Please follow here for the outline, screening process, recruitment cycle, and other information.
Q1. Regarding language requirements, it is said that starting autumn call for AY2024-25, the timing to submit a language proficiency certificate will be changed. Will you please tell us when and how it should be submitted?
A. After passing the internal screening process (after late December for autumn call, and after late July for spring call), you must submit a language proficiency certificate to prove that you can satisfy the language requirements set by the partner university no later than one month before the International Education Promotion Group nominates you to the partner university. The deadlines for nomination vary among partner universities. So, please make sure the nomination deadline for the partner university that you need to apply by checking the fact sheet or its website. You must submit your language proficiency certificate one month before the nomination deadline. For example, if the nomination deadline for the partner university that you will apply for is April 30, you must submit the certificate proving that you satisfy its language requirements to the International Education Promotion Group no later than March 30. More details including how to submit it will be notified later. Please note that if you fail in meeting the language requirements set by the partner university, we cannot nominate you, which means you will lose an opportunity to study abroad. So, please be advised to make a good plan to be well prepared before application.
Q2. Can I study abroad through USTEP while on a leave of absence?
A. No. If you are on a leave of absence during the exchange period you are not eligible for USTEP. However, you can still apply for USTEP while you are on a leave of absence as long as you return to school during the exchange period and follow all necessary “Study Abroad” or “Receiving Entrusted Research Guidance” procedures of the College, Faculty, or Graduate school that you belong to before departure. These regulations are based on the system of exchange program, where payment of the tuition and belonging to the University of Tokyo are required. Please make sure to consult the relevant section of the College, Faculty, or Graduate school that you belong to in advance.
Q3. The factsheet of the partner university that I wish to study at states that a GPA 3.0 or above is required for admission. I am not sure if I fulfill the requirement as UTokyo does not adopt a GPA system. What should I do?
A. UTokyo does not calculate a GPA. Please make use of the conversion table provided by the Japan-U.S. Educational Commission (Fulbright Japan) to calculate a number for reference (https://educationusa.jp/steps/schedule_supplement.html#step04) (Japanese only - see “STEP4”). However, please keep in mind that the final assessment of grades are done by the partner universities using their own independent criteria.
Q4. I have not decided on my academic adviser yet. Who should I ask to write the Letter of Assessment?
A. If you have not yet decided on your academic adviser, please ask your classroom instructor of the College, Faculty, or Graduate school that you currently belong to or your course instructor who belongs to UTokyo. Who writes the letter does not affect the internal screening positively or negatively.
Q5. Do I have to pay fees to the partner university or for local housing under USTEP?
A. Yes. Some partner universities or countries/regions require students to pay service fees, insurance fees, etc., which are not part of the examination, entrance and tuition fees. As mentioned in p.3 of the “Application Guidelines for Candidate Students“, other expenses required during the study abroad period shall be borne by the exchange student.
Q6. Under USTEP, is a room in a dormitory guaranteed by partner universities?
A. No. Although accommodation may be provided preferentially, not every partner university guarantees a dormitory room/accommodation for exchange students. Some partner universities do guarantee accommodation, but most do not. Additionally, separate procedures of applying for accommodation are often needed. Please confirm the factsheet or website of the partner university that you wish to attend.
Q7. The partner university I am interested in requires exchange students to take out a designated insurance. In this case, do I still have to take out the insurance “Futai Kaigaku”?
A. Yes, you do. Although some partner universities or countries/regions require exchange students to take out a local designated insurance (ex. Germany), taking out “Futai Kaigaku” is obligatory as mentioned in the “Application Guidelines for Candidate Students“ and “Oath”. Furthermore, local health insurances rarely cover cases such as;
・The costs of transportation and accommodation of parents coming to see the person him/herself in hospital
・Accidents on your way to the place you will be based/on your way back to Japan
・The cost of transporting the body of the person to Japan on the event of death
・The cost of compensation in the case of injuring a third party
・The cost of theft
・The cost of lost baggage
・The cost of extended flight delays
Q8. I am not be able to attend the orientation session for the selected students. Am I still eligible?
