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Japan - Kansai Gaidai

Kansai Gaidai University - Asian Studies & Business

University OverviewKansai Map

Kansai Gaidai University has an enrollment of 13,000. Exchange students enroll in the special Asian Studies Program, which draws almost 600 students each year from more than 250 universities around the world. Kansai Gaidai relocated to a new campus in 2002, so all the facilities are new and offer the highest level of comfort.

CSU San Marcos Global Business Management students may study for one semester at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan as exchange students. Students in the Global Business Management Option are eligible to apply and will take classes approved by the Program Director. Other Business students may apply with the permission of their department chair or academic advisor.

Located in the cultural heart of Japan, the campus provides an excellent starting point from which to explore a fascinating and historical region of Japan. Many of the cities in the Kansai region are used in the Asian Studies Program for field trips, independent research, and case studies.

City Overview

Kansai Gaidai CampusKansai Gaidai is located in the city of Hirakata (pop. 408,000), midway between Osaka, Japan's second largest city, and Kyoto and Nara, the ancient capitals of Japan.

An efficient public transportation system and the famous “bullet trains” make it easy to travel within the region and to other areas of Japan. 

Osaka Skyline Osaka has been a major center of commerce since the   eighteenth century, and is still a vast, expanding hub of business and industry   today. As a center of pop culture, Osaka never ceases to generate a variety of new   trends and give birth to new dimensions of the urban experience in Japan.


Kyoto GardenKyoto was founded in the late eighth century, and retains much of its ancient character. While museums house the most valuable collections of Japanese art in the country, Kyoto itself is a fine museum in its own right. Fortunately, the city was not damaged in World War II, and therefore many of its temples and shrines are now national treasures for everyone to appreciate.

Program Highlights

  • With prior approval, coursework will fulfill business major requirements.
  • The Asian Studies Program is designed as a one-year study abroad experience, but students may elect to enroll for just one semester.
  • Students take Japanese courses in the morning and Business/Economics courses in the afternoon. The program provides students with an opportunity to obtain firsthand knowledge of the culture and language of Japan.
  • Efficient language instruction through the latest innovations, fully equipped laboratories.
  • Homestays are encouraged, but on-campus residences are available.
  • Advance registration for classes.

Academic Calendar

Fall Semester:  Late August to mid-December

Spring Semester:  Late January to late May

Please see the 2020-21 Academic Calendar for specific dates

Academic Focus

  • Japanese Reading, Writing, & Speaking classes are required for all program participants.  These classes are open to all language levels, although prior study of Japanese will prove very useful
  • The majority of classes offered have an Asian Studies focus.  Be willing to use these classes as electives or general education as few will satisfy specific degree requirements
  • Courses are very experiential in nature and will give students a far greater appreciation for Japan and life in Asia
  • Kansai Gaidai University Grading Scale

Language of Instruction



  • Class Level:  Upper-division status (completion of 60 units)
  • GPA of 3.0 or above and good academic standing to departure
  • Check course descriptions for any prerequisites.
  • Special Note to Business Majors:  In order to receive credit for upper-division courses abroad, you must have already completed your Pre-Core course work at CSUSM.


15 semester units.  Typically this equates to 4-5 classes/semester.


Students are offered a wide array of housing options, from homestay, to dorms, to apartments.  Please see the KG Housing site for specific details.

Estimated Expenses

  • Students pay their normal State University Fee to CSU San Marcos, currently $3,858/semester.   No tuition or fees due at Kansai Gaidai University.
  • Homestay (including two meals per day): $3,081* per semester. On-campus Dormitory (double): $2,169* per semester
  • Health Insurance: $265/semester
  • Cost of meals and personal expenses will vary, but average $800 per month. 
  • Sample 2020-21 Budget

*Prices found on Kansai Gaidai's website have been converted from JPY (Japanese Yen) to USD (US Dollar) currency for reference. To find live currency rates visit 

Application Deadlines

For Fall/Year Semester Study:  March 1

For Spring Semester Study:  September 1

Apply early. The programs generally fill before the closing deadlines.

How to Apply

  1. Visit the Kansai Gaidai website at to learn about the University. 
  2. Consult with the CSU San Marcos Study Abroad Advisor in ELB 588 to determine if you are eligible for this program.
  3. Consult with a faculty advisor in your major/minor department to determine which Kansai Gaidai courses will count toward your major/minor/GE. Complete a Study Abroad Credit Approval Form. 
    • Flexibility is required for course selection.  Courses for the current semester are posted after the application deadline.  Review courses that were offered the previous semester.
    • Registration in Kansai Gaidai courses takes place after arrival.  A registration lottery number is assigned during orientation. 
  4. Order an official transcript from CSUSM and any other college from which you have taken a semester or more in classes (even if you have already transferred credit to CSUSM) Please pick your transcripts up in person and deliver them to ELB 588
    • Keep in mind that transcripts are now taking 7-10 business days to process.  Plan accordingly.
  5. Please tell the Study Abroad Advisor of your intent to apply.  You will be nominated online and then sent a User ID and password to the online application system, KGENESYS. 
    • Please be sure to follow the checklist and attain the proper number of letters of recommendation, passport pictures, and medical clearance.  This is a time consuming and detailed application, so please double check for errors. 
    • Once accepted, you will confirm participation on KGENESYS, so writing down this login and password is recommended.
  6. Submit additional application details to Global Education here:  CSUSM General Study Abroad Application
  7. Submit your flight details to Global Education here:  Flight Information Form
  8. Attend the pre-departure orientation and consult with the Study Abroad Advisor as necessary regarding the Student Visa process after Kansai Gaidai acceptance.

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