Center for International EducationWaseda University

From Waseda

FAQ

1. About study abroad in general

If you have started thinking about studying abroad, the first thing you should do is research on the host country, city, and university of your choice, and deepen your understanding. You many also want to ask former study abroad students about their experiences. (We have started a “former study abroad student introduction system”! Page in Japanese only: https://www.waseda.jp/inst/cie/news/15588)

Next, you will need to follow specific procedures, but short-term study abroad and long-term study abroad are quite different.
In the case of short-term study abroad, application guidelines will be announced on the CIE website. Summer programs (participation during August and September) will be announced in April, and spring programs (participation during February and March) will be announced in November. Be sure to check what programs there are as soon as they are announced, and start preparing. Short-term programs basically do not have language proficiency requirements, so as long as you have the motivation, and go through the necessary procedures you will be able to study abroad right away. The Center for International Education offers a wide range of programs such as language training and practical training.

As for long-term study abroad, you will need to apply for an internal screening one year prior to the start of your desired study abroad program. You may choose up to seven programs for screening. Basically, recruitment for Europe, North America and Asia is in fall, and for Australia and South America, recruitment is in spring. The necessary documents when applying are mainly certificates of language proficiency, proof of academic performance (GPA), and a written pledge from your guarantor that you have the approval of your guarantor to study abroad. In particular, certificates of language proficiency are needed to be prepared at a very early stage. Necessary scores, GPA, and fees differ depending on the program, so be sure to prepare for your application by checking universities you are interested in on the Program List, reading experiences of former study abroad students, and so on.
(click here for the Program List)

Yes, it is possible. If you wish to study abroad for one year and still graduate in four years, we recommend that you start your study abroad in your second year in the university. For a long-term study abroad, you will need to apply for internal screening one year in advance of the start of your desired program, so be sure to start your preparation early. Starting your study abroad in your third year would mean balancing it with your job hunting, so some students who study abroad purposely do not graduate in four years. Further, requirements for graduation differ depending on the department, so please check with your school office before you start your program. It is highly important that you consult with the school office and form your study plan up to graduation, as soon as you start considering going abroad.

Yes, it is possible. Approximately 40% of long-term study abroad students have actually started in their third year or later. But if you intend to study abroad for a year and still graduate in four years, we highly recommend that you make plans beforehand concerning what to do after your return, since your schedule for job hunting will be tight. The balance among seminars, graduation thesis, and schedules of your teachers differs depending on the department, so please check beforehand with your school office. If you want to graduate in four years, you may want to consider participating in one semester study abroad programs and short-term programs.

It is up to each undergraduate/graduate school to decide which credit should be transferred to Waseda University. It is important for you to plan out your study abroad schedule before your departure including your studying schedule after you are back in Japan by consulting with your school office concerning what classes to take and about obtaining credits. However, this does not guarantee graduation within the standard study term (four years for undergraduates), so please make sure there is no misunderstanding.

Decisions with regard to credit accreditation are based on hours put in, level, and contents of the classes you take. For example, if the subject you take at the host university is recognized as being almost the same to the subject of your undergraduate/graduate school, in many cases, credits earned at the host university are transferred. Criteria depend on each undergraduate/graduate school, so please be sure to check with your own school. Further, you must apply on your own in order to transfer credits, since they are not carried out automatically. For details on how to apply, please be sure to check with your school.

If you participate in a program offered by Center for International Education, you are required to enroll in an overseas travel insurance that Waseda University designates. This prepares for troubles such as accidents, illnesses, and others while you are abroad with free medical assistance up to the coverage option, and also with the benefit of “Waseda University Support Desk” which you can consult with in either Japanese or English 24/7 free of charge. You will also be using a mobile phone rented through Waseda University, so you may be directly contacted by the university in case of an emergency.

2. Long-term Studying abroad programs

 

Gathering Information

First, you should plan for your future after you graduate from the university. That is because you can see what you should do now, only after you set a goal. You will see what the best choice is for you when you know your goal. Programs offered by CIE include short-term programs (2~7 weeks), CS-L programs (language + academic studies), CS-R programs, EX (exchange) programs, DD (double degree) programs. Please grasp the character of each program by reading “Study Abroad Handbook”, and see if you can find a suitable one for you among the programs provided by Waseda, considering various points such as your future plans, purpose of study abroad, language proficiency, school grade, curriculum and costs, In case you don’t find your desirable study abroad style here, you still have options of studying abroad at your own expense.

