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Japan Exchanges

The 2020-2021 priority application is now closed. Here is the status of the options of Japan for Fall 2020-Spring 2021 if you are still interested in studying in Japan:

Host Name Fall 2020 Deadline Spring 2021 Deadline
Akita International University February 10 September 16
Hokkaido University Closed Closed
Hokkaido University of Education Closed Closed
JF Oberlin University March 2 September 16
Musashi University January 24 September 16
Nagoya Gakuin University March 2 October 1
Osaka Gakuin University Closed Closed
Tohoku University: IPLA or JYPE February 10 October 1
Waseda University February 19 October 1

Please click on the program name above to start your application to study in Japan!


If you’re a Japanese Studies major or minor, or just interested in Japanese language and culture, a semester or more in Japan will help you deepen your knowledge and appreciation for all things Japanese. Any major can study in Japan!!

japan destinations

UAF offers both exchange and study abroad options for Japan.

Because of the high demand for exchange placements, we have a priority deadline application process for these placement requests. The deadline is November 1 for the following academic year placements. Some universities may be available after the priority deadline, but options will be limited. Even if you are not a Japanese Studies major, we recommend you complete your application for exchange placement before the priority deadline to ensure you get equal consideration for placement (as many campuses are no longer available after the priority deadline).

Study Abroad options are those programs offered through a program provider. Deadlines are later for these programs.  These applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so it is recommended to complete the provider application at the same time as the UAF application, as admission is first come first serve.

Exchange Options:

Hokkaido University
     Short-Term Exchange Program (HUSTEP)
     Japanese Language and Culture Studies (JLCS)

Hokkaido University of Education (HUE)
   5 possible campuses in Hokkaido:

Sapporo (main campus)
Asahikawa (near-native Japanese fluency required)
Kushiro (near-native Japanese fluency required)

Nagoya Gakuin University (NGU)
   Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

Osaka Gakuin University (OGU)

Tohoku University
   Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture
     Direct Enrollment Exchange Program (DEEP)
     International Program in Liberal Arts (IPLA)
     Junior Year Program in English (JYPE)

Waseda University

Study Abroad Options:

Akita International University (with KEI Abroad)

JF Oberlin University (with ISA)

Musashi University (with ISA)

Minimum requirements

All students going on exchange or study abroad from UAF must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be a degree-seeking student at UAF (working towards a Certificate, Associates, Bachelor's, Master's, or PhD, for example; you do not need to have a declared major)
  • Completion of at least 2 full-time semesters or 29 credits before your first semester abroad.
  • Full-time the semester before exchange (spring for Fall departure; fall for Spring departure)
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 when application is due
  • Have a minimum 2.5 semester GPA the semester before your study away program
  • Good academic, behavioral, and financial standing at UAF
  • No Incomplete (I) grades on transcript

In addition, to fulfill the Japanese Studies international requirement, Japanese Studies majors must also have:

  • Completed at least JPN 202 or its equivalent prior to departure, and
  • A minimum of a B-average (3.0) in Japanese language courses, and
  • The recommendation of Japanese language faculty.
Information at a glance:
Please note that all Japan campuses, with the exception of Osaka Gakuin University, follow an off-set semester calendar. In Japan, the Fall term goes from late-September to February and Spring runs from April to August.
Program Requires attaining certain level of proficiency in Japanese language Other requirements Fulfills Japanese Studies international requirement English Courses Available Housing IPI application deadline for the following fall semester Tuition Paid to
Dormitory Apartment Home stay
AIU (KEI)   2.8 GPA (3.0 preferred) x x x     2/20 - Fall/AY
9/30 - Spring
Hokkaido HUSTEP   3.0 GPA; Junior or Senior when abroad   x x     November 1 UAF
Hokkaido JLCSP x 18-30 years old; N3 equivalent; Japanese Studies major only x   x     November 1 UAF
HUE x at least 1 year of Japanese taken; 18-30 years old x   x     November 1 UAF
JF Oberlin (ISA)       x x     3/1 - Fall/AY
10/1 - Spring
Musashi (ISA)   2.75 GPA   x x     3/1 - Fall/AY
10/1 - Spring
NGU x know 100 kanji; can read and write in Japanese x   x     November 1 UAF
OGU     x x   x x November 1 UAF
Tohoku DEEP x N3 equivalent x   x     November 1 UAF
Tohoku IPLA x Japanese Studies major only; cannot attend your last semester x   x     November 1 UAF
Tohoku JYPE   Junior or Senior when abroad   x x     November 1 UAF
Waseda   3.0 for programs in English x X X     November 1 UAF
Any campuses that still have open placement after the November 1 priority deadline have deadline of March 1 for fall and October 1 for spring.

