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Japan
Approx. Time Difference
Mar – Oct: + 16 hrs
Nov – Feb: + 17 hrs
Global & International Studies, Meiji Gakuin University


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.
“Japan has genuinely enlightened my understanding of the importance of striving to be a ‘global citizen.’  The learning, experiencing, enjoying, and above all, surprises, will undoubtedly play an important role in my life as an individual as well as in my professional career. The final lesson: learning never ceases…aim higher.”
~ Samy Sadighi, UC Irvine
Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network
 
 
 

Study Center Abroad

Do not contact the International Studies Office before departure.
 
Once you are abroad, the on-site UC Visiting Professor and the Center for International Cooperation in Education (CICE) office will be your contacts for all matters. Among other things, the UC Visiting Professor provides support with academic matters, program logistics, and personal issues. The Study Center is located in the Faculty of International Studies Office.
 

Office of the Faculty of International Studies

 
The Office of the Faculty of International Studies (OFIS) is the main office for UC students. OFIS is responsible for curricular and related academic matters. Notices and messages from professors are posted on the bulletin board in this office. You can borrow textbooks and travel literature.
 
Location: Building 8 (Hachi-go-kan), second floor (Yokohama campus)
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.–noon
 
Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, UC Visiting Professor
Ms. Naomi TOMIZUKA, UC Program Officer
Meiji Gakuin University
1518 Kamikurata-cho, Totsuka-ku
Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 244-8539, Japan
 
Phone (calling from the U.S.): (011-81-45) 863-2200
Phone (calling from Japan): 045-863-2190/2200
 

Phone Number Codes

U.S. international code: 011 (dial this to call from the U.S.)
Japan country code: 81
Yokohama city code: 45
 

Approximate Time Difference

Add 16 hours March–October
Add 17 hours November–February
 
Prior to departure, direct questions or concerns to your UCEAP advisor on campus or to the Systemwide Office.
 
During the program, direct questions or concerns to the UC Visiting Professor or to the appropriate Meiji Gakuin University Office listed in this section.
 
Center for International Cooperation in Education Office (CICE)
 
CICE assists with nonacademic matters related to international students. They work directly with students and act as liaisons with other offices of the university. You will pay for housing at the CICE office.
 
Location: Building 1, first floor
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–noon
Phone (in Japan): 045-863-2190
 

Academic Affairs Office

You must formally register for classes both with the UC Visiting Professor and at the Academic Affairs Office. OFIS will help with the required forms. Student ID cards are also issued at this office.
 
Location: Building 1, first floor
Phone (in Japan): 045-863-2026
 

Student Affairs Office

This office provides advice on student activities, clubs, and how to join them. It has a lost-and-found department. In addition, you can apply for a student discount for train tickets at this office.
 
Location: Building 1, first floor
Phone (in Japan): 045-863-2029
 
Academic Information
Program Overview
The program at Meiji Gakuin University (MGU) focuses on Global and International Studies and is offered through the International Studies Department where you will take the majority of your courses.

 

Requirements

  • 21 UC quarter units minimum and 30 UC quarter unit maximum; most UCEAP students take 24 to 27 units; 4 to 7 courses depending on the units of each course. 
  • Weekly participation in the Integrative Program Seminar taught by UC Visiting Professor. 
  • Attendance on study trips
  • Regular class attendance is expected and considered in the final grade along with papers, class participation, and exams. Check with each of your professors about specific requirements, paper deadlines, and exam dates.
  • MyEAP Study List registration
If you do not have basic Japanese language skills, you are encouraged to take a Japanese language course. Upper-level (third year and higher) Japanese language study is not always available.​
 

Units

UC quarter units are calculated by multiplying MGU units by 1.5. (2.0 MGU units equal 3.0 UC quarter units). Most courses that meet one day per week are 2.0 MGU units and most courses that meet two days per week are 4.0 MGU units. Language courses meet three days per week and are 6.0 UC quarter units. 
Academic Culture
Japan is a country in which behavioral propriety and formal courtesy are extremely important. Learn about behavior that might be considered offensive, Japanese standards of behavior, and follow the Japanese students’ examples. Japanese people may not correct you for unacceptable behavior, but any actions out of the ordinary will be noticed and could negatively impact UCEAP at Meiji Gakuin.
 