Now, how to narrow down the programs among the many study abroad programs offered by Waseda University? To begin with, please choose the duration; long term or short term. If you are interested in long term study abroad, please get information about the programs of DD, EX and CS. Next, please think about the destination; which country/region do you want to stay? Urban city or rural area? Public or private college? A large university or a small college such as one for liberal arts? Just by considering those points, you can make your choice more specific. Then, you should take time to gather information about whether the subject you want to study is available at the possible host university. However, there are a huge number of universities and it is very difficult to check each one of them. One way to make it easier is to use the internet search engines; enter some keywords such as study subject and location, and you can narrow down the possible host universities you want to study at. When you list up those universities and find a partner university of Waseda in it, you may consider that university as your destination. You can also refer to books that show university rankings, or experiences of former study abroad students. It is important to estimate the cost as well. After cutting down to around 10 universities, you may check the websites of those universities and get more specific and latest information. Like this, take step by step and you will naturally find a suitable study abroad program for you.

Note: Reports by former study abroad students are very informative, but they are based on their own individual experiences, so we do not recommend you to take those reports as an only source of information for your decision. Furthermore, when you refer to a book of university rankings, you should take a close look at the division or school information where you are going to study, as well as the overall evaluation of the university.

Study abroad student advisers hold a gathering event for to-be study abroad students and former study abroad students every year after nomination for the host universities (normally around December to January). After you received the enrollment notification from host universities, CIE can help you contact with former study abroad students, so please first inquire to CIE. Once communication was established, students are supposed to contact directly each other.
Furthermore, at WGG, you can ask for advice to “study abroad student advisers”, who are the former study abroad students, about various things such as study at the host university or daily life there.

Lists of programs you can apply to are announced on the “Study Abroad program List” of the CIE website at the time recruitments start. If you click “Program Overview,” you can see program details and application requirements of each university, so be sure to check them.

Check information up to the previous academic year before new information is announced. However, please be careful since information may change at the time of your application. Be sure to check the most recent information before you apply.

Most of the partner universities have their webpage for international students. Please try the URL on the CIE website’s “Program List”. You can also get information from the host university’s website; they may have “Exchange Student” or “International Student” column in the “International Office” or “Admission” index.

We are afraid that CIE can’t guarantee that you can take your desired courses at the host universities.

CIE answers to your question at WGG on the 1st floor in Building #22. Regular open hours are Monday to Friday, 12:00 to 17:00. (It is closed during long holidays or unavoidable reasons). Here you can read catalogs of partner universities and reports of students who have been to study abroad programs.

 

Study Abroad Programs

You can study the courses of your choice only if they are available at partner universities. You need to confirm this on your own. Please note that not all the subjects at the partner university are available to international students, which means you may not be able to take the subjects you want even though they are available at the university. This is because of the following reasons: regulations between Waseda and the partner universities, student numbers for the subjects are limited and so forth. Some partner universities change the subjects they offer each academic year. Therefore, although you find the subject you want is available at the partner university according to the application guidebook or others, you may be required to change the subject or be refused registration subjects after the host university’s screening. Graduate students may face this kind of case more often (especially in North America and Europe).

First of all, it is the fee. In many EX programs, due to exchange agreements, you are only required to pay the specified tuition fees, etc. to Waseda University. In the case of CS programs, you will need to pay the program fee instead of the required tuition fees to Waseda University. (By paying the program fee, you will be exempted from paying tuition fees, etc. to Waseda University.) On the other hand, in the case of privately-financed study abroad, you will need to pay a student account maintenance fee of 50,000 yen to Waseda University every six months in addition to tuition to your host university. Privately-financed study abroad students need to pay a “credit transfer fee” to Waseda University if you graduate, including the time you were abroad, in four to four and a half years upon transferring your credits earned during study abroad to Waseda University.

