Approx. Time Difference
Apr - Nov: + 16 hrs
Dec – Mar: + 17 hrs
This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants
section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Intensive Language Program
The year program begins with an optional summer intensive language program (ILP). The spring program does not have this option. The ILP is organized by the Tokyo Study Center to provide Japanese language instruction at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. If you choose to participate in the ILP, you will take a placement test after arrival.
During the six-week ILP, you will attend language instruction classes for about four hours a day Monday through Friday. You also meet with other students in small groups that may occasionally convene in larger sections to discuss topics such as seminar presentation, writing reports, and taking lecture notes. Instruction is complemented by the use of language CDs and videos.
Following the ILP, there is a break ranging from a few days to two weeks, depending on your host university calendar.
- 3 to 12 UC quarter/2 to 8 UC semester units for the optional ILP; letter grade required.
- 18 UC quarter/12 UC semester units each semester for students in the year program who attend the ILP
- 21 to 24 UC quarter/14 to 16 semester units each semester for year students who do not attend the ILP and all spring students
- Research component (8 UC quarter units)
Units for this program are calculated by multiplying the Tohoku University units by 1.5 (2.0 Tohoku University equal 3.0 UC quarter units).
Course registration procedures for both Tohoku University and MyEAP will be covered during your orientation in Japan.
If you have limited or no Japanese language background you will take courses through the Tohoku University Junior Year Program in English (JYPE
) where you will participate in laboratory research with Japanese students, conduct individual research projects, write reports (in English), and take coursework in English. JYPE is intended for juniors and seniors and many courses are advanced and earn upper-division UC credit, except for the language and culture courses.
Graduate students in this program participate in the Tohoku University Cooperative Laboratory Study Program (COLABS
Lecture courses meet once a week; Japanese language classes of various levels meet twice a week.
JYPE features additional coursework in fields such as geophysics, evolution and ecology, agricultural economics in Japan, and Japanese business. Local Japanese students are encouraged to take part in the classes offered in English and interact with the foreign students.
If you have the necessary language ability (near fluency), you may take Tohoku University courses taught in Japanese.
Internships & Volunteer Opportunities
Discuss questions related to grades or other classroom matters and appropriate plans for handling them with the UCEAP Study Center. It is not the Japanese custom for instructors to give detailed comments on written work and final papers, and exams are not usually returned; the grade itself is generally considered appropriate and adequate feedback. You may inquire about your progress in a class, but do not discuss grades with your professors unless invited to do so; otherwise, it may appear that you are trying to negotiate your grade, which is frowned upon.
Beware of rumors about lenient grading at Japanese institutions. Some universities are notably similar to UC in their standards and grading system. Language courses in particular can be more demanding than at UC and the grading is often rigorous. In many cases, poor grades are the result of excessive absences, tardiness, missing assignments, and lack of communication between UC students and instructors. Grading is typically conducted by detracting points for errors, rather than rewarding points for correct work. If you experience difficulties with your language courses, inquire with the Study Center for tutoring assistance. Also beware of being influenced by the rigor—or lack thereof—with which Japanese students appear to be engaged in their studies. In contrast to UC students, Japanese students often place less emphasis on letter grades and more on merely passing their courses.
To avoid a failing grade for a dropped course:
- Keep the Study Center informed of any changes in course selection at the host university.
- Follow UCEAP procedures for dropping a course.
Final grades for this program are usually available in mid-October.
For more information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Travel to Your Host Country
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Scholarships and Fellowships
Intensive Language Program (ILP) Housing
Tohoku University Housing
UCEAP students in Tohoku stay at the University House Sanjo and commute via campus shuttle, bus, or bicycle. University House Sanjo is a dormitory where Japanese and foreign students live together in 8-bedroom apartment units. The rooms are furnished with desk, chair, closet, and bookshelf. Shared shower and bathrooms are located in a common area of each unit. It is a 15 minute bus ride from the dorm to Kawauchi campus (where Japanese classes are conducted) and a 30 minute bus ride from the dorm to Aobayama campus where the research labs are located. The campus shuttle is free of charge.
Students holding Japanese passports are not allowed to live in the Tohoku University International House and should be prepared to locate alternative housing.
At a Glance
- Tohoku arranges housing for you at the University House Sanjo I or II.
- You pay the dormitory directly (in yen) when you move in. Utilities are paid separately. Be prepared to pay for a semester at a time. See the UCEAP Student Budget for estimated housing costs.
- You can use the phone line for an Internet connection. You must sign up with an Internet service provider on your own. You are responsible for all charges.
- There are phones in the rooms. You are responsible for all phone charges.
- You can purchase your own linens or rent bedding monthly.
Students with Disabilities
Mandatory Japanese National Health Insurance
Traffic & Transportation Safety
The University of California, in accordance with applicable
Federal and State law and University policy, does not
discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion,
sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical
condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also
prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy
covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs
and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s
student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical
conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.