What is an exchange programme?
An exchange programme is a system which allows students to study at a university in Japan, with which their home university has concluded a student exchange agreement. The length of the programme varies from a few weeks to one year, depending on the agreement between the universities. In general, exchange programmes are not designed to obtain a degree regardless of the length of the programme, but it is a great opportunity to experience Japan, its educational system, and its culture and society. Quite often, the credits acquired at a university in Japan are accepted at the home universities. (Please note that it depends on the university, so make sure you check it with your home university.)
If you want to know which universities in Japan your university has a student exchange agreement with, please check with the international relations department of your home university. You can also search Japanese universities that offer exchange programmes to their affiliated universities here and at our data portal.
Application procedures as well as various other conditions for exchange programmes are set by the guidelines between your current university and their affiliating/host universities, with which your school has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Normally, universities in Japan do not accept direct applications and the applications have to be made through your home universities. Please check with the international relations department of your home university for more details.
How to finance your study and stay
Exchange programmes are not full-funded programmes. But normally, tuition fees for a university in Japan are exempted if you are paying the tuition fee to your home university.
Air tickets to go to Japan and the living expenses will need to be borne by yourself, but there is also a scholarship available for a limited number of international students. The Student Exchange Support Program (Scholarship for Short-Term Study in Japan) offered by Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) provides a monthly stipend of JPY 80,000, which helps you to cover the living cost. Applications for this scholarship needs to be made through your home university, so for more details, please contact the international relations department of your home university.
Example: HUSTEP Programme, Hokkaido University
Hokkaido University offers a student exchange programme called HUSTEP (Hokkaido University Short-Term Exchange Program) for undergraduate students from universities that have an International University Exchange Agreement with them. It is a ‘junior year abroad’ type programme designed to provide undergraduate students from affiliated universities with the opportunity to study in Japan at Hokkaido University.
If you want to know if your university has an Inter-University Exchange Agreement, please check the list here. If your university has an agreement with Hokkaido University and if you want to know more about the HUSTEP programme, please visit the programme website or contact the international relations department of your home university for more information and the application procedures.