Off-Campus Programs

Life Creation Course

Learning through experience outside of the classroom
Fieldwork takes an active and practical approach to study

The Faculty of Humanities emphasizes fieldwork, an investigative research method that takes students out of the classroom to learn through hands-on experience. In the Project Seminars program, students spend half of a year doing fieldwork at sites in Japan and abroad. Short fieldwork programs are another opportunity for this kind of research. Kyoto SEIKA University also offers a number of classes that teach research, record taking, and other fieldwork skills.

Project Seminars

Project Seminars devotes a full six months in the first semester of the third year to fieldwork, with research sites across Japan and around the world. Domestic programs take students to the unique climates and cultures of places including Hokkaido and Okinawa, or to enclaves of traditional culture such as Kyoto and other regional cities. Overseas, Thailand’s ancient capital Chiang Mai and South Korea’s green industrial city Daegu are among the options available to students.

All locations feature rich and unique cultural elements such as art and cuisine, while also presenting specific societal problems. In each city, students establish and research topics according to their own individual interests and concerns.

By immersing themselves in the lifestyles of new places and pursuing individual themes through hands-on experience, students not only broaden their academic horizons, but also grow as human beings.

Project Seminars

Project Locations

  • Okinawa

    Okinawa features the blue ocean and deep forests of a subtropical climate, as well as a culture of highly unique language, stage arts, crafts, and cuisine. As a former war zone and home to U.S. military bases, it faces peace-related issues and presents a wealth of topics for understanding Japanese society in new ways.

  • Hokkaido

    Hokkaido has impressive expanses of nature. Here students can conduct fieldwork examining themes of lifestyle, food, agriculture, tourism, industry, and the environment. They can also study the unique Ainu folk culture.

  • Kyoto

    Kyoto, Japan’s treasure trove of traditional culture, offers many opportunities to visit shrines, temples, and historical sites, observe festivals and religious ceremonies, and learn about traditional performing arts and crafts. Participants study all things related to Japanese culture.

  • Thailand

    Fieldwork in Thailand centers on the ancient northern capital of Chiang Mai. Taking up cultural themes including dance, folk songs, entertainment, arts, and food, the program also grapples with social problems such as HIV, prostitution, and poverty.

  • Korea

    South Korea’s third-largest city, Daegu, is both blessed in its natural environment and industrially advanced. Fieldwork here takes an all-encompassing approach, examining everything from language to culture, history, and societal conditions. Trips to diverse neighboring countries deepen students’ understanding of culture and human relationships.


Short Fieldwork Programs

While Learning Through Projects conducts fieldwork over a half-year in the first semester of the third year, Short Fieldwork Programs takes advantage of periods of two weeks to one month during summer and other vacations for hands-on, location-based learning. There are two types of short programs— the Language-Based Fieldwork Program at overseas universities, which focuses intensively on strengthening linguistic abilities, and the Theme-Based Fieldwork Program, in which students conduct surveys and research self-selected topics.

In the Language-Based Fieldwork Program, students can choose to focus on English, French, Thai, or Korean, and can study English in the U.S., Ireland, or New Zealand.

Opportunities in the Theme-Based Fieldwork Program include advanced research on environmental problems in Germany, internships at local companies and organizations in Australia, and cultural research programs at affiliated universities in Japan.

Short Fieldwork Programs

Project Locations

  • Language-Based Fieldwork Program

    Strengthening Language Skills With Intensive Courses at Overseas Universities

    • English: Limerick University (Ireland), Northland Polytechnic (New Zealand)
    • Korean: Daegu University (Korea)
    • Thai: Chiang Mai University (Thai)
    • French: CIDEF, Universite Catholique (France)
    1st year
  • Theme-Based Fieldwork Program: International

    Research based on location-specific topics
    Encountering a variety of cultures and histories

    • Mali: Experiencing local languages, dyeing, dance, and everyday culture
    • Germany: Studying leading environmental policy
    • Spain: Experiencing culture, history, art, and the lifestyle of Spain
    • France: Learning about “Cool Japan” in a practical way through involvement in the Japan Expo
    • Australia: Participating in internships at local companies
    1st year
  • Theme-Based Fieldwork Program: Domestic

    Off-campus exchanges at domestic universities. Programs making use of SEIKA’s ties with other schools

    • Okinawa: Learning about Okinawa’s nature, literature, history, issues related to the presence of US military bases, and making fieldtrips to castle ruins
    • Asahikawa: Visiting Asahikawa Zoo and attending lectures by its assistant director, and visiting historical sites of Ainu culture
    • Minamata: Participating in lectures on Minamata disease, as well as interacting with Minamata victims and their support groups

    Other programs include workshops learning about regional cultures of Kyoto, Shiga, and Nagano.

    (The above are examples of programs offered in the academic year of 2013)

    1st year

Curriculum Overview

  • International Fieldwork ProgramⅠ~Ⅳ (Intensive courses in Years 1~4)
  • Domestic Fieldwork ProgramⅠ~Ⅳ (Intensive courses in Years 1~4)

Regional Research Classes

The Regional Research Classes teach the research methods and basic knowledge necessary for fieldwork.

Students first study techniques for conducting interviews and surveys, then plan and implement their research, analyze its results, and create reports on their findings. They not only attend lectures, but learn through active roles in which they decide on and research topics. Listening to the voices of local people is an indispensable part of this process.

There are also several classes focusing on intensive research of regional cultures. In Kyoto, students investigate festivals, events, lifestyles, architecture, and the city’s origins based on historical and ethnological studies. This approach is part of what makes the Kyoto SEIKA Faculty of Humanities unique. Students can also learn about the relationships of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to the larger world through studies of Buddhism and Islam, and can gain perspective and deepen their understanding of the cultures and societies of America, Europe, and Oceania.

Contemporary Cultural Expression Course

Curriculum Overview

  • Social Statistics
  • Social Research Methods Ⅰ・Ⅱ
  • Special Theories of Social Research
  • Social Research TechniquesⅠ・Ⅱ
  • Kyoto Regional Studies
  • Kyoto’s Industries
  • Lifestyle and Cultural Festivals in Kyoto
  • Community Development in Kyoto
  • Japan’s Nature and Climate
  • Regional ResearchⅠ~Ⅳ

Creative Techniques & Workshops

In fieldwork and other types of on-site research, students do not simply spend time at locations—they are required to present what they have learned to society. To give them the necessary skills, SEIKA offers workshops that teach techniques for keeping records and presenting research findings.

The workshops start with how to use equipment such as cameras, video, and sound recorders. Next, students learn to think about composition and do computer-based editing so that they can present collected materials in ways that are easily understandable to others and that present their ideas effectively. Experience with these production processes teaches students how to create documentaries.

Other classes polish writing skills, and focus on styles of editing, layout, and compiling a printed booklet.

Producing their own work also heightens students’ awareness of cultural creativity.

Contemporary Cultural Expression Course

Curriculum Overview

  • Presentation Technique
  • Audio-Visual Recording Technique
  • Creative WritingⅠ・Ⅱ
  • AdvertisingⅠ・Ⅱ
  • Documentary ProductionⅠ・Ⅱ
  • Non-Fiction & ReportageⅠ・Ⅱ
  • Scenario ProductionⅠ・Ⅱ
  • EditingⅠ・Ⅱ
  • Traditional Musical Instruments
  • Calligraphy
  • Photography Technique
  • Photographic Expression
  • Library Literacy
  • Library CultureⅠ~Ⅲ
  • BrailleⅠ・Ⅱ
  • Social Education
  • Agricultural LifeⅠ・Ⅱ