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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I love anime and I want to make friends with other students who love anime. Do you have any suggestions?

A: Check out Animania, the anime club!

Q: I love Japanese food and culture. Is there any way I could join activities about these topics?

A: There are student organization on campus that relate to Japanese food and culture. You may find a full list of student organizations on Maize Pages. There are groups such as Japan Student Association (JSA) and Animania (focused on anime). You may also subscribe our CJS email list and get notified when there is a CJS event coming up. Sign up for the CJS email list here. Any of the CJS events are based on these topics, and sometimes THERE IS FOOD! :-)

Q: How can I find courses to take about Japan? Are they all in one department?

A: There are many courses about Japan, some of which focus entirely on Japan and other that situate Japan in a broader context. The first step is to examine the LSA course guide which lists all of the Japan-related courses offered.

You can do a keyword search for "Japan" and/or check out the course list created by members of the CJS Undergraduate Advisory Board.

Many Japanese language or culture courses are listed under ASIAN or ASIANLAN but there are also others in other departments. Remember that many courses are cross-listed with two (or more) departments. For example, a Japanese History class might be listed under both ASIAN and HISTORY.

Q: If I want to talk with another student about Japan activities and groups here at UM, can I do that?

A: Sure, members of the Undergraduate Advisory Board would be happy to talk with you!  Please email the Director of Undergraduate Studies (cjs.undergradstudies@umich.edu) and they will pass your question along to students.

Q: I would love to visit Japan. Is there any support for that? Can I get money? Are there particular programs I could join?

A: We are very lucky to have many opportunities to go to Japan.  You could go for part of a summer, for a semester, or for a whole year. You could apply for internships and funding to support them, or you could take classes (and transfer the credit back here) at Japanese universities.  To see an overview of opportunities.

To explore study abroad opportunities, check out MCompass.

Q: I don’t have time to spend a whole semester or year in Japan. Is there any way I could just go for a few weeks?

A: Yes, there are opportunities to study, intern, volunteer, perform service, or do research in Japan. Some of these last less than a month and are held during Spring or Summer terms. Visit the CJS website or M-Compass for more information.

Q: Where can I get delicious Japanese food in Ann Arbor?

A: Well, there are at least three reasonable Japanese restaurants I can recommend. They are respectively Totoro at 215 S State St, Ayaka at 1205 S University Ave, and Miki Japanese Restaurant at 106 S 1st St. By the way, if you have time, I strongly recommend you to take a ride to Novi. Japanese restaurants in Novi are incredible.

Q: I have learned some Japanese language and would be really happy to do a language exchange. (A language exchange links two people studying each other's languages, so they can each practice.) Is that possible?

A: Yes, the Language Resource Center hosts a Conversation Partner Database where you can find a list of other people who want to practice language skills.

Q: Is Japanese language really that difficult to learn?

A: Despite what you may have heard, Japanese is accessible to everyone who is willing to try their best! We don't think it's harder than other languages. While you will have to put in effort, Japanese at the University of Michigan is fun and rewarding. There lots of different Japanese language courses, for instance "First-year Japanese through Anime and Manga," "Media Japanese," and "Business Japanese." We encourage any student who is interested to sign up for a Japanese language course.  If you have specific questions, please feel free to ask members of the Undergraduate Advisory Board, and we'll be happy to answer or give suggestions.