Learning Abroad Center
Tokyo street at night

Exchange in Japan: Sophia University, Tokyo

Asia & Oceania

Experience life in the heart of Tokyo, studying at one of Japan's most highly-regarded universities.

Program Details

Location
Location
Tokyo, Japan
Term
Term
Academic Year
Spring Semester
Housing
Housing
Dormitory
Languages Taught In
Languages Taught In
English

Program Eligibility

Student Type
Student Type
UofM Students
Student Year
Student Year
Sophomores
Juniors
Seniors
GPA
GPA
3.0

About

Sophia University is one of the top private universities in Japan. The campus is located in the heart of Tokyo, within walking distance of the National Diet, Imperial Palace and the State Guest House. Shinjuku, the world's busiest transport hub is just a 5-minute train ride away. Sophia University has been a pioneer in global education in Japan, and has offered programs in English for 60 years.

Learn more about being an exchange student at Sophia University.

Program Model

Exchange
University Study

Housing & Meals

Sophia University organizes various types of housing for exchange students. Dormitories are located in different areas of Tokyo and require commuting. The dorms vary in size and type of amenities provided.

Excursions

Student life in Japan is active, and Sophia University offers many student clubs and organizations, which are a great way to meet people and socialize.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop a stronger sense of confidence by engaging in a highly independent study abroad program and foster second language acquisition whenever possible
  • Learn to appreciate diverse world views, accept complexity, and embrace ambiguity; added benefit of reciprocity to foster mutual respect and understanding
  • Experience a new culturally specific academic system and incorporate different academic perspectives
  • Identify and communicate how their experience abroad has impacted them personally, academically, and professionally

Faculty & Staff

Sophia University has staff available to provide orientation, on-site support, and advising to help you adjust to a new educational system and integrate into campus life.

Program Structure

Program Level
Upper and lower division coursework available
Courseload

12–20 credits for a semester, 24–40 credits for the academic year.

Coursework

Grade & Credit Conversion Scale

You receive resident credit for the courses you take. Your grades factor into your University of Minnesota GPA and each course appears on your transcript with an A/F grade. UMN students are required to take a minimum of 12 credits per term. Consult the Learning Abroad Center's Academic Policies page for more information.

For students interested in studying Japanese, the Center for Language Education and Research provides multiple tracks and levels of Japanese language courses according to students’ needs and linguistic backgrounds. 

The regular track offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses where 100-minute classes meet four or five times per week. This track aims to focus on developing communicative competence through extensive practice by integrating four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students enroll in 4 credits of Japanese and take an additional 2–4 elective courses, taught in English.

The intensive track, which offers four-level intensive courses at basic, intermediate, and advanced levels, is designed for students whose main purpose of coming to Japan is to mainly study Japanese. Students enroll in 8 credits of Japanese (16 hours of class time per week), and 1–2 elective courses. 

English-taught courses are available in the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Faculty of Science and Technology, and the Sophia Program for Sustainable Futures. See the Course Bulletin (updated each year in March) for more details on specific courses.

Global Identity

Global Identity: Connecting Your International Experience with Your Future is an optional 1-credit online course that helps you process your international experience and apply what you've learned upon your return. Global Identity gives you the opportunity to work individually with a trained cultural mentor, helping you articulate your newly acquired skills and differentiating you from your peers.

To access more information about the course, visit the Global Identity Course Information page.

Program Dates

Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

Orientation Dates & Locations

Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

Term AbroadDate/TimeLocation
Spring 2025TBDTBD
Academic Year 2024–25TBDTBD

Spring 2025

Application Open Date: March 1, 2024
Application Deadline: September 1, 2024

ScheduleDate
Program StartLate March
Program EndLate July

Academic Year 2024–25

Application Open Date: August 1, 2023
Application Deadline: February 1, 2024

ScheduleDate
Program StartMid September
Program EndLate July

Fees

University of Minnesota participants pay the program fee instead of on-campus tuition and fees for the term they are abroad.

If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation, and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

Fees or tuition from home institutions may be added to or differ from the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center fees listed on this page.

Billing & Payments

Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

Bridging Loan

Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

Cancellation Policy

Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.

