Summer 2019
June 13 – August 10

What’s New

  • 2018/11/01HIF is now accepting applications for Summer 2019! Click "Apply Now" (the light blue button on the top of the right sidebar) to start your application.
  • 2018/10/19Our website has been updated for Summer 2019. Please check it out!
  • 2018/09/28We are now in the process of updating our website for Summer 2019. We'll post an announcement here once it's all done.

Message from the Director General

Fumio Yamazaki, 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 2019 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 270,000. 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:
    Silin Chen
    University:
    Wesleyan
    University

    I think being able to join HIF is a very precious opportunity for me to be totally immersed in a Japanese-study environment. more

  • Name:
    Jack Conklin
    University:
    University of
    Chicago

    The HIF program is a great opportunity to improve your understanding of both Japanese and Japanese culture. more

  • Name:
    Laura Li
    University:
    Oberlin
    College

    One of the greatest things that I've learnt during my stay in HIF is "thinking in Japanese". more

  • Name:
    Meera Santhanam
    University:
    University of
    Chicago

    This program provides the perfect amount of structure - it's enough so that every day you are kept busy with classes, talks, and ... more

  • Name:
    Yuancong Xie
    University:
    Northwestern
    University

    HIF was an amazing opportunity to immerse myself in an all-Japanese environment. more

  • Name:
    Xinyu Zong
    University:
    Franklin &
    Marshall
    College

    HIF has been the best experience of my life. I woke up every day looking forward to host mom's breakfast and playing with her 4-year-old son. more

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