Skip to Content
Programs : Brochure
This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Ritsumeikan University
Kyoto, Japan (Exchange Program)
Program Terms: Academic Year
Restrictions: WMU applicants only
Budget Sheets Academic Year
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Academic Year 2017-2018 01/15/2017** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
 Program Type:
 Language of Instruction:
 Housing Options:
Apartment, Dorm (single)
 Minimum GPA:
 Class Standing:
Undergraduate Junior, Undergraduate Senior, Undergraduate Sophomore
 Program Specialist:
Yumi Takahashi-Ede
 Language experience required:
 Areas of Study:
 Program Length:
Academic Year
Program Description:
Jump To: Application Instructions Overview Location Academics Cost Housing Itinerary Resources

Photo Slideshow

Application Instructions

The Japanese Exchange programs are highly competitive and require a lengthy application process to each host university. All applicants must first apply through the general “Japan – Academic Year Exchange Program” application on BroncosAbroad. This application will ask for your top 3 choice of schools in Japan along with regular application requirements. When comparing schools, please keep in mind the GPA requirements, location of the school, and required language experience as these vary greatly between schools.

The deadline for the BroncosAbroad application for Academic Year of 2017-2018 is January 15th, 2017. We will then evaluate all applications and invite students to a Selection Committee Interview sometime in early February. After the interviews, advisors will decide on Exchange placements and will assist students with host university applications.

See the Japanese Programs Quick Comparison sheet for more information about Study abroad programs in Japan: Japanese Programs_2016-2017 quick comparison.pdf

Program Overview

Founded in 1900, Ritsumeikan University enjoys a rich and prominent history and is considered one of the most distinguished institutions of higher learning and research in Japan. Its main campus is located in the Kinusaga region of Kyoto, and together with its branch campuses, it offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs to approximately 34,000 students in such fields as Humanities, International Relations, Law, Policy Science, Social Sciences, Economics, Business Administration and Science & Engineering. The university also provides a stimulating academic environment for international education and research through its global network spread over forty countries and regions. It promotes joint research by industry, government and academia through various research centers. Furthermore, Ritsumeikan was recently selected to head three large research projects as part of a new Center of Excellence research initiative by the Japanese Ministry of Education.

Back to Top


The Kinugasa Campus is located in Kyoto, the capital of Japan from 794 to 1868. Well known throughout Japan as a repository of Japanese art and cultural tradition, Kyoto is a major tourist destination. In the northwest of Kyoto, Ritsumeikan's Kinugasa Campus is surrounded by such historic temples as Kinkakuji (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion), Ryoanji (the sight of Japan's most famous rock garden), and many other beautiful and historical sites. The campus currently accommodates 17,000 undergraduates and 1,500 graduate students.

Back to Top


Academic Eligibility
Good Academic Standing
Minimum 3.0 GPA 
Completion of JPNS 2010 for the Intensive Japanese Language Track (IJL)
No previous Japanese required for the Open Study in English Track (OSE)

Academic Program
The Study in Kyoto Program is based at Ritsumeikan University's Kinugasa Campus in Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto, allowing students a unique opportunity to experience both Japanese traditional and contemporary culture. 

Intensive Japanese Language Track (IJL): Created in 1988, the Intensive Japanese Language Track has a long history of providing high-quality, intensive Japanese language instruction to international students. Class sizes are kept small, between 10-15 students, allowing their experienced instructors to cater to the needs of each student individually. Learning is not confined to the classroom, and excursions to local festivals and special events allow students a glimpse of Japanese culture unavailable elsewhere in Japan. Language courses in the IJL Track equip students with the skills needed for further study or Japan-related employment by developing balanced language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as socio-cultural awareness associated with the use of the Japanese language. Students enrolled in the IJL Track may also take courses offered in English through the Open Study in English Track and Business Track.

Open Study in English Track (OSE): Open Study in English Track courses cover a wide range of subjects, from Asia-Pacific studies and economic development to contemporary Japanese culture, providing a multi-disciplinary approach and bringing global perspective to international studies. Participation is also open to Japanese students and students from the Global Studies program, creating a truly international setting that facilitates international exchange between students. Taught entirely in English by distinguished professors, OSE allows students to study in Japan while earning credits in their field of study without the hurdles of a language barrier. Students may also supplement their studies with courses from the Business Track as well as other courses held in English by other faculties at Ritsumeikan University.

Academic Credit
WMU credit will be awarded for all courses completed on this program with prior approval of the student's academic advisor, academic advisors in departments outside of the student's major department (if the student plans to take classes outside of his/her major), and the Haenicke Institute Study Abroad office. This approval is obtained by completing the Course Pre-approval Form with their academic advisor(s), available from the WMU online application. Students are urged to work closely with academic advisors and study abroad staff to plan a course of study allowing for steady progress toward their degree.

