From Anime to Zen: Short-term Study Abroad in Kyoto, Winter 2019
Trying Ikebana flower arrangement
In order to learn more about the Japan’s traditional culture, we headed to Rokkaku-do Temple in the center of Kyoto City, which is the birthplace of ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Students learned about the history of ikebana, and its characteristics, the tools that artists use to make their arrangements, and how to cut the stems of the plants. Students even expressed themselves with their own “jiyu-ka”, free style ikebana arrangements, and in the end, the teacher went around and offered each student advice about their piece.
A comment from Janice from Hong Kong: “I loved the time we spent here and I think I would do well in ikebana next time.”
Olivia from Australia said she, “Loved learning a new style of flower arranging and appreciated its simplistic beauty.”
Students were able not only to observe ikebana pieces, but to actually experience the fun and the challenge of Japanese traditional arts and culture in a very hands-on way that’s sure to be a wonderful memory for them.
About the Kyoto Study Program
Students can make friends from around the world!
The Kyoto Study Program brings together students from countries all over the world. A student who doesn’t know anyone from another country may feel nervous setting foot in Japan for the first time, but there’s no need to worry. Your peers on the Kyoto Study Program all share a common interest in Kyoto and Japan, and you’ll be together during lectures, eating meals together, participating in cultural workshops together, and spending time together outside of program activities, too, so students have no trouble becoming close despite their different backgrounds.
(At the closing ceremony)
In past years’ programs, participants really came together as the final day of the short-term study program approached. As DK from Singapore said, “In this program, I was able to meet a lot of international students and was able to be their friend. It is really cool to have friends from all over the world.”
(Having their portraits drawn at the Kyoto International Manga Museum.)
(Wearing kimono at Kennin-ji Temple)
Experiences you can’t have on a simple vacation
“This Kyoto Study Program is very well-organized!” Commented Joey from Hong Kong, “Other than lectures about different kinds of culture, there are also lots of special experiences that cannot be joined easily as a tourist.”
Visits to companies, opportunities to interact with students attending Kyoto universities, and chances to deepen your understanding with lectures on Kyoto and Japan are all difficult things to achieve on vacation as a tourist. By participating in a program like this, students are able to get to know a deeper side of Kyoto, invisible through sightseeing alone. In this two-week program, participants will actually come across many things that most Japanese people don’t know much about. With the kind of rare and unique experiences available to you here, an endless number of discoveries awaits!
(Making Japanese food)
(Zen meditation workshop)
(On the Kyoto University campus tour.)
(Kyo-yuzen dyeing workshop)
At the completion of each program, students have free time, so in the evenings, you’re free to become a bit of a tourist yourself! Past participants have joined Japanese students in visiting sightseeing spots, going shopping, and eating their foods of choice, taking full advantage of their opportunity to enjoy their time in Kyoto. These two weeks are jam-packed with experiences that go above and beyond a vacation to the city.
Kyoto is home to around 50 universities, which has even earned it the nickname, “the City of Students.” Many universities and Japanese language schools also offer their own short-term study abroad programs. This is your chance to study abroad in Kyoto, and to study from a variety of angles, and with all five senses… Come see what wonderful discoveries await you in Kyoto, Japan.
About the Kyoto Study Program: from Anime to Zen
See here for a list of short-term study abroad programs in Kyoto: