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University of Meiji Exchange

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Spring semester March - July, Calendar year March - January, Academic year September - July


Tokyo, Japan




minimum 2.85 GPA, junior standing or higher, completed 1 semester at University of Iowa;

Japanese fourth year/third year/one semester prior to arrival, depending on program selected

Application Due:

10/1, 2/18

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

A reciprocal exchange program between the University of Iowa and Meiji University allows UI students with fourth year level Japanese to study in Tokyo either as a visiting foreign student in one of the Departments at Meiji, or in courses for international and exchange students offered by the Center for International Programs. The choice depends on the student’s level of Japanese language proficiency. The exchange is open to undergraduates in fourth year Japanese, and to graduates with an appropriate research interest who have a minimum of third year level Japanese at the time of application. Also, students with minimal Japanese proficiency can study in one of Meiji’s divisions that offers classes taught in English, namely the School of Business Administration and the School of Global Japanese Studies for undergraduates, or the Graduate School of Governance Studies.

The program fee for study on Reciprocal exchange is based on semester-hour enrollment constituting minimum full time of your regular UI tuition. UI students earn transfer credit on this option of direct enrollment in programs of a Japanese university.

Academic Program

Students need to be received into a particular department at Meiji and must indicate this department on their application. For options requiring language proficiency, once screened and recommended for exchange, students will be required to take the Meiji University Japanese Language Test to be included in their application, and to be scored by Meiji.

Regular courses

Information about departments and courses at Meiji is found here. Click on the small blue tab English at the very top of the page; then go to Undergraduate Schools (or Graduate Schools, as relevant.)

Most typically, these are the departments of interest to Iowa students: in the School of Arts and Letters: Department of Literature, Department of History and Geography; in the School of Political Science and Economics: Department of Political Science, Department of Economics; in the School of Business Administration: Department of Business Administration.

Students don’t register for classes until after arrival, and will be advised on choice of classes available to them based on their interview with the Japanese Language Programs Coordinator. See below.

Japanese Language

Following an assessment of their language abilities by the Japanese Language Programs Coordinator at an arrival interview, students will be placed in the appropriate language course offered by the Center for International Programs. Upon completing these classes, students will be issued a certificate but do not earn credit on a Meiji transcript. The aim of this intensive language program is to improve students’ communicative skills and develop the fundamental skills needed for university-level study in a Japanese-speaking environment. Access to regular classes in their host department will also be determined by this assessment. Students will receive guidance on course selection from the Language Programs coordinator, as well as an academic adviser in their School of choice.

Global Japanese Studies

Meiji’s new BA in Global Japanese Studies prepares students for a relevant understanding of cultural difference, aiming to foster true cosmopolitans who can look at Japan from a global standpoint and actively introduce Japanese culture to the rest of the world. The program includes study of contemporary and traditional Japanese culture as a whole, but also examines the Japanese approach in the areas of business, industry and society at large.

An English Track which allows Meiji students to complete their four year program entirely in courses taught in English provides a special opportunity for foreign exchange students not proficient in Japanese. The curriculum for the GJS English Track can be viewed here. Classes marked A or B cover different material, and are offered spring semester (A) or fall semester (B).

Business Administration

The School of Business Administration offers classes taught in English which vary any given session. The decision of which classes will be offered in English is not made until the end of the fiscal year; students will be making final choices after they arrive. To see the range of English-taught classes in the business school check here.

In addition, students accepted into the Department of Business Administration can take a Japanese language class; language classes at the beginning levels earn no credit.

Graduate School of Governance Studies

The goal of this school is to examine Global Issues such as poverty reduction, sustainable development, decentralization of government, regional development for economic growth and crisis management for a safe society from the perspective of Good Governance, where governments, markets and civil society collaborate to manage society more effectively. With the aim of capacitating the broadest population of young professionals around the world, three of its programs are offered taught in English: the programs in Public Policy, International Development Policy, and Community Management.
More information on the School of Governance Studies’ English Track is found here and here.

Program Dates

Study at Meiji runs on the Japanese academic calendar. Options for UI students include spring semester (late March to July), academic year (September to July, with a two month break between Meiji semesters), or calendar year comprising UI semesters spring and fall (late March to the following January.)