Further, if you apply to programs offered by CIE, CIE will support students apply to those programs, and the students will also have the opportunity to apply to scholarships for study abroad students. However, in the case of privately-financed study abroad, you will have to go through all the procedures on your own. Please take note that for undergraduate students, the chance to receive study abroad scholarship is extremely slim. Also, if students get into any troubles during study abroad, those participating in programs offered by Waseda University can receive support, but for privately-financed students, they will have to settle things on their own.

If you are thinking of studying abroad as a privately financed-student, please consult with your undergraduate/graduate school office in advance about treatment of student status, graduation requirements, tuition fees, transferring credits, etc.

If the partner university opens its courses to public (eligible individuals), it doesn’t matter whether you are on the program or at your expense. That means you can apply to one of the partner universities. However, the programs or assistance prepared for the students on the program are not available to you. To avoid any confusion between your undergraduate/graduate school and the host university, you must make clear that “you are not on the Waseda program but an independently/privately financed student applying to the university” at the time of application. Note that privately financed students are also required to complete the appropriate procedures at their undergraduate/graduate school.

Yes, it is. There are two ways of studying abroad while you are a master’s or doctoral student, namely, mainly doing research (research) and course work (taking courses).
In particular, if you wish to do research, you will need to find a prospective research advisor at the host university on your own, and also obtain an informal consent from the advisor that the host university will accept your enrollment if Waseda University, as a result of internal screening, chooses you to be a study abroad student candidate. In principal, you will need to obtain the informal consent before you apply for an internal screening at Waseda University, so please start preparations early.

If a senior undergraduate student of Waseda University, who will be going on to graduate school, wishes to study abroad in their first year of a master’s course, the student may apply for study abroad in their senior undergraduate year on the premise that the student will continue studies in graduate school. Each graduate school has their own criteria, so be sure to check with the Waseda University graduate school office before you apply for study abroad.

Language requirement for application is low, and 10 to 40 students will be accepted. The main purpose of the beginning of the program is to “improve language skill”. Some universities offer students opportunity to contribute to local community. There is an advisor system through which you can receive counseling by local advisor for worries of academic and everyday life. However, as the programs are developed especially for Waseda students, there are restrictions in taking college courses in the most cases. Also, the opportunities to take regular college courses are limited as you are required to take language courses in the beginning of the programs.

At the host university, in most cases, credits are not offered for extracurricular activities that are not included in official course. At Waseda please confirm with your school office.

Eligibility, tuition, and your enrollment status are different. For Exchange programs, both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply, and your registration status will be “study abroad” (For SILS, “Registered in School”). Your tuition is paid to your respective faculty or research institution. For CS programs, only undergraduate students are eligible to apply, and your registration status will be “Registered in School”. You will pay the amount of program tuition to the host university through Waseda University.

These are programs that, through study abroad, allow you to earn degrees from both Waseda University and a host university upon graduation. In principal, the basic composition of the program is based on the existing curriculum in both Waseda University and the host university.

In other words, students participating must take classes along with regular students of the host university, and meet the requirements to earn a degree. Students are required to have advanced levels of reading/listening comprehension, ability of expression, and conversation skills, which should allow the students to acquire expert and intensive knowledge through study abroad. Waseda University students can participate in programs offered at universities such as Peking University, Fudan University, National University of Singapore, National Taiwan University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Earlham College. (Depending on the program, only students from certain undergraduate schools of Waseda University may apply, and/or the durations of study abroad differ, so please be aware.)

 

Costs for Study Abroad

The “Program fee” is a required expense to students who study abroad with CS programs. By paying this “Program Fee”, the both tuition of Waseda and the host university are exempted during studying abroad.

  • Operation fee of the host university
    This includes tuition, program development, and operation fees that claimed to Waseda University from host universities.
  • Program development and operation fees of Waseda University.
    Necessary expense for Waseda University in order to develop and operate programs.

Please confirm fee breakdown as some university includes meal and room in the CS-L/CS-R program fee.
Please deposit the “Program Fee” to the specified account of Waseda University. From this amount, Waseda University will send your host university’s program operation fee.

Tuition fees and other fees could cost you approximately from 1 million yen to 3 million yen annually. (This varies by university, country and region.) You will also need to pay for lodging, food and fees other than the tuition. The living expenses vary a lot by country and region so research this in advance. While you are away on the program, you do not need to pay tuition to Waseda University.

