Kanazawa University School of International Studies website.Kanazawa University School of International Studies website.

Greetings from the Dean

Welcome to the Kanazawa University School of International Studies website.

The College of International Studies was founded at Kanazawa University in April 2008 with the mission of nurturing individuals who embody true cosmopolitanism, possessing deep insights into international society, and actively seeking paths toward peaceful coexistence with diverse cultures in our increasingly globalized world. Our overarching aim is to cultivate a multifaceted understanding of both Japan and the broader global context. To achieve this objective, we have crafted a curriculum designed to facilitate comprehensive study while fostering proficiency in foreign language communication, particularly in English. In 2020, our curriculum adopted a “program system” to enable more flexible learning in line with a fast-changing society. Rather than selecting one field from the beginning, you can start with a wide range of fields and narrow down what you want to study in stages; it is also easier than before to adjust your course of direction as needed.


In the 21st century, we are facing various challenges. Probably you have all experienced the pandemic, which has affected many people living on Earth. Looking around the world, collective responses are needed to deal with the damage caused by the protracted war in Ukraine and the growing damage caused by climate change, but there is not enough cooperation to tackle the issues. Furthermore, challenges also come locally. The Noto Peninsula earthquake that occurred on New Year’s Day 2024 caused a lot of damage here in the Ishikawa prefecture. In today’s world, where global issues and local issues overlap and intertwine, how can we chart a course for our lives? Where do you position yourself, what do you place emphasis on, and can you find your own path? There is probably more than one answer. The School of International Studies provides a platform for immersing oneself in global experiences and knowledge and fostering the development of ideas to effectively address complex societal challenges.


The enrolment number of the School of International Studies is relatively small, such as 81 students per year. This allows students to have more opportunities to learn through dialogue in small classes. Many of them are also active in extracurricular activities such as students circles and associations, which also provide them with learning opportunities. As the number of international students at Kanazawa University continues to grow annually, Japanese students are increasingly presented with opportunities to engage with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and exchange perspectives. Moreover, our faculty members and students have close relationships, building a trust as equal individuals who strive to develop the knowledge and understanding of people and societies.


While studying abroad is not mandatory, we highly encourage students to explore this option. Amid the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, opportunities for in-person overseas experiences were restricted, leading to a shift towards online alternatives. Nevertheless, the trend of studying abroad has resurged over the past year. Conventionally, over 60% of students opt to study abroad at partner schools overseas for durations ranging from six months to one year, with over 90% of them engaging in some form of overseas training. Gaining insights from diverse regions and communities proves invaluable for self-reflection and personal reassessment. Because the School of International Studies has many specialized subjects taught in English, students can take these subjects as a step toward studying abroad, get used to discussions in English, and continue to improve their English skills in their preferred subjects even after returning from studying abroad.


The strength of the School of International Studies is probably best demonstrated by the achievements of graduates who studied at the School and have broadened their horizons through overseas experiences and dialogue with international students. After graduation, some find employment immediately, while others go on to graduate school to further develop specialized knowledge. In any case, our graduates have been highly regarded in many areas of society. In particular, we have a strong track record of employment in the manufacturing industry that is expanding globally. Hearing the word “international” (kokusai) in Japanese, some might think of the tourism industry or trading companies. However, in the contemporary times, globally competent human resources who are familiar with international affairs and social and cultural realties are in demand in all industries. Because this trend has spread to local governments and agencies, a certain number of our graduates decide to work for civil service every year.


The increasing demand of globally competent human resources is related to Japan’s internal internationalization. The number of foreign residents in Japan has reached approximately 3.22 million (as of May 2023), the highest ever. As more foreigners are expected to visit and stay in Japan in the future, there is an increasing need to think about how to proceed with this reality. Our faculty members carry out educational activities with a strong awareness of this situation. In the academic year 2023, Kanazawa University was selected for the Japanese language teacher training/training promotion center development project by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs. Having this project as the core, the School of International Studies will further enhance Japanese language education for the future.


Now, nobody knows what the future will hold. Would you choose not to think about it because you don’t know? Or do you think that you should stand up for yourself and do the best you can, and find a path that is good for both yourself and society? To all of you reading this message, I would like to say, why not study together at Kanazawa University’s School of International Studies and start on the path to becoming a “true international citizen” who can think by yourself!

Ryoko Nakano (April 2024)