Japan

Golden temple geisha in Kyoto, Japan. Image by Marc Veraart.Important visa information

All exchange students must obtain a visa before leaving Australia. Details can be found on the Study in Japan website.

Exchange Programs in Japan: Most Japanese universities offer special programs for exchange students which are a mixture of Japanese language classes and classes taught in English. The units offered to exchange students are usually limited to the areas of Japanese language, history and culture.

Scholarships: Many Japanese universities offer Japanese Government scholarships to selected Monash exchange students. You can find more information about these on the Arts faculty website. Waseda University offers one scholarship per year to a Monash student (see Waseda University below). Students who receive any of these scholarships are not eligible for a Monash Abroad travel grant.

General Information: Note that the exchange programs to Japan are based out of and coordinated through the Japanese language department at Monash Australia and are designed for Japanese language students. Those enrolled at Monash South Africa and Monash Malaysia are therefore ineligible for a Japanese exchange.
The application process for exchange in Japan is different from other exchanges.
Please read the application process for Japanese exchange programs (pdf, 67kb) and download and complete the Japanese exchange program application form (pdf, 103kb).

Chiba University

Faculties: All
Level: Undergraduate and postgraduate
Language of instruction: English – J-PAC Program
Minimum Grade requirement: GPA 3.0
Semester dates:

  • Spring semester: early April – late July
  • Fall semester: early October – late March

About Chiba University

The city of Chiba lies just 40km south of Tokyo, and is one of Japan's major seaports. It also holds the Guinness World Record for the world's longest monorail.

The university is located within the city across four campuses: Nishi-Chiba, Inohana, Matsudo, and Kashiwa-no-ha. With 11,179 students in the undergraduate program, it is one of the largest universities in Japan. Within the graduate school, there are about 2,354 students in ten master's programs and 1,220 in nine doctoral programs.

The specifics

The J-PAC program (Japanese Program at Chiba) is available to students who study Japanese culture and language courses – more information on the details of each course, your eligibility and application procedures is available in the J-PAC manual.

The International Student Desk, and the International Student Division are responsible for international students coming in on the J-PAC program, and provide all information and resources concerning accommodation, scholarships and all other regulatory procedures. Accommodation for students is provided in Chiba University International House (one train station away from the main university campus), or through private rentals in the city. Other useful information about bikes, trains and buses is all available online through the ISD.

Hitotsubashi University

Faculties: All
Level: Undergraduate and postgraduate
Language of instruction: Japanese and English
Minimum Grade requirement: GPA 2.7
Semester dates:

  • First semester: early April – late July
  • Second semester: late September – mid February

About Hitotsubashi University

Founded in 1875, Hitotsubashi has enjoyed and long and rich history, and has since been the only university in Japan to specialise in humanities and social sciences. Other unique developments have seen the university adopt classes in seminar style groups, rather than the norm that is mass education.

Located just outside central Tokyo, you can browse photo galleries of the picturesque campus grounds through each of the four seasons. Tokyo, as the capital and most populous city in Japan is a metropolis of economics, finance, culture, art and cuisine – the Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo more Michelin stars than any other city.

The specifics

For undergraduates, there are three types of courses which may be taken at Hitotsubashi – two of which are taught mostly in Japanese, and the Hitotsubashi University Global Education Program (HGP) which offers interdisciplinary courses in English, designed for both international and Japanese students. For a brief introduction read the Info Session guide. The studies in English are designed to be accompanied by Japanese language studies.

Residential dormitories for international students are available in International House, or International Student Dormitory. Further supports of international students include a tutor system as well as an international resource room. It may be useful to peruse through the International Student's Handbook.

Meiji Gakuin

Faculties: All
Level: Undergraduate and postgraduate
Language of instruction: English – International Study Program
Minimum Grade requirement: GPA 2.0
Semester dates:

  • Spring semester: early April – late July
  • Fall semester: early October – late March

Other: Exchange students are based at Yokohama campus.