 

Screening Process

Yes, it is. Usually, you can apply for up to seven programs that meet the criteria. We recommend that you research in detail as many potential universities as possible, and choose partner institutions that meet your study/research schedule, and then prioritize them. Further, it is possible to apply for multiple programs regardless of the types, such as EX or CS. If one university offers an EX and CS, you may apply for both.

There is a possibility you will not pass the internal screening at Waseda University if all of your applications are for prestigious universities or programs that are recruiting only a small number of students, so please choose programs depending on the situation, such as applying for CS programs that recruit a relatively large number of students.

Please take note: You cannot cancel your application, or change your desired host university after you become a study abroad student candidate as a result of internal screening at Waseda University.

Study abroad under an agreement exchanged between departments of undergraduate/graduate schools is another type of study abroad program within Waseda University, but at CIE, as a matter of principle, applying for such programs along with programs offered by CIE is not allowed. However, this does not apply if the results of internal screening for departmental exchange agreement programs are announced before the submission deadline of necessary application documents for programs offered by CIE.

Similarly, applying for study abroad programs offered by institutions other than Waseda University along with programs offered at CIE may be possible if the results are announced for non-Waseda University programs before the submission deadline of necessary application documents for programs offered by CIE, so please consult with CIE beforehand.

Please take note: You cannot cancel your application, or change your host university after you become a study abroad student candidate as a result of internal screening at Waseda University.

It goes without saying that you will need to have sufficient English proficiency when studying abroad at partner institutions of English speaking countries, and in non-English speaking countries, an ability in the local language. Ordinarily, submission of language proficiency test scores are needed upon application for internal screening, but criteria are different depending on the partner institution, so be sure to check the “Study Abroad Program List.” (In some cases, there are different criteria for different programs within the same university.)

For programs in English speaking countries and programs that include classes conducted in English, having obtained a TOEFL® or IELTS score required by partner institutions at the time of application is the minimum requirement. (As a general rule, official TOEFL iBT®/IELTS scores are required, but some programs allow applications with other test scores such as TOEFL-ITP® scores.)

In the case of languages other than English, there are institutions conducting official language proficiency tests. Taking these tests beforehand while gathering information such as past score data is highly recommended.

Internal screening is conducted twice a year, which are spring recruitment (April to May) and fall recruitment (October). If you cannot acquire the needed test scores before applying for internal screening, you will not be eligible for application. Be sure to plan your examination time well by checking websites, etc. of the institutions administering the language tests and confirm how to apply, and calculate how many days it will take for the results to be announced. (The CIE does not give detailed information on when to take language tests to meet application deadlines.)

The requirements (test scores) on the “Study Abroad Program List” are the minimum requirements for applying for programs. If you are considering participating in a certain school/program of a host university, please be sure to check each requirement on the “Program Overview” or the websites of host universities. Further, in order to create more options, aim for higher scores.

Please take note: After you take the TOEFL-iBT® test, it takes 10 to 15 business days to announce your score on the website, and usually, more than a month for the official score reports to be ready for you to obtain them. Ordinarily, for internal screening, a print out of your scores from the website can be accepted for TOEFL-iBT® and IELTS. However, if you do not submit the original score card that matches the score on the print out on a later date, your application itself will become invalid.
The test scores of TOEFL-iBT® and IELTS are valid for 2 years. Please take note that if scores become invalid before you apply to your desired host university or before you apply for a visa, you may be required to take the test again.

You can check the GPA required by the host university on the “Study Abroad Program List.” If your GPA does not meet the requirement of the host university at the time you apply for internal screening, you will not be considered for screening.

The GPA calculation formula used for internal screening is as follows. This formula is established by CIE for study abroad internal screening, and is different from the calculation method used in each undergraduate/graduate schools. Check your own grades of each subject in the “Grade Report” through MyWaseda, and calculate your GPA.


