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General Questions

Q: My university is not an exchange/invitee program partner with ICU. Am I eligible to apply for the exchange/invitee program and study at ICU for one academic year?
A: The exchange/invitee program is for those who are currently enrolled at one of our partner universities. However, you are still able to study at ICU for one academic year by applying through September Admissions system.

Q: My university is an exchange/invitee program partner. Can I individually apply for the exchange/invitee program?
A: No. Your home university will facilitate your application process. You must be nominated by your home university, and your application should be sent to us directly from your home university.

Q: How can I be nominated by my home university, and how does ICU make a decision on my acceptance?
A: Exchange/invitee students must be nominated by our partner universities, following screening procedures and criteria, which each partner university sets individually. Please consult with the study abroad office of your home university first. We make a decision based on all the application materials submitted, including your transcript, essay and recommendation letters, and we do not automatically guarantee an acceptance solely based on one of them such as your academic record.

Q: Could I start to study at ICU for one term in the fall term (September to November) or the spring term (April to June)?
A: It depends on how our exchange/invitee programs are arranged with your home university. Currently, we accept one-term exchange/invitee students starting in September and finishing in November in most cases. Please check with the study abroad office of your home university.

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Q: Are there any courses that exchange/invitee students cannot take?
A: Basically, undergraduate-level exchange/invitee students are able to take any courses offered under the College of Liberal Arts except for the English for Liberal Arts (ELA) Program courses that are offered to Japanese students who enter ICU in April. Graduate courses numbered in the 400-599 range are also open for upper-class undergraduate students with prior permission from the course instructor and academic advisor at ICU.

If you are a graduate student and wish to study at ICU’s Graduate School, please consult us through your Study Abroad Office prior to application.

For further information about courses, please access the "Courses and Syllabi" page of our website.

Q: What are the languages of instruction?
A: Japanese and English. About 20% of all courses are offered in English, and the rest in Japanese or in both languages.

Q: I don't speak Japanese but am interested in Japan and its culture. Is your program suitable for me?
A: ICU does not require prior knowledge of the Japanese language. Our Japanese Language Programs (JLP) offer different levels of courses including the one for total beginners in the Autumn Term (September to December). You can find more information on our JLP here. Furthermore, our Japan Studies Major offers an one-year Japan Studies Certificate Program. Please refer to this homepage for further information.

Q: I am thinking of taking the six-week Summer Courses in Japanese before starting my academic year at ICU in September. How can I apply for both programs?
A: Application procedures for SCJ program will be announced in December.

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Application and Visa

Q: Do I need to pay the application fee?
A: There is no application fee for the exchange/invitee program.

Q: Is it possible for me to stay in Japan without any visa?
A: Exchange/Invitee students must obtain a college student visa before entering Japan, if you do not have a Japanese passport.

Q: How can I get a student visa?
A: We will initiate the visa application on your behalf, and mail the Certificate of Eligibility (COE), which is a required certificate for visa application, to the study abroad office of your home university. Then, you will need to apply for the college student visa at your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate, and it usually takes a week. If you join the Summer Courses in Japanese (SCJ) before your academic year at ICU, your COE will be mailed to you earlier.

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Q: Is on-campus dormitories guaranteed for exchange/invitee students?
A: Unfortunately not. We cannot guarantee on-campus dormitories for all exchange/invitee students. Detailed housing information will be available in December. For more information regarding housing, please refer to "Accommodation" section.

Q: Can I homestay?
A: Yes. Our Housing Office has a contract with a third-party homestay service. For more information, please refer to the "Accommodation" section.

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