Get ready for your MISTI experience! MISTI training sessions and resources are designed to familiarize you with Japanese culture, society and workplace norms.

Country Prep Subpages

Culture Courses

Course No. Course Name
Japan and East Asian Security (G) - Fall
Visualizing Japan in the Modern World (UG) HASS-H, CI-H - Fall
Introduction to Japanese Culture (UG) HASS-H, CI-H - Fall
The Rise of Asia (UG) HASS-S - Spring
Modern Japan: 1868 to Present (UG) HASS-H - Spring
Anime: Transnational Media and Culture (U) HASS-H - Spring
21H.154 (NOT offered during 2016-2017 academic year)
Pre-modern Japan: Earliest Times to 1868(UG) - Fall (NOT offered during 2016-2017 academic year)
21G.039 (NOT offered during 2016-2017 academic year)
Gender and Japanese Popular Culture (UG) - Fall (NOT offered during 2016-2017 academic year)
17.433 (NOT offered during 2016-2017 academic year)
International Relations of East Asia (UG) - Spring (NOT offered during 2016-2017 academic year)
17.434 (NOT offered during 2016-2017 academic year)
International Relations of East Asia (G) - Spring (NOT offered during 2016-2017 academic year)
Japanese Literature and Cinema (UG) - Spring (NOT offered during 2016-2017 academic year)

Language Courses

Course No. Course Name
Japanese language courses

Additional Resources

NHK's Begin Japanology "This program explores many aspects of Japan, both traditional and contemporary: arts, sports, entertainment, food, technology, nature, etc."
Japanology +plus Getting to know the diversity of real Japanese culture "With Englishman Peter Barakan as the host, each edition of Japanology Plus presents fresh insights into Japanese life and culture. In the Plus One segment, Matt Alt from the US introduces uniquely Japanese experiences that you can try yourself when you visit Japan! The show also has an occasional talk series: Japanophiles features lively interviews with foreigners doing big things in Japan. Watch Japanology Plus, and you may end up knowing more about Japan than the Japanese do!"

Training Sessions

March 1, 2016 5:30pm - 7:00pm View Event Details
The US-Japan Alliance: How should we understand the seemingly nonmetal defense alliance?, talk given my Ms. Mayumi Fukushima, PhD Candidate, MIT, Political Science
March 30, 2016 6:00pm - 8:00pm View Event Details
This is the third in a series of MIT-Japan Program's summer internship Spring Training. Ms. Pat Gercik will take about her novel and also share her experience living in Japan during post-war Japan. Ms. Pat Gercik was the MIT-Japan Program Director for 26 years and also was Associate Director of MISTI.
April 9, 2015 5:00pm - 6:30pm View Event Details
April 25, 2016 5:00pm - 8:00pm View Event Details
Get advice about your summer from MISTI alumni and learn more about cross-cultural communication, the workplace and staying safe abroad
April 29, 2016 5:30pm - 8:30pm View Event Details
Required training for all MISTI MIT-Japan students. Session 1: 5:30-7pm; Session 2: 7:00-8:30pm
May 1, 2016 10:00am - 5:00pm View Event Details
Required training for all MISTI MIT-Japan students. Start off the day with some coffee and learn some of the manner and culture of Japan. We will have a day of learning how to maneuver in Japan, getting tips from an expert consultant on Japanese work environment plus get advice from past interns. We'll end the day with a Japanese-style dinner (dinner is optional but the retreat part is mandatory)!
May 5, 2016 5:30pm - 7:30pm View Event Details
Guest speaker, Masaru Nagura, Ph.D.’, Fellow, System Design and Management. School of Engineering & Sloan School of Management, MIT who is from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan will speak about the education system in Japan, and provide his first-hand comparison and experience of being a graduate student at MIT.

Recommended Reading

The anatomy of dependence by Takeo Doi The anatomy of dependence: The key analysis of Japanese behavior


Every student needs a valid passport. If you are a US citizen and need to apply, please contact the passport division of the State Department. Routine service requires 4-6 weeks.


Visa for Japan

Program managers can advise students about the application process, timeline and documents required.

If you are a U.S. citizen and will be returning to MIT in the fall (e.g. not graduating this year), and will be staying in Japan for less than 90 days, a visa might not be necessary.  If you are not a U.S. citizen, will be graduating before going to Japan, or will be staying in Japan for longer than 90 days, you most likely will need a visa.  See if your country requires a visa here:

If you will require a visa, please consult with the Program Manager on how to apply.



If your airfare will be paid for by the host, you will need to discuss the details of how to book your flight with them. If the flight will be paid for by the MIT-Japan Program, students must purchase tickets themselves, and the MIT-Japan Program will add the cost of the ticket to their stipend (up to a maximum amount based on average round-trip Boston to Tokyo economy class tickets at the time. If the ticket price exceeds that amount, the student will be responsible for the extra cost).

For summer internships, most students book flights in April/May after they have confirmed their summer internships dates.

If your total stay is fewer than 90 days and you do not require an entry visa, you may be able to stay in Japan to travel after your internship ends (at your expense).


Renting an apartment in Japan for a short-term stay can be tricky, as most landlords require guarantors, large deposits and “gift money.”  However, there are several solutions to this problem, and the MIT-Japan Program provides resources and advice for housing.  The MIT-Japan Program promises up to 80,000 yen/month for housing, and rent rarely exceeds this amount.  (As with airfare, however, you are welcome to rent a more expensive apartment, but you will only be given up to 80,000 yen/month.)


1. Dormitories

Many Japanese companies, universities, and research institutes have dormitories for their employees, and if your host has a dorm, it should be your first choice.  Contact your host to ask if they have a dormitory, and if so, whether they will have an opening.  Even if your host does not have a dorm, they will often help you find housing, so you should first discuss your options with them.

2. “Share houses”

These can be large houses with rooms for rent and shared kitchen and living space, or they could simply be short-term apartment rentals.  Because they do not require large deposits, guarantors, or “gift money,” they are popular among foreign visitors and exchange students.  Some of the better known share houses are:


Shared Apartments