Exchanges in Japan–At a Glance Comparison

Exchanges in Japan–At a Glance Comparison

Japan Exchanges—At a Glance Comparison

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  Hiroshima UniversityNagoya UniversitySophia UniversityRitsumeikan UniversityHitotsubashi University
Location Higashi-Hiroshima Nagoya Tokyo Kyoto Kunitachi City & Kodaira City, Tokyo
Academic offerings
  • Japanese language & culture, courses offered in English are limited.
  • Japanese language (standard & intensive)
  • Japanese culture
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Studies
  • International Development
  • Law
  • Political Science
  • Research opportunities
  • Japanese language & culture
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Intensive Japanese Language Track
  • Japan & World Perspectives Track (International Relations, Political Science, Law, Public Policy)
  • Business Track
  • Traditional Arts courses
  • Japanese language & culture
  • Explore Japan Seminar
  • Business
  • Economics
Terms Academic year (Late September-Early August) Academic year (Late September-Early August) or Spring Semester (April-August) Academic year (Late September-Early August) or
Spring Semester (April-August)
Academic year (Late September-Early August) or Spring Semester (April-August) Academic year (Late September-Early August) or Spring Semester (April-August)
City population 200,000 2.3 million 9.3 million 1.5 million 75,000 and 180,000
Total undergraduate/graduate enrollment 16,000 17,000 14,000 36,000 7,000
# of int'l students studying at university 1,200 2,100 1,600 3,000 800
# of US students studying at university 15 30 210 35 15
Language Prerequisite No previous Japanese language study required although preference is given to students with Japanese coursework No previous Japanese language study required although preference is given to students with Japanese coursework No previous Japanese language study required although preference is given to students with Japanese coursework No previous Japanese language study required although preference is given to students with Japanese coursework No previous Japanese language study required although preference is given to students with Japanese coursework
GPA requirement 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0
Program Fee Budget Estimates Budget Estimates Budget Estimates Budget Estimates Budget Estimates

Map of Japan, with exchange locations indicated

What makes these universities unique? 

Hiroshima University: Hiroshima University is located in Higashi Hiroshima, a small city outside of Hiroshima City. Hiroshima City is well known for being the site of the atomic bomb drop during World War II. Today the city bustles and thrives while maintaining important sites of remembrance. Hiroshima University has a large campus and strong campus community. Students report that they have ample opportunity to practice their Japanese because fewer people in this smaller town speak English.

Nagoya University: Nagoya University is a top research university located in the urban center of Nagoya. This program has ample course offerings in the sciences, which is unique among the exchange sites. Nagoya is Japan’s fourth largest city and is known for its automobile industry instead of being a tourist destination.

Sophia University: Sophia University is located near the Yotsuya station in central Tokyo and has an urban and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Many Japanese students at Sophia University complete their entire degree in English, so there are extensive English-taught course offerings available to exchange students. Sophia University is a private university that enrolls a large number of international students.

Ritsumeikan University: Ritsumeikan University is a top private university located in Kyoto, a traditional city well known for its plethora of temples and shrines. In fact, Ryoanji, a temple known for its famous rock garden, is directly outside the university’s main gate.

Hitotsubashi University: Hitotsubashi University’s main campus is in Kunitachi City, and students live in dormitories in nearby Kodaira City. Kunitachi City is approximately 40 minutes west of central Tokyo by train. Hitotsubashi University is a prestigious national university specializing in the social sciences and a seminar style of teaching. Its beautiful campus is a peaceful place with proximity to the bustle of central Tokyo.