International Student Office International Collaboration Division
At present, over 1,000 international students study at Meiji University. We are steadily building an environment to help make it even easier for them to study, for example by offering Japanese language training to ensure that their lives both on and off campus run smoothly without any problems, and starting courses where students can obtain their degrees only taking classes held in English.
Let us present the current status of our international students, and some of the assistance programs planned in the future.
The International Student Office provides personalized consultations of all types to international students. The staff can interact in English as well.
Chosen by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as one of the "Global 30" Universities
Global 30 is another name for the Project for Establishing Core Universities for Internationalization, an initiative to promote the formation of networks which the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) is pushing forward to globalize Japanese universities.
Thirteen universities were selected for this project and have since been carrying out diverse programs aimed at dramatically increasing the number of Japanese students who study abroad.
Meiji University was selected among the thirteen Global 30 universities in 2009. To make integrated efforts to promote internationalization, we set up the Organization for International Collaboration, headed by the University President, in October of the same year. Under this organization, moreover, we established the International Student Exchange Center and the Japanese Language Education Center, strengthened our setup for accepting international students, and expanded our Japanese language education. This demonstrates our commitment to carry out activities aimed at promoting our university’s globalization. Many students explain that they selected our university by saying that "Meiji can be trusted since it is one of the Global 30 universities that provide solid international student support."
A Setup for Accepting a Broad Range of Students from Overseas, in Collaboration with External Institutions
One characteristic of our university’s international student support is our activities carried out in cooperation with external institutions.
For example, with the Asian Students Cultural Association (ABK), we promote the implementation of Japanese language education; with JTB Business World Tokyo Corp., we work to disseminate university information byutilizing JTB’s overseas branch offices; and with Benesse Corporation, we aim to develop a system of submitting entrance examination application forms on the web. These businesses carry out such activities while collaborating with our university.
Companies make use of the expertise and experiences fostered in their respective areas of specialty to establish a total solution model with us, from recruiting international students to helping them find employment.
Yuri Osawa, staff member at the International Student Office, International Collaboration Division. She is currently in charge of business operations relating to international student scholarships.
Giving Advice about Scholarships and Residency Procedures, etc.
Of our current international students, over 50% of the graduate students and between 30–40% of undergraduate students receive some sort of scholarship. The largest number of consultations we receive from international students pertains to scholarships.
Some scholarships are reserved for those students who do exceptionally well in the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) or at Japanese language education institutions to provide them with study grants from their first year of study onward.
In screening candidates for receiving scholarship at our university, we basically emphasize their academic performance after entering our school. We also offer a tuition reduction or exemption program, on condition that the candidates fulfill a set of application requirements. This system provides encouragement and motivation for international students. (Note for reference that a 30% reduction in tuition was offered in 2012.)
Going forward, we aim to establish an even more extensive scholarship system for the benefit of international students who study at our university, including scholarships that the candidates can apply for prior to admission.
Besides this, we offer all sorts of consultations to international students, such as inquiries related to their visa status, a leave of absence from school, and housing. For example, some students may not have anyone in Japan who will act as their guarantor when renting a place to live. In this case, we have a system in place so that Meiji University could be their guarantor.
The International Student Office, which is the consultation window for international students, has dedicated English-speaking staff members who are capable of dealing with students. There also are members who can speak Chinese and Korean.
Educational materials for Japanese self-study on display on the bookshelves inside the International Exchange Lounge. The books are lent out to international students free of charge.
Additional Focus on Providing Japanese Language Training to International Students
Meiji University offers courses where students can earn academic degrees by taking all their classes in English. However, many international students take classes in Japanese. It may not be easy, especially in the beginning for international students, for whom Japanese is not their native language to write papers and essays and complete their assignments at the same level as their Japanese counterparts. At Meiji, therefore, we are actively working to provide training for international students to learn Japanese.
We also appoint our graduate students to become teaching assistants (TAs) and assign them to the International Exchange Lounge. These TAs help international students learn Japanese on all our campuses.
As part of the learning support programs offered by the university as a whole, meanwhile, the Learning Assistance Office designates a Japanese Learning Day, targeted at international students. (Currently, it is being carried out only at the Izumi Campus.)
