North Central College - Naperville, IL

Go east young man...or woman.

If you’re interested in Asian cultures, studying Japanese and/or Chinese, preparing for a career in international business or global studies, North Central’s offerings will suit your future plans.

  • North Central College first offered Japanese in 1985 and added a major in 1992. The school’s ties to the country date back to 1875 through church mission work and the first international student from Japan graduated from North Central in 1893. Today the program is under the guidance of Professor Fukumi Matsubara and includes ample study abroad opportunities, a Japan Club and connections with visiting international students. In addition, the College’s newest history professor specializes in modern Japanese history.
  • The Chinese minor was added in 2006 and has become a popular addition to the resumés of students who want global careers. Study abroad opportunities and internships round out the students who want to internationalize their academic experience.
  • The East Asian Studies major/minor combines language experience with courses in history, religion and philosophy to fully immerse students in the cultures of Japan and China.
  • North Central can financially assist students who want to study in Japan thanks to an Omron Foundation grant that is used for scholarships. In addition, North Central was awarded a grant from the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago Foundation as an additional scholarship source.

Students often participate in Model United Nations, International Club and the Asian Student Konnection (ASK). “And we have language tables every week where we talk and play games in Japanese,” adds Kara Hoover, Japanese major. “It’s a relaxed atmosphere where it’s OK to make mistakes, and everyone always learns a lot. Also, Japanese majors are required to study abroad. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the culture, and you’re forced to use your language skills.”