Kyoto Research & Internships


The BOSP Sanford Program in Kyoto combines a Winter and/or Spring quarter of academic study in Kyoto with the option of a subsequent 10-week Summer internship, frequently located elsewhere in Japan.

Outstanding host organizations for any field of interest

The Kyoto center has built up an extensive network of contacts with leading businesses and organizations throughout Japan, enabling students to gain significant, distinctive and international work experience in their chosen field of interest. Kyoto program students have interned at major corporate names as well as smaller, highly entrepreneurial companies. Students with non-technical or specialist interests are placed in appropriately-focused organizations, including universities, research institutes, NGO’s, or other specialist concerns.

Broad range of work experience

The experience students can gain at their internships varies widely. Past internships have involved students writing software programs to address production issues at a Japanese machinery firm, programming robots to self-navigate, working as part of a design team to create new usability features for smartphone apps, developing browser games, testing the strength of materials at a heavy industrial company, researching aspects of Alzheimer’s disease at a neuroscience lab, shadowing and assisting doctors and nurses at a hospital for children with special needs, structuring derivatives at an investment bank, and researching Asian economies for a major economic think tank - among many others.

We have also sourced internships for students with highly specialized interests, including working in a traditional taiko drum company, at Japan’s largest manga museum, and on an organic farm. On occasions when a student requests an internship in an area that we don’t currently have connections with, we strive to source new and relevant internship opportunities for them.

Support from the Kyoto Center

We want students to focus on their internships and not on worrying about their finances. All students who enter the Kyoto internship program receive a stipend to cover their living expenses as well as having their accommodation provided either by the host organization or through arrangement by the center. Commuting costs are also covered.

The Internship Coordinator works closely with students throughout the internship process, from initial application through to the end of the internship. The Kyoto staff is on hand to provide support where necessary, helping to solve any problems as well as to provide advice to students on how they can get the absolute most from their internship experience. The staff also takes students to meet their internship hosts in person at the start of their internship, and visits again halfway through to check on the progress being made.


In order to be accepted on to the internship program, students must have completed at least one quarter of studies (Winter or Spring) at the Kyoto program.

By the time students begin their summer internship, they need to have completed at least one or two years of Japanese language depending on their major classification, as follows:

  • STEM major students and prospective STEM major students must have completed JAPANLNG 3 or 3K.
  • Non-STEM major students and prospective non-STEM major students must have completed JAPANLNG 23 or 23K.

To find out if your major falls in the STEM or the non-STEM category,  please check the list of the university's defined major classifications.

 For more information about eligibility, please read the Kyoto Language Prerequisite information.


A limited number of participants will have the opportunity to conduct independent research. All projects must be developed in consultation with the program director. Projects should focus on an aspect of Japanese culture, society, or public policy. Students are encouraged to discuss proposed projects with the director as early as possible, and no later than the start of the student's quarter in Kyoto. Research projects typically earn two to three units of credit.

Student Grants for Research Overseas

Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR) administers several grants that can support research overseas, including the Quarterly and Major Grants. Help to prepare for the grant competitions is available via email. For deadlines, directions, and specific policies regarding off-campus research, please visit the UAR student grants website.