Kanagawa Program

February 4 - March 4, 2017

This program is sponsored by Kanagawa University in Hiratsuka, Japan. Only participants selected by the sponsor are eligible for the program.

The Applied English Center (AEC) of the University of Kansas welcomes students from Kanagawa University each year.  Students live in a residence hall on campus with American roommates.  They study English and U.S. culture in the classroom and in the community every week, and on weekends they go on field trips and have a short homestay with an American family.

Students are taught and supported by AEC teachers, staff and ambassadors (KU students).  We love working with each year’s group of students from Kanagawa University, and we are anticipating another great program in 2017!

We hope the information on this site will answer all of your questions.  If you need more information, please email your question to aecstp@ku.edu.

Pre-arrival Information

Climate and Weather

Lawrence experiences four distinct seasons. Temperatures during spring (March to May) and fall (October and November) can be quite mild, with more extreme temperatures on each end of these seasons. Summer (June to September) temperatures can be quite hot, and winter (December to February) temperatures can be cold, dropping below freezing on a regular basis.

Please keep in mind that the weather in Lawrence can be quite varied, with large temperature changes from day to day and even during the same day.

When packing, you may want to pack clothing that you can layer based on the day’s weather – and don’t forget an umbrella!

Below are some links to help you identify average temperature and precipitation patterns as well as see the current weather forecasts.

Climate:  http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/lawrence/kansas/united-states/usks0319/2016/1

Weather:  http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/lawrence-ks/66044/weather-forecast/328846

Different Systems


The United States is one place that does not use the metric system.

There are numerous websites to help you with that.

There are even apps for iPhone and Android that you can download and keep on your phone.

The mathematical formulas to convert temperature are:

Fahrenheit to Celsius: (⁰ F – 32) ÷ 1.8 = ⁰ C

Celsius to Fahrenheit: (⁰ C × 1.8) + 32 = ⁰ F

Here is a website that includes a quick temperature equivalency as well as a converter and other useful information: http://www.mathsisfun.com/temperature-conversion.html

Here are some charts for common measurements:  http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/metric_conversion_chart.html

Here is a website where you can convert between the metric system and the units of measure used in the U.S.:  http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/conversions.html

And finally, here is a currency converter:  http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/

Electrical power supply

The electrical current used in the United States is 110-125 volts AC (alternating current), 60Hz (cycles per second). This is different from that of many other countries.

If you bring appliances from home, you may need an adapter to make sure your appliances work properly.

Chargers for cell phones and computers may work on multiple power systems.

Make sure to check any electronic devices (computer) or appliances (hair dryer) that you are thinking about bringing to the US to see if you will need an adapter.

It is often easier to purchase an adapter in your own country. Even if you have an adapter or a device that works on both power systems, you will probably need a device that adjusts to the American outlet shape.

Here is a link for more information: http://www.howtogeek.com/168564/what-you-need-to-know-about-power-outlets-and-voltages-when-travelling-internationally/ .

Coins and currency

Like other countries in the world, the U.S. issues their own coins and currency. The coins, in particular, can be somewhat confusing because of their size and special names. Below are the common coins and bills you will see. (Note: There are additional coins and bills that exist but they are not common.)

Coins ¢


Currency (bills) $


Portion of dollar



1 dollar

1 cent




5 dollars

5 cents




10 dollars

10 cents




20 dollars

 25 cents

¼  or 25/100



50 dollars





100 dollars

If you would like to see the coins and bills you might see in the U.S., please visit the following websites:


https://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/circulatingCoins/index.html Currency:




The standard address format for mailing items to and within the U.S. is as follows:


Street Address

(Additional information for the street address, if needed)

City, State (2 letter code)  zip code

On an envelope or package, you should include the sender’s name and address in the upper left hand corner in case the item needs to be returned to the sender.

The recipient’s name and address are in the center of the envelope.

If you would like to see what an addressed envelope should look like, you can visit: http://www.nhcs.net/parsley/curriculum/postal/envelope.html.



Feeling unwell in a different country can be one of the hardest parts of travel. It is difficult to know how to treat various pain or illnesses without familiar medications or natural remedies.

Medications in the U.S. are tested thoroughly and are generally safe. Many common medications, such as pain relievers, stomach medicines, and allergy and cold medications are even available without a prescription.

Some medications can seem expensive to visitors from other countries. Other people prefer more natural remedies, which may or may not be available in the U.S. Still others need prescription medications for chronic medical conditions.

It is possible to bring medications into the U.S., but you need to do thorough research on your particular medication before bringing it.

