Students wishing to study abroad
Program information

If you are interested in studying abroad for an extended period of time, this program is for you!

Student exchange programs

This is a program that allows students to study abroad at approximately 70 overseas universities with which Akita University has entered into an international exchange agreement. Students can take classes according to their language ability and field of specialization, and take part in university life together with local students. The duration of the program is six months or one year, while the tuition fees of the host university are waived.

Destination See here for a list of partner universities
Eligibility Students of all faculties and graduate schools
Application period All year round
Benefits

(1) No tuition fees required at the partner institution.

(2) The credits earned at the study abroad destination may be recognized as Akita University credits after the required procedures have been completed.

(3) Compared to individual study abroad programs, the procedures are relatively easy to follow.

Highly recommended for those who want to learn intensively in a short period of time!

Short-term overseas study program

This is a month-long program aimed at developing language skills that is offered during the summer vacation as part of a class.

Eligibility All undergraduate students
Application period Around May
Credit approval 2 credits
Participation fee Approximately 500,000 JPY at the applicant’s own expense

English Marathon

This is a two-week program aimed at developing language skills that takes place during the summer vacation.

Application requirements 2nd year undergraduate students and above
Application period Around January or February of the previous year
Participation fee Approximately 150,000 to 200,000 JPY at the applicant’s own expense

Highly recommended for those who prefer the ease of studying online!

Warm-up English Marathon

This is a week-long program aimed at developing language skills that is taught online during the summer vacation.

Application requirements 1st year undergraduate students and above
Application period Around May
Participation fee To be paid by the university

An easy-to-understand overview of long-term study abroad, short-term study abroad and online study abroad.

Items/Types of study abroad Long-term Short-term Short-term Short-term Private study abroad
Student exchange programs Short-term overseas study program English Marathon Warm-up English Marathon
Features Visit a partner institution as an exchange student Study abroad as part of a class Study abroad to improve your English skills Online classes to improve your English skills Make your own study abroad plan
Eligible persons All faculties and graduate schools All faculties 2nd year undergraduate students or above 1st year undergraduate students All faculties and graduate schools
Period 6 months or 1 year Approximately
1 month
Approximately
2 weeks
Approximately
1 week
Up to the student
Time of year From the beginning of the semester at the partner institution August to September (during the summer vacation) August to September (during the summer vacation) August to September (during the summer vacation) Up to the student
Destination Overseas partner universities with an MOU on student exchange University of Victoria, Canada Singapore: SEAMEO Regional English Language Centre Participate in an online study abroad program in Japan Up to the student
School registration Study abroad Enrollment Enrollment Enrollment Leave of absence
Credit transfer Possible 2 credits None None Negotiable
Expenses The tuition of the host university is exempt (tuition paid to Akita University) Approximately 500,000 JPY for the airfare and participation fee 150,000-200,000 JPY for the airfare, etc. (Akita University will subsidize 100,000 JPY) All expenses paid by Akita University All expenses paid by the applicant
Application period All year Around May Recruitment and information sessions are held in January and February in the first year Around May Varies depending on the study abroad destination

Click here to view the PDF file if you are using a smart phone.

