Tohoku University is one of the top research universities in Japan. Tohoku offers students clubs from sports to arts, allowing an opportunity for students to connect with each other. Throughout its history, these colleges and the departments within them, have received recognition for the academic prestige. It is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, and one of the top fifty universities in the world. From the arts, to education and pharmaceutical sciences to its almost 2,000 international students, Tohoku University has so many opportunities for interested students!
Facts & Figures
Founded in 1907
Approximately 17,000 Students
Public (National) University
Combining the convenience of a modern city with abundant natural scenery, Sendai, where Tohoku University is located, is often called "the City of Trees." There are events throughout the year, allowing one to enjoy each of the four seasons. The most nationally famous of these events is the Tanabata Festival, in which decorations are displayed on long upright bamboo poles in the downtown area. Other events that attract large numbers of people include the Aoba Festival, which features lively dancing and the Pageant of Starlight, in which zelkova trees along a main boulevard are illuminated.
1. Where can I learn more about studying at Tohoku?
To find out more general information, be sure to check out Tohoku's website
2. Is airport pickup available?
Unfortunately airport pickup is not available.
3. How can I become more involved on campus?
You can join a club! Click here
for a list of sport club teams and clubs you can join.
4. How should I prepare myself for becoming an international student at Tohoku?
Be sure to check out Tohoku University's Handbook
for International Students.
UNC Charlotte students will first need to complete an Office of Education Abroad (OEA) application in order to receive approval to study abroad. To receive access to an application, students should follow the required steps listed on OEA's website, which outline the application process
under the "Fall, Spring & Year-long Exchange and Affiliate Programs" heading.
Application requirements may include (and are subject to change):
• Personal statement in English
• Personal statement in host country language (only applicable for students taking intermediate/advance language courses abroad)
• UNC Charlotte transcript
• 2 academic letters of recommendation
• 1 language evaluation (only applicable for students taking intermediate/advance language courses abroad)
• Disciplinary record clearance
• $135 application fee and deposit
Not all requirements may be listed above. Once students receive access to the application, more instructions can be found to assist the student throughout the process. After receiving approval to study abroad from OEA, students will be required to apply directly to the host university. OEA will provide instructions for how to complete this supplemental application after approval. Once the supplemental application is reviewed by the host university, students will be notified of their formal acceptance.
This exchange program is open to currently enrolled UNC Charlotte sophomores, juniors and seniors, with a minimum GPA of 2.75. All students who participate in a study abroad program are required to be in good academic and disciplinary standing upon applying and prior to departure.
Students can participate in one of the following programs depending on their academic plan:
JYPE - Tohoku University Junior Year Program in English
September - August (Also available for 1 semester only)
Junior Year (Third year of four-year course or final year of three-year course)
Science, Engineering, Agricultural studies
The core (required) course of this program is the Individual Research Training course. The student will research a current topic that is related to his/her field of study with the support of the research group to which the student is assigned.
The program also offers courses on language, culture and society, aimed at promoting understanding of Japanese language and social customs. Cultural and intellectual exchange with professors and students is an integral part of this program and will be accomplished through class work as well as participation in the research group activities.
IPLA - Tohoku University International Program in Liberal Arts
September - August (Also available 1 semester: fall or spring. NOTE: Calendar year for the IPLA program is not offered.)
Sophomore Year, Third Year
Economics, Management, Education, Literature, Agricultural Economics, Law
IