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Japanese may be a challenging language to master – yet it is incredibly rewarding. With fluency comes deeper insight into Japan’s fascinating culture and rich history.

The Oglethorpe Japanese Curriculum Focuses on Developing Basic Language Skills:

  • Listening, speaking, reading, and writing, with an emphasis on conversations of daily life.
  • Students train in kanji characters (eventually mastering about 240) and develop more advanced vocabulary and grammar.
  • Students also complete a research project on Japanese culture.

At Oglethorpe, you’ll find a small yet supportive group of fellow students of Japanese – close-knit and remarkably active, they provide a true community for learning. Along with the foundational Japanese language courses, there are classes on Japanese culture and literature in translation, which are open to all students, regardless of their area of study.

In ideal interdisciplinary fashion, students can also dip into related courses from other departments, like courses on Japanese politics and visual art from far-east Asia. Plus, the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art hosts a number of impressive pieces of East Asian art, including a collection of early 19th-century Japanese woodblock art and 21st-century Zen calligraphy.

Offered as:

Minor in Japanese (TU)

As a major metropolitan city, Atlanta is home to many Japanese companies and organizations – such as the Japan-American Society of Georgia – and lots of opportunities for internships, service learning, and community events. portunities means whip-smart students like you have plenty of ways to turn theory into practice.

JapanFest is a cultural celebration that takes place in Atlanta each year, complete with delicious cuisine, music and talent performances, craft projects, bento and sushi-making demonstrations, and more. In past years, as many as thirty Oglethorpe students have attended, and some even volunteered.

  • Our exchange program with two partner universities in Japan – Segakuin University and Otaru University of Commerce – allows Oglethorpe students to experience another culture and develop their language skills, while taking English-language classes toward their major, or more advanced levels of Japanese. Meanwhile, two or three students from Japan join us here in Atlanta each year, providing even more opportunities for cultural exchange.
  • The Japanese Club helps organize a weekly evening study group and plans to bring exciting cultural events to campus.
  • Facilitated by Oglethorpe’s Academic Success Center, the strongest Japanese students frequently become tutors and coach their classmates.

Japanese language skills are in-demand and highly marketable, so a Japanese minor is a strong addition to a wide variety of majors, including business, history, international relations, politics, psychology, and others. Wherever your goals take you, fluency in a foreign language will open doors.

  • You can put your Japanese skills to work in a career in education, foreign service, or international business.
  • A number of students have gone on to participate in the government-sponsored JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program, living overseas for one to three years to teach English to Japanese students.
  • Many alumni go on to attend graduate programs in translation, or seek a Ph.D. in Japanese Studies. Alumni have successfully defended dissertations in Japanese Studies, including one at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2009) and another at Clark Atlanta University (2012). Others have found careers with organizations devoted to international relations.

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