Comparison table of study abroad typesPDF

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Preparing to study abroad

Scholarships and language requirements

  • Q.Are there any scholarships available for studying abroad?
    • A.The following are the main scholarships available.
      • The Akita University ‘Miraisozo Fund’ overseas student study support program (tentative)
        This program provides financial support for part of the international airfare required for the outbound travel of students from Akita University to study abroad. The maximum amount of support is 40,000 JPY for South Korea, China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia, and 100,000 JPY for other countries.
      • JASSO overseas study support program (dispatch by agreement) “Akita University Program for Solving of the Regional Problem” (tentative)
        Akita University provides scholarships to students participating in the Akita University Program for Solving of the Regional Problem, an exchange program that aims to build knowledge that will contribute to the resolution of regional problems through the application of individual expertise. The eligible countries and regions are Canada, Israel, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Romania, Germany, Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea. The monthly amount of the scholarship is 60,000 to 80,000 JPY, depending on the country and region. There are certain conditions that must be met in order to receive the scholarship, such as the course of study, the family’s financial situation, grades, and language ability.
      • JASSO type 2 scholarship (short-term study abroad)
        This is an interest-bearing scholarship loan that is lent to those who wish to receive a scholarship to study abroad for a short period of time at a junior college, university, or graduate school in a foreign country while still enrolled at a university or other institution in Japan.
      There are various other scholarship programs you can apply to when studying abroad. Make sure you take the initiative to collect information from the following website. JASSO study abroad support website - Scholarships for study abroad brochure. (This website is in Japanese only.)
  • Q.I would like to know more about the language requirements of my study abroad destination.
    • A.If you are studying abroad for the purpose of improving your language skills, you will not be required to have strong language skills at the beginning of your study abroad.

      On the other hand, if you are taking courses mainly related to your field of study, you will be required to have a level of language proficiency that will not hinder your studies at the host university. The language requirements vary depending on the host university. Once you start thinking about studying abroad, be sure to study and take the language exams systematically so that you will be in a position to be able to submit language scores and other documents that meet the requirements. If you are studying at a non-English speaking university, you may be able to take classes in English, but you may be required to have attained a certain level of proficiency in the local language.

Credit approval, promotion and graduation

  • Q.Is it possible for me to study abroad without having to repeat an academic year?
    • A.Students who have studied abroad are required to fulfill all the requirements for graduation in order to complete their studies without having to repeat a year. In the case of exchange students, the period of study abroad is counted as part of the period of study at Akita University. Therefore, students will not be suspended due to insufficient enrollment period at Akita University. However, it is important to carefully plan your course of study before you start studying abroad in order to graduate or complete on time. In the process of preparing to study abroad, make sure that you talk to your faculty advisor or the General Academic Affairs Division of your faculty.
  • Q.Will the credits I earn at my host university be recognized as Akita University credits?
    • A.Courses taken while studying abroad may be approved as Akita University credits after the course requirements of your department have been reviewed. In order to receive credit for your study abroad experience after you return home, you will need to talk to your faculty advisor and the General Academic Affairs Division of your faculty beforehand about the courses you intend to take while studying abroad, referring to the syllabus of your host university before you leave.

Job search activities

  • Q.Is it possible to balance studying abroad with job hunting?
    • A.In the past, some students who went to study abroad were able to balance their job search and study abroad by using the online system, taking part in online interviews, and attending information sessions while studying abroad.

      We recommend that you talk to the Employment Promotion Section of the Student Support and Career Division about how to proceed with your job search activities even before you start studying abroad, and that you start preparing systematically from an early stage.

Status while studying abroad

  • Q.What happens to my status and tuition fees while I’m studying abroad?
    • A.If you are an exchange student, your status will be “Study Abroad” and you will pay tuition to Akita University and be exempt from paying tuition to your host university.

      If you are not an exchange student, your status will be “Leave of Absence” and you will not have to pay tuition to Akita University, but you will have to pay tuition to your host university.
  • Q.Where will I stay during my study abroad?
    • A.If you are an exchange student, you will stay in the dormitory of your host university or in an apartment arranged by your host university. If you are not an exchange student, in principle, you will have to find your own accommodation, but in some cases, the organization offering the program or the host institution will be able to provide accommodation.
  • Q.How much does it cost to study abroad?
    • A.It varies depending on the country/region you are studying in and how you spend your time while studying abroad. If you are an exchange student, you will be exempt from having to pay tuition to your host university, but you will have to pay tuition to Akita University during your study abroad. You will also need to pay for the airfare, visa application fee, travel insurance and local accommodation fees.
  • Q.I have a negative image of foreign countries. How should I deal with this?
    • A.When abroad, it is important to take basic safety and security measures, such as not going out alone at night, keeping valuables such as money and passports on your person and out of sight, and not wearing flashy clothes. It’s always good to be vigilant and cautious, but if you take proper precautions, there is no need to be overly worried.