{(4.0×total number of A+ credits) + (3.5×total number of A credits) + (total number of B credits) + (2.0×total number of C credits) + (0×total number of F, G, H, etc. credits)} divided by the total number of credits established as the graduation requirement


*Number of credits established means the total of number of credits earned and the number of credits of subjects that received F, G, etc. grades.
*P and N will not be included when calculating GPA.
*The figures less than the second decimal place are truncated. For example, 2.996 would be 2.99 (not 3.0)
*First year undergraduate students cannot apply for programs that require submission of GPA if grades have not come out, and the GPA cannot be calculated at the time of application for internal screening. Applying for programs that do not require submission of GPA is possible, but in such a case, the submission of an English translated high school record is necessary. First year master’s students whose grades have not come out will need to have GPA calculated based on grades acquired in undergraduate school. For doctoral students, GPA will be calculated based on grades acquired in master’s course.

Please take note that if grades that come out after passing internal screening at Waseda University fall below the GPA required by the host university, you may not be able to pass the screening carried out by the host university. Be sure to continue with your studies after passing internal screening.

GPA, language ability, study/research plan, written exams, interview exams, etc. are all judged comprehensively, and students with the highest overall ability will be selected to participate in the program the students put a high priority on. Overall ability is also given priority if multiple students with different prioritizations apply for the same program. Your everyday studies and preparations will affect the results, so if you strongly wish to study abroad, we recommend hard work and thorough preparations.

Being selected by Waseda University means you have become a successful candidate to the partner university. Even though you satisfy all the requirements, the final decision will be made by the host university. It may be just prior to your departure when you receive the final decision. Even after you are admitted, you may not travel to the host country since visa has not been issued.

Yes. Waseda University doesn’t screen students on the basis of their nationalities. Some partner universities may have nationality restrictions, so please be sure to check in the “Study Abroad Program List”. For some countries, however, it may take time to gain visa since the visa regulations to travel to certain countries are different from those of Japan. It is recommended to contact your embassy or consulate and make sure in advance. Without the proper visa, you may not travel to the host country even after you are selected by Waseda University and admitted by the host university.

 

Enrollment status at Waseda University while studying abroad

If your program is DD, EX or CS, your status will not be “Leave of Absence”.  Your status may be “Leave of Absence” if you study abroad as a privately funded student at a university or a language school. The criteria varies by each undergraduate/graduate school.

 

Studying and living in the host country

In many host universities, you are allowed to choose subjects from a wide range of selections, regardless of which year or what faculty you are in. However, this system varies by countries and undergraduate/graduate school. Please note that you may not be able to take the subjects of your wish due to lack of language proficiency or study history. Sometimes you will be asked to write down the subjects you wish to take in the application documents, but generally, the registration for subjects will be done after your arrival at the host university.

A part-time job is not permitted in most countries due to the visa regulations. You need to estimate a rough budget for a one year program prior to the application. Don’t count on income from working in the host country to cover tuition fees and living expenses. Make sure to consult with your sponsor (s)(i.e. your family).

Living expenses means every expense other than tuition fees. What you need largely varies by the host country, region, and university. The expenses other than tuition, such as accommodation, food, textbooks, transportation, allowance and etc. should be considered.

This varies by host university. The host university provides accommodation (dormitory or home stay) for the students on CS-L and CS-R programs. For exchange programs, the host university arranges dormitories if available. You are recommended to start the application process for a dormitory as soon as you receive the acceptance from the host university.

You are basically not allowed to withdraw from the program, so please make sure to consider your study abroad plans carefully before applying.

You are required to return to the university after completing the program. However, privately financed students may be allowed to extend the period. Please consult with your host university and your undergraduate/graduate school. Please also consult with your school office regarding your tuition fee, in case the extension is permitted.

After returning to Japan

At CIE, we ask all students that participate in a study abroad program to submit a “Return to Japan Report” after coming back to Japan. (submitted from “MyPortfolio” in MyWaseda). The reports will be disclosed on MyPortfolio and at the WGG as valuable information. The reports are also records that students have completed their prescribed study abroad programs, so if you do not submit your report, it may make things difficult to confirm that you have indeed completed the program, and it may interfere with the transfer of your credits, so please be careful.

Within one week of your return to Japan, please submit a “Notification of return to Japan” to your undergraduate/graduate school office, and go through the procedures of credit transfer as needed.

Further, we hope you will cooperate with us and become a study abroad advisor by sharing your experiences at Study Abroad Fairs and such, giving good advice to future study abroad students, and more.

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