Exchange Student

Students of TU’s or the SoE’s partner institutions can study/research as an “Exchange Student”.

GLC Exchange Programs

Tohoku University Global Learning Center (GLC) offers various exchange programs depending on different targets and purposes (Including JYPE, COLABS, and DEEP). For the application, the nomination from your home university will be required. Please contact the international office at your home institution for the application details.

Application Period

Spring enrollment (April):October 1 – November 15/ Fall enrollment (October)January 10 – February 20

Other Exchange Opportunity – Department Direct Exchange Scheme

Not using the “TU Exchange Programs” above, but entering directly to a laboratory of SoE-TU as a “Special Auditing Student(undergraduate level)” or a “Special Research Student(graduate level)” is also welcome. Maximum period of study is 12 months, and research/study participation period will be determined by the student and the supervising professor. Students from our partner universities will be able to study without paying tuition fees to Tohoku University.

  • Special Auditing Students (Undergraduate level)

    Exchange students can take courses and transfer credits to their home universities. Students will be required to register minimum 12 TU credits/semester (basically equivalent to 6 courses). All applicants are required to directly contact (see STEP1) a professor/associate professor and get approval for before applying for admission.
    If the special auditing students engage in research activity under the supervision of a professor, the students are able to obtain 5 TU credits/semester as “IRT lab (A/B)”, and the workload is equivalent to 20 classes/week.  

  • Special Research Students (Graduate level)

    Exchange students can participate in research activities supervised by a the SoE professor/associate professor. All applicants are required to directly contact (see STEP1) a professor/associate professor and get approval for research projects before applying for admission.

    There is no specific workload requirement for the students on this scheme; the students are required to well consult their academic supervisor what to study during their stay in TU.

  • The students also may take courses upon their request. Please be informed that TU will not issue any credits to Special Research Students (except COLABS students) for research activities in TU.

Application Deadline

Submit application documents to the administrative office through the TU supervisor no later than four-month before your study/research begins at SoE-TU
* April enrollment (spring semester): by the end of November
* October enrollment (fall semester):by the end of May

Application Steps

Find a Supervisor 【Reference】Academic Research Staff
Contact the supervisor through the international office at your home university and get consent to join the lab.
① CV, ② One-page personal statement, ③ Research plan
State clearly in email
Basic information (Full name, home institution and position/status), period you would like to attend SoE-TU (From when to when),purpose of visit (experiments, course work and credit transfer, etc.)
The supervisor will inform you of the required documents. Submit application documents to the administrative office through the supervisor no later than four-month before your study/research begins at SoE-TU
VISA application procedures, Applying for the university dormitory, etc. 【Reference】TU Support
Travel to Japan and start your study at SoE-TU

※ Supervising by your preferred supervisor is not guaranteed.

Key Points

Everyone joins in a lab

All non-degree international students at SoE-TU, regardless of status or year, should belong to a laboratory and join in the lab-work. Finding a supervisor whose field as much matches your area as possible would be an important key to get more technical and detailed supervising.

Academic Calendar

SoE-TU currently takes two types of academic calendar.

Quarter system Division of Mechanical Engineering

Quarter Schedule

  • 1st Quarter: Apr. – Early Jun.
  • 2nd Quarter: Early Jun. – Early Aug.
  • Summer Vacation: Early Aug. – End of Sep.
  • 3rd Quarter: Oct. – Early Dec.
  • 4th Quarter: Late Nov. – Early Feb.
  • * New year holidays: Dec. 29th – Jan. 3rd. Spring Vacation: Early Feb. – End of Mar.

Semester System Other departments

Semester Schedule

  • Spring Semester (1, 3, 5, 7 semester): Apr. – Sep.
  • Lectures & Exams: Apr. – Early Aug.
  • Summer Vacation: Early Aug. – End of Sep.
  • Fall Semester (2, 4, 6, 8 semester): Oct. – Mar.
  • Lectures & Exams: Oct. – Early Feb.
  • Spring Vacation: Early Feb. – End of Mar.

Course and Credit

List and Syllabus of Courses in English

Handling and releasing of lists and syllabi for courses conducted in English depends on the schools/departments. If you have any special requirements for credit transfer at home institutions, and it still is not clear on any of TU websites, please contact us.

Medium of Instruction

Some courses that appear as English-only may be taught in both Japanese and English. Your Japanese needs to be close to that of a native speaker’s in order to acquire credits for courses that are taught in Japanese. You will need to have a certain amount of experience in learning Japanese to fully participate in class and acquire credits.

List of Courses in English

We mainly teach classes in English within the programs written below, however, there may be restrictions on accreditation and subject qualification depending on the department you belong to as these classes are originally for the below programs only. Please check in with program staff in charge of your courses in advance.

Undergraduate Level

Graduate Level

Japanese Language Classes

In general, only JYPE, COLABS, and IPLA students receive credit for classes registered in the Japanese Language Program at Kawauchi Kita Campus; other students will not receive credits from TU. If you need a certificate of completion, please ask the person in charge or each language program.

Links to Timetable & Syllabus


Exchange students will have priority in using accommodation at on/off campus dormitories of Tohoku University. Most exchange students are living in the University’s dormitories. Finding Accommodations

Medical Insurance

All international students are required to enroll in the following types of insurance to achieve safe campus lives in Japan;

All students studying who stay for more than three months must enroll in Japan’s National Health Insurance program (around 2,000 JPY/month).

All students studying at Tohoku University are required to enroll in ‘Gakkensai’ and ‘Comprehensive Insurance for Student Lives Coupled with “Gakkensai” (“Inbound futai-gakuso”)‘ You can find the details here.

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