      At Akita University, students who participate in exchange programs and overseas resource fieldwork at the Faculty of International Resource Sciences are required to join OSSMA Plus. It is a risk management service provided by Emergency Assistance Japan Co., Ltd. (EAJ) that also provides coverage for illness and injury such as medical treatment costs, relief expenses, etc. The University has a contract with EAJ to provide crisis management measures during the overseas travel of our students, and to manage and monitor student travel information, so that in the event of an emergency, EAJ can take the lead in quickly ensuring the safety of our students.

Hear from some of our students
who have been on various study abroad programs!

Comparing short-term study abroad with long-term study abroad!

Based on my experience of taking part in four short-term study abroad programs, one long-term study abroad program and one online study abroad program, I have compiled a brief comparison of the characteristics of each. These are just my personal opinions, but I hope they help in giving you some information about which program will allow you to focus on what you want.

Satoko Ito
3rd year,
Resource Policy and Management Course,
Faculty of International Resource Sciences

What is short-term study abroad?

A short-term study abroad program is an opportunity to learn about the language, culture, and history of a country at a language school, university, or international exchange facility in another country for a period of one week to less than one month. It is also sometimes called short-term training. There is also a class at Akita University called short-term overseas study program, and you can earn credits by participating in that program. Short-term study abroad programs not only include classes and interactions with students at the host university, but there are also programs that allow students to visit local sightseeing spots and stay with a host family. The content and cost of short-term study abroad programs vary from program to program.

Recommendation 1


You can enjoy living abroad with relative peace of mind.

Short-term study abroad programs tend to be more generous in terms of management and protection of students, as they are structured by the university or organization program. Since you will be spending most of your time in a group with your friends, classmates and teachers, I think you will feel at ease even if this is your first experience of going abroad.

Recommendation 2


There is always a chance to learn.

I think the good thing about short-term study abroad programs is that it doesn’t end up being just for fun, because unlike traveling abroad for “fun” or “entertainment”, you will have time to learn about the culture and language of the country. Emphasizing the fact that it’s not just for fun might make it a little easier to convince your parents who may perhaps be reluctant to see you go abroad.

Recommendation 3


You can easily make friends from other countries.

Most of the short-term study abroad programs ensure that there is time to interact with local students. Most of the local students who participate in these programs are interested in international exchanges or are interested in Japan. They want to interact with you in a positive way. Therefore, you will be able to make friends quickly. I myself am still in contact with the local students I met during the short-term study abroad program.

There are a lot of short-term study abroad programs out there, and I’m sure you can find a lot of information about them on a-net or on the International Affairs Division bulletin board. There are also many short-term study abroad programs that can be found on the Internet, and you can conduct your own research. You can also try short-term study abroad online. I encourage everyone to collect information and consider taking part in a short-term study abroad program.

What is online/virtual study abroad?

This is a type of study abroad program where you can take classes at a university abroad or a language school in an online setting from the comfort of your home.

As with short-term study abroad programs, the content and format of online study abroad programs are completely different, therefore it is hard to make a generalization. The virtual study abroad program I participated in at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice in Italy involved group discussions with students studying Japanese there, and I had the impression that there was a lot of interaction with the students. There were no lectures, but I think this was a unique aspect of this virtual study abroad program.

At the University of Taiwan, where I studied for a long period of time, they used Zoom to directly show face-to-face classes to international students abroad. Also, for the Chinese classes, since there was a time difference between the countries of origin of the local students, the classes were held in the evening on the local time to accommodate the needs of the students. Some people say that it is important to go study there directly, however there are situations where you can interact with people from overseas even when studying online. Also, if your goal is to study, I think you can make good use of online study abroad program.

What is long-term study abroad?

