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About Doshisha University About Doshisha University

Doshisha University Profile

Doshisha University stands as a living testament to the courage of the human spirit-- the desire to seek and share the finest knowledge available. The story of Doshisha University is inextricably bound up in the story of Joseph Hardy Neesima, a young samurai, who at the age of 21 stowed away on a ship bound for America to realize his dream of a Western education. In 1864, it was illegal for Japanese citizens to travel abroad, and if he were caught, Neesima would have had to pay for his dream with his life.

Neesima became the first Japanese citizen to obtain an academic degree overseas-- attending Phillips Academy and Amherst College. He returned to Japan convinced of the necessity of establishing an institution of higher learning that was based on the Western ideals and Christian moral teachings. Thus, in 1875 he founded Doshisha Eigakko (Doshisha Academy).

Today, Neesima's legacy lives on in the many ways. Doshisha University promotes international understanding and interaction through scholarship and exchange study programs.

As one of Japan's most highly esteemed educational institutions, Doshisha offers students a wide-ranging liberal arts education as well as studies in business and science. Doshisha has respected facilities in Theology, Letters, Social Studies, Law, Economics, Commerce, Policy Studies, Culture and Information Science and Engineering.

Located in the heart of Kyoto, Doshisha University occupies three separate campuses and is home to over 24,000 students engaged in both undergraduate and graduate study. The original campus is located directly across from the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, and is renowned for its many buildings of both historic and architectural significance. Students at the Kyotanabe campus enjoy an educational setting that is rare in densely populated urban Japan-- a spacious campus rich in natural beauty that offers a tranquil environment especially constructive to learning.

In keeping with the school's international origins, Doshisha University has a long tradition of cross-cultural learning. From 1951 through 1987 Doshisha University was a co-sponsor of the Kyoto American Studies Seminar. And in 1972 Doshisha University initiated the Associated Kyoto Program (AKP). Every September, this program brings over 40 students to Kyoto for a junior year abroad from 15 liberal arts colleges across the United States, including Amherst, Bates, Bucknell, Carleton, Colby, Connecticut, Middlebury, Mount Holyoke, Oberlin, Pomona, Smith, Wellesley, Wesleyan, Whitman and Williams.

AKP students work under the guidance of a directing professor, and have an opportunity to pursue their Japanese studies not only through intensive academic involvement on campus, but in the daily human connections made with their Japanese host families in the home-stay program.

This highly successful program has encouraged further contacts with foreign universities, most notably in 1993 when the University of Tübingen in Germany founded its Japanese Language Center on campus. This center is, in essence, a German counterpart to the AKP program, with about twenty students participating each semester. There are also students from major universities across Asia. In fact, in 2005, approximately 390 international students are attending Doshisha University.

Doshisha University has recently established its own program for international students. The Center for Japanese Language opened in the spring of 1999. Operating on the semester system, the period of the program is one year long and its maximum enrollment is 90 students. This program is intended for non-Japanese students who are planning to study at Doshisha University or other universities in Japan as well as for students from foreign universities with which we have exchange agreements. The Center offers intensive Japanese language courses (20 hours per week) and unique content courses.

Just as Doshisha University welcomes international students and scholars, Doshisha's Japanese students as well as professors from each of the Faculties are encouraged to take every opportunity to study overseas.

In all these ways, Doshisha University continues to work to fulfill our founder's dream of providing a truly international education within the context of Christian principles. Even now, in the new millennium, the vision of Joseph Hardy Neesima, and its realization, remains an inspiration to all our students.

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