Skip to content
Program Description


Photo courtesy of Ryukoku University

Quick Facts

  • June 15th is the priority review deadline for spring applicants and February 1st is the priority review deadline for fall applicants.  If space remains after this deadline, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the program fills.
      Since the applications for Japanese exchange programs are lengthy and require multiple supporting documents, students should open the application AND meet with the International Coordinator no later than 3 to 4 weeks prior to the application deadline. Additionally, Japanese majors/minors are required to meet with a Japanese faculty member as part of the application process. This should be done as early as possible in the application process, before selecting a program. The names of approved faculty members are listed in the application; if you do not currently have an open application, contact the International Coordinator for more information.
  • Ryukoku University is excellent for Japanese Majors hoping to improve their language skills.
  • The University started as a Buddhist seminary and still offers interesting courses on religion and history of Japan.
  • There is no minimum Japanese language requirement, but it is highly recommended that ASU students have 300 hours of previous Japanese language study experience or attained a score of N4 on the Japanese Language Proficiency Test.
  • Student Testimonials
  • Depending on student interest, the competitiveness of this exchange program is considered low to moderate. Please contact the International Coordinator for more details.




Japan - Lake Biwa
Photos courtesy of Ryukoku Univesity

Location Details

For over one thousand years, Kyoto was the capital of Japan and the heart of Japanese culture and politics. Kyoto is unique even within Japan as it was virtually untouched during World War II, leaving a myriad of temples, shrines and castles intact. This legacy has been recognized by the UNESCO and 20% of Japan’s national treasures and 15% of the country’s cultural properties can be found in Kyoto.

This ancient city holds a special place in the hearts of both the Japanese people and those foreign visitors who have the good fortune of making its acquaintance. Nearly 40 million tourists visit Kyoto each year to savor its treasures and pleasures, and to seek the essence of all that is traditionally Japanese. Its unique identity arises from an unmatched legacy of history, culture and religion not simply relegated to the past, but handed down from generation to generation and carefully tended in the present for the sake of the future.

Just across the Higashiyama mountain range from Kyoto is Shiga, a small prefecture famous as the home of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake. Shiga, which borders both Nara and Kyoto, boasts a unique and varied culture. It has been the site of many significant historical events, with many heritage sites telling of the long human history of the area. Today, Shiga is still one of Japan’s prominent transport crossroads and generates a great deal of economic activity while enjoying a rich and diverse cultural environment.

Visa Information

U.S. citizens will require a visa* in order to participate in this program. Limited information about the visa application process may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office and/or your host institution, but it is your sole responsibility to research, apply, and secure a visa. Failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Withdrawal Policy

Consult this page for additional information regarding visas. If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office in Tempe.

PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.

*At the time of writing. This information is subject to change without notice; students should independently confirm this requirement with the relevant consulate/embassy.


Academic Program & Courses

At Ryukoku University, all students participate in the Japanese Experience Program (JEP).  Intensive Japanese language courses from beginner to advanced are required. Student will also take a variety of elective courses taught in Japanese or English.  In addition, students may register for classes in Ryukoku University's Faculties and Graduate Schools. 

Academic Opportunities/Restrictions

Course Restrictions Language courses require a language placement test upon arrival.  Students may not change levels after the test.  Students should look to only take Faculty courses taught in English, unless they test high enough to take courses taught in Japanese.
Course List from Previous Semesters Click here
Course Syllabi from Ryukoku Click here
Submit a Ryukoku Syllabus for Evaluation Click here
Evaluated Courses (may not be offered during your term of study) Click here

Academic Culture
Japanese elective courses are typically 2 credits for a lecture-style course.  The courses are 90 minutes and will meet once a week.  

Academic Schedule
Term Dates (estimated) Academic year: early September - Late July
Spring: Early April - Late July
Course Registration  After arriving on-site during your orientation.  For Japanese Language courses, you must take a placement test upon arrival.
Course Levels, Credits & Grades
  Ryukoku University ASU
Course Levels Ryukoku does not use a numbering system based on levels. Lower or Upper division (Courses will be evaluated based on content).
Credit All credits and grades will be posted to your ASU record after completion of your program.  As courses are graded, not pass/fail, they will be factored into your ASU G.P.A.
Click here to view how credits and grades at Ryukoku University will convert to ASU credits and grades.