A. No, you are not eligible. Attendance to the orientation session for the selected students is obligatory.
Q9. I would like to know the detailed process and criteria of the internal screening process.
A. The process and criteria of the internal screening are confidential in terms of fairness. Besides, any inquiry nor objection regarding the result of the internal screening are not accepted.
Q10. Are there any possibility that application to the partner university is rejected after passing the internal screening?
A. Please be aware that Yale University has a very strict screening process and often rejects applicants. As for other partner universities, although the possibility of the application to the partner university being rejected having passed the internal screening is low, there have been some cases of applications being rejected during the partner university’s screening. Please make sure to fully confirm not only the language requirements but also all the other admission requirements, including the GPA or prerequisite courses taken at UTokyo, which may change according to the faculties/graduate schools that you apply for. However, partner universities do not always specify their screening criteria. Generally speaking, applications to science and technology related faculties/graduate schools, applications to a different major from the one being studied at UTokyo and graduate students’ application tend to be screened more strictly.
Q11. Is it allowed to study abroad through USTEP more than once?
A. The term of studying abroad while belonging to UTokyo is limited to around one year during each of undergraduate and graduate course (studying abroad while on leave of absence not included). Therefore, studying abroad through USTEP more than once for total length of more than about one year is not allowed. (For example, studying at National Taiwan University for two semesters and Shanghai Jiao Tong University for one semester will not be allowed.) On the other hand, it is possible to study abroad several times through USTEP if the total length of your stay is approximately about one year. (For example, it is possible to study at the University of Chile for one semester and at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile for one semester.) However, please be aware that studying abroad in a different country/region or university in succession is expected to be highly difficult considering the on/off campus procedures such as application, study-abroad procedures at your affiliated College, Faculty, or Graduate school, attendance to the orientation session, visa application, and so on. In addition, please consult with the relevant section of the College, Faculty, or Graduate school you belong to carefully in advance if you are considering studying abroad through USTEP more than once, as each College, Faculty, or Graduate school might set their own regulations. It is possible to study abroad through USTEP as an undergraduate for one year and then as a graduate again.
Q12. What does the “Maximum participants” in the “Appendix for list of partner universities” mean?
A. The “Maximum participants” is the number of participants where all the applicants apply for the shortest term in one call for applicants. Please note that the unit for “Maximum participants” is not persons, but semesters and that the number of participants can fluctuate according to the number of semesters applicants apply for. Please also note that the unit will not be semesters but persons and that the number of participants does not fluctuate if it says “one academic year only” in the “Remarks”.
Q13. I am considering going on a study-abroad over the period that I would advance from the Junior Division to the Senior Division. What should I do?
A. First, please read the Guidelines and Appendix 2 carefully. Then please contact the International Student Section of the College of Arts and Sciences as soon as possible (at least three weeks before the deadline set by College of Arts and Sciences) by email (please make sure to specify your name and student number).
Q14. In the Application Guidelines for Candidate Students, it is said that “For the item “Confirmation on the points to be noted concerning study-abroad” under item 18 of the UTAS application form, fill in the name of the department and the person in charge from whom you received the explanations, and the date when you received the explanations.” Would you tell us where we should go to receive such explanations?
A.You need to receive explanations from a staff member of the office of the department you will belong to while studying abroad. For example, if you apply for the internal screen process for autumn call when you are in the 2nd year, you will be in the 3rd year when you actually study abroad. Therefore, you need to go to the office of the department you will belong to at the 3rd year to receive the explanations. Let’s say you are a 2nd year student in the Department of Liberal Arts, applying for autumn call for AY2024-2025, and in the 3rd year, you are planning to belong to the Department of Engineering, then you need to go to the office of Engineering Department to receive all the necessary explanations. Regarding the contact info for each department, please refer to here.