About Meiji Gakuin

Meiji Gakuin (MGU) is the successor of the Christian university founded by James Curtis Hepburn – an American Christian missionary and a champion of the Romanisation of the Japanese language, and published the first full-fledged Japanese-English / English-Japanese dictionary. MGU endeavours to teach such that they might foster character to put one's studies to good use, and operates under the guiding principle to do unto others as you would to you. This philosophy has seen itself manifest in times of crisis, such as 1995, when MGU ran a volunteer centre during the Great Hanshin Earthquake. This has since been incorporated into the university and contains more than 1,500 sources of volunteer information to help support students.

MGU is located in the southern districts of Tokyo, and the campus is split between Shirokane and Yokohama – the second largest city in Japan.

The specifics

The exchange program at MGU consists of two different components: a mandatory intensive Japanese language course, and a selection of elective courses and seminars offered in English by various faculties with a focus on Japanese society and culture. Those who have passed Level one of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test are permitted to take any course at MGU with prior permission.

Exchange students are offered the opportunity to immerse themselves in Japanese culture, by staying short term with a host family. Alternatively, there is ample university housing within close proximity to the campus.

The Centre of International Cooperation in Education (CIRCE) is the office that looks after exchange students, and also runs the annual buddy program, as well as other programs for exchange students coming to MGU. Have a look around the campus for all forms of student support, volunteer programs, as well as student societies and activities.

Nagoya University

Faculties: All
Level: Undergraduate and postgraduate
Language of instruction: English – NUPACE Program
Minimum Grade requirement: GPA 3.0
Semester dates:

  • Spring semester: early April – early August
  • Fall semester: early October – late March

About Nagoya University

Located in the north eastern districts of Nagoya, in central Japan, Nagoya University is one of the leading higher learning institutions in Japan, ranked consistently within the top 100 universities in the world by QS World Rankings. They seek to incorporate the highest standards of leadership, research and international cooperation.

Nagoya is a vibrant and highly populous district of Japan, located near Ise Bay. While largely urbanised and modern (including sights from Japan's highest open-air observation deck), there remain some relics of the past including Nagoya Castle, which dates back to 1612.

The specifics

Exchange students are welcomed by the Study Abroad Office, who support students in all administrative capacities, as well as helping students settle in. Exchange students are required for the most part, to study as part of the NUPACE program (Nagoya University Program for Academic Exchange), which combines studies in Japanese language with cultural studies taught in English. See the latest NUPACE brochure for all details, course requirements and course descriptions.

Please consult the website for the several housing options for international students, all within a short walk or bus ride of the university campus. This university is advisable, as securing a private rental can be highly difficult for international students. There are also a range of sports and student activities on campus. They provide more information in their Exchange Program FAQs.

Ochanomizu University

Faculties: All
Level: Undergraduate and postgraduate
Language of instruction: Japanese only
Minimum Grade requirement: GPA 2.0
Semester dates:

  • Spring semester: early April – late July
  • Fall semester: early October – late March

Other: Female students only. Full year program commencing in Monash semester 2 (October) only.

About Ochanomizu University

Ochanomizu is one of only two, female only universities in Japan, located in the Bunkyo-ku district in western Tokyo. The classes are highly specialised, and they cater particularly for small class sizes. The university operates on the basis of three fundamental principles: knowledge, critical thinking and tolerance. The curriculum incorporates a Career Design Program and a Leadership Development Program, as part an effort to enhance women's participation in practical leadership education.

The university has three faculties: the Faculty of Letters and Education, Science and the Faculty of Human Life and Environmental Sciences, as well as Master's and doctoral programs.

The specifics

As Ochanomizu has no classes in English, students wishing to apply for exchange to the university must have advanced levels of Japanese in order to participate in any of the courses. International student's residence is located within close walking and transport distance from the campus. On campus there are a range of student sports and associations which you can join to help you settle in and make new friends.

Osaka University

Faculties: All
Level: Undergraduate and postgraduate
Language of instruction: English – OUSSEP and MAPLE Programs
Minimum Grade requirement: GPA 3.0
Semester dates:

  • Spring semester: early April – late July
  • Fall semester: early October – late March

About Osaka University

Formerly one of the imperial universities of Japan, Osaka has a long academic tradition reaching back to the 18th century. Located to the north west of Osaka, in Suita, the university is placed amongst many cultural institutions and museums. The university also has campuses in Toyonaka and Mino.

