Prospective Students


About courses at UTokyo


Q. What is a "Study Visit"?

A. Study visits are one-day or half-day excursions arranged as part of your courses at the University of Tokyo (UTokyo) to give you a more thorough understanding of your lecture. In addition, we plan other excursions for all the participants in TOK courses. The details will be announced accordingly.

Q. Are there any chances to meet with Japanese students during the course?

A. UTokyo students also take the TOK courses: Sustainable Urban Management (TOK2), Japan in Today's World (TOK3) and Nanoscience (TOK4). You should have opportunities to get to know UTokyo students through the various activities in class.

Q. Can I see Tokyo in my free time?

A. Yes, you may spend your free time reviewing what you’ve learned, writing reports or exploring Tokyo.  However, please take care not to become caught up in crime or accidents in your free time!

Q. Please tell me about credit and certification.

A. UTokyo will issue your academic transcript as a certification of credit and your university may provide a corresponding credit. Grade is determined based on the attendance and assignments from the lectures. Your academic transcript will be sent to your university with the “Certificate of Participation” if you successfully complete the program.

Q. Will I have to prepare for the course beforehand?

A. Some courses will give you a pre-reading list. Detailed information of a pre-course assignment will be sent by email accordingly.

Q. Please tell me about the campuses of UTokyo.

A. Hongo Campus, the main campus for the courses in UTokyo, is one of Tokyo's historic sites. For example, "Akamon" (the Red Gate) is one of Japan’s national cultural treasures and several old-style buildings are preserved on campus. You may also find some other interesting places on campus when you walk around.

We have some other campuses such as Komaba Campus, which is formed by two sections: Komaba I Campus and Komaba II Campus (Komaba Research Campus). The former campus focuses on liberal arts education and interdisciplinary research, whereas the latter is a research-focused extension which includes such facilities as the Institute of Industrial Science and the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology. Some classes in the Nanoscience course will be held at Komaba II Campus.

Q. Can I use the Internet on campus?

A. Yes, you can access the Internet on campus (Eduroam).  You will be provided with the ID and password during the course guidance on the first day of the courses. Free Internet access is available throughout various locations around Tokyo.

Q. Can I communicate with other participants prior to departure?

A. Yes, you can communicate on the Official IARU GSP Facebook page.

About staying in Japan


Q. Do I need a visa to stay in Japan during the course?

A. Whether you need a visa or not depends on your individual situation. We will send you a “Letter of Reason for Invitation” with further information in case you need it to obtain a Japanese entry visa after your application is completed. Please consult your local Japanese Embassy or Consulate to determine whether you need to obtain a visa. If you do need a visa, please take the necessary steps to obtain one by yourself in time for your travel.

Q. Do I need travel insurance?

A. All participants in the IARU Global Summer Program at UTokyo are strongly advised to purchase a full coverage health and travel insurance before departure. UTokyo will provide insurance coverage for all participating students from partner universities against injury, disability and death resulting from an accident occurring while a student is involved in the educational/research activities of the course. However, we strongly recommend you have medical insurance against personal accident, illness and other medical treatment in Japan to be insured at all times including off-curricular activities (activities in evenings and weekends or private activities). You should consult with the GSP coordinator in your university as you may be covered by insurance offered by them. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance policy you purchase is adequate for your particular needs. As you are probably not familiar with Japanese social customs in general, unforeseen accidents or injury might occur during your stay in Japan.

Q. Can I send my luggage from the airport to the hotel on arrival?

A. You can use baggage delivery service at Narita and Haneda Airport on arrival.

Narita Airport
Haneda Airport

On your return, you can have your luggage collected from the hotel and delivered to the airport in advance with arrangement. For more information, please contact an operator at the airport directly.

Q. Can I find halal food in Tokyo?

A. There are a few halal restaurants and supermarkets in the Shinjuku area. Also, on Hongo Campus at UTokyo, a student cafeteria serves halal food.

Q. How can I rent a cell phone/Wi-Fi or buy a SIM in Japan?

A. Please refer to the following links:
(For Narita Airport)
(For Haneda Airport)

Some cell phone models purchased overseas can be used in Japan. Please check with your provider before leaving for Japan if this is possible.

Q. Do you provide an airport pickup service?

A. We do not provide any airport pickup service, since IARU GSP participants come to Japan on different flights. We will show you some routes from Narita Airport or Haneda Airport to the hotels for your reference before your departure. When you arrive at the hotel, please tell the reception desk your name and that you are an IARU GSP student.

Q What is the public transportation in Tokyo like?

A. Tokyo is one of the biggest cities in the world and advanced public transportation systems are widely available. JR (Japan Railway) lines and several private lines are the main railway systems in Tokyo. Within the central area of Tokyo, subways (underground transportation) are available. Their stations are numbered and the direction boards are easy to follow. Please refer to the maps provided and/or online train route finders to learn more about the public transportation services.

We recommend you to purchase PASMO/SUICA when you use public transportation in the metropolitan area. PASMO/SUICA is a convenient transportation system using an IC card which allows repeated use of a single chargeable card. A single PASMO/SUICA card allows you to travel on rail and bus in the metropolitan area. PASMO/SUICA can be purchased at a station ticket vending machine or at the place of business of private railways, subways and buses which accept PASMO/SUICA. When you no longer use PASMO/SUICA, you can receive a refund from the station office or bus station office. A charge (¥220) will be deducted from your PASMO/SUICA and the remaining money together with your ¥500 deposit will be refunded. 


About Tokyo

Tokyo literally means “Eastern Capital” in contrast to Kyoto, the historic capital that has been the center of the island nation for over a millennium. Today, the Japanese government, the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial family are all located in Tokyo.

The other important aspect of Tokyo is its characteristic as the economic and cultural heart of Japan.

Tokyo is also substantial in terms of population. The "Greater Tokyo Area", referring to the area centered on Tokyo and including the adjacent prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama, is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with a population of over 35 million people.

Yet, the one most distinguishing aspect of Tokyo is the many-sided expressions that it shows at each of the distinctive railway (or subway) stations. The most dominant mode of daily transportation in Japan is the railway system, composed of over three dozen railway lines and over 1500 stations in the Greater Tokyo Area alone. Each small unit of the city developed around these stations, therefore adding a distinctive color to each of the stations.

Shibuya station is the heart of contemporary "Young people’s Tokyo", Shinjuku is the new business center and the heart of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and Marunouchi is the governmental, imperial and business center of Tokyo, situated in the vicinity of the Imperial Palace and the National Diet Building. Ginza is the luxurious center, Tsukiji is the central market and core of food logistics that feeds the entire Tokyo area, and last but not least Akihabara is the holy land for electronics and Japanese subculture.

Tokyo is not just a single city of monotonous color. Tokyo is a vivid and bustling mixture of traditional serenity and contemporary culture, a city of many faces, an abiogenesis of distinctive cultures around the intricate circulatory system of railways, subways and roads.

Because of the above-mentioned reasons, there is truly a lot to see and experience in Tokyo, and Tokyo will truly satiate the expectations of a wide range of visitors. Come and experience your Tokyo.
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