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
International Relations of East Asia (UG) - Spring
International Relations of East Asia (G) - Spring
21G.064 meets with 21G.592
Introduction to Japanese Culture (UG) HASS-H, CI-H - Fall
Japanese Literature and Cinema - Fall
Digital Media in Japan and Korea - Spring
Cinema in Japan and Korea -Spring
Inventing the Samurai - Spring
World War II in Asia
17.486 (NOT offered during 2019-2020 academic year)
Japan and East Asian Security (G) - Fall
17.53 (Not offered during 2020-2021 academic year)
The Rise of Asia (UG) HASS-S
17.538 (NOT offered during 2019-2020 academic year)
Politics and Policy in Contemporary Japan (G) - Fall
21G.027/CMS.874 (NOT offered during 2020-2021 academic year
Visualizing Japan in the Modern World (UG) HASS-H, CI-H - Please contact department about enrollment
21G.039/21A.143/WGS.154 (Not offered during 2020-2021 year)
Gender and Japanese Popular Culture (UG) - Fall (will not be offered next year--2020-2021)
21G.063/21G.596 (NOT offered during 2019-2020 academic year)
Anime: Transnational Media and Culture (U) HASS-H - Spring
21G.095 (NOT offered during 2020-2021 academic year)
Cultures of Music in East Asia: Japan, Korea, China
21H.155 (NOT offered during 2019-2020 academic year)
Modern Japan: 1600 to Present (UG) HASS-H - Spring

Language Courses

MISTI Japan participants must fulfill language requirements: Undergrads: Japanese IV (21G.504) or equivalent proficiency (for proficiency you must be tested by a Japanese teacher at MIT)
Graduate students: Japanese II (21G.502) or equivalent proficiency

* * * * *

Due to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19, many classes are going online. As an MIT student you can cross-register at Harvard Univeristy or Wellesley College and take virtual classes offered at their institutions. Also, first year students (even if you have sophomore standing) will not be allowed to cross register.

Course No. Course Name
Japanese language courses

Additional Resources

Harvard University offerers 4th and 5th year Japanese and advanced reading courses.
You will need to first create an X-ID:
then request the Harvard Japanese Language Placement at:
Japanese Language Courses at Harvard:
**Fall placement tests take place on August 21-22**
Please note that Wellesley is transitioning to a quarter system starting Fall 2020 so credits and schedule may differ from MIT. Wellesley offers advanced Japanese by Maeno-sensei.
Please email Maeno-sensei directly for Japanese course enrollment at Wellesley
You can browse the 2020-2021 academic year course information here:

Harvard: Yuko Kageyama-Hunt sensei <>
Wellesley: Yoshimi Maeno sensei <>
MIT: Takako Aikawa sensei <>

Please watch the SPECIAL MIT-Japan Program: Harvard, MIT & Wellesley Japanese class info session video recording from 8/5/2020. WATCH the session here:

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!"
Genki (Japanese textbook used @ MIT) Self-study Room : MIT’s online drills: we’re opening up to all the MIT students
FluentU: apps to help you learn Japanese 16 Best Apps for Learning Japanese Like a Boss Good for Intermediate to Advance learners!!
Nihong E-na: portal to online tools for studying Japanese NIHONGO eな Portal for Learning Japanese is a site dedicated to introducing all kinds of websites and online tools useful for studying Japanese!
Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese Recommended by an MIT student on how s/he began learning Japanese before coming to 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 to travel to Japan. Please make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months in order to go to Japan. If you are a US citizen and need to apply, please contact the passport division of the State Department. Routine service to obtain a passport 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 are an international student, you should also talk with the International Students Office (ISO) to make sure you complete any necessary paperwork for immigration before you leave for your internship in Japan.

If you will require a visa, you may 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).



Q: Will I be leaving together as a group with the other interns for my summer internship in Japan?

A: No, you will most likely be leaving on your own, depending on your own schedule.


Q: When will I leave for my internship?

A: It depends on your schedule. Most interns begin their internship on June 1st and end at the end of August. However, if you’re graduating (the 2017 graduation date is June 9th)  you’ll most likely want to start your internship after your graduation. Some people want to visit their family before and/or after their internship so you’ll want to factor that into your schedule, too.  Also, some companies have an extended holiday in the middle of August (called OBON, usually on or about August 11-15). You will want to be at your internship for at least 12 weeks (or longer, depending on your visa situation) so carefully look at your start or end dates. Please contact MISTI Japan Program Manager to consult your dates. You’ll also want to verify your start/end date with our host.


Q: Should I contact my host?

A: Eventually yes. However, letter/email writing in Japan is a little different than in the US. The first Spring 2017 Seminar on Tuesday, February 28th will review email writing skills so please be sure to attend the session. 


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