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Application Deadline: Rolling Admission


Kyoto, Japan

Location Description

Kyoto is a city in the central part of the island of HonshuJapan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area. Kyoto is located in a valley, part of the Yamashiro (or Kyoto) Basin, in the eastern part of the mountainous region known as the Tamba highlands. The Yamashiro Basin is surrounded on three sides by mountains known as Higashiyama, Kitayama and Nishiyama, with a height just above 1000 meters above sea level. Central Kyoto City is situated mostly on the flat area, with its prime sightseeing spots scattered along the base of the mountains. Today, the main business district is located to the south of the old Imperial Palace, with the less-populated northern area retaining a far greener feel. The climate of the Kyoto Basin is typical of an interior basin, with large differences in temperature between summer and winter, day and night.

University Profile

The Kinugasa Campus is located in northwestern Kyoto, a 1200 year old city rich in culture and art. Representative of Japanese learning and culture, Kyoto is a center for universities and university students. Kinugasa Campus is surrounded by such auspicious temples as Kinkakuji, Ryoanji, Ninnaji, and Tojiin, a suitably tranquil setting for research and learning.

Kinugasa consists of six colleges and graduate schools (Law, Social Sciences, International Relations, Policy Science, Letters, and Image Arts and Sciences). The campus offers a comprehensive curriculum in the humanities and social sciences. The recently established International Institute has also created a new academic division.

Ritsumeikan University's fundamental objectives include academic innovation and the development of young people, through higher education, to contribute to societal progress and the well-being of humankind. The colleges provide courses based on a methodical system in response to students career aspirations, while adhering to academic requirements. Combined with minor specializations and public lectures, Ritsumeikan provides a wide-ranging academic environment.


Kinugasa consists of six colleges and graduate schools (Law, Social Sciences, International Relations, Policy Science, Letters, and Image Arts and Sciences). The campus offers a comprehensive curriculum in the humanities and social sciences. The recently established International Institute has also created a new academic division.

The Study in Kyoto Program (SKP), offered at the Kinugasa Campus in Kyoto, brings together students interested in Japanese studies from around the world. It offers numerous courses in Japanese language and culture utilizing the extensive historical and cultural resources of the ancient city.

The curriculum for the study in Kyoto Program


The university arranges housing for all Study in Kyoto Program students from partner institutions who do not wish to find housing on their own. Although the university manages two dormitories, Ritsumeikan International House I and Ritsumeikan International House II, the number of participants in the Study in Kyoto Program has outgrown the capacity of these two dormitories, and the university must now place several students every semester in alternative dormitories or apartment housing. Students should understand that the alternative housing may be located further away from the university than either of the Ritsumeikan International House dormitories and may be more expensive. The university is now making every effort to secure additional housing for future Study in Kyoto Program students.

Students who wish to find apartments on their own once they arrive in Japan may do so; however, the cost of establishing an apartment in Japan can be quite high. Landlords often require key money and deposits of several months rent each. Additionally, apartments do not come equipped with basic necessities such as a refrigerator, cooking stove, lights, or furniture.

Ritsumeikan International House I (I-House I) and Ritsumeikan International House II (I-House II) include private single rooms furnished with beds, linens, and desks, common toilets and baths. Free laundry facilities are also available. Both dormitories have a common lounge equipped with study materials, a TV and DVD/VCR. Internet may be accessed via communal computers or via LAN from each room. Japanese student buddies also reside at both houses with international students, making for an extremely unique and enjoyable cross-cultural living experience. Both dormitories are approximately a 30-minute walk, or a 15-minute train ride and walk from the Kinugasa Campus where most SKP classes are held.

Reflection Paper

All students who participate in a JMU exchange program will be required to write a reflection paper upon completion of the program which will be available for future participants to read. 


Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA and be in good standing with the university. Applicants must have completed two years of college-level Japanese language prior to the start of the program.

How to Apply

To apply for Spring 2019, please email the Exchange Program Coordinator, Pernell Whitfield, at to have your exchange application generated.

The application for admission has a number of parts. See the outline below and make certain you have completed all steps in the application process.
Spaces are limited.

A completed Exchange Program application consists of the following components:

  • Online application 
  • Permission to Take Courses for Transfer Credit Form
    Available from the Registrar's Office or downloadable here in Adobe Acrobat format.
    Required of ALL students studying abroad on an External program.
  • Exchange University's application (upon acceptance from JMU)

apply now

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Scholarships specifically for exchange programs are sometimes available. Check our website for current offerings. Most forms of financial aid apply to the cost of study abroad programs. Students should consult with a financial aid counselor for specific information about awards and eligibility. For more information, please click on the following link to the Financial Aid & Scholarships page.


Fall 2018: Sep 26 - Dec 26
Spring 2019: Apr 1 - Jul 31

(all dates are tentative and subject to change)


In-State Out-of-State
Tuition 5,195 13,082
Housing 1,845 1,845
Meals 1,665 1,665
Local Transport 500 500
Health Insurance 82 82
Personal Expenses 1,200 1,200
Airfare 1,500 1,500
Total Estimated Costs 11,987 19,874

(all fees are tentative and subject to change)

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