Some general guidelines, which may or may not apply in your situation, are:

  • The item should be in the original container.
  • You should only bring enough of the product for personal use during your program. No more than a 90 day supply is allowed.
  • Prescription medications are often not allowed unless the medication has been approved for use in the U.S. or is for a serious condition for which there is no treatment available in the U.S. (there are many requirements for the latter)
  • If you have a prescription medicine, you should bring a prescription or doctor’s note in English about the medication and why you need it.
  • Natural remedies or medications which have ingredients from animals may be banned.

You can also start a more thorough search at:  http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm484154.htm

Currency Exchange

The airport in Kansas City is small and does not have any currency exchange kiosks. If your first stop in the U.S. is at a major airport, you may be able to exchange money there.

It can be difficult to exchange money once you reach Kansas. Although there is one bank in Lawrence that will exchange money, it can be a difficult and time-consuming process.

It is recommended that you bring either a bank card so you can withdraw money from an ATM (automated teller machine) or bring traveler’s checks (in U.S. dollars). Although both will likely involve some fees, these are the simplest and safest methods for accessing money.

Although it is a good idea to bring some U.S. currency to Kansas with you, it is not recommended that you carry large amounts of cash with you.

Once you arrive in the U.S.

What to expect when entering the U.S.

When entering the U.S., you will need to show your passport, visa, and KU I-20 (if F-1) or DS-2019 (if J-1). Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your arrival.

You may be fingerprinted, photographed, and an entry stamp may be placed in your passport. You may be asked to go to another line where they will look at your documents and ask additional questions.

Do not be scared. This is all normal.

This may take 2-4 hours or longer to complete. Allow enough time between flights to complete all steps.

Your arrival will be registered electronically.

What to expect in Lawrence


The U.S., and the middle of the country in particular, has a car based culture. Most Americans who live outside of major cities have a car and bus systems are either unavailable or not as extensive or convenient as they may be in other countries around the world.

Lawrence does have a bus system. It is free to ride with a KU ID card. However, there is no service on Sundays and service in the summer, during university breaks, in the evening, and on Saturdays is limited.

Unfortunately, transportation to places outside of Lawrence, such as Kansas City, is very limited and can be expensive. Taxis, Uber, and shuttle services are all available but must be arranged ahead of time. Sharing the costs of these services with several other people can make them more cost-effective.

The K-10 Connector is a bus service that runs between Lawrence and Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City. From JCCC you should be able to take Kansas City buses into downtown Kansas City.

The K-10 Connector is primarily a commuter service and only operates Monday – Friday from about 6 am until 6 pm, with a couple of buses Monday – Thursday evenings. More details will be listed in the Handbook you will receive when you arrive.


As a KU student, you will be able to connect to the internet on your cell phone or computer using the free Wireless internet available in all campus buildings and residence halls.

Computers are available for use in the KU libraries and in several computers labs on campus.

Printing is available but does cost additional money - $0.08 for each black and white page (1 sided) and $0.48 for each color page (1 sided). Printing is connected to your KU ID card and can be purchased via credit card or cash. See your handbook upon arrival for more details on how to print on campus.

There are no public or pay phones on the KU campus. There are also no landline connections in the on—campus residence halls. To speak with your family and friends you will need to use an online phone service such as Skype, purchase an American cell phone, or have U.S. service set up on your cell phone from home.

Arrival - February 4, 2017

Travel Information

  • You will be arriving at Kansas City International Airport (MCI).
  • We will pick you up at the airport.
  • Travel time from the airport to KU is about one hour.
  • When we arrive in Lawrence, we will help you get checked into your dormitory.
  • You will be meeting your roommate and getting settled this evening.
Housing & Meals

Oliver Hall

Address: 1815 Naismith Drive, Lawrence, Kansas

Phone: (country code +1) 785-864-4911

Oliver Hall is located on Naismith Drive near Allen Fieldhouse. Oliver Hall enjoys the convenience of having a dining center and a music practice room in their building. All of Oliver's rooms are designed as traditional two-person rooms.

