Kyoto U General Exchange Program guidelines

Academic calendar

Spring Semester: 1 April to 30 September
Fall Semester: 1 October to 31 March
Courses either start in April and end in September or March, or run from October to March. None begin in October and end in September. Accordingly, it is recommended that students begin the General Exchange Program in April as per the University's regular academic calendar, or alternatively in October. The maximum study period is one year in either case.


Applicants are assessed by each Faculty and Graduate School.


Each applicant must:

  1. Be currently enrolled at a non-Japanese academic institution with which Kyoto University has a student exchange agreement;
  2. Agree to leave Kyoto University and return to the home institution upon completion of the exchange program;
  3. Have excellent academic and personal records; and
  4. Have a concrete purpose for studying in Japan.

Language requirements

Undergraduate level

In order to enroll in regular, Japanese-taught courses, a Japanese proficiency level equivalent to N1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is desirable.

Graduate level

Special Auditor -- Requirements are the same as for undergraduate students, since most graduate courses are taught in Japanese.

Special Research Student -- Requirements vary depending on the student's academic advisor at Kyoto University, but Japanese proficiency equivalent to JLPT N1 or English proficiency equivalent to TOEFL iBT 79 is generally considered desirable.

Exchange student status at Kyoto University




Undergraduate Special Auditor Any of the 10 Faculties listed below
Graduate1 Special Auditor2 Any of the 17 Graduate Schools listed below4
Special Research Student3

1 Graduate students' status depends on whether or not courses are being taken for credit
2 "Special Auditors" take courses for credit
3 "Special Research Students" conduct research under their academic advisors without receiving credit
4 The Graduate School of Government and the Graduate School of Management accept "Special Auditors" only;
   the Graduate School of Biostudies accepts "Special Research Students" only

Faculties and Graduate Schools to which General Exchange Program students may be affiliated

Faculties (for undergraduates) Graduate Schools
Faculty of Integrated Human Studies Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies
Faculty of Letters Graduate School of Letters
Faculty of Education Graduate School of Education
Faculty of Law Graduate School of Law
Faculty of Economics Graduate School of Economics
Faculty of Science Graduate School of Science
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science
Faculty of Engineering Graduate School of Engineering
Faculty of Agriculture Graduate School of Agriculture
  Graduate School of Energy Science
  Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies
  Graduate School of Informatics
  Graduate School of Biostudies (Special Research Students only)
  Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability 
  Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
  Graduate School of Government  (Special Auditors only)
  Graduate School of Management  (Special Auditors only)

For details on each Faculty and Graduate School, see:

Tuition and fees

Based on the University's exchange agreements, exchange students will be exempted from examination fees, matriculation fees, and tuition at Kyoto University.

Financial aid

The Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), a government-sponsored non-profit organization promoting international student exchange, offers scholarships to a limited number of students. Exchange students may apply for the JASSO Scholarship for Short-Term Study in Japan, but it is not available to those expecting to 1) receive financial support of more than 80,000 yen per month from another source, or 2) reside in Japan without "Student" visa status, including Japanese nationals and permanent residents.

The JASSO Scholarship for Short-Term Study in Japan provides a monthly stipend of 80,000 yen.

Entering Japan

There are certain procedures required of foreign students wishing to study at Japanese universities. Exchange students at Kyoto University, for example, must possess a valid passport and "Student" visa. In order to obtain this visa, students must have been issued a Certificate of Eligibility from the Kyoto Immigration Bureau. Applications for this Certificate will be submitted by Kyoto University. Upon receiving this Certificate, students should apply for a visa at a Japanese diplomatic mission -- such as an embassy or consulate -- in their own countries. Further instructions will be provided upon admission.

Japanese nationals may enroll in the General Exchange Program without following these procedures.

Mandatory health insurance

Japanese law stipulates that all university students based in Japan must enroll in the country's National Health Insurance (NHI) program, which costs around 2,000 yen per month. Many KUINEP students from abroad keep their insurance plans from their home countries, while also being enrolled in NHI, in order to ensure adequate coverage.