Japanese students do not eat, drink, chew gum, text, or answer cell phones during class time. Student dress is casual and neat. Faculty are treated with respect at all times. Treat guest speakers and faculty with the dignity and respect appropriate to their position in Japanese society. Your behavior reflects on both UC and the U.S. Make a good impression and continue to make this program possible for future UC students.
 
Japanese higher education is not designed to be as structured as higher education in the U.S. Japanese university courses do not have the same kind of organization and requirements as courses at UC. You cannot rely solely on your professors and the classroom setting for your educational achievement. For a successful academic experience, be willing to adapt to Japanese educational traditions and methods of communicating with Japanese instructors.
 
Meiji Gakuin professors expect you to be self-motivated and actively engage in related readings, research projects, and other out-of-class educational endeavors to complement classroom activities. If you rely entirely on the professors’ explicit requirements and the classroom for your intellectual stimulation, you may feel under-challenged and perhaps disappointed. Over the years, UC students have commented that this is a program in which student satisfaction can be very high, but it depends on the effort of each student.
 
Japanese university instructors do not provide detailed feedback on papers. Final papers and final exams are usually not returned to students. When they are returned, they may not have comments.
 
Course Information
Course registration is completed after arrival and instructions will be provided during your on-site orientation.
 
You will participate in International Studies courses and a required Integrative Program Seminar course led by the UC Visiting Professor. Japanese language study and courses from the Shirokane campus are optional.
 
The UC Visiting Faculty also teaches a course each semester on his or her area of expertise.  This elective course meet twice per week and is 6.0 UC quarter units.  
 

International Studies Courses

Each semester approximately 12 to 17 courses are offered through the International Studies Department for international students; however, local Meiji Gakuin University students are also invited to participate.  These courses are all taught in English. The course list is updated on the Meiji Gakuin website approximately one month before the semester begins.
 

Integrative Program Seminar

This required weekly seminar integrates the varied subject matter of the program courses and the topics of the guest lecturers. Each student is required to complete a research project, either individually or within a small group.
 
The seminar is led by the UC Visiting Professor and is enhanced by guest speakers who address various issues. It is designed for UCEAP students; however, it includes Meiji Gakuin students, faculty, and visitors.
 

Japanese Language Study

You may take one course of Japanese language study in this program for a total of 6.0 UC quarter units.  Courses are offered at beginning, intermediate, and advanced (third year) levels. Language study is highly recommended for those with little or no Japanese language background.  
 

Study Trips

Study trips to historic and cultural sites complement classroom instruction and are an integral part of the program. Trips include Hiroshima, which has stood as a reminder to the world of the consequences of failed international relations since August 6, 1945. You have the rare opportunity to explore Hiroshima’s total destruction by a single U.S. nuclear bomb as well as its rebirth as a modern Japanese industrial city.
 
The academic program may include other required course-related study trips led by individual faculty members. These trips enrich the program’s overall educational experience. Past trips organized outside of normal classroom hours (often on weekends) have included visits to sites of local, national, and international significance.
 

Elective Courses  

Courses may be available at Meiji Gakuin’s Shirokane campus in Tokyo. Courses that have not previously been taken by UCEAP students require the permission of the UC Visiting Professor. UCEAP students are limited to a maximum of two courses from the Shirokane campus.
 
See the section below on Special Study Projects & Internships for more elective course opportunities.
 
See the MyEAP Course Catalog for past courses.   
 
Special Study Projects & Internships

Special Study Project

It may be possible to do a Special Study Project (independent study project) in an area of special interest. For projects that include fieldwork, you will need Japanese language skills. After arrival in Japan, discuss the project with the UC Visiting Professor, who may approve the project based on the feasibility of the topic and the availability of a Meiji Gakuin faculty member to supervise the project. Special Study Projects are normally 1 to 4 UC quarter units.
 
There is no way to increase the units of the 3-unit MGU courses; however, there are two mechanisms to add extra-unit courses to the existing courses. Either option is pursued after you have arrived in Japan, enrolled in the 3-unit course, and discussed the project with the instructor of a given course. The options are as follows:
 

Meiji Gakuin Independent Study

Meiji Gakuin offers an Independent Study option worth 2 UC quarter units to promote study and research beyond what is offered in the regularly offered coursework. These projects take time to organize.
 