Osaka is Japan's most vibrant and populous areas, and Osaka city is an industrial, cultural and retail centre, with many popular shopping districts, annual festivals, museums and galleries.

The specifics

The Osaka University Short-term Student Exchange Program (OUSSEP) is a half or full year program for students with little or no Japanese language, incorporating Japanese language classes with courses on Japanese cultural life, taught in English. For those with more advanced levels of Japanese, the MAPLE Program provides classes mostly in Japanese, with a few electives taught in English.

International students are guided to a range of accommodation options, however please note that some of these are gender specific. The campus is also bicycle friendly, and you can find further information on registering your bike on campus. While you're there, browse through the student/cultural clubs and societies who run many events open to international students.

Rikkyo University

Faculties: Arts & Social Sciences
Level: Undergraduate and postgraduate
Language of instruction: English and Japanese
Minimum Grade requirement: GPA 2.0
Semester dates: * Spring semester: April –July * Fall semester: September – February

About Rikkyo University

Rikkyo University is one of Japan’s oldest and highest rated private universities, with two campuses located in Ikebukuro, Tokyo and Niiza, Saitama. It has a long history of excellence in education and research, which, combined with substantial investment in state of the art information technology and teaching facilities has earned a reputation as one of the premier educational institutions in Japan.

The specifics Monash has a faculty-specific exchange agreement with the College of Sociology (http://english.rikkyo.ac.jp/academics/undergraduate/sociology/) at Rikkyo University. The college takes a comprehensive look at today's increasingly complex problems related to humanity, society, communication, the media, culture, and the environment, all from the perspective of sociology. Most of the regular academic courses are offered in Japanese, except for Japanese Studies in English and foreign language courses as well as a few classes offered in English. Those who wish to take regular academic courses conducted in Japanese must have the minimum required level of Japanese proficiency (normally J6 level or above on the Rikkyo Japanese Placement Test.)


Saitama University

Faculties: All
Level: Undergraduate and postgraduate
Language of instruction: English – STEPS and Japanese Studies Programs
Minimum Grade requirement: GPA 2.0
Semester dates:

  • Spring semester: early April – late July
  • Fall semester: early October – late March

About Saitama University

Just within reach of the Greater Tokyo area – 30km north of the central Tokyo, Saitama University is located between the city and natural Japanese landscapes - the lush greenery of the Okubo campus, nears the Musashino Plain, Mt. Fuji and the Chichibu mountain range while the skyscrapers of Saitama's new city centre rise up into the sky.

The specifics

Saitama has been involved with student exchange since 2006, and has enjoyed a flow of students from mainland Asia as well as further abroad. The Centre for International Exchange (CIE) looks after the administration of exchange students. For inquiries, contact ryugaku@mail.saitama-u.ac.jp

Seikei University

Faculties: All
Level: Undergraduate and postgraduate
Language of instruction: Japanese and some English
Minimum Grade requirement: GPA 2.5
Semester dates:

  • Spring semester: early April – late July
  • Fall semester: early October – late March

Other: First year students cannot apply. Students can only start in the spring semester.

About Seikei University

Having recently celebrated its 100th year anniversary, Seikei continues the traditions, upon which it was established, namely the development of character and respect for each individual's unique personality. Challenging oppressive and mass education practices in the early 1900s, Seikei continues to use small seminar classes to nurture student interaction and cooperation. The campus is noted for its beautiful rows of zelkova trees, and you can see the whole campus through a virtual campus tour.

The specifics

The majority of classes at Seikei are instructed in Japanese, however there is a small seminar class, International Community offered as part of the Faculty of Letters, which is taught in English. Additionally, Japanese language and culture subjects are offered, and taught in small classes defined by proficiency level. Here exchange students learn reading, grammar, conversation, report preparation and various aspects of modern Japanese society. An international house is available for student accommodation with Japanese students on each floor.

