Final Days of “Spring”

Classes ended yesterday, June 24, but the “Spring Trimester” is not over yet. (They definitely had the beginning in mind, and not the end, when they named it “Spring.”)

Next week we’ll have makeup classes, exams, and time for writing final papers. The term officially ends on July 1. Then, a week later, on Friday, July 8, we’ll hold our Summer Commencement ceremony.

Seniors, もう少しだけ頑張ってください! You’re almost there!

Of course, I’m speaking here to seniors in our English track. The story’s different for seniors in our Japanese track. They still have 2 more terms to finish – fall and winter – before they can enjoy a cool “Spring Commencement” ceremony.

Academic Calendars in Japan

Here’s a cultural note for those of you who are new to academic calendars in Japan.

Most schools in Japan – from pre-K through college – begin their academic year in April and finish the following March. A few schools, however, begin programs in the fall, especially English-language programs. Some schools do both.

For instance, at TCU, students in the Japanese-language track begin in the spring, and students in the English-language track begin in the fall. So we have two graduation ceremonies each year: a Spring Commencement ceremony in March mainly for Japanese-track students, and a Summer Commencement ceremony in July mainly for English-track students.

To get an idea of what the academic year is like around Japan, take a look at the 2022–2023 dates for the beginning of classes through final exams at TCU and two other colleges.

Tokyo Christian University

Spring Trimester: Apr 8 – Jul 1
Fall Trimester: Aug 25 – Nov 14
Winter Trimester: Nov 28 – Feb 27

International Christian University (ICU)

Spring Term Apr 9 – Jun 25
Autumn Term: Sep 3 – Nov 22
Winter Term: Dec 7 – Mar 8 *

Sophia University

Spring Semester: Apr 12 – Jul 30 (2 quarters)
Autumn Semester: Sep 27 – Jan 31 (2 quarters) *

Note: Most schools divide the school year into 2 semesters, which are occasionally divided into quarters for some classes (such as Sophia). But some, such as TCU and ICU, divide the school year into 3 trimesters.

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