The history of the city of Tokyo stretches back some 400 years. Originally named Edo, the city started to flourish after Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Tokugawa Shogunate here in 1603. In recent years, Toyko has fourished as a city and has become a top tourist destination to study and vacation. As Japan's bustling capital city and over 13 million residents, Tokyo offers a mix of the ultramodern and the traditional. Shop all day in Tokyo's downtown areas, visit Tokyo's temples, shrines, and museums, or walk along the mountain trails and up Mt. Takao-san. There is always something to enjoy while in Tokyo.
Click here to watch videos about Tokyo.
The origin of Sophia University can be traced back to more than 450 years ago when the Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier came to Japan in 1549 to spread Christianity in Japan. The actual foundation of the university began In 1908, when three Jesuit priests arrived in Japan in response to a request from the Roman Pontiff at that time, Pope Pius X. Five years later, in 1913, they opened the first Catholic university in Japan on this Kioi site where Sophia still stands.
The university cerebrated its centennial in 2013.
Sophia University has a compact footprint that brings together all faculties and graduate schools in the sciences and humanities on a single campus. This approach yields significant benefits for the University's programs by deepening educational mobility, collaboration, and specialization. By offering an environment that brings together students and faculty members from different cultural, linguistic, and religious backgrounds, the campus functions as a microcosm of global society. No less beneficial is the University's location in Tokyo, a megacity that invites students to enjoy all the benefits of its state-of-the-art technology, facilities, and infrastructure. Best of all, the city affords an invaluable opportunity to experience a unique culture in which traditional and modern elements intermingle.
The Spirit of Sophia
Undergraduate courses are offered in the following areas:
Sophia University offers two short-term summer study abroad programs. At Sophia University’s campus in the heart of Tokyo, the program participants directly experience many aspects of Japanese culture and society and witness the myriad ways in which the cultures of the world are reflected in the maze-like urban landscape of Tokyo.
The programs also enable participants to look at Japan from many different perspectives. The faculty themselves come from diverse cultural backgrounds, and while some students from Sophia’s Faculty of Liberal Arts attend the session, the majority of participants come from a variety of different countries. The programs thus offer a rare opportunity for Japanese students and non-Japanese students from abroad to gather to study, discuss, and reflect on Japan’s role in the world.
As for the Summer Session in Asian Studies, over 11,000 students from around the globe have attended the programs over the years, and many have gone on to pursue exciting careers related to Japan
Summer Session in Asian Studies
Since its foundation in 1961, Sophia University’s three-week Summer Session in Asian Studies has provided students with the opportunity to study abroad in Japan and explore the country’s relation with Asia and the rest of the world. Participants choose two intensive courses from a list including Japanese language, history, art, religion, literature, society, culture, economics, and politics.
In addition to the courses offered, students are encouraged to participate in field trips and cultural events (three to four activities each year) included at no extra cost, such as opportunities to view performances of Noh and Kabuki, experience Japanese tea ceremony and ikebana, visit Meiji Shrine, and attend a wadaiko (Japanese drumming) lesson. Some courses also feature field trips directly related to the course. Summer Session in Asian Studies participants choose up to two courses and earn three credits with successful completion of each course.
For more detailed information about the Asian Studies summer session, please click here.
Summer Session for Japanese Language
The Summer Session for Japanese Language (and Culture) was introduced in 2013. The six week session is tailored for students who want to improve their Japanese language abilities in an intensive program in Japan. Students will study Japanese at the beginner, intermediate, advanced intermediate, and advanced level in an international environment at Sophia University, located in the center of Tokyo. Class size will be small, with around 15 students. To further enhance the effectiveness of Japanese language acquisition, students will have opportunities to practice their language skills with Japanese Sophia students through some after class activities.
All the participants will take the Japanese placement test on the first day of the program and be divided into four classes depending on their skills. After the first day of the class, you can move to another level of the Japanese class with agreement between you and your teacher.
For more detailed information about the Japanese Language summer session, please click here.
Sophia University offers housing to exchange students, however there is No on-campus dormitory. Students must commute to Sophia from their housing. Please view the Housing Information page for information on housing options.
Since the Sophia campus is located in the heart of Tokyo, the cost of living near campus is very high. As reasonable housing is located in the suburbs, exchange students should expect a 45-90 min. commuting time to campus. The train and subway systems in Tokyo are well-developed, but during the morning rush hours, the trains are very crowded.
Please check the commuting time of each dormitory carefully before making the decision of the housing preference.