This program enables students to study at an overseas university or graduate school for six months to several years. The exchange program I went on allows students to study at overseas universities, graduate schools and undergraduate schools that have an agreement with Akita University, and in exchange for paying tuition to Akita University, students do not have to pay tuition to the host university. If you choose to study abroad on your own, you will have to pay tuition to the overseas university. With this program, if the tuition is higher than that at Akita University, you can study abroad at a discount. Plus, it saves you the time and effort required to send a large sum of money overseas. Compared to short-term study abroad programs, you will need to pay a lot more. However, by using scholarships or studying in a less expensive country, the costs can be reduced. Below are some of my thoughts about studying abroad.

Thoughts about long-term study abroad


I grew mentally through both enjoyable and painful experiences.

Many of the photos you see at study abroad information sessions are full of smiling faces, as if the students are constantly enjoying their study abroad experience or laughing shoulder to shoulder with their friends. Is the actual life of an international student really full of smiles like that? My answer is both yes and no. There are fun moments when you laugh with your friends, but there are also hard times that don’t show up in photos. For example, when you find yourself unable to keep up with the happy conversations of the local students, when you have difficulty communicating with the shopkeepers in Chinese, or when you can’t find anyone you get on with right away. However, I can now see that going through these hard times is not necessarily a bad thing, and that these times helped me grow as a person. Therefore, I believe that studying abroad is not only an opportunity to learn what you want, but also a good chance to develop yourself through the fun and difficulties of living in another country.

Benefits of long-term study abroad 1


Building long-term relationships

As I already said earlier in this report, it is easy to meet students who are interested in Japan when you study abroad for a short period of time, but you can also meet a wide variety of students when you study abroad for a long period of time as well. The longer you study abroad, the more memories you will have with your friends and the more you will be exposed to the customs of the local people and the way of thinking of the students. I was also surprised at how much my relationships changed over the course of about a year. At first, I really didn’t have any friends, but by the end of my study abroad program, I was able to spend time with many friends, friends that I cherish. This is something that I was able to experience because I studied abroad for a long time, and it left a deep impression on me.

Benefits of long-term study abroad 2


Thinking about myself and my hometown through lectures

At Akita University, I belong to the Faculty of International Resource Sciences, but at National Taiwan University, I was able to freely choose the lectures I wanted to take without being restricted by the faculty. In one of the classes, I had to debate with students and answer their questions. As a Japanese person, I was asked questions by the Taiwanese students about Japan and I asked them about Taiwan. Through these dialogues, I began to think about myself as a Japanese national and about what constitutes common sense in Japan. I was able to learn what kind of image Taiwanese students have of Japan and what they think about the current situation in Taiwan, and I think this was an extremely fulfilling learning experience for me.

Benefits of long-term study abroad 3


Learning the language

As you spend a long period of time in a country and come into contact with the foreign language used there, you will be able to use that language in real life. Before I went to Taiwan, I had only learned Pinyin (Chinese hiragana), and I only learned Chinese grammar for the first time when I arrived there, but I was able to acquire language skills equivalent to HSK level 3 in about a year. If you are only studying the language, I think you can improve your language skills even more. You can study the language in Japan, but I think studying abroad is a good environment for learning the language because you can ask questions to native teachers, practice conversations in Chinese with other students who are at the same level as you, and use Chinese in your daily life.

Conclusion

I think that what you can gain from the three study abroad programs introduced here differs depending on the program. I also think that the results will vary depending on what kind of goals and objectives you have in mind when you participate. If you are not sure which study abroad program to choose, think about what you hope to achieve and look for a program that will help you achieve it. I am sure you will have a fantastic learning experience and wonderful encounters.

Profile

Satoko Ito

Born in Akita Prefecture, Japan, Satoko entered the Faculty of International Resource Sciences, Akita University in 2018. Satoko went on a short-term study abroad program in South Korea through the Akita University short-term overseas study program, studied abroad in South Korea through the Japanese university student delegation’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s exchange program for promoting understanding, studied in China through the spring study program organized by Akita University’s international partner university, and studied in Singapore through the English Marathon. She also participated in a virtual study abroad program in Italy and a study abroad program in Taiwan.

Click here to read about the study abroad experiences of the exchange program.