Spring 2024

Exchange in Japan: Sophia U, Tokyo

Spring Semester 2024

Program Fee

  • UofM students pay program fee instead of on-campus tuition & fees while abroad
  • Billed through UofM account
Non-refundable deposit $400
Tuition and educational costs $7,125
International health insurance $300
Housing and/or mealsHousing is paid directly to onsite managing organization $0
Transportation (if required and included in program fee) $0
Total Program Fee $7,825
Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable $0
Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable $7,825

Estimated Additional Expenses

  • Financial aid-eligible but not included in program fee
Costs Typically Incurred Prior to Departure These costs may need to be paid before your financial aid is disbursed for your term abroad.
Transportation to and from program site $3,000
Passport/photos $150
Visa/required documentsVisa App Mailing (30), National Health Insurance (100) $130
Travel clinic/immunizations* $0
Housing deposit $500
Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure $3,780
Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country
Texts/materials $250
Housing and/or meals not included in program feeHousing (3500), Meals (2500) $6,000
Essential daily living expenses $2,000
Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country $8,250

Total Estimated Cost of Participation

  • UofM students—compare this to your estimated on campus cost of attendance
Total Estimated Cost of Participation $19,855
Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation $4,000
Additional Notes & Information
* Immunizations Note: This estimate is based on approximate cost of travel-related vaccinations and medications required for entry or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on your travel clinic, the specific immunizations and medication prescribed, and your insurance coverage.

Academic Year 2023–24

Exchange in Japan: Sophia U, Tokyo

Academic Yr Fall 2023/Spring 2024

Program Fee

  • UofM students pay program fee instead of on-campus tuition & fees while abroad
  • Billed through UofM account
Non-refundable deposit $400
Tuition and educational costs $13,220
International health insurance $660
Housing and/or mealsHousing is paid directly to onsite managing organization $0
Transportation (if required and included in program fee) $0
Total Program Fee $14,280
Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable $0
Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable $14,280

Estimated Additional Expenses

  • Financial aid-eligible but not included in program fee
Costs Typically Incurred Prior to Departure These costs may need to be paid before your financial aid is disbursed for your term abroad.
Transportation to and from program site $2,500
Passport/photos $150
Visa/required documentsVisa App Mailing (30), National Health Insurance (200) $230
Travel clinic/immunizations* $0
Housing deposit $500
Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure $3,380
Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country
Texts/materials $500
Housing and/or meals not included in program feeHousing (7000), Meals (5000) $12,000
Essential daily living expenses $4,000
Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country $16,500

Total Estimated Cost of Participation

  • UofM students—compare this to your estimated on campus cost of attendance
Total Estimated Cost of Participation $34,160
Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation $4,000
Additional Notes & Information
* Immunizations Note: This estimate is based on approximate cost of travel-related vaccinations and medications required for entry or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on your travel clinic, the specific immunizations and medication prescribed, and your insurance coverage.

Prepare

Complete pre-application advising.

Apply

The COVID-19 vaccine series is strongly recommended, pursuant to CDC guidelines, but not required for participation in this program.

You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now

Complete

After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

Submit to the Learning Abroad Center:

  • Exchange in Japan personal essay
  • Japan Exchange University Preference Form
  • Complete an Exchange Program Advising Meeting

Once the application deadline has passed, the Exchange Program Team will review applications and select the students to be nominated to Sophia University. Students selected for nomination will then have to apply to Sophia University directly, through their online system (instructions will be provided). Sophia University will review the application and send out an admissions decision via email.

Next Steps

  1. Upon submitting the online application, you will receive an automated email message indicating your application was received.
  2. Follow the instructions on your application checklist to submit all of the items. Your application is not considered complete until all items on your application checklist are either received or waived.
  3. You will have applications with both the Learning Abroad Center and Sophia University—make sure to follow instructions for both applications when they're sent to you.
  4. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist. Log in to the online application to review the confirmation checklist and submit the required items.

After You Apply

Before your program begins, review these resources.

Health & Safety

Learn more about staying healthy and safe abroad, including mental health and wellness, international travel insurance, and safety precautions.

Power of Attorney

Consider designating someone as your power of attorney to act as your legal representative while you’re abroad.

Student Identity

Consult our resources on student identities as you prepare for your abroad experience.

Travel Resources

Ready to go abroad? Our travel resources will help you pack and learn what to expect.

Program Contact

For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

Christina Dunbar or call at 612.624.3949