Procedure: Submit to the Vice Dean of the International Studies Faculty a proposal including the reason for wishing to take independent study units, the proposed supervisor (only regular departmental faculty are eligible to offer MGU’s Independent Study), the research theme, the research methods, and overall plan; and written agreement from the proposed supervisor.
 
Evaluation: Student submits a 6- to 10-page report to the supervisor; supervisor reviews and comments; report and comments are reviewed by the Vice-Dean (or gakka shunin), and a grade is assigned.
 
UCEAP Special Study
This is a UC-only option, thus, a matter between individual instructors and UC Visiting Professor, as the UC representative at Meiji Gakuin University. Forms are available from the Visiting Professor on site.
 

Internships

Meiji Gakuin University offers teaching internships for academic credit. The internship can be taken as one of your elective courses. The course is listed in the MyEAP Course Catalog as Education 187 A.  Additional information will be provided after arrival.
 
Grades
You must complete all coursework by the end of the program and before you leave Japan.
 
Grades are reported by Meiji Gakuin professors to the UC Visiting Professor who assigns the UC grades. You may discuss your progress in a course with the Meiji Gakuin instructor but should not discuss your grades unless invited to do so. Never appear to negotiate for a grade. Questions relating to final grades, program matters, and appropriate plans for handling them should be discussed with the UC Visiting Professor.
Fall grades are usually available late January; spring grades are usually available early to mid-August.
For more information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
 
Extending UCEAP Participation
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself
 
Social Conduct
 
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking
 
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
 

Orientation

The fall program begins with two weeks of introductory instruction and a field study trip, directed by the UC Visiting Professor, which serve as an introduction to the program courses. Thereafter, regular Meiji Gakuin classes begin. The spring program does not include the two weeks of introductory instruction; however, it does include the field study trip.
 
The Study Center orientation introduces you to Meiji Gakuin and covers such topics as:
  • Contact and safety information
  • Course information and registration procedures, including MyEAP Study List registration
  • Cultural do’s and don’ts for a better experience in Japan
The orientation by CICE includes:
  • Assistance with alien registration
  • Establishing bank accounts
  • Tours of the campus and library
  • Overview of cultural activities
Your attendance at all orientation sessions is mandatory (UCEAP Student Agreement). If you miss the on-site orientation, you may be dismissed from the program.
 
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
 
Travel Documents

UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.

Japanese Citizenship

If you have Japanese citizenship you must enter Japan as a Japanese citizen, even if you have dual nationality with another country. If you are affected by this regulation, provide the UCEAP Systemwide Office with a copy of your Japanese passport.
 

Student Visa

Students with Japanese citizenship do not need a visa to enter Japan.
 
Summer-only program participants do not need a visa to enter Japan. U.S. citizens in possession of a valid U.S. passport can visit Japan without a visa for a duration of up to 90 days or less for study.
 
For the fall, year, and spring programs, you must obtain a Student Visa prior to entering Japan. A student visa is an endorsement placed in your passport by the Consulate General of Japan. The visa grants you permission to enter and reside in Japan for the purpose of study.  In order to obtain the visa, you will first apply through your host university for a Certificate of Eligibility.
 
About two to four weeks prior to departure, you will receive the Certificate of Eligibility from the UCEAP Systemwide Office. With this document, apply for a student visa at the Japan consulate as directed in the UCEAP online Predeparture Checklist.
 

Japanese Resident Card

A Resident Card will be issued to foreigners who possess a Student Visa at the port of entry.  After arrival, you are required to register your address with the local city hall. You must carry the card at all times as police or other authorities may request to see it. The Tokyo Study Center will assist you with this process.
 

Photocopies

It is easier to replace lost or stolen documents if you have photocopies. Make photocopies of all important documents, including passport photo pages, vaccination certificates, travelers check receipts, airline tickets, student ID, birth certificate, credit cards (front and back), etc., then leave a set of copies at home with a parent or guardian and pack a set in various pieces of luggage. Spending a few moments copying documents now can save time and energy if something is lost or stolen.

UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.

Japanese Citizenship

If you have Japanese citizenship you must enter Japan as a Japanese citizen, even if you have dual nationality with another country. If you are affected by this regulation, provide the UCEAP Systemwide Office with a copy of your Japanese passport.
 

Student Visa

Students with Japanese citizenship do not need a visa to enter Japan.
 
Summer-only program participants do not need a visa to enter Japan. U.S. citizens in possession of a valid U.S. passport can visit Japan without a visa for a duration of up to 90 days or less for study.
 
For the fall, year, and spring programs, you must obtain a Student Visa prior to entering Japan. A student visa is an endorsement placed in your passport by the Consulate General of Japan. The visa grants you permission to enter and reside in Japan for the purpose of study.  In order to obtain the visa, you will first apply through your host university for a Certificate of Eligibility.
 
About two to four weeks prior to departure, you will receive the Certificate of Eligibility from the UCEAP Systemwide Office. With this document, apply for a student visa at the Japan consulate as directed in the UCEAP online Predeparture Checklist.
 

Japanese Resident Card

A Resident Card will be issued to foreigners who possess a Student Visa at the port of entry.  After arrival, you are required to register your address with the local city hall. You must carry the card at all times as police or other authorities may request to see it. The Tokyo Study Center will assist you with this process.
 

Photocopies

It is easier to replace lost or stolen documents if you have photocopies. Make photocopies of all important documents, including passport photo pages, vaccination certificates, travelers check receipts, airline tickets, student ID, birth certificate, credit cards (front and back), etc., then leave a set of copies at home with a parent or guardian and pack a set in various pieces of luggage. Spending a few moments copying documents now can save time and energy if something is lost or stolen.

UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.

Japanese Citizenship

If you have Japanese citizenship you must enter Japan as a Japanese citizen, even if you have dual nationality with another country. If you are affected by this regulation, provide the UCEAP Systemwide Office with a copy of your Japanese passport.
 

Student Visa

Students with Japanese citizenship do not need a visa to enter Japan.
 
Summer-only program participants do not need a visa to enter Japan. U.S. citizens in possession of a valid U.S. passport can visit Japan without a visa for a duration of up to 90 days or less for study.
 
For the fall, year, and spring programs, you must obtain a Student Visa prior to entering Japan. A student visa is an endorsement placed in your passport by the Consulate General of Japan. The visa grants you permission to enter and reside in Japan for the purpose of study.  In order to obtain the visa, you will first apply through your host university for a Certificate of Eligibility.
 
About two to four weeks prior to departure, you will receive the Certificate of Eligibility from the UCEAP Systemwide Office. With this document, apply for a student visa at the Japan consulate as directed in the UCEAP online Predeparture Checklist.
 

Japanese Resident Card

A Resident Card will be issued to foreigners who possess a Student Visa at the port of entry.  After arrival, you are required to register your address with the local city hall. You must carry the card at all times as police or other authorities may request to see it. The Tokyo Study Center will assist you with this process.
 

Photocopies

It is easier to replace lost or stolen documents if you have photocopies. Make photocopies of all important documents, including passport photo pages, vaccination certificates, travelers check receipts, airline tickets, student ID, birth certificate, credit cards (front and back), etc., then leave a set of copies at home with a parent or guardian and pack a set in various pieces of luggage. Spending a few moments copying documents now can save time and energy if something is lost or stolen.

UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.

Japanese Citizenship

If you have Japanese citizenship you must enter Japan as a Japanese citizen, even if you have dual nationality with another country. If you are affected by this regulation, provide the UCEAP Systemwide Office with a copy of your Japanese passport.
 

Student Visa

Students with Japanese citizenship do not need a visa to enter Japan.
 
Summer-only program participants do not need a visa to enter Japan. U.S. citizens in possession of a valid U.S. passport can visit Japan without a visa for a duration of up to 90 days or less for study.
 
For the fall, year, and spring programs, you must obtain a Student Visa prior to entering Japan. A student visa is an endorsement placed in your passport by the Consulate General of Japan. The visa grants you permission to enter and reside in Japan for the purpose of study.  In order to obtain the visa, you will first apply through your host university for a Certificate of Eligibility.
 
