Skip to main content

Kyoto University

Kyoto, Japan

Japan is one of UC San Diego's most popular study abroad destinations. To meet the demand of our students, undergraduates can now study at Kyoto University!  Kyoto University is the second oldest university in Japan and is located in the heart of the country's historic capital. In addition to studying at a world-class university, students can explore this ancient and fascinating city full of food, culture, art and history! 

Links and Resources:

 *UC San Diego students are considered students within the Kyoto University International Exchange Program (KUINEP). 

Important Information for 2024-25

  • Global Exchange Program applications open October 1 in TritonsAbroad
  • Check the nomination and application deadlines for 2024-25 to ensure your application is submitted on time. 
  • Please note that Global Exchange Programs have two applications: one for UC San Diego (TritonsAbroad) and the other for the partner university. 

Visit the How to Apply section for more information on the application process and the Pre-Departure Requirements section for important steps and considerations leading up to your time abroad. 


Basic Information

Exchange Details:

  • Academic Level: Undergraduate
  • Academic Years: Junior and Senior
  • Eligible Major(s): All Majors/ Campuswide Exchange

Academic Calendar:

  • Fall Semester: October to February
  • Spring Semester: April to August

For Fall, students should arrive in country by late September. For Spring, students should arrive by late March. More information can be found on Kyoto's academic calendar.

Course Information

  • Full Time Enrollment: Seven (7) courses per semester* Please note courses at Kyoto are typically worth 2-3 UC quarter units. If you would like to take coursework to fulfill specific degree requirements, you may need to petition two exchange courses in a given subject to count for one UC course.
  • English Language Course Catalog
  • Complete Course Catalog
  • Language of Instruction: English and Japanese. For students who wish to take courses taught in Japanese, they must pass N1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). Students can also have their language abilities assessed by a UC San Diego faculty member who can attest that the student has the proficiency to study at a university level. Please discuss this option with a Study Abroad advisor.
  • Japanese Language Courses: Exchange students can study Japanese language courses at the absolute beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.
  • Restricted Courses: 
    • Courses offered in the Faculty of Medicine are not available to exchange students.
    • Courses to learn languages other than Japanese are not available to exchange students.

*Students have a grace period of two weeks at the beginning of each semester to change/ add/ drop courses. 

Housing and Dining

Kyoto University owns ten dormitories. Exchange students are usually offered a place in these dormitories but it is not guaranteed. Students apply for housing using an online system. Instructions on how to apply are sent to the student after they are accepted by Kyoto University. Students can list dormitories by preference.

  • On-Campus/ Off-Campus Housing: Some dormitories are on campus (a few minutes walk to classrooms) while others are off campus (20 minutes by bicycle or 90 minutes by train).
  • Housing for International Students: Yes.
  • Dining Options: Cafeterias and Dining Halls.

Cost of Living

  • Average cost of living (including accommodation, insurance, study materials,
    transportation, meals and incidentals): $1000 USD/ month.
  • Any additional university/ fees costs to participate: No.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Exchange students to Japan can apply for the JASSO Scholarship which is 80,000 JPY/ month. This scholarship is highly competitive. 

For information on financial aid, scholarships and additional funding, speak to a Study Abroad advisor.

Immigration and Visas

U.S. citizens must obtain a student visa to study in Japan. For other citizenships, visit the website of the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in your country of citizenship for visa requirements and processes.

  • Certificate of Enrollment: Students will need a Certificate of Enrollment from Kyoto University as part of the visa application process. Students will receive a Certificate of Enrollment and a Certificate of Eligibility after they are admitted to Kyoto University.
  • Visa Processing Time: The approximate time it takes to receive a student visa is one month. Students should visit the website of the Embassy of Japan in the United States or nearest consulate for up-to-date information.


Health and Wellness

  • Medical Facilities: Kyoto University has a large hospital, several small clinics and a counseling center on campus.
  • Japanese Health Insurance: Students should buy travel insurance to cover travel to and from Japan. Upon arrival, students must purchase Japanese National Health Insurance and liability insurance (approximately $30 USD/ month).
  • English-Speaking Doctors: Yes. 
  • Access to Mental Health Resources: Yes.
  • Support for Students with Disabilities: Yes. Kyoto University has a professional office to support students with disabilities. 

Student Experience and Opportunities

  • Research Opportunities: Not during the exchange. For research and internship opportunities, including summer programs, speak to a Study Abroad advisor. 
  • Buddy/ Mentor Program: Exchange students can be paired with a local Japanese student who can assist in acclimating to the country. 
  • Social Activities: The International Office arranges monthly events to experience Japanese traditional culture. Kyoto University also has a language exchange program for those who want to practice Japanese and help a local student practice English or another language. 
  • Excursions/ Sightseeing: Some events are organized; events and activities depend on a year-by-year basis. 
  • Recreation/ Sporting Activities and Clubs: Some clubs and sporting organizations will invite exchange students to participate.