-Japanese students, those who choose iCLA are able to engage in daily cultural exchange, making long-lasting friendships alongside your studies.
Small class sizes
Faculty and students at iCLA engage with each other in close relationships that is realized in part by the 5:1 of student to faculty member ratio. This allows for meaningful discussions both within and outside of class.
90 minutes to Tokyo
iCLA is located directly next to the stations where trains can take you to and from Tokyo in 90 minutes. This is not only convenient for when you first arrive in Japan, but allows for trips during periodic break in classes to the bustling capital.
With 88% of the full-time faculty members being educated oversees, and 50% of the students at this university coming from over 30 countries, iCLA bring together people from all over the world who share a love and passion for Japan but who think on an international and global level.
Address:International College of Liberal Arts, Yamanashi Gakuin University:2-7-17 Sakaori, Kofu Yamanashi 400-0805 JapanGo to the map
Total number of students
Small & rigorous
Minimum course length
4 years Bachelor of Arts
50% Japanese, 50% International
Fully-equipped accommodations available to all students with private rooms and shared common areas, offering a balance between private and social life.
Cafeteria serving 3 meals a day with an emphasis on health and inclusion, so that everyone can enjoy food that tastes good and supports studying.
LAC (Language Acquisition Center) which includes the Language Media Center and Reading Center.
multilingual support for any academic and non-academic obstacles, career counselling services
The International College of Liberal Arts offers merit- and performance-based contracts to a select number of students from the 1st to last year of study.
The scholarships offered follow 4 levels: FULL, 3/4, HALF, and 1/4. Each covers the respective percentages of the combined costs of tuition, facility and equipment fees.
Based on: Academic Achievement, Extracurricular Activities Achievement, and Financial Need.
Renewable every year. May be combined with outside sources of funding.
Apply via online application system.
Global Business & Economics
This major features a blend between an applied Global Business approach and a social science approach to Economics, where students receive a foundation of both fields of theory and knowledge within their first year, and are able to choose the emphasis and balance between them that suits their interests and career trajectories. This major, within the Liberal Arts approach of the university, stresses the importance of humanity in ethics, criticality, social responsibility, and intellectual depth.
Because business and economic activities occur within particular cultural, social and legal contexts, it is important for students to have a broad knowledge base that allows them to understand different cultural contexts, in addition to advanced training focused study.
The subareas of study within this major include:
History of Economic Thought
International Trade & Globalization
Japanese Economy & Business
Students who graduate from this major typically work in the fields of business and management, or continue studies to become a teacher or researcher in the field, and in positions in corporations, the government, international agencies, or their own businesses.
This field, and the contemporary political scientists in the field, tackle some of the most fundamental problems facing human society at the present, including economic stability and growth of a nation, the gap between the wealthy and the poor, NGO’s role in affecting social and political change, the relationship between nations, the current crisis of our democratic institutions, and world peace.
At iCLA, students of this major look at these and other similar issues in a multidisciplinary way, and to understand and think critically about the constantly-evolving political landscape of Asia.
Through this major, students cover such topics as:
-Introduction to Political Science
-Social & Political Theory
-Introduction to Public Administration
-International Relations in the Asian Pacific Region
-Japanese Politics and Diplomacy
Students of this major are equipped with the knowledge and skills to work in Asia and globally in the fields of international relations and diplomacy, public administration and government service, NGOs and community-based organizations, in research, and in business.
Careers post graduation include:
-Diplomats/Experts in International Relations
-Non-Profits / Non-Governmental Organization Leaders
For those students who wish to pursue further academia with the aim of becoming a teacher, researcher, or expert pollical scientist, this major provides the necessary tools for students to enter into post-graduate studies in Political Science, Public Administration, Law, and Journalism.
This exciting major invites students to explore multiple fields within the arts, including fine arts, music, performance, literature and linguistics in order to deepen their artistic talents and broaden their creative options.
This more free approach allows students to gain new experiences and widen the creative process, as students can discover the particular areas that interest them and hone their skills & knowledge in these areas while drawing inspiration from other arts and related academic disciplines, all while being immersed in the Japanese culture and society.
The central ideas of the Interdisciplinary Arts Program at iCLA are:
-Interdisciplinarity: study across subjects to gain a unique creative experience
-Flexibility: support your ambitions best through a self-driven curriculum
-Personal Development: the path you take will ultimately be unique and make you stand out from all others.
-From “roots” to “wings”: build a foundation in your first two years and then collaborate and explore deeply your specific areas of interest in the last two years.