About two to four weeks prior to departure, you will receive the Certificate of Eligibility from the UCEAP Systemwide Office. With this document, apply for a student visa at the Japan consulate as directed in the UCEAP online Predeparture Checklist.
 

Japanese Resident Card

A Resident Card will be issued to foreigners who possess a Student Visa at the port of entry.  After arrival, you are required to register your address with the local city hall. You must carry the card at all times as police or other authorities may request to see it. The Tokyo Study Center will assist you with this process.
 

Photocopies

It is easier to replace lost or stolen documents if you have photocopies. Make photocopies of all important documents, including passport photo pages, vaccination certificates, travelers check receipts, airline tickets, student ID, birth certificate, credit cards (front and back), etc., then leave a set of copies at home with a parent or guardian and pack a set in various pieces of luggage. Spending a few moments copying documents now can save time and energy if something is lost or stolen.

UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.

Japanese Citizenship

If you have Japanese citizenship you must enter Japan as a Japanese citizen, even if you have dual nationality with another country. If you are affected by this regulation, provide the UCEAP Systemwide Office with a copy of your Japanese passport.
 

Student Visa

Students with Japanese citizenship do not need a visa to enter Japan.
 
Summer-only program participants do not need a visa to enter Japan. U.S. citizens in possession of a valid U.S. passport can visit Japan without a visa for a duration of up to 90 days or less for study.
 
For the fall, year, and spring programs, you must obtain a Student Visa prior to entering Japan. A student visa is an endorsement placed in your passport by the Consulate General of Japan. The visa grants you permission to enter and reside in Japan for the purpose of study.  In order to obtain the visa, you will first apply through your host university for a Certificate of Eligibility.
 
About two to four weeks prior to departure, you will receive the Certificate of Eligibility from the UCEAP Systemwide Office. With this document, apply for a student visa at the Japan consulate as directed in the UCEAP online Predeparture Checklist.
 

Japanese Resident Card

A Resident Card will be issued to foreigners who possess a Student Visa at the port of entry.  After arrival, you are required to register your address with the local city hall. You must carry the card at all times as police or other authorities may request to see it. The Tokyo Study Center will assist you with this process.
 

Photocopies

It is easier to replace lost or stolen documents if you have photocopies. Make photocopies of all important documents, including passport photo pages, vaccination certificates, travelers check receipts, airline tickets, student ID, birth certificate, credit cards (front and back), etc., then leave a set of copies at home with a parent or guardian and pack a set in various pieces of luggage. Spending a few moments copying documents now can save time and energy if something is lost or stolen.

UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.

Japanese Citizenship

If you have Japanese citizenship you must enter Japan as a Japanese citizen, even if you have dual nationality with another country. If you are affected by this regulation, provide the UCEAP Systemwide Office with a copy of your Japanese passport.
 

Student Visa

Students with Japanese citizenship do not need a visa to enter Japan.
 
Summer-only program participants do not need a visa to enter Japan. U.S. citizens in possession of a valid U.S. passport can visit Japan without a visa for a duration of up to 90 days or less for study.
 
For the fall, year, and spring programs, you must obtain a Student Visa prior to entering Japan. A student visa is an endorsement placed in your passport by the Consulate General of Japan. The visa grants you permission to enter and reside in Japan for the purpose of study.  In order to obtain the visa, you will first apply through your host university for a Certificate of Eligibility.
 
About two to four weeks prior to departure, you will receive the Certificate of Eligibility from the UCEAP Systemwide Office. With this document, apply for a student visa at the Japan consulate as directed in the UCEAP online Predeparture Checklist.
 

Japanese Resident Card

A Resident Card will be issued to foreigners who possess a Student Visa at the port of entry.  After arrival, you are required to register your address with the local city hall. You must carry the card at all times as police or other authorities may request to see it. The Tokyo Study Center will assist you with this process.
 

Photocopies

It is easier to replace lost or stolen documents if you have photocopies. Make photocopies of all important documents, including passport photo pages, vaccination certificates, travelers check receipts, airline tickets, student ID, birth certificate, credit cards (front and back), etc., then leave a set of copies at home with a parent or guardian and pack a set in various pieces of luggage. Spending a few moments copying documents now can save time and energy if something is lost or stolen.

