For Participants

Visa, Immunization & Medication


It is your responsibility to visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, to check whether you need to obtain a short-term stay visa to enter Japan or not.

For Those Who Need a Visa to Enter Japan

  • Please contact the Japanese Embassy or Consulate with the jurisdiction to ask what kind of documents you need to submit to apply for a visa.
  • List of Embassies and Consulates:

    Procedure Chart for Short-Term Stay Visa:

  • Please contact HIF after completing A and B below, so that HIF can mail out your visa supporting documents accordingly.
    • Book your international flight to ENTER and LEAVE Japan (tentative booking is fine), and submit "Itinerary to Hakodate" and "Itinerary from Hakodate" to HIF through your online portal.
    • Remit your program fee to the HIF bank account by wire transfer.

    Documents HIF will send to you by e-mail and physical mail:
    • Letter of reason for invitation
    • Letter of guarantee
    • Schedule of stay (including your flight information)
    • Receipt of your program fee payment
    • Overview of the Hokkaido International Foundation and the Japanese Language and Japanese Culture Program
    • Your acceptance letter
  • After you receive the above documents from HIF, please submit them to the Japanese Embassy or Consulate along with other documents you prepare by yourself.
  • We strongly suggest that you begin this procedure as early as possible. The process may take 3-4 weeks or longer.

If you are planning to continue studying at another institution or university in Japan after the HIF program, please ask a foreign student advisor of the program you will join about a student visa before you leave your country. HIF cannot issue a Certificate of Eligibility.


Vaccinations are not required when traveling to Japan. There are some recommended vaccinations such as Japanese encephalitis, but they are not necessary. Please visit the following websites for more information.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

World Health Organization:

Also, your doctor would be a good source of information on vaccinations.


If you need to bring or mail any medication to Japan, please consult your doctor and/or refer to the following websites:

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare:

U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Japan:


Comments from Alumni

  • Name:
    Michelle Bechtel
    Colby College
    Michelle Bechtel photo

    I applied to HIF on a whim, not knowing what to expect. Now that I have completed the program, it's safe to say that applying was one of the best decisions ... more

  • Name:
    Kerra Hinrichs
    University of Michigan
    Kerra Hinrichs photo

    HIF was hands down one of the best experiences of my life. I came into the program with the goal of improving my Japanese, and I certainly achieved that ... more

  • Name:
    Hector Melesio
    Franklin & Marshall
    Hector Melesio photo

    For my first time traveling abroad, I do not think I could have picked a better place to be than Hakodate as an HIF student. Whether it be inside the ... more

  • Name:
    Owen Pietsch
    Swarthmore College
    Owen Pietsch photo

    Eight weeks felt like a very short time to spend at HIF. Our teachers and the staff encouraged us to make the most of our time in Hakodate ... more

  • Name:
    Xingruo Sun
    Colby College
    Xingruo Sun photo

    The summer at HIF has been wonderful for me! I'm so glad that I was able to improve my Japanese so much and met so many wonderful instructors ... more

Contact Us
Transcripts for Alumni
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • YouTube