Back to Top

Cost & Financial Aid


The program fee includes: tuition, fees, international emergency and health insurance, and orientation.

The program fee does not include: housing, meals, airfare, books, Japanese health insurance, local transportation, passport, visa, and personal expenses. Remember to plan for extra expenses, such as weekend travel, personal spending money, etc.

Costs not included in the program fee are estimates and may vary according to individual needs and preferences. This budget does not include activities which are not part of the academic program, such as personal travel, entertainment, shopping, etc.

Program fees are subject to adjustment due to changes in actual exchange rates or other factors. In addition, programs may be modified or cancelled in the event of insufficient enrollment. Program dates are subject to slight adjustment by the home/host university.

Note: For tax purposes, the university requires the program fee billing be divided into qualified (expenses and fees related to the class or program) and non-qualified (other costs).  The total program fee equals the program commitment fee plus qualified and non-qualified expenses added together.
   Program commitment fee
+ Qualified (expenses and fees related to the class or program)
+ Non-qualified (other costs)
= Total program fee

Program commitment fee:  This is a portion of the program fee which is billed after the student clicks the "Commit" button to secure their place in the program.  The remainder of the program fee is billed to the WMU student account for the semester of enrollment in study abroad credits. The program commitment fee is due within 30 days once charged to the WMU student account. After 30 days, per university accounts policy, holds will be placed on past-due balances.

Please note: Disbursement of financial aid may not coincide with the start date of the program abroad, so plan ahead!  Some out-of-pocket costs may occur prior to receiving financial aid for the semester, such as the program commitment fee, passport, airfare, immunizations, visa or residence permit fees (if applicable).  These costs vary by program and WMU Study Abroad Specialists are available to answer questions about the program budget.

Financial Aid
Students eligible for federal or state financial aid may use their awards for studying abroad.  After a student has been accepted to the program, they must complete required paperwork with WMU Financial Aid to apply financial aid to the program costs.  It is the student's responsibility to complete the paperwork prior to departure and to maintain compliance with financial aid regulations while studying abroad (i.e., remain enrolled full-time). 

Students applying for this program may be eligible for the President's Grant for Study Abroad.
Students applying for this program may be eligible for the Global Engagement Scholarship.

Back to Top


Ritsumeikan manages three International Houses. One of the best parts of the Study in Kyoto Program is the sense of community that develops among the students, leading to life long friendships. Nowhere is this more true than the two university dormitories. Students from around the world share one living space, giving you the opportunity to learn about other customs and cultures on top of experiencing daily life in Japan. I-House TOKIWA, UTANO and TAISHOGUN are all equipped with everything a college student would need: fully furnished rooms, laundry facilities, lounges, kitchens, free internet access, and computer rooms.

The sense of community at I-House is further accentuated by the live-in managers and buddies. Each I-House is taken care of by Japanese house parents who also act as managers, so assistance is always just a few doors down. The Japanese I-House Buddies assist students when they first move in, help them as they adjust to living in Japan, and organize dormitory events throughout the year. Together, the managers and the buddies create a sense of family and provide a unique and enjoyable cross-cultural living experience, making the International Houses feel like a truly international home. All dormitories are located within 30 minutes of Kinugasa Campus by public transportation and are within easy access by bicycle.

Homestays are not available through the Study in Kyoto Program.

Back to Top


Fall 2016

Arrival Dates: September 1-9
Orientation: September 10-25 (approximate)
Fall Semester begins: September 26
Fall Semester ends: January 31

Spring 2017

Orientation: March 22-31 (approximate)
Spring Semester begins: April 1
Spring Semester ends: July 31

Back to Top 

Additional Resources

Host Institution Information (external links)
Study in Kyoto Program
Ritsumaikan University

Country Information (external links)
Japan - Lonely Planet
Kyoto - Lonely Planet
U.S. Department of State Information
Country Specific Information - Japan
Culturegram - Japan

VISA (external links)
Consulate-General of Japan in Detroit


Program faculty directors:
Professor Jeffrey Angles
Professor of Japanese Literature & Translation Studies

Professor Rika Saito
Associate Professor of Japanese Language & Literature

Professor Carlos Pimentel
Assistant Professor of Japanese Language

WMU Study Abroad:
Yumi Takahashi-Ede
Study Abroad Specialist
2425E Ellsworth Hall
Phone: (269) 387-5890

Video Testimonial:
WMU Study Abroad Experiences: Ayla Ludwig