Center for International EducationWaseda University

From Waseda

Planning and preparation

In order to make your study abroad a successful one, it is important to have a well-planned schedule. The pages below will help you to confirm the necessary procedures.

Flow Chart

Planning and Preparation

1. Planning for your Future

The first thing you should do is to consider whether or not studying abroad is really necessary for you. For some people, studying abroad is just a dream come true, however, studying abroad means that you will live and study in another country for a long period of time. Without definite objectives and a strong will, you may not be able to complete the program. A lot of energy and money will be needed as well. Therefore, studying abroad must be carefully considered. When you are considering studying abroad, you have to have a clear future plan. First, your current circumstances, ability, interest, competence and others should be analyzed. This helps you clarify your future job and vision.

2. Clarify your Objectives and narrow down the choices

(1) Specific Objectives


Vague objectives More specific
I want to…
improve language proficiency What language? How?
learn different culture and see the world What culture? Which country?
study a field that is not available in Japan Which country and university can you learn it at?
impress interviewers at a job interview by emphasizing on my experience abroad What points can you stress on?

Do you have clear objectives? If you do not, you must define your objectives in details.

(2) Narrow down choices

Waseda University has one of the biggest networks and offers various programs. There are plenty of choices if being a privately financed student studying abroad is one of your options. However, in the end, you must choose only one. Keep narrowing down the programs until they meet your needs.

The program shouldn’t be beyond your financial capabilities How much can you afford?
Have you made a financial plan?
You want to go at a specific time Which year? For how long?
Credits are transferable towards Waseda University. What subjects are available at the host university?

(3) Collecting Information for Studying Abroad

Collecting relevant information is essential in order to complete the above two steps. First, attend the Study Abroad Fair once you are interested in studying abroad.(The Fair is held twice a year in spring and fall). Other orientations will be held as well. There is some information which is provided only at these fairs and orientations. Don’t miss these opportunities where you can learn and collect necessary information.

3. Preparation (to meet the requirements)

(1) Academic Record

The host university screens students based largely on the applicant’s academic record earned at the home university (Waseda University in your case). Exchange program requires you have a minimum GPA of 3.0. (Some universities require higher than this.) This applies to the Waseda University’s screening. You are strongly recommended to study hard everyday and keep your academic record good to be nominated to the partner university you wish to enter. Poor academic record keeps you from realizing your study abroad objective no matter how eager you wish to study abroad.

*This calculation will be used by the CIE when screening students for study abroad programs. As it is possible that the calculation method may change, please be sure to check the application guidelines.

formula of GPA
* The “total number of credits” Includes number of credits earned as well as credits for Fs and Gs.

This formula is established by the Center for International Education for use in internal selection.For conversion of numerical scores to letter grades, please refer to the chart below. GSAPS students too should calculate their GPA using the conversion chart provided below for the screening process at Waseda University

GSAPS Grade Grade used for the screening
at Waseda University
100-94 A+ A+ (4.0)
89-87 A A (3.5)
79-77 79-75  B+ B (3.0)
76-73 74-70  B
69-60 C C (2.0)
59-50 F F*
49-0 G*

* Numeral score ranges for grades of F and G vary by graduate and undergraduate school.

(2) Financial Capability and Financial Plan

Tuition fees, living costs and other expenses vary by host universities and each program. Studying Abroad costs you more than studying at Waseda University in general. Approximately from 2.5 to 6 million yen annually will be needed including tuition fees, lodging fee, food and other expenses. In the exchange program, you will pay tuition fees to your undergraduate/graduate school at Waseda University, therefore you will not have to pay it to the host university. However, you are responsible for your living costs, food and other expenses in the host country. You are not allowed to work part- time, you cannot earn money while on the program. Therefore, you need to have sufficient financial resources to cover all the estimated costs before your departure. Most universities require you to submit the financial certificate to prove that you have enough finance to cover all the estimated costs for the program. In this case, the sufficient amount of all the estimated costs must be stated on the certificate of balance (in English). The acceptance letter by the host university or visa will not be issued unless this certificate proves you have sufficient financial resources. Some students don’t realize the total amount of expenses until the last minute and are often surprised by this financial hurdle. Don’t let it happen to you! Talk to your parents who will sponsor you and make a detailed plan in the early stages of the process.