For More Information

Program details are found at the various links at Academic Programs above. Students should meet with the Japan program adviser in the UI Study Abroad office as soon as interested, to discuss the procedures for Reciprocal exchange. Binders with comments from prior participants can also be consulted in the Resource Room.

Meiji University

In the spirit of the Meiji Restoration, Meiji University was founded in 1881 around a core of French law studies in the hopes of eventually bringing individual and human rights to the common people. It began as a Law School in the home of one of its three founders, all lower-ranking samurai. Through reforms and additions over the years, including the first School of Business Administration established in Japan, today it comprises seven four-year colleges with related graduate courses. The university has produced leaders in all areas, and is especially proud of its accomplishments in the fields of law and politics. Excellence has also been attained in sports, where Meiji athletes have brought home gold medals from the Olympic Games.

The Center for International Programs addresses the needs of foreign students at Meiji. In addition to a comprehensive orientation program, advising and tutorial programs, Japanese language support classes, and one-day excursions, the Center sponsors intercultural activities given by the International Student Association.


With a population of 11,384,000, Tokyo is one of the three largest cities in the world. The development of Tokyo, a city much newer than most Japanese cities, began in 1603 when it was selected as military headquarters for the first Tokugawa Shogun. While the nominal capital remained in Kyoto, home of the Emperors, Edo functioned as the nation's administrative center, and was renamed Tokyo upon becoming the official capital with the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Devastated in World War II, it was quickly rebuilt and is today an ultramodern city spread over an area of 230 square miles, two to four times larger than New York, Chicago or Los Angeles.

Living Arrangements

Meiji University does not have university housing, but it can offer exchange students contracted apartments that are reasonably priced. These apartments are fully equipped and are within commuting distance from all the campuses. Upon acceptance, students will receive a Housing Guide for International Exchange Students with complete information on options and an accommodation request form to complete.

Travel Arrangements

Students make their own travel arrangements to arrive in Tokyo by the required date. Information for arrival will be provided by the Meiji University’s International Office.


This program is open to all UI students who are in both good academic and also disciplinary standing. Applicants must also meet the minimum cumulative GPA of 2.85

Students applying to regular or classes for international students must be in fourth year Japanese at the time of application. Students applying to English-taught classes must have completed one semester of Japanese prior to arrival. Graduate students doing research must be able to demonstrate proficiency at third year Japanese at the time of application.

The number of participants is limited by reciprocity in the numbers to be exchanged and meeting the minimum requirement for eligibility does not guarantee acceptance into the program. The final decision on admissions rests with Meiji University.

Students who meet/exceed the GPA requirement must still be in good disciplinary standing in order to be eligible. No exceptions will be made on the disciplinary standing requirement.

Program Cost Sheet

This is the Cost Sheet for Fall of 2011. This document outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill, as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. If the fee is inclusive of UI tuition, it is calculated by Current Tuition. Please contact your study abroad advisor with questions regarding this cost sheet – call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

Scholarship Opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities, and Non-UI External Awards.

Withdrawal policy

After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to University of Iowa Study Abroad. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount/percentage shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay to the University of Iowa.

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
Between confirmation and 45 days before program start date $500
Between 44 and 30 days before the program start date $1000
Between 29 and 15 days before the program start date $2000
Less than 14 days before the program start date 100% of Study Abroad Administrative Fees ($400)
100% of UI Tuition and Fees

Consult with your Study Abroad advisor for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when you withdraw from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. Check with your specific provider/host university for details. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with your airline for further details.

Application Deadline

Application deadline is February 18 for academic year beginning in September.
For spring semester, or calendar year late March through January, the application deadline is October 1.
Interested students should consult with the Japan adviser in Study Abroad as early as possible.

How to Apply

The application process begins with a Preliminary Application for Japan Exchanges - received when you make an appointment with the study abroad advisor. Students nominated for the Meiji exchange will then be asked to complete UI's online study abroad application and then Meiji University’s Exchange Student Application. Except for those applying to programs with English-taught classes, students will be required to take the Japanese Language Test while still at Iowa to include with the application.

Upon acceptance, students will receive an acceptance packet with comprehensive information directly from Meiji University’s International office.

Prior to departure, students also attend a general TIPS orientation for UI Students Studying Abroad. In addition, the exchange program adviser provides cultural notes and individualized information about billing and credit procedures at Iowa.