Program Description

2018 Participants

Silin Chen

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. The experience of talking to my host family every day and challenging myself to study a historical topic in Japanese for IS (Independent Study) definitely helps to improve my Japanese level.

Jack Conklin

University of Chicago

The HIF program is a great opportunity to improve your understanding of both Japanese and Japanese culture. The homestay portion was particularly valuable for me, allowing me to casually practice my Japanese and to form close bonds with a wonderful Japanese family. This program is a great introduction to living in Japan and learning higher levels of Japanese.

Laura Li

Oberlin College

One of the greatest things that I've learnt during my stay in HIF is "thinking in Japanese". It doesn't only mean the language skill, but also the culture through cultural program and homestay!

Meera Santhanam

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 cultural extracurriculars, but still gives you time to explore everything from museums to cafes and to beaches on your own. The class sizes are small, so you get ample one-on-one attention from the teachers and get lots of feedback. Make sure to take advantage of all of the unique extracurriculars - from participating in Japanese archery to speaking on the local radio program, you never know what fantastic opportunities will come your way!

Yuancong Xie

Northwestern University

HIF was an amazing opportunity to immerse myself in an all-Japanese environment. The rigorous curriculum, combined with the various fascinating cultural activities as well as simple everyday interactions living in Hakodate, together allowed me to improve my Japanese skills rapidly and comprehensively. I will definitely recommend this program for students who are willing to spend eight weeks boosting their Japanese by living in the small but charming city of Hakodate.

Xinyu Zong

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. The HIF staff and teachers have been so helpful in navigating my daily life here and greatly improving my Japanese. It's also priceless that I'm studying with a hardworking group of students coming from the best universities all over the country.


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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