About the Priority Selection Process (November 1st deadline)
Since a semester abroad in Japan is required for Japanese Studies majors, our process for those wanting to study in Japan is different than with our other programs, since there are often several applicants. Each of our partners above has given us a certain number of placements every year, so we cannot accommodate all requests. All applications submitted by the November 1st deadline (including non-Japanese majors) will be considered for placement by a committee. Applicants will be able to list, in order of preference, up to three campuses of where they would prefer to be placed, which the committee will take into consideration. Applicants will also be able to make their case for particular campuses through the essays contained in the application, and during an interview process.

Applicants need to be aware that they might not be placed at their first choice campus. This may be because of limited placements and high demand, or the committee believes another campus would be of higher benefit to the student. The committee evaluates each candidates' academic history, the responses to their essay questions in the application, student abilities in Japanese and goals for future use, perceived student success at certain campuses, and other factors in order to determine the placement of each student.

The process is as follows:
  1. Student applies for 'Japan Program Application' before November 1
  2. Student will be interviewed by committee before winter break
  3. Committee will meet to decide placements
  4. International Programs will confirm Fall grades and Spring enrollment for eligibility
  5. Notifications of placements will be made to students
  6. Students will be provided information on host application and deadline
  7. Screening takes place at host campus
  8. Host campus notifies student of screening
  9. Host campus will send follow up documents to complete for housing/courses/etc (depending on campus)
  10. International Programs receives Certificate of Eligibility in late July or August, forwards to student
  11. Student applies for visa to Japan at Anchorage Consulate (or elsewhere, if non-resident of Alaska)
  12. Study in Japan!

There are several steps involved (not all are listed above) and students must be detail-oriented and diligent with deadlines in order to be successful applicants. Acceptance by UAF does not guarantee placement at host campus.

After the priority round is complete, universities in Japan with available placements will become available for applicants to start an application in the program search area.

Financial information

Although cost of living will depend on many factors including size and accessibility of your city of residence and your personal tastes and habits, you should expect to spend an average of at least ¥80,000 per month.   Typical monthly fees include:

  • Rent (¥10,000 - ¥60,000)
  • Utilities (¥5,000 - ¥10,000)
  • Food (¥20,000 - ¥30,000)
  • Health Insurance (¥2,000)
  • Internet (¥4,000 - ¥10,000)
  • Commuting Fees (¥5,000 - ¥10,000)
  • Miscellaneous (¥10,000 - ¥20,000)

Other fees include:

  • Tuition to UAF: 7-lower division credits, 8-upper division credits at the resident, non-resident, or WUE rate
  • UAF fees: one-time $50 application fee; Each semester: network fee, technology fee, $500 study away fee
  • Books
  • Class fees
  • Health Insurance (both in Japan and the required plan for UAF exchange requirements)
  • Travel/Shipping costs to Anchorage for Visa
  • Travel to/from Japan
  • Travel within Japan

When you apply to the host university (after approval of your UAF application), you will be asked to provide evidence of adequate financial support of at least ¥50,000 per month for the entire time you will be abroad.   While working is possible under a student visa, restrictions apply, and these future earnings may not be used as part of your evidence of adequate financial support.

Click here to apply today!

Please contact your Japanese Studies advisor, a Japanese language faculty member, or the Exchange and Study Abroad Advisor for questions.