HIF Summer 2021 will be completely virtual.
We will offer “project-based learning” course for 5 weeks. You will build various types of communities, while meeting new people online and learning from each other through the class projects.

NOTE: The information of Summer 2021 is posted and will be updated on this “Home” page only.
Believing that we will be able to resume our on-site program in the following summer, we keep the rest of the pages as they are so that you can grasp how our regular summer program should look like.

What’s New

  • 2021/05/24Applications for Summer 2021 are now closed. Thank you for your interest and support!
  • 2021/05/10Follow us on Instagram @hifsummer
  • 2021/05/08Here is a link to the video of our last info session. Please copy and paste it in your browser. https://youtu.be/xYu3pZ3MTdM

Summer 2021 (Online)
June 14 – July 16

Read HIF Brochure for the complete information of HIF Summer 2021.

Click here to download the HIF Reference Form.

Please join our Online Information Session!

  • Time & Date: Thursday, January 14, 2021, at 7PM-8PM (EST)
    Wednesday, January 27, 2021, at 7PM-8PM (EST)
  • Language: English & Japanese

During these interactive sessions, you may ask questions and learn more about our online summer program.

Click here to register for our upcoming Online Information Sessions.

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.

In Summer 2021, we will be switching to remote learning, which provides you with opportunities to interact with local people of various generations in Hakodate online. We hope a bond you form with them will make you want to visit Hakodate in the future.

Thank you for your interest in HIF. Please join us in the summer of 2021 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.
Between 2009 and 2020, Hakodate has been ranked Japan’s most attractive tourist destination six times (The Local Brand Survey).

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:
    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