Semester in South Korea Excursions




There are many amazing excursions built into this program! Here’s a quick run down of the kind of excursions you can expect to experience on a Semester in Japan program (subject to some change):

Tokyo Orientation

As part of your CISabroad program students have a Comprehensive Academic and Cultural Orientation in Tokyo ahead of the start of your Semester in Japan program in Kyoto.  This 3-day, 2-night excursion kicks off the program with visits around the city to see downtown Tokyo from Hirajuku to the Meiji Shrine. Following the orientation the group will get on a bullet train down to Kyoto with the program Site Director who will then help you check into housing and settle into Kyoto, your new home.



Dinner & Strolling in Gion

Gion (祇園) is Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, located around Shijo Avenue between Yasaka Shrine in the east and the Kamo River in the west. Gion is a site to behold filled with traditional wooden machiya merchant houses. Due to the fact that property taxes were formerly based upon street frontage, the houses were built with narrow facades only five to six meters wide, giving the area a cozy atmosphere. The streets and side alleys are lined with preserved machiya houses many of which now function as restaurants, and along the canal are lines of willow trees and ochaya(teahouses). Bring your cameras for this excursion, along with your appetite!




Our Memories with a Geisha

On this excursion participants will have the opportunity to experience a private dinner with a geiko, hear traditional music and play traditional games.  What is the difference between a geisha and a geiko you may ask? Literally translating to ‘arts person’, geisha (芸者) are highly trained in Japanese traditional arts, including music, singing and dancing. By contrast, geiko (芸子) is primarily used to refer to geisha from Kyoto. Although geisha formerly referred to only those from Tokyo and its surrounding areas, it has now become the general term for all geisha. An apprentice to a geiko is termed a maiko (舞妓) who undergo about 5 years of training in various arts, before graduating to become geiko.



Every Semester, students join an exciting excursion to nearby Nara, the first ancient capital of Japan. Nara’s ancient history is considered very significant to the foundation of much of Japanese culture. Such cultural aspects of Japan such as Sumo wrestling and Sake were birthed in Nara. Many historical monuments are registered as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites. Every semester, May in the Spring semester, and November in the Fall semester, we set out for a day of culture and exploration to this wonderful city and prefecture. Included in this excursion are round trip transportation, lunch, snacks for the deer at Nara Deer Park, a visit to Todaiji Temple, a mid-day soft cream snack, and the private night at Kashihara Shrine including a special dinner.


The programs are designed to introduce you to Japanese history and culture, and to allow you to experience for yourself some of the amazing things that can only be done in Japan!

For more pictures of students on excursions, please see the CISabroad Japan Facebook page.