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Waseda University


Waseda University (早稲田大学), abbreviated as Sōdai (早大), is a private university located in seven campuses throughout Japan, with the main campus in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. It has the highest proportion of international students of any university in Japan.

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Tokyo (東京) is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area in the world. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family.

Many different festivals occur throughout Tokyo. Major events include the Sannō at Hie Shrine, the Sanja at Asakusa Shrine, and the biennial Kanda Festivals. The last features a parade with elaborately decorated floats and thousands of people. Annually on the last Saturday of July, an enormous fireworks display over the Sumida River attracts over a million viewers. Once cherry blossoms bloom in spring, many residents gather in Ueno Park, Inokashira Park, and the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden for picnics under the blossoms.

Waseda University is widely considered one of Japan's leading universities and is located in the heart of Tokyo. Founded in 1882, the University has produced seven Prime Ministers so far.

The university consists of 13 undergraduate schools, and over 15 graduate schools, as well as various research and affiliated institutes. It is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, being one of the 13 universities in the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's "Global 30" Project, and consistently ranking amongst the top universities in Japanese university rankings.

For more information, see the Waseda UniversityLink to external website, and the Why Waseda? pageLink to external website

Exchange students must choose 1 of 3 programs:

  • Graduate Studies Program (Master's/Doctoral)
  • Undergraduate Studies Program (including International Liberal Studies)
  • Japanese Language Program

See this page for more important information about Waseda University's exchange programLink to external website

The Graduate Studies Program and the Undergraduate Studies Program incorporate a range of Schools (e.g School of Economics, School of Social Sciences) from which students must select courses. Each School/Center has different application requirements. Students must meet all the application requirements of the School/Center they wish to apply to. As a general rule, students must take courses which are offered by the school where they are enrolled. Cross-faculty studies may be possible, but there is no guarantee of admission into two different schools due to the high course demand.

As part of the Undergraduate Studies Program, the Schools of Law, Education, Human Sciences and Sport Sciences do not accept students for the September semester. All other schools accept students in both semesters.

Course Load: Students at Waseda must take at least 10 hours of courses. One course is normally 1.5 hours a week and weighted at 2 credits. Therefore, the minimum workload at Waseda is generally 14 credits per Semester (7 courses)

The number of credits you can obtain by taking a course varies; it is, however, usually as follows:
A lecture-style course (90 minutes x 15 times): 2 credits
A Japanese language course (90 minutes x 15 times): 1 credit

Language of instruction: Japanese and English.

The School of International Liberal studies runs semester-length English-only courses as part of the Undergraduate Studies Program.

The Graduate School of International Culture and Communication Studies runs English-only courses as part of the Graduate Studies Program.

English courses are available for both undergraduate and graduate programs across both semesters in the School of Political Science and Economics, the School of Fundamental Science and Engineering, the School of Creative Science and Engineering and the School of Advanced Science and Engineering.

The Undergraduate School of Social Sciences runs some courses in English, but only in the September semester.

Japanese Language Courses: Short-term programs (3-6 weeks) are offered four times per year. These classes consist of ten classes a week and are geared towards improving basic ability in Japanese. These short programs are fee-paying. 6-month and 1-year programs are also available through the exchange program and offer courses on eight levels from beginners to advanced.

Engineering, Science, Maths and Computer Science students should have completed 3 semesters of study at the time of application and 4 semesters upon commencement. Weekly language classes are not possible.

Restrictions:  Please be aware that choices of English courses available to undergraduate students are quite limited, and undergraduate exchange students cannot take any courses related to lab work/experiments. See this page for information about course restrictions and requirements for exchange studentsLink to external website

Please note: Students seeking credit for Japanese language study while on exchange should see the Faculty of Arts eligibility requirements.


Waseda provides dormitories managed by the University itself as well as some run by affiliated organisations. Please see the Residence Life CentreLink to external website, and the Housing GuideLink to external website for further information. Accommodation close to campus fills up quickly, so students should apply as soon as possible.

Waseda University is comprised of a number of campuses. It is important that students check at which campus courses are offered.

The Intercultural Communication CenterLink to external website is a university office which holds extracurricular events and programs designed to encourage a greater understanding between local and international students. The centre's activities encompass a wide variety of events, ranging from field trips and lectures to country festivals and language exchange programs.

For information about life on campus, please see the Campus Life pageLink to external website

Academic Calendar: Important dates at Waseda University can be found on their Academic CalenderLink to external website

Scholarships: Waseda offers the MEXT scholarship for students planning to enter the Japanese Language Program. It further offers the JASSO Student Exchange Support Program Scholarship for short term study. Further information can be found in the Scholarships GuideLink to external website

Health Insurance: International students staying in Japan are required to enrol in the National Health Insurance Scheme (Kokumin Kenko Hoken). This will be at a cost to students. Further information is available on the Waseda exchange website.

Costs: Waseda estimates the average monthly cost of living to be 80,000 yen for housing and 80,000 yen for living expenses (food, transportation and daily necessities).

Further information about all of the above can be found on the Waseda exchange websiteLink to external website

Visa Information: The Global Learning office is not legally permitted to provide advice relating to visas. For further information, contact the relevant embassy or consulate. Please do not ask the Global Learning office to assist with your visa application. We recommend that you go to the Smart Traveller websiteLink to external website  for links to your appropriate Consulate or Embassy.

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Want to network with other globally-minded students?

  • Join the Exchange Student NetworkLink to external website- a student-run organisation for University of Adelaide students interested in study abroad and exchange
  • Check out The Global SocietyLink to external website- Australia's National Society for the Globally Educated.

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