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Programs : Brochure
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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 2016-2017 02/15/2016** 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:
 Housing Options:
Apartment, Dorm (single)
 Minimum GPA:
 Class Standing:
Undergraduate Junior, Undergraduate Senior, Undergraduate Sophomore
 Program Specialist:
Sakhi Vyas
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 is January 15th, 2015. 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.

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.

See the Japanese Programs Quick Comparison sheet for more information about Study abroad programs in Japan: 2014-2015 quick comparison.pdf

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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.

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Academic Eligibility
Good Academic Standing
Minimum 3.0 GPA 
Completion of JPNS 2010 for IJL (Intensive Japanese Language) program
No previous Japanese required for JWP (Japanese and World Perspectives) program

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. Students will enroll in the Intensive Japanese Language (IPL) program, where they will take 12 hours/week of intensive Japanese language after testing into one of five levels, upper elementary to advanced. Students may also take Introduction to Japanese Traditonal Arts, taught in Japanese and choose from a variety of Japanese studies courses taught in English, e.g. Japanese Society, Politics, Culture; International Political Theories; International Management; Asia-Pacific Relations; Japanese Economy; Japan-US Relations; Interatnaional Development and Aid; International Law; Environmental Economics; International Peace Studies, etc.

2013/2014 SKP Pamphlet is ready and available for download from the program homepage SKP Pamphlet

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.

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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).  Non-WMU students must apply for financial aid through their home university.
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Ritsumeikan offers two relatively new dormitory buildings for international students with private single rooms furnished with beds, linens, desks, and common toilets and baths, LAN computer connections. These are located quite close to campus in a residential neighborhood. If the international dorms are full, RU will place students in alternative or dormitory housing that may be farther from the campus. Home stays are not offered.

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Additional Resources

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

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
Associate Professor, Japanese Literature & Translation Studies
WMU Faculty Director Homepage

Professor Rika Saito
Assistant Professor of Japanese Language and Literature

Study Abroad Specialist:
Sakhi Vyas

Video Testimonial:
WMU Study Abroad Experiences: Ayla Ludwig