In the first two years of study, students will be required to explore at least three of the following different fields within Interdisciplinary Arts:
-Visual Arts (painting, sculpturing, graphic design)
-Music (music technology, sound art)
-Performing Arts and Film (Western and Japanese film and theatre)
-Language Arts (literature and linguistics)
The final two years will allow students the freedom to develop their specific areas of interest deeply while casting out widely both within the arts and other majors for inspiration, according to their interest and ambitions.
Possible career paths for students who graduate this program include those in:
-the Fine Arts
-the Media and Web industries
-Video and film industries
-Theatre and the Performing Arts
Also, students who branch out from Interdisciplinary Studies into other majors open themselves up to other careers. For example:
-Interdisciplinary Arts + Economics = Gallery or museum curator
-Interdisciplinary Arts + Political Science = Journalism
-Interdisciplinary Arts + Sociology = Art Therapy
Japan is an extraordinary country that leaves anyone who travels or lives here a while bewildered with exhilarating and puzzling experiences that invoke questions. This major is about exploring & tackling these questions through an interdisciplinary approach that engages with all aspects of Japanese culture, history and society, and investigates various topics with relation to historical and present-day events in East-Asia and the West. In this way, this field of Japanology connects study and research not only to other disciplines but also to other nations, civilizations, and geographic areas.
In the field of Japan Studies, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of Japan’s culture, history, politics and economics, while also rigorously studying the Japanese language with an aim at linguistic fluency so as to directly connect with primary sources of knowledge of Japan and embody its culture. Furthermore, studying in Japan will provide the unique opportunity to experience Japanese lifestyle, art, and customs first hand, as well as engage with local people both at the university and in everyday life. By the end of the four years, students will become experts about Japan and be prepared for a wide range of professional opportunities both within and outside of Japan.
The topics of study within the Japan Studies Major include:
-Japanese culture and society
-Japanese business and economics
-Japanese politics and diplomacy
-Visual arts in Japan (Anime, Manga, film, Noh and Kabuki theatre)
-Japanese and East Asian history
-Japanese calligraphy and Samurai culture
-Japanese martial arts (Nanba, Aikido, Judo, Karate, Shugendo)
-Japanese music (Koto, Shakuhachi)
-Japanese language (elementary, intermediate, and advanced)
Post-graduation, students can look forward to rewarding careers in the following areas:
-working within the increasing number of Japanese companies that hire foreigners
-working in the area of tourism, a booming industry in Japan, and share your knowledge and expertise with those traveling and wishing to learn about Japan
-working in the media industry using your language skills and knowledge of Japan as the global impact of Japanese culture continues to widen,
-continuing postgraduate studies with an aim to become a researcher, educator, or teacher.
Electives & Experiential Learning Workshops
In line with a true Liberal Arts Education, the following elective areas are available to all students as a supplement to any major:
– Japanese Language
– Sociology & Psychology
– Quantitative Reasoning
– Health & Physical Education
In addition, iCLA offers experiential learning workshops to provide a wide range of cultural, practical and creative areas of study. Among the huge selection of workshops offered, students can experience traditional Japanese music, arts and culture such as Noh Theatre, Koto (Japanese harp), and Shakuhachi (Japanese flute), Shodo (Japanese calligraphy), Sado (Japanese tea ceremony), Kado (Japanese flower arranging), and various martial arts, including Judo, Karate, Aikido, Shugendo, and Nanba).
Enrollment Fee (1st year only)
Annual Tuition Fees
Facilities & Equipment: ￥310,000
TOTAL: ￥1,495,000, per year
Utilities and Miscellaneous Fees: ¥12,000/month [water, gas, electricity, maintenance (including common areas)]
Board: ¥1,800/day [3 meals/day (weekdays only)]
In addition there is a one-time cleaning and repainting fee of ¥30,000 when moving in.
All students in their first year are required to live in the iCLA residence halls and enroll in the meal plan.
After the 1st year, students may continue to stay at the iCLA residence halls pending availability.
Students from Abroad are not required to go abroad in their 3rd year.
iCLA Group Shot Yukata
iCLA Club Actitivies
iCLA Students in Cafeteria
iCLA Cafeteria Food
Private rooms include:
Bed frame, desk & chair, bookshelf, clothing rack, air conditioner.
Shared Facilities include:
Mini kitchen, toilets, showers, bathroom sinks.
Amenities in both:
Wifi access and wired LAN access.
Rental Goods available include:
Bedding, mini-fridge, bicycle