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:
- Agree to remain enrolled at the home institution — one based outside Japan, that has a university-level student-exchange agreement with Kyoto University — until completion of the General Exchange Program
- Agree to leave Kyoto University and return to the home institution upon completion of the General Exchange Program
- Be in good academic and disciplinary standing
- Demonstrate the level of language proficiency required for the exchange program
- Have a concrete purpose for studying at Kyoto University
For "General Exchange Special Auditors" (GEAs)
Most Kyoto University undergraduate and graduate courses are conducted in Japanese, requiring a proficiency level equivalent to N1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). English-taught courses are available from a limited number of Graduate Schools to those with a proficiency level of TOEFL iBT 79, IELTS 6.5, or higher.
Graduate students with low Japanese-language proficiency may still enroll as GEAs if they can take a sufficient number of English-taught courses to satisfy the minimum registration requirement.
For "General Exchange Special Research Students" (GESRs)
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.
General Exchange student status at Kyoto University
|Undergraduate||Special Auditor (GEA) 2||Any of the Faculties listed below|
|Graduate 1||Special Auditor (GEA) 2||Any of the Graduate Schools listed below 4 (with exceptions)|
|Special Research Student (GESR) 3|
Faculties and Graduate Schools to which GE students may be affiliated
|Faculty (for undergraduates)||Graduate School|
|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 (GESRs only)|
|Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability|
|Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies|
|Graduate School of Government (GEAs only)|
|Graduate School of Management (GEAs only)|
For details on each Faculty and Graduate School, see:
Tuition and fees
Based on the University's student exchange agreements, exchange students will be exempted from examination fees, matriculation fees, and tuition at Kyoto University.
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 through Kyoto University, except for those expecting to 1) receive financial support of more than 80,000 yen per month for their studies in Japan 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.
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 and permanent residents of Japan may enroll in the General Exchange Program without following these procedures.
Mandatory health insurance
Japanese law stipulates that all students studying at Japanese universities for more than three months must enroll in the country's National Health Insurance (NHI) program, which costs around 2,000 yen per month.
When entering Kyoto University, students must also join the University CO-OP Personal Liability Insurance for Students (Gakubai), which requires an annual payment of around 2,000 yen. To enroll in Gakubai, students must first join the CO-OP by paying a 4,000-yen membership fee, which is fully refundable upon deregistration.
It is recommended that international students purchase travel insurance in their home countries, in addition to enrolling in all of the above, in order to ensure adequate coverage.