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Approx. Time Difference
Apr - Nov: + 16 hrs
Dec – Mar: + 17 hrs
Japan Universities - Osaka 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.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network
Academic Information
Program Overview


  • Summer ILP: 3 to 12 UC quarter/2 to 8 UC semester units; letter grade only
  • 18 UC quarter/12 UC semester units per semester
  • Japanese language study is required each term unless you are fluent and are taking courses taught in Japanese
  • Language placement exam

You will participate in either the regular exchange program or the Maple program. You will select your program as part of the Osaka University application.



UC quarter units are calculated by multiplying Osaka units by 1.5. (2.0 Osaka units equal 3.0 UC quarter units).

Academic Culture


You are required to attend all classes, mandatory field trips, and other academic events unless you are explicitly excused for a valid reason. Travel, family visits, relationships, and work responsibilities are not valid reasons for missing class. Many faculty members monitor and consider attendance when determining the course grade. In fact, it is common practice for Japanese students to quit attending class as a sign to the professor that they wish to be dropped from the course. This is called houki (renunciation). If you drop a class using the houki system—even if accidental—you will receive a grade of “F” for that course.
In order to be successful academically, you must take the initiative. Take personal responsibility for your education, formulate clear academic goals, and then pursue those goals with determination rather than depending solely on UC or host university requirements for direction. Japanese university courses typically have less structure than UC courses. Professors rarely provide syllabi and, even if they do, may change the content of the course during the term. Check with each professor about specific course requirements, paper deadlines, exam dates, and any other matters related to your academic responsibilities.
The UC unit value of courses offered in Japanese universities varies widely. Many courses carry low units (2 or 3 UC quarter units). In some cases, courses on a similar theme may be combined to fulfill a UC campus or major requirement.
Course Information

Regular Exchange Program

Students in this program take regular Osaka University courses and must have near native Japanese language proficiency. The required language proficiency varies by department. 
Emphasis is placed on individual initiative. In addition to Japanese language courses, you may take a year-long seminar on the Japanese economy and complete a substantial thesis.
If you choose to study economics—one of Osaka’s strengths—a strong math and economics background is essential.

Maple Program

Students in this program focus on improving Japanese language skills and take course on Japanese society and culture.
See the Osaka University website for more information.
Internships & Volunteer Opportunities
Final grades for this program as usually available in early October.
For more information about grades see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Cultural Awareness
Educational Resources
Social Conduct
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
Travel Documents
Packing Tips
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Handling Money Abroad
Scholarships and Fellowships
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
Mail & Shipments
Housing & Meals
Intensive Language Program (ILP) Housing
Osaka University Housing
UC students at Osaka University for the academic year will mainly take classes on the Toyonaka campus.  When you apply to Osaka University, you can request housing in your application. You can learn more about the housing options at the Osaka University housing website. Note that the commute time from dorms to campus can be up to one hour each way.
The housing situation at National Universities is always similar. The monthly rent is very cheap; however, facilities are old and sometimes below basic sanitation standards.
Male students are housed in Suita Male dorms or in the Tsukumodai International Dorm (formerly JASSO Osaka International House). The Study Center strongly recommends you choose the Tsukumodai dorms.
  • Tsukumodai features single rooms in a dormitory style environment. Floors are segregated by gender. The rooms are furnished with a desk, chair, bed, bookshelf, refrigerator, closet, desk lamp, and phone. The rooms are heated and air-conditioned. A shared shower room with individual stalls is located on each floor. Residents share kitchenettes, bathrooms, a common room, reading room, and a coin-operated laundry room. Overnight guests are not permitted and all guests must leave by 10 p.m., unless prior permission is obtained. Japanese resident RAs are available to help students with Japanese language instruction. Local community activities, parties, and sports taikai are organized by staff. Tsukumodai is located close to the Osaka University Suita campus, and is about a 50-minute commute from the Toyonaka campus.
  • Suita Male dorms are old, not clean, and far below UC dorm standards. However, engineering and science departments are all located on the Suita campus, so it is the closest housing for students taking engineering courses or doing laboratory research.  Past participants mention that this housing may be the cheapest, but it is also the least luxurious and they do not recommend it.  ​Each room has a bookshelf, dresser, desk, bed, air conditioner, and mini fridge/freezer.  If you will take courses in the humanities (on the Toyonaka campus), it is a long and costly commute from the Suita Male dorms. 


Female students live in the Osaka University International House (I-House) or rent private apartments. I-House provides housing to a wide variety of international students, including professors, couples, and families. You will live in a single room furnished with the same items as Tsukumodai (above), except a bathtub is provided in the rooms instead of a shower. The main I-House is located on the Toyonaka campus, and UC students are usually placed in this dorm (not in the one near the Suita campus). The Toyonaka I-House offers the opportunity to participate in many activities, including holiday parties, Ikebana classes, and tea ceremony classes.

At a Glance


  • You request housing in the Osaka University application. Details are finalized during the summer.
  • You will pay for your housing when you move in. Be prepared to pay for a semester at a time in yen directly to the dorm. Utilities (electric, gas, and water) are paid separately each month. See the UCEAP Student Budget for estimated housing costs. 
  • All rooms are equipped for Internet access. You need to sign up with an Internet service provider and 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.
  • Cooking is not permitted in Tsukumodai rooms (the men’s dorm). Each building has a shared kitchen. At I-House (women’s dorm), each room has a kitchen and refrigerator. In both locations students obtain their own kitchen items for cooking.
Other Housing Options
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
Extracurricular Activities
Students with Disabilities
Travel Sign-out Form
Recreational Travel
UCEAP Insurance
Mandatory Japanese National Health Insurance
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
Physical Health
Prescription Medications
Mental Health
Health Risks
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk
Crime & Prevention
Civil Unrest
Traffic & Transportation Safety
UCEAP Contingency Plans
Fire Safety
In An Emergency
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