Packing Tips
 
Climate & Dress
The UCEAP Student Budget does not include funds for the purchase of clothing abroad.
The climate in Japan is hot and humid in the summer and cold in the winter. During the early summer you will experience tsuyu, a rainy season that is characterized by constantly overcast skies and frequent light drizzle. There are many mosquitoes during this time. The tsuyu ends in mid-July when the humid summer heat sets in.
 
Winter temperatures rarely fall much below freezing, although the chill factor from strong winter winds makes it seem much colder. It is particularly cold indoors, where central heating is either unavailable or limited. The best defense is to layer clothes and wear warm underwear, sweaters, scarves, socks, and slippers.
 

Your Wardrobe

Japanese people are generally well dressed, and stylish and formal trends are found particularly in downtown university areas. Women wear skirts and dresses far more often than at UC. The typical UC wardrobe is fine for everyday wear on the more suburban campuses such as MGU. Clothing in Japan is generally expensive and it is difficult to find large and tall sizes (women taller than 5'-7" and men taller than 5'-10").
 
Shoes are very important in Japan. Japanese people take off their shoes every time they enter a home; therefore, it is best to have shoes that slip on and off easily. Take clean socks without holes.
 
You may find yourself walking a great deal more than you do at home. Take sturdy shoes that will last for your term abroad. Normal Japanese shoes go up to size 7½ for women and 8½ for men. It is difficult, and often more costly, to find larger sizes.
 
Insurance for Personal Possessions
 
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
 
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
 
 
Handling Money Abroad
Get used to carrying more cash in Japan than you would in the U.S. Checks are not widely used, and credit cards are not as frequently accepted as in the U.S.

Initial Expenses

If possible, take money for the semester in the form of travelers checks. You can cash them at any post office or banks that have exchange sections. Travelers checks are safer than cash because identification is required to cash travelers checks. Travelers checks in U.S. dollars are easier to cash than those in yen denominations.
 
Meiji Gakuin University recommends you bring at least ¥20,000 and $500 in travelers checks to get through the first few weeks. It is best to purchase yen at the airport because you will not have time to go to a bank in Japan to exchange money during the orientation period.
 
Scholarships
 
Communications Abroad
Internet Access

Computer Access and Use

Individual e-mail accounts are available through the CICE Office.
 
If you take a laptop, you will be able to access the Internet from your dorm room. In the dining hall, there are two computers with free Internet service, four connectors for free Internet service from your laptop, and one printer. You cannot install any software or save any personal documents on the two computers in the dining hall. You cannot print from your laptop in the dorm room; however, you can print from your laptop in the dining hall.
 

Computers on Campus

You can use the computers and Internet for free in the PC rooms in Building 4 on campus from 9:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every weekday, and from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The PC rooms are closed on Sunday and national holidays. With your own laptop, you can access free Internet service at some points on campus, and you will need your own cable (same cable as at MISH).
 
Phones
 

International Phone Calls

Vending machines next to phone booths and convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Lawson sell prepaid international calling cards.
 
You can make international calls from green or gray public telephones that are covered with a gold-colored plate. Gray phones are located in Hachi-go-kan (Building 8) on the first floor and at the telephone booth near the bridge on the Yokohama campus. Dial 0051 to contact an international operator.
 
