Kyoto/Osaka, Japan Project Center (MQP)
Students at the Japan Project Center conduct their projects at either Osaka University or Ritsumeikan University, two of Japan’s leading universities. The city of Osaka is located in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu and is Japan’s third largest city. Filled with business, food, and entertainment venues, as well as historic and cultural attractions, Osaka offers an eclectic mix of old and new while Kyoto, the "heart of Japan" boasts many important cultural sites. Kobe is a harbor town with an interesting flavor; and Nara is a center of commerce and government. Japan has a humid subtropical climate. Average temperatures in Japan in September fall between 71°F and 85°F and tends to be rainy.
WPI students will live in university arranged housing at Osaka University or Ritsumeikan University. Osaka housing will be self catered apartment style living, while Rits will be in dorm style accomodations. Accommodation type and location are subject to change without notice and will be confirmed the term prior to departure.
Japanese cuisine is traditionally based on rice with miso soup, with emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Side dishes often contain fish, pickled vegetables or vegetables in broth. Typical dishes may include sushi, sashimi, tempura, miso soup, or red bean paste. Make sure to take any dietary restrictions or allergies (nuts in particular) into account as you consider this site and inform your advisor and IGSD of any health concerns well in advance of your participation in this program.
Students must arrive on or before the posted start date and stay through the posted end date of the program. Dates will be posted in the Fact Sheet at the top of this page. WPI housing will be available from the start date to the end date. If students plan to arrange any personal travel before or after the program, they are responsible for arranging and paying for their own housing.
Past Japan MQP students have built:
- A learning game to teach Japanese writing.
- An AR App to explore Kyoto through directional sound with traditional instruments.
- A 4th dimensional VR space using Vive.
Students will be billed the following fees by WPI for the WPI semester they are away, on the regular WPI billing cycle (i.e. Fall semester and Spring semester).
- WPI Tuition and Fees
- WPI Housing Fee (if applicable)
- WPI Meal Plan (if applicable, reduced for term away)
- Global Projects Program Housing and Program Fee (for applicable programs)
In addition to this, students should budget for the following while away:
- Local transportation
- Airfare (if applicable)
- Tourist activities and incidentals
- Project related incidentals
A breakdown of all estimated expenses for Japan can be found here: Japan Estimated Expenses
WPI is committed to the health, safety, and security of all students who participate in our programs. While off-campus study can present unique challenges and inherent risks, we believe that careful research and diligent planning are keys to a safe and rewarding project experience. WPI utilizes several key resources to understand the risks of travel in the countries where we operate, and we urge you to consult these same resources as you research your intended destination. You can also discuss questions and concerns about your travel plans with on-campus resources such as the IGSD, the Student Health Center, the Office of Disability Services, and the Student Development and Counseling Center. It very important that you consider your own health requirements as you review what sites are most interesting to you, and that you carefully review the published information concerning health, safety, and security at the resources linked below prior to applying to a particular site. Make sure to visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for the most up to date health and vaccine information, and review all information in relation to your own health and any medical conditions you may have.
Country-specific travel health information from the Centers for Disease Control
Country-specific page from the U.S. Department of State
Student travel website from the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State