Summer 2018
June 14 – August 11

What’s New

  • 2017/11/02HIF is now accepting applications for Summer 2018! Click "Apply Now" (the blue button on the top of the right sidebar) to start your application.
  • 2017/11/02Website has been updated.
  • 2017/09/19We are now in the process of updating our website for Summer 2018. 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 2018 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:
    Matthew Donley
    University:
    University of
    Michigan

    HIF is an outstanding program that offers not just instruction in the Japanese language, but it also serves as a gateway into Japanese culture...
    more

  • Name:
    Clarissa Krisnawan
    University:
    University of
    Washington

    There are various activities, you can enjoy at HIF. You can also discover the beauty of Hakodate City along with friends as well as your host family...
    more

  • Name:
    Alexander La Forest
    University:
    University of
    Notre Dame

    The HIF Japanese Language and Japanese Culture Program is worth every penny. Not only do you learn a lot in class, but also outside of...
    more

  • Name:
    Matthew Li
    University:
    Ursinus
    College

    I honestly can’t believe that it’s only been two months. Within this time, my Japanese isn’t the only thing that’s changed. Despite having plenty of experience...
    more

  • Name:
    Alex Prosi
    University:
    University of
    Michigan

    HIF truly excels in providing opportunities for its students wherever they need or want them. Through the program, I found myself...
    more

  • Name:
    Griffin Roth
    University:
    University of
    Chicago

    HIF was a lot of fun and very educational, from both a language and a cultural standpoint. If you’re interested in homestay...
    more

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