Contributing to Academics

  • Wireless Internet
  • Print your class assignments at the "print anywhere" stations in your hall
  • Study spaces on each floor

Your Room

  • Lofted bed
  • Extra-long twin mattress
  • Desk
  • Desk chair
  • Built-in dresser with mirror
  • Closet
  • Trash can
  • Venetian blinds

Your Hall

  • 660 co-ed residents (view hall layout)
  • Dining Center located on main floor
  • Living rooms on each floor
  • KU Card-operated laundry areas
  • Opened in 1966; floor lobbies upgraded 2011

Have Fun Here

  • Located near Ambler Recreation Center, Allen Fieldhouse and other sports facilities
  • Large lounge space on main floor for studying and entertaining
  • Ping-Pong and pool table
  • O-Zone retail dining facility
  • O-Town Showdown competition series between floors
  • One piano on the main floor and another in the basement

Some photos of Oliver Hall rooms and lobby can be found here: http://housing.ku.edu/residence-halls/oliver#Photo%20gallery

Oliver Dining Center

Oliver Hall offers its own dining facility. In addition to the several entree choices per meal, a hot food specialty bar offers a variety of items such as Mexican, stir-fry, pasta or baked potatoes. Oliver also offers soup, salad, deli, and dessert bars, along with "induction cooking" stations featuring made-while-you-wait entrees prepared with ingredients you select yourself.


In case of sickness, you should first go to the Watkins Student Health Center on campus.


  • As a student at the Applied English Center, you will be eligible for the full services offered by the Watkins Student Health Center at KU. You must have your KUID with you to receive medical treatment.
  • Prescriptions filled at the Student Health Center are not free, but they are less expensive than other pharmacies.
  • Dental care is not available at Watkins.

Regular office hours are:

  • Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Sunday: Closed

During student breaks, hours are:

  • Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 4:30pm
  • Saturday: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Sunday: Closed

Appointment Line: 785-864-9507
Pharmacy: 785-864-9512
Automated Line: 785-864-9500
Emergency: 911

Health Insurance

You will be covered by KU student insurance.

You will be able to see a doctor at Watkins Student Health Center at no charge. However, if the doctor decides that tests must be run or treatment (including medications) are necessary, there may be a small charge that you will be expected to pay. Your insurance will pay the majority of the cost for most of these things, but there may be a small percentage that you will be required to pay.

Medical Check-in

In order to be allowed to enroll at KU, you must have:

  • two (2) Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccinations,
  • a Meningitis vaccination

If you have an official vaccination record that shows you have already taken the MMR and/or Meningitis vaccinations in your home country, you can bring it with you. The record must be in English, show the date you took the vaccination, and be signed by a doctor.

In the US, the MMR vaccination contains three vaccines – one each for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.  In your country each of these vaccines might be given separately.  Your records must show one vaccinations for each disease.

If you do not have the correct vaccination record, you will be required to take the vaccinations here. 


Your classes will help you become more comfortable and confident using English and will help you understand American society better. You will also have many opportunities to meet and talk with KU students and the people of Lawrence.

Upon arrival, you will take the Michigan Language Assessment (formerly CaMLA) Proficiency Exam. Based on your results, you will be placed into a level-appropriate regular AEC Listening/Speaking/Grammar class.

Students' schedules will be determined by their class placement.

AEC Listening/Speaking/Grammar course

Students will practice English pronunciation, fluency, vocabulary development, and listening comprehension. There will also be practice with sentence- and discourse-level grammar and vocabulary.

Community Connections

3 - 9 hours each week

You will be actively involved in a wide variety of activities to help you learn more about KU, Lawrence, and life in the United States. Orientation to the campus and the Lawrence community is an intrinsic component of the course. This course provides you with one-on-one connections with a wide range of people on campus and in the community.

Field Trips
Square Dance and Homestay

You will meet AEC staff and your host families for a fun afternoon of square dancing together. Square dancing is a traditional American dance that is easy to learn and really fun to do.  You will be leaving the dance with your host families.

Two Trips to Kansas City

We will take you to Kansas City twice during your program.

First, we will take you to a suburban area called the Legends. You will also visit a store called Cabela's that is full of equipment for hunting and camping and all kinds of outdoor sports that are very popular with outdoorsmen in the U.S. You will also tour the stadium and facilities of Sporting KC - the professional soccer team in Kansas City.

We will also take you into the northern part of Kansas City. There you will visit the WWI Museum as well as enjoy interactive exhibits at the College Basketball Experience.

Jayhawk Basketball Game

You will have the chance to see a KU basketball game. In 2008, the Jayhawks were the National Champions and the basketball games at Allen Fieldhouse are always very exciting.

Contact Information

The office is open from 8:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday. You may call the office to contact Geri Lamer or an AEC instructor during those hours. During the evenings or weekends, if you need to speak with someone from the AEC, you should call Geri Lamer.

Geri Lamer (Contact for emergencies)
(785) 864-1321
Mobile: (785) 764-2781

Margaret Coffey
Office: (785) 864-1307

Aaron Huerter
Office: (785) 864-5316

Sample Calendar

Optional Activities