 
Mail & Shipments
 
Housing & Meals
Housing
All UC students are housed in the Domeel Totsuka dormitory in downtown Totsuka. It is a 25- to 30-minute walk to campus (or a ten-minute walk plus a ten-minute bus or taxi ride). Since the dorm is downhill from the campus, a walk home may be preferable.
  • The dorm has 154 rooms and is located near JR Totsuka train station. Workers, Japanese students and UC students live at the dorm.
  • Rooms are furnished, air-conditioned, and single-occupancy. Shower, toilet and small kitchen with electric heater are available in your room. Each room has a bed, desk, a desk light, a chair, LAN access port, a pillow, sheets, blanket, futon, and futon cover. Gas, electricity, water, internet and linen are included.
  • There is a large shared dining hall on the first floor; breakfast and dinner are included during the weekdays, except Sunday & holidays.
  • You are expected to treat all residents at the dorm with courtesy and respect, living in harmony with one another. You are responsible for the care, cleaning, and upkeep of your room and the shared space.
  • Full rent and the deposit fee are due by September 24 for fall and April 22 for spring. You must make your own housing payment, even if you are on financial aid.
  • Your housing payment is made in cash (JPY) at the local post office.  Details will be given to you at the orientation.  If you do not bring JPY, then you can bring USD travelers checks and exchange them at the main Totsuka post office.  Main post offices ONLY accept American Express traveler's checks.  Traveler’s checks are not as common in Japan as they used to be. 
  • Most students bring the USD cash with them from the US and exchange cash at the airport.  You can also exchange cash at a bank in Japan.
  • The deposit fee will be returned if student’s room and the shared space are left clean.

You must make your own housing payments, even if you are on financial aid.  The deposit fee will be returned if student’s room and the shared space are left clean.

There is also an optional home-stay with a Japanese family for 2 months.  Finding a host family for the 2-month home stay takes time and is not guaranteed.  See the section on "Homestay Option" for more information.

 
Homestay Option
Meiji Gakuin University may offer a few family homestays to students who have completed one year of university-level Japanese and who have Japanese language skills. You must be willing to live according to Japanese norms, which may be more restrictive than those in the U.S. Eligible students are encouraged to apply but are not guaranteed the homestay option.
 
Homestays are generally two months in length. The remaining time you are housed in a single-occupancy dormitory room. Sometimes homestays can be extended to four months, provided there is agreement between the host family and student.
 
The homestay cost is approximately ¥50,000 per month plus a ¥25,000 deposit. In addition, commuting will cost approximately ¥10,000 per month. 
 
There is probably no better way to become immersed in the host culture than to share everyday life with a family. The downside of this is that you probably have not lived with your own family in a few years. Conforming to someone else’s rules, especially if they appear strict, may be a strain. Homestay families may require that you be home by a certain hour each night, restrict your guests to the house, or have different rules governing use of the phone, food, and utilities.
 
During a homestay, you will have a room in a family’s house and eat breakfast and dinner with the family. You are expected to act as a member of the family. Be sure to ask your host parents how they prefer to be addressed (i.e., mother, father, other). You must abide by family rules, such as curfew, overnight guests, etc.
 
If you participate in a homestay, you need to be flexible. The burden of adapting is on you, not on the host family. The homestay is intended to be a mutually convenient social arrangement and a cultural experience between you and the host family. The matching between family and student is accomplished carefully. While the program has attempted to place one student per household, occasionally a student might be present from another program.
 
The primary purpose of being with a host family is to interact socially and culturally and to improve Japanese language proficiency. It is expected that everyone, including other guests in the home, will speak Japanese at all times. If a host family requests you to speak English, you may want to work out a reciprocal arrangement to occasionally speak English in order to help them with their language acquisition.
 
There may be some unspoken conditions and responsibilities to a homestay involving everything from use of the kitchen to possible curfews. To avoid any confusion, communicate with your host family early on about the following:
  • Keys: Will keys be issued to the house? Do families expect you to be home at a certain time of night?
     
  • Bathroom privileges: What are your responsibilities concerning the bathroom facilities? If possible, set up a schedule, especially for the morning. There is usually a hierarchical order to using the ofuro (bathtub/shower) at night.
     
  • Meals: Breakfast and dinner are included during the week. On the weekend, lunch is usually included. Since homestay families are volunteers, they serve you homemade dishes not as a burden but as a token of hospitality. Do not expect that every meal will be served at home; sometimes they might ask you to eat out due to special circumstances but they will inform you in advance. If you miss an occasional meal due to special circumstances, be sure to inform the family in advance. What should you do if you miss a meal unintentionally? Discuss the schedule of meals as well as any special dietary needs and meal times with your family. Inquire about access to the kitchen and the household’s food. Vegetarians should be flexible.
     
  • Your room: Who is to clean the room? Make the bed? Change the linens? Assume it will be you.
     
  • Laundry: Who is responsible for doing the laundry and what laundry will be done? Ask your host family how laundry will be done.
     