University of Tokyo

Faculties: All
Level: Undergraduate or postgraduate
Language of instruction: English and Japanese - UStep Program
Minimum Grade requirement: GPA 3.0
Semester dates:

  • Spring semester: early April – late July
  • Fall semester: early October – late March

About the University of Tokyo

University of Tokyo is commonly known as 'Todai' in Japan, which is an abbreviation of the Japanese characters that make up the Japanese name of the University. Established in 1887, as the original Imperial University, the university has a long and prestigious history. The university has several campuses, and  exchange students may take courses at the Komaba and/or Hongo Campus, which are approximately one hour apart via public transport.

Tokyo is the capital of Japan, and not so much a city as a metropolis, and the largest metropolitan area in the world, with a total population of over 13 million people.

The specifics

The exchange program run by Tokyo University is called USTEP . Students can study for one or two semesters, in English and/or Japanese in accordance to their language proficiency. Subjects are available across all faculties, including Japanese language, culture, politics and economics. A course catalogue can be found here.
Exchange students may apply for accommodation arranged by the University of Tokyo, however it is not guaranteed for all students. Further information in regards to housing is available here.

University of Tsukuba

Faculties: All
Level: Undergraduate and postgraduate
Language of instruction: English – JTP program
Minimum Grade requirement: GPA 3.0
Semester dates:

  • Semester one: April to August
  • Semester two: September to March

About the University of Tsukuba

Tsukuba, renowned for its commitment to the natural sciences, represents one of the world's largest harmonized attempts to progress scientific discovery, and was developed in the early 1960s, now housing several research institutes as well as the University of Tsukuba. The main Tsukuba campus covers an area of 258 hectares, and as such it is the largest single campus in Japan. Despite being amidst science and technology industry, Tsukuba Science City is also surrounded by tranquil rice paddies and beautiful forests.

The introduction video will give you an insight into the comprehensive research undertaken at the university, as well as a glimpse into campus life. The campus also has a committed sustainability policy, which seeks to reduce the human impact on the environment through education and research.

The specifics

The International Student Centre assists exchange students settling into Tsukuba, and can answer a range of FAQs, as well as introducing you to the JTP program. JTP offers courses taught mostly in English to help students better understand Japanese society and to develop cross-cultural perspectives, as well as Japanese language classes. The international brochure will provide you with the most comprehensive detail on the program. The Student Residence Guide will take you through the various options for accommodation on campus.

Waseda University

Faculties: All
Level: Undergraduate and postgraduate
Language of instruction: English / Japanese
Minimum Grade requirement: GPA 3.0

About Waseda

Waseda University's main campus is located in the Nishi-Waseda district of Shinjuku, and the university was founded by samurai scholar and former prime minister Ōkuma Shigenobu in 1882. Since then, it has developed into one of the leading higher learning institutions in Japan, with over 50,000 drawn from across Japan and over 90 countries worldwide.
The Shinjuku district of Japan is highly populous and vibrant with many restaurants, bars, cafes and shopping districts. It is also home to Kagurazaka, one of the few remaining geisha districts in Tokyo.

The specifics

Waseda University offers three different programs to exchange students: Undergraduate Studies Program, Graduate Studies Program, and Japanese Language Program. You can participate in one of these programs for one or two semesters.
Students who apply for the Undergraduate or Graduate Studies  Programs will enrol into one of Waseda University’s schools (faculties) and may take courses in Japanese and/or English. These classes are taken alongside Japanese language classes that range in level from elementary to pre-advanced. You can search for classes that you might be interested in the syllabus search.
The Japanese Language Program is organised through the Waseda University Centre for Japanese Language. Courses are divided into eight different levels, each of which offers comprehensive learning of Japanese language. Course and subjects will be determined after a Placement Test which students will take on enrollment to determine their Japanese level. The university has on campus accommodation, with dorm style rooms specifically for exchange students. Private renting is advised against, as it can be very difficult for international students to secure. The International Community Centre runs many events for international students to meet other students, and offers a guide to students clubs and societies.