The International Student Office, moreover, has prepared a variety of teaching materials for international students to study Japanese on their own. Teaching materials suited to the level of the student, from elementary to advanced, are lent out free of charge.
Because the kind of Japanese language skills needed for university classes differs slightly from the language skills needed for job-hunting activities, the Employment/Career Support Center conducts Japanese language assistance programs for international students wishing to be employed in Japan. They offer special classes to prepare them for job hunting activities and teach the students necessary skills such as how to fill out entry sheets.
Information on job hunting supporthttp://www.meiji.ac.jp/cip/english/meiji_guide/job-hunting/
More than a few international students who made good use of these Japanese language instruction programs and studied hard became surprisingly fluent in Japanese by graduation time, although they could speak only a few words at the time of admission.
An Array of Courses Conducted Only in English
For those individuals who wish to come to Japan to study but are hesitant to do so because of problems with their Japanese, Meiji has set up courses where students can get their degree or continue their research solely in English.
- School of Global Japanese Studies, English Track
- Graduate School of Business Administration English Course in Double Degree Program
- Graduate School of Science and Technology, International Program in Architecture and Urban Design,
- Graduate School of Global Governance
- Graduate School of Governance Studies, Public Policy Program, English Course
- Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences (MIMS), Doctoral Program, English Track
Four Short-term Programs to Try Out
For those who are "interested in studying at a Japanese university but have qualms about suddenly enrolling as an official international student," we have prepared four short-term programs.
Short-Term Japanese Program (summer and winter)
Students not only learn everyday Japanese but also study Japanese culture and society from diverse angles. The level of classes offered ranges from introductory to intermediate, so students can study at levels suited to their proficiency.
Cool Japan Summer Program
Participants can study the diversity and the underlying traditional elements that Japanese pop culture (such as manga, anime, music and fashion) has, by attending various lectures and field trips.
Short-Term Summer Program in the Social Sciences
Students learn Japanese law, politics and economy in an introductory fashion, using easy-to-understand, everyday conversational Japanese. They also take part in guided field trips to the National Diet Building and courts, for example.
Law in Japan Program (summer)
A program offered by the School of Law, it allows the students to gain a comprehensive image of Japan’s laws and various relevant systems by taking part in lectures and field trips.
The four short-term programs described above offer opportunities for those who are seriously considering going abroad to study, to casually experience our school and see what it is like to study at Meiji. There are cases where students who, after having completed a short-term program, decided that they did in fact want to study at Meiji and returned to officially register as an international student.
Meiji takes part in the Japan Education Fair held in various countries each year. Some participants of Meiji University’s short-term program were included among the visitors to the fair wishing to officially study in Japan.
Meiji Graduates Who Are Working Actively in Their Home Countries
The International Students Office offers diverse information and assistance for our international students. Every day, many students visit the office for consultations. One staff member recalls meeting a former graduate again during a trip to Slovakia:
"I met her again while I was traveling through Slovakia. After completing her government-financed study program in Japan, she returned to her home country and began working at a university. I was very happy to hear her talk enthusiastically about her dreams of deepening exchanges between Japan and Slovakia, her home country, through university-to-university exchanges and of becoming a ‘bridge’ herself. She was making wonderful use of the things she had learned at Meiji, and working energetically with high hopes. I am proud to have been able to support her as part of my work."
We believe that there are many people overseas who are considering studying in Japan. In fact, we receive a growing number of inquiries each year about official exchange student programs and short-term study programs. However, there may be equally many people who, although they wish to study in Japan, cannot take that one extra step forward because they are worried about the language barrier, for example.
At Meiji University, we are setting up and promoting an environment in which international students find it easy to study. Right now, over 1,000 students have come to Japan from other countries to study with us. We plan to continue increasing this number going forward.
If you are interested in Japan, or in studying in Japan, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to welcoming newcomers to join us.
For more information, contact:
|International Students Office||TEL: +81-3-3296-4141|
|International Division||FAX: +81-3-3296-4360|
|Meiji University||Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org|