Ryukoku studentsPhoto courtesy of Ryukoku University


Ryukoku International HouseRyukoku Omiya Zhuang
Ryukoku- Mukojima Student Cent

Program Housing

Ryukoku University provides accommodation for approximately 200 International students in 5 dormitories. These dormitories are conveniently located near all 3 campuses in Kyoto City and Shiga Prefecture. Japanese students also live in these dormitories as tutors to assist International students with day-to-day living and study.

Please note that students will not be provided with the option to select which on-campus housing is preferred, but will be placed based on open rooms.

Though students may look into off-campus, independent housing, it is strongly discouraged due to past participants having difficulties with off-campus housing situations.  Please talk to the International Coordinator for more information about this.

More information about on-campus housing options/prices can be found here.

Photos courtesy of Ryukoku University

Special Considerations

Below you will find information that may help you in planning for your study abroad experience. Early discussions and planning can help to support you in having a positive experience abroad. We invite you to meet with the International Coordinator for this program to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Physical Considerations

Study abroad participants may find themselves walking or taking public transit abroad more frequently than they are accustomed at their home campus.

Disability Accommodations Abroad

Individuals with disabilities can and do study abroad, but may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from the United States. For example, in Japan, older buildings are not likely to have been retrofitted for accessibility. At major train stations, airports, and hotels, travelers with disabilities should encounter few accessibility problems, although many smaller stations are inaccessible to those who cannot climb stairs.

In general, the Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program. Any student who anticipates needing any kind of special accommodation due to a disability should contact the ASU Study Abroad Office early in the planning process to investigate the availability of accommodations (including accessible facilities) on this specific program. Contact Student Accessibility and Inclusive Learning Services and your Disability Access Consultant to include them in the discussion; be sure to give your Disability Access Consultant permission to speak with the Study Abroad Office on your behalf. You can find additional information and resources on our Students with Disabilities page.

LGBTQIA Students Abroad

Students of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities will find that the social climate, laws, and norms of other cultures will often differ from the U.S. If you identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer student - or if you are still exploring your identity - you may face unique challenges when traveling abroad. 

We encourage students who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community to visit the U.S. Department of State website for helpful information about laws and attitudes in this program’s locations, including pre-travel tips and advice on staying safe while abroad. You can find additional information and resources on our LGBTQIA Students page.

Gender Identity Abroad

When traveling abroad, you may find different gender roles and norms than you’re used to. It’s possible that you may be treated differently or be expected to treat others differently based on your (or their) gender identity. 

You can find additional information and resources on our Gender Identity Abroad page.

Racial and Ethnic Minorities Abroad

Students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds may encounter unique challenges transitioning from life here in the United States to life as a student living abroad, including but not limited to access to personal care products and services. For example, in Japan, the population is ethnically homogenous, so some students may experience more attention, comments, and questions, both positive and negative. 

You can prepare yourself for the situations you may experience by researching the ethnic composition of your host country and exploring its history of racial and ethnic relations. We encourage students to start that research on our Racial and Ethnic Minority Students page.


Cost Information

Exchange program participants will pay ASU tuition and fees for the term of the Exchange program, according to the individual student's classification and degree level. In addition to ASU tuition and fees, participants are also responsible for paying the following fees:

  • $50 Application Fee (non-refundable)
  • $400 Administrative Fee (non-refundable)
  • Carbon Offset Fee*
  • International Travel Service Fee (Including Insurance)*
All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student.

Be sure to reference the Academic Year Cost Sheet for information on any additional estimated expenses.

The program may allow for time which can be spent in non-program activities. Participants may wish to travel, sightsee or participate in activities or events in which they have a personal interest. Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-Program activities.

*The actual amount of the International Travel Service Fee charged to each student depends on the program duration and the Carbon Offset Fee will increase annually (in July) by approximately $2.


Funding Your Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. Review the Considering Costs Table for a general overview and cost comparison of popular programs.
  2. Be sure to reference the Academic Year Cost Sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  3. Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad Workshop.
  4. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  5. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  6. Exhaust your options by exploring Additional Funding Resources including our Community-Based Funding Guide.
  7. View our Financing Your Study Abroad Program Handbook for more information, including Payment Information.

Unique Funding Opportunities for This Program




Dates & Deadlines
Dates & Deadlines
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Academic Year 2021-2022 03/01/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
NOTE: February 1st is the priority application deadline for fall. If space allows, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through the listed deadline or until the program fills.

Dates are subject to change. Do not purchase airfare until dates are confirmed in host institution acceptance materials.
Spring Semester 2022 09/25/2021 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision tasks prior to the term's application deadline.