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Global Affairs

Studying at OU as an Exchange Student

1.  What is student exchange program?

Student exchange programs at Osaka University are programs that accept students from universities which have contracts with OU and send OU students to those universities according to student exchange agreements which OU entered into with overseas universities for the purpose of increasing student mobility.

Under the student exchange agreements, most agreements allow students to take classes without paying additional fees so that exchange students from institutions under agreements can take classes at Osaka University without paying any additional tuition fees.

The number of students to be allowed to participate in this program varies depending on the agreement; however, this program aims to promote student exchange between universities while keeping a balance in the number of students based on exchange plans and mutual discussions.

2.  Universities with Agreements

There are two types of student exchange agreements: university-to-university agreements and school-to-school agreements. School-to-school agreements allow regular students belonging to a school or graduate school with an agreement with its counterpart at Osaka University to take classes in the school, graduate school, or research institute included in the agreement. This agreement allows students to take classes only in the school, graduate school, or research institute having the agreement. To see which universities have university-to-university and school-to-school agreements with Osaka University, go here .

3.  Exchange Students

Exchange students refer to students who are officially recommended by their home universities in an agreement with OU and study at OU without aiming to earn credits from OU. Those who enroll in OU as Japanese Government Scholarship Students and privately funded international students in order to obtain a degree are not referred to as exchange students. Exchange students are allowed to study at OU for up to a year.

4.  How to Apply

Regardless of the type of agreement, this program is for universities and schools to exchange students based on the agreement between two universities. Information about recruitment of students will be sent to exchange program staff at universities in an agreement with OU. Please get information from them. We cannot respond to requests from students or others in person.  

5.  How to enroll in OU as an exchange student

Students at universities having agreement with OU are requested to visit the websites of their home universities and contact exchange student program staff at their home universities. Even if students are recommended by their home universities, unless they pass a screening at OU, they are not allowed to study at OU.

A.  University-to-university agreements

1) Be recommended by your home university as an exchange student candidate.
2) Choose a program from the four exchange student programs.
3) Receive information about the program from exchange student program staff at your home university.
4) Log in the Osaka University Exchange Student Program, fill in the application form, and upload necessary documents.
5) Individuals who passed the screening: complete an online application for coming to Japan in the Osaka University Exchange Student Program System.

B.  School-to-school agreements

Students hoping to study at OU are requested to ask exchange student program staff at their home universities if their home universities or schools are in an agreement with the corresponding graduate or undergraduate school at OU and if it is recruiting exchange students. If you are recommended by your home university, make an inquiry about if you will be accepted or not by the school of your choice at OU through exchange student program staff at your home university. After the school decides on which way to accept you, you must complete the application procedures for the exchange student program at that school.

6.  Exchange Student Programs

There are two types of exchange student programs: University-wide Student Exchange Programs and Individual School Programs.

A.  University-wide Student Exchange Programs

The Administration Bureau's International Student Affairs Division and Center for International Education and Exchange as well as the Center for Japanese Language and Culture are responsible for recruitment, screening and accepting of students for the programs. These programs accept students from some 100 universities having University-to-university agreements. Students choose one of the programs noted below.

iExPO  (Immersion Exchange Program Osaka)

Schools and graduate schools at Osaka University accept international students who can freely choose classes from various courses at OU and conduct research under the guidance of teachers. In this program, international students are required to possess a high level of fluency in Japanese language as well as expertise equivalent to that of the 3rd or 4th year so they can take classes for regular students.


OUSSEP, Osaka University Short-term Student Exchange Program, is a full- or half-year program designed for students in the 2nd or 3rd year of an overseas university. Participants take special academic lectures taught in English called "International Exchange Subjects." In this program, exchange students whose Japanese language skill is basic and those who have never learned Japanese can transfer their credits earned at Osaka University to their home institutions.
OUSSEP Calendar 2017-2018 (10.5MB) (PDF)


The Maple Program is designed to help students from overseas improve their Japanese language skills, enhance their knowledge of Japanese culture and society, and assist them in advancing towards their respective academic goals. This program is offered on the Minoh campus.
Maple Program 2017-2018


FrontierLab@OsakaU is a program for accepting international students into science laboratories. Participants study mainly research themes provided by the laboratory. Students are also able to take international exchange subjects, Japanese language, and other related subjects if they wish. This program was created so that international students could conduct advanced thematic studies and achieve results under the guidance of teachers while acquiring skills necessary for continuing research.
FrontierLab@OsakaU-Scientific Empowerment Program for International Students (1.9MB) (PDF)

B. Individual programs offered by schools, graduate schools, and research institutes

Undergraduate or graduate schools accept international students individually and they can study subjects offered by the school or conduct research under the guidance of teaching advisors.

The eligibility for exchange student programs at undergraduate and graduate school and procedures vary by school. Please obtain information about the school of your choice at OU through exchange student program staff at your home university.

Reference: Exchange Student Programs at OU


University-wide Student Exchange Programs

Individual  programs offered by schools

(special auditor, special research student)





Accepting students from schools in

University-to-university agreements


Accepting students from schools in

School-to-school agreements





*Students from universities meeting requirements may be accepted.

7.  School Calendar

  • 1st semester (spring/summer): April 1. ~ September 30 (classes are held: early April ~ mid-August) Students arrive in Japan late March ~ early April
  • 2nd semester (autumn/winter): October 1 ~ March 31 (classes are held: October 1 ~ mid-February) Students arrive in Japan in mid-September

8.  Contact

Prior to making an inquiry -- Students hoping to study at OU are requested to contact the exchange student program staff at their home universities.

A. University-wide Student Exchange Programs

iExPO, OUSSEP & FrontierLabMaple

Exchange Students Staff,  International Student Affairs Section, International Student Affairs Division, Department of International Affairs

Center for Japanese Language and Culture, Office for International Programs


B.  Individual Programs Offered by Schools

Please contact the school of your choice.

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