Sophia's school dorm is not available to short-term program participants. However, some rooms at a hotel located near Yotsuya campus are available to the participants for student discount prices. You will see the details on the online application form. If you prefer to arrange your own accommodation, refer to the accommodation list below for the information of accommodations where the past participants stayed. This program is going to be held at Yotsuya campus.
To see a list of available accommodation and its cost for short-term program participants, please click here.
A cafeteria is open on Yotsuya campus during the period of this summer program for meals. Also, there are a wide variety of restaurants of all price ranges near the campus. Average price is 800 yen for breakfast, 1,000 yen for lunch, and 1,000 to 3,000 yen for dinner.
Sophia University offers students support in the following:
How to Apply
Applying to study abroad is a two-step process. Before applying to the host institution abroad, you must first complete the necessary application procedures to Pace. Click here to review the Pace University Six Steps to Apply to study abroad.
Application Procedures for Pace Study Abroad:
Create an account to begin the study abroad application process. Students can only apply to one program. Check to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements of the program and that you submit your application in advance of the program deadline. Complete the required materials and questionnaires required for your application. Note that the requirements will vary depending on your selected program.
Meet with your academic advisor to ensure you meet the academic requirements needed in order to study abroad. In addition to asking the following questions, you may want to bring the names and descriptions of course you are interested in taking at your host institution:
Schedule an appointment with a Pace Study Abroad Advisor.
Download and complete the course approval form. You must complete the course approval form by the Pace application deadline.
Pace University Application Deadlines:
Summer: April 1
Academic Year and Fall: February 15th
Spring: September 15th
Application Procedures for the Sophia University:
Those who have completed at least one semester of study at one of the Sophia's partner institutions (Pace) as a degree-seeking student before submitting the exchange application.
The applicants are strongly expected to have a Grade Point Average of B (3.0) or better in the standard 4-level rating system (A, B, C, D) or equivalent.
Early submission is encouraged for higher priority in housing placement.
*Please double-check if ALL of the necessary documents are completed and accurate before sending them out to us.
Application documents will be checked on a first-come first-served basis. If we find any questions or problems, we will contact the coordinators or students accordingly.
Sophia University will make decisions on all applications that are submitted by the deadline. Please be advised that late submission of application will cause delay in screening procedure and the acceptance notice. We proceed with the applications to the screening as soon as all of the necessary documents are completed, and students from the same university might not be screened at the same time.When a student is accepted, Sophia University will send an Acceptance Notice to student’s home institution by email in order of completion. Official Acceptance Letter, Certificate of Eligibility (for non-Japanese citizens), Housing Notice/Bill (only for those who arranged housing through Sophia) and other important documents will be sent as a package to student's home institutions for all students at the same time by Express Mail.
Basically, we do not send Acceptance Package directly to each student.
Exchange students must be selected by the home institution and recommended to Sophia. Before applying, please contact the Education Abroad office at Pace University. Sophia University does not accept direct applications from prospective exchange students.
The following policies are effective with AY 2017-18. Students are responsible for:
Pace tuition and Fees, including a $100 Study Abroad Fee are billed to the student account.
Room charges are the responsibility of the student and are paid directly to the host institution.
Out-of-pocket expenses (airfare, meals, local transportation, etc.) are the responsibility of the student.
All federal, state and institutional (Pace scholarships/grants) financial aid apply during the semester abroad. Pace tuition remission applies.
Summer Session for Japanese Language:
Summer Session in Asian Studies:
*The tuition does not include accommodation. For a list of the available types of accommodation and it's cost, please click here.
Remember to check your eligibility for International Scholarships!
All participating students are registered for Pace’s emergency Travel Assistance/Health Insurance policy through ACE American Insurance/AXA Assistance USA. There is no additional charge.
Generally, a national of a foreign country who wishes to enter Japan must first obtain a visa. Under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act of Japan, it is stipulated that any foreigner wishing to enter or land in Japan must possess a valid passport and a visa obtained from an embassy or consulate.
Necessary documents for the College Student Visa (long-term stay)
Visa instructions issued by Sophia University: Visa Instruction 2017 Autumn.pdf (updated July 2017, please check the Consulate General of Japan website for most recent updates)
Depending on the nationality of the applicant, other documents may be necessary in addition to the above. For details please refer to the web site of your embassy or consulate.
The Watanabe Study Abroad Scholarship provides financial assistance to undergraduates/graduate students for a semester or year-long study abroad program in either the United States or Japan. I am excited to announce that we are finally expanding our scholarship to support not only *Japanese studying in the U.S.* but *Americans studying in Japan* as well (either degree-seeking/study abroad)! This scholarship is unique in that it offers *up to the full cost of attendance* for a semester or year of study abroad.