Learning resources

Choose an objective, plan a route, and execute the plan.

socialize internationally

international social group

The Hokudai student group SACLA organizes social events that welcomes international and local students alike.

Many of my students enjoy SACLA. I encourage you to join them.


international student association

Hokudai's international student association organizes (among other things) social outings, performances, and sport events.

Although I am not involved with them, I encourage you to participate.


study in english

exchange program

Hokudai's international student center offers an exchange student program.

Many students of mine have participated. All of them are satisfied. I urge you to consider.

international student center click on 北大生の留学情報

courses in english

Hokudai's international student center coordinates courses taught in English. Some courses are for non-Japanese students seeking an introduction to Japanese culture, society, business, or technology. Others are for both Japanese and non-Japanese students.

Most (but not all) departments recognize these courses for their graduation requirements.

Many students of mine have participated. I urge you to consider.

international student center click on 国際交流科目

read and write academic english

book reviews

The Hokudai library lists books recommended by staff. Some books are written in English.

My colleagues' broad interests constantly amaze me. This initiative is a wonderful way to pool our insights.

I contributed some reviews.

book reviews 本は脳を育てる

academic writing service

Hokudai offiers a service to improve academic writing. The service is free of charge to Hokudai students and personnel.

Although I am not involved with them, nor have I tried them, based on their website, I imagine their advice is worthwhile.


earn professional licenses

teaching certificate

Teaching certificates for middle school and high school are highly desirable professional licenses.

The process of earning teaching certificates is exhilarating and rewarding.

After you earn them, your teaching certificates become triply valuable.

First, if you want to teach, you become one of the few people legally qualified to do so.

Second, if you choose not to teach, your certificates will convince potential employers that you have accomplished more than ordinary students.

Third, no matter what career you choose, your teacher training will enable you to train others who come after you.

No matter what others might say, for all practical purposes, you can only earn teaching certificates while enrolled in college full-time. If you have the slightest interest, act now.

Teaching programs are offered by most Hokudai schools, including the school of education and the school of letters.

Hokudai's career center offers seminars and workshops.

I am proud of my teaching certificates.

interpreter guide

The Japan National Tourism Organization administers exams for the Interpreter Guide license.

This is a prestigious professional qualification that requires knowledge of history, geography, culture, and language.

Licensees are legally allowed to commercially perform interpreter-guide services.

The language test ranks among the most challenging.

The test result is pass or fail, not a score.

I hope to take the test myself.


demonstrate your language proficiency


Hokudai students take TOEFL-ITP (test of English as a foreign language -- institutional testing program).

Students planning to study in North America should prepare for the TOEFL-IBT (test of English as a foreign language -- internet-based test).

The test result is a score.

You can buy a book with a CD to practice taking tests on your computer.

Or, you can take practice tests online at the TOEFL-IBT practice website.


Many corporations require or encourage their employees to take TOEIC (test of English for international communication).

The test result is a score.

You can take test sessions organized by Hokudai COOP, or apply directly to the ETS (educational testing service).



Eiken is a popular test of English language proficiency.

Many schools and corporations in Japan recognize Eiken. Eiken is hardly known outside of Japan, however.

The test result is pass or fail, not a score.


goh's favorite sites


Frontline is investigative journalism at its best. Japan’s journalists should cry in shame.


These websites keep me informed about the (sometimes dark) world of ours:

Popular Science (I’m a geek, and proud of it)
Scientific American (I’m a scientist, and proud of it)
Newshour (formerly the “MacNeil Lehrer Newshour”)


iBioSeminars offers lectures in biology.


Coursera offers free courses online.