About the BCL Program

The BCL Program(Survey of Japanese Business, Survey of Japanese Culture & History and Japanese Language Courses)


The BCL (Japanese Business, Culture & History and Japanese Language) Program has been specifically designed for students from Senshu’s partner universities and offers them a general understanding of not only the Japanese language, but also Japanese business practices, cultural paradigms, and a chance to experience daily life in Japan. The program starts in the middle of September and ends in the middle of December (12 weeks in total). It consists of three courses:
  • Survey of Japanese Business*
  • Survey of Japanese Culture & History*
  • Japanese Language
*Taught in English.
The “Japanese Language” course is offered to all international students, including individual participants, who wish to learn the language intensively. It features class levels ranging from beginner to advanced.

Total class hours are presently scheduled at 4,500 minutes (75 hrs)

Throughout this course, students gain invaluable insight into the business concepts and management philosophies that made Japan one of the world’s largest economies. The first objective of this course is to provide students with a theoretical framework of Japanese-style business practices through informative lectures. The second is to give students a firsthand look into the inner workings of Japanese corporations through company visits. The third is to improve students’ analytical skills by having them conduct research and present their findings. Accordingly, the three corecourse components have been divided into the following:


Teachers and professionals from various backgrounds share their expertise with students through lectures, case studies, and class discussions. Past topics have included “Strategies of Excellent Japanese Companies”, “Financial Accounting in Japan”, the “Japanese Tourism Industry”, and the “Japanese Economy”.

Company Visits

Students visit companies, factories, and other organizations located within the metropolitan area of Tokyo to observe how the concepts discussed in the core course lectures are actually applied. Corporate officers also give presentations and tours. In previous years, company visits have included the Bank of Japan, Rakuten (one of the largest e-commerce company), Ajinomoto (food and biotechnology corporation), Kao (a leading chemical manufacturer), and Chrono Gate (a global logistics company).

Field Research Project (Topic: “7 Things to Do in Tokyo”)

This project enables students to individually create a unique guide for foreign visitors to Tokyo. During the course, students have opportunities to explore Tokyo and discover interesting places to conduct their field research. Once students decide on seven places/activities to research, they choose a specific theme (ideally based on the content from the core course lectures) and give a presentation at the end of the program on their findings. These presentations include visual aids (such as PowerPoint) as well as a Q&A with the audience. Upon completing their presentation, students submit a print version of their visual aids and draft for a grade.

Total class hours are presently scheduled at 2,250 minutes (37.5 hrs)

The purpose of this course is to deepen students’ understanding of Japanese culture and history through various lectures, field trips/excursions, and hands-on activities that are culturally unique to Japan.


Throughout this course, students are exposed to a wide range of viewpoints regarding Japanese culture and history, especially through the lectures conducted by teachers and professionals (all with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise). These Lecturers aim to provide students with a well-rounded understanding of Japanese society by discussing topics that cover both ancient and modern Japan, such as the origin of the Japanese people, the history of the central authority in medieval Japan, the history of samurai, and the culture of merchants in the Edo era, as well as other aspects of modern Japanese culture and subcultures (such as anime and manga). Past topics have included “Understanding Misunderstanding: Non-verbal Communication and Japanese”, “Cultural History of Japanese Anime”, and “Japanese History”.

Field Trips & Excursions

In this course, students gain access to places of cultural interest through field trips and excursions. One such field trip includes a visit to the Edo-Tokyo Museum (pictured above), where students can get an up-close look at artifacts from the era that lead to Japan’s modernization. This course also includes a one-day excursion to Oyama and Odawara Castle Tour, which was originally built in 15th century. The reconstructed Odawara Castle was listed as one of the “100 Fine Castles of Japan” by the Japan Castle Foundation.


The goal of this course is not simply to tell students about Japanese culture and history, but let them experience it firsthand. Students will have the rare opportunity to immerse themselves in traditional Japanese activities such as Sa-dō (Japanese Tea Ceremony held in a tatami room), Sho-dō (Japanese calligraphy), and Noh theater (a traditional style of Japanese drama). Through “experiential learning”, students will have the chance to gain a deeper understanding of Japanese culture by practicing unique rituals which have been performed for over a thousand years.


The purpose of this course is to equip students not only with fundamental Japanese grammar and vocabulary, but a comprehensive understanding of how to communicate effectively in Japanese. Students will be provided with textbooks and other materials which they may keep after the program.

Classes are arranged according to students’ levels (usually four to six different levels) with a maximum of 12 students per class. Students are placed in an appropriate level class according to the results of their preliminary comprehension checklist. Upon arriving in Japan, students will also be given a final oral and written test to determine the most appropriate class level for them. Classes are primarily held between 9:00 am – 12:50 pm (four periods comprised of four successive 50 minute sessions) Monday through Friday. Students will have a homeroom teacher, but also be regularly taught by different instructors throughout the week. At the end of the course, students will give short presentations in Japanese on any topic they choose.

In preparation for this course, students who indicate they are beginner-level on their application will be sent basic practice worksheets directly to their mailing address in July, which cover Hiragana (a Japanese alphabet comprised of 46 basic characters), numbers 1 to 10 in kanji (Chinese characters), and basic daily greetings.