Program Description

2015 Participants

Keung Yoon Bae

Harvard University

HIF was a very rich, activity-packed experience for me. I did not expect such a variety of activities and classes, on top of the great language course. Hakodate is also an amazing location to spend the summer.

Yuanxin Chen

Princeton University

The most impressive part of this program is the various cultural activities. To me, this is not just about language and culture study, but more about experiences and memory. I think these days will be the most precious memory of my life.

Tsz Chun Martin Cheng

Lehigh University

This is the best Japan study abroad program that I have ever attended. Japanese classes are intensive, and there are a lot of homework every day; however, after class, you can get to go to all kinds of events. I recommend to sign up for all of the events because you would probably not have a second chance to do them again. I can guarantee you that you will have the best study abroad experience here in Hakodate!

John Crumpler

University of Notre Dame

I recommend the HIF program to anyone studying Japanese. The program is intense and can be exhausting, but it pays. And the whole time here isn’t just spent doing work. The culture exchange events provide excellent opportunities to relax and enjoy ourselves, while still practicing what we have been studying. If you have the chance to participate in this program, please don’t miss it!

Rachel Gosselin

Harvard University

HIF is a fantastic program for expanding your knowledge of the Japanese language as well as Japanese culture. The more effort you put in the more you will get out at this program. Be prepared for homework and try to speak in Japanese as often as you can even if you don’t think your skills are high enough. It’s all about trying and learning from your mistakes.

Stephen Hagelin

University of Washington

I did not expect to learn as much, or enjoy this city, or the cultural activities as much as I did. The importance of living here to learn the language cannot be over-emphasized, and the host family is the best part. I made friends that I will come back to see, and connections for when I live here again. It is a beautiful place, and peaceful. And I highly recommend this program.

Wei Jian Haw

University of Michigan

I am grateful to be given the opportunity to participate HIF Summer Japan Study Abroad Program. Before participating this program, I thought I knew much about Japanese culture through Japanese Anime, restaurant, etc… However, participating this program has completely changed my perspective about Japanese culture. In my opinion, one of the best aspects about HIF’s program that sets apart from other Japanese study abroad programs is having the opportunity to live with a Japanese host family, which accelerated my learning process about Japanese culture. Besides, who doesn’t want to live with Japanese host families when they are so friendly and have meals together like a real Japanese?! I enjoyed my living experience with my host family. I have never been this happy living with other families. All in all, if you are still hesitating whether to join this program or not, you are wasting your time, because you will be missing the greatest experience learning Japanese culture if you missed this program. 笑顔と達成感!

Richa Mehta

University of Pennsylvania

HIF has provided me with an unparalleled opportunity to completely immerse myself in Japanese culture over the past eight weeks. Discussing thought-provoking news articles in class and spending quality time with my host family every night have allowed me to exponentially improve my Japanese skills. I feel incredibly privileged to have spent the summer in the beautifully scenic, historically-rich city of Hakodate.

Jose Segura

Columbia University

HIF is a great program to participate in. Not only has my Japanese improved but I also had the chance to experience the Japanese lifestyle with my host family. Besides this I have experienced many wonderful things while staying in Hakodate. HIF has been a great, worthwhile experience.

Leon Shum

Lehigh University

I definitely learned a lot at HIF, more so than I would have in a year in college. This program isn’t in a big well-known city like Osaka or Tokyo, but it doesn’t need to be. There are so many fun activities packed into the program that always kept me busy. The HIF staff also work very hard to make sure everything goes well, and if you ever need advice or what you can do in Hakodate or maybe a specific request, they will help you.

Shiqi Sun

University of Washington

HIF program is a very good one. I enjoyed the language classes, cultural classes and the home stay. All the staffs, sensei and my host family are pretty nice, and they put a great effort to help the students. I got a huge progress in both Japanese language and Japanese culture. Highly Recommended!

Christina Ulowetz

Bryn Mawr College

HIF brought me into contact with some truly amazing people. You will be working very hard, but the activities and experiences you’ll have in Hakodate make it all worth it. Hakodate is a truly beautiful and unique city and I’m so glad I got to spend my summer here.

Nisakorn Valyasevi

Duke University

HIF has been an amazing experience for me. Although I have studied abroad before, this has been my first language program and it has been a truly rewarding and eye opening experience. When I first came here, I was shy about spending to Japanese people, but only after a couple of days, I felt like my textbook had come to life, as all the role plays and vocabulary were actually being used outside the classroom right before my eyes. I have taken part in so many activities, from joining the judo high school club, to helping teach a Thai language class (I am originally from Thailand), to sitting in a yacht for the first time. HIF is really what you put into it and I am going to bring back home, not only my improved Japanese skills, but so many memories and new friends. This has been one of the best summers of my life.

Tin Xia

Brown University

HIF offered me countless opportunities to learn Japanese, and explore the local community. The class material includes a textbook, movies, news clips, short novels, manga and extra. In the afternoon, I went to various cultural classes and activities, which are all well-organized and definitely worth going. I also enjoyed my host family experience and learnt to interact with young kids. I would definitely recommend the program to any Japanese learners.


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

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Transcripts for Alumni
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