  • Guests: Are you allowed to have guests, including overnight guests? What about parties and social gatherings in the home?
     
  • Remember: Always inform the host family about any out-of-town trips and times when you may expect to arrive home late, in case of an emergency.
     
  • Payment: Payment of room, breakfast, and dinner is due monthly at the CICE Office at Meiji Gakuin University.
     
  • Telephone: Most students buy cell phones, and this is advised. Telephone charges are expensive, so if you do not purchase a cell phone, ask your host family about the use of their phone, how to reimburse them for phone bills, and then follow the set guidelines.
     
  • Other utilities: Do not leave lights, computers, or other electrical items running when not in use. Check with the host family regarding use of heat, etc.
     
  • Commuting: In addition to room and board, the likelihood of a 60-minute (approximate) commute will cost approximately ¥10,000 per month.
Do not hesitate to report difficulties to the UC Visiting Professor and the CICE staff if problems arise with the host family. Concerns should be aired immediately so that small instances will not build up into major problems. Something that is bothersome may be the result of a cultural misunderstanding. UCEAP staff may be able to help explain the misunderstandings and assist in resolving problems.
 
Meals

Many restaurants and markets are located near the Totsuka Station (25‑minute walk from campus).

Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
 
 

Travel within Japan

You are required to inform MGU staff, dormitory personnel, and host families about your general travel plans, especially when leaving for more than a weekend. Use the Travel Sign-out form in MyEAP. An emergency may arise at the Study Center or at home that may make it necessary to reach you promptly. This is also important due to tight immigration control.
 
The UCEAP Student Budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
 
You may consider extending your stay in Japan following the program. During August, various peace-related activities take place throughout Japan in memory of the Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9) bombings in August 1945.
 
Extracurricular Activities

 

Weekend Homestay

You will complete a weekend homestay application with your application for MGU admission. It will be for two nights and three days at no additional cost. All students do this and enjoy it. Do not worry about your Japanese language ability; just be friendly and a good family member. The host family will welcome you as a volunteer. Prepare a gift for your host family—something for the entire family, not for each member (usually food like fruit or candy). Also, bring some photos to explain your home country, family, or friends.
 

Buddy Program

The CICE Office at Meigaku arranges a Meigaku “buddy” volunteer to support UCEAP students. UC students greatly appreciate this support and the resulting friendships. You will complete a “Buddy Application” with your application for MGU admission.
 

Employment

Working while on the program is not recommended. However, you may work up to 14 hours per week provided you receive the proper employment permits from the Japanese Immigration Office, the host university, and the UC Visiting Professor. It is illegal for foreign students in Japan on a student visa to work without this permit, even tutoring English. It is not permissible to miss a class, field trip, or other academic activity because of a job. Any student who does take a job must inform the employer that there will be times when he or she will miss work due to classes, field trips, etc.
 

Religious Activities

Meiji Gakuin has a chapel open to all students and staff. A 20-minute chapel period is also held on class days at 12:40 p.m.
 
 
 
Students with Disabilities
 
Travel Sign-out Form
 
Insurance
UCEAP Insurance
 
 

Mandatory Japanese National Health Insurance

 
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
There is an on-campus clinic at Meiji Gakuin that is equipped to handle minor ailments. For anything serious, however, visit an outside doctor. The Meiji Gakuin clinic can provide a referral to an appropriate specialist. In general, medical practices and facilities in Japan are the same as those in the U.S. and costs are comparable.
 
During university hours the Meiji Gakuin University Health Clinic Center can be reached at 045-863-2020. In Totsuka, the Yokohama Emergency Medical Care Information Center can provide information about the nearest hospital or clinic depending on the ailment. This contact can be reached 24 hours a day at 045- 201-1199 (limited English). For non-emergency medical problems, the program office has a list of English-speaking doctors in the Yokohama area.
 
Physical Health
 
Prescription Medications
 
Mental Health
Health Risks
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk
 
Crime & Prevention
 
Civil Unrest
 
Traffic & Transportation Safety
 
Earthquakes
 
UCEAP Contingency Planning
 
Fire Safety
 
In An Emergency
 
 
 
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* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.