(3) Sufficient Language Proficiency

You are required to have sufficient proficiency of the local language to participate in the classes with the local students at the host university and enjoy life there. If you are to study, for example, in English speaking country, a minimum 500 of TOEFL score is required. (TOEFL-ITP is a mock exam. Only a TOEFL official score is acceptable for applications.) In a non-English speaking country, you need to be proficient enough in a local language to keep up the classes at the host university. Poor language proficiency may prevent you from being nominated to the programs you wish at the time of screening at Waseda University. You may not be nominated to the program you want unless you keep on improving your language proficiency. Improving your language skill before your departure is the key to success in studying abroad.

Dear Guarantors

The Center for International Education would like to express sincere thanks to you for your understanding and support to the educational services provided by Waseda University. We would like to inform exchange students’ guarantors of current state of affairs of the Waseda University Studying Abroad Program.

The Objective of Studying Abroad for Waseda University Students
– Striving to Cultivate Global Citizens –

Waseda University has been promoting student exchange programs with higher educational institutions around the world for many years. As part of the curriculum at the The School of International Liberal Studies established in 2004, requires all students to study abroad for a year. Approximately eight hundred students will study abroad for a period ranging from six months to twelve months through Waseda University programs this year. The center believes that the study abroad experience is an invaluable experience for well-prepared and motivated students. Especially, living in a local community overseas, taking classes, living in a dorm with local students, staying with a host family as well as improving their language ability. Studying abroad can be an important option for students who dare to challenge the difficult global problems of the near future. Also, studying abroad is an essential step in “Cultivating Global Citizens”.

Before Planning to Study Abroad

We have an understanding that you will be consulted with regards to the study abroad program at all stages of the planning process. This includes students discussing their study abroad choice and its relationship with their future plans, their interest in acquiring foreign language proficiency and how you, as guarantor would be supporting them financially prior and during the program after choosing the host university. We hope that you discuss all of these aspects thoroughly with students. This is especially true as opportunities for studying abroad are becoming more common and more accessible resulting in some students applying without clear objectives or having thoroughly consulted with their guarantors. Again, open and clear dialogue between the guarantor and study abroad applicant is essential to clarify goals and objectives but equally important, make achievable financial plans.

On Financial Costs

Financial costs for studying abroad vary with each program. In most cases, studying abroad is more expensive than studying at Waseda University. Though some scholarship opportunities are available, at the minimum, approximately two million and half yen is required, including tuition and living expenses. In deciding a study abroad program, please have a thorough discussion with students.

On Preparations before Studying Abroad

Once students are accepted at host universities, they will immediately begin the necessary procedures before studying abroad including obtaining a visa, arranging accommodation in the host country, and joining the traveler’s insurance as well as other preparations. Students are responsible for completing these procedures. The guarantor’s cooperation is required for some parts of the procedures – for instance, submitting these required documents. The Center for International Education will explain the procedures with handouts at the orientation. We very much appreciate if you could use the handouts when needed and assist students with preparation.

On a Crisis Management during a Study Abroad Program

The Center for International Education provides information on Do’s and Don’ts while abroad and raise students’ awareness to prevent problems at meetings such as pre-departure orientation. Basically, exchange students are responsible for dealing with problems by their own efforts while abroad. However, if necessary the Center provides advice for students who are involved in trouble. In case any problem arises, please kindly inform or consult with us. For early recognition of any difficulties and stress related mental health problems that students may have, we would like guarantors to contact students regularly, confirm their latest address and query about their life at the host university. Also, the center provides information and promotes awareness on unpredictable events and disasters to exchange students through our website. Please be reminded that Waseda University may provide an evacuation recommendation to students, depending on circumstances.

The center endeavors to continue to offer valuable opportunities for studying abroad to students. We would be grateful for your understanding and support for our service.

Driving cars or motorcycles while overseas
Beginning with the fall semester study abroad students in 2006, driving cars or motorcycles will not be prohibited, however, students will be held responsible for any accidents or problems according to the laws of the region in which they drive. Among other things, students will have responsibility for the following:

  • Abiding by all traffic laws of the region in which you drive
  • Injuries, medical treatment, damages, compensation to third parties, etc.
  • Lawsuits resulting from traffic accidents

Language Skills

When you study abroad, you are required to have adequate proficiency in the local language to participate in the courses with the local students.It is essential to start working on language skills at an early stage. At CIE, Preparatory Courses are offered for those who are planning to study in an English speaking country. A TOEFL iBT Official Test Center was established in 2010 at Rm 314, Bldg. 7 on Waseda Campus, so that students can take the TOEFL iBT on-campus.Regular full-time students enrolled in Waseda University can make prioritized reservations for exams at this venue before it is made available to the general public.
For those who are chosen as Chinese Double-Degree Program candidates, participation to our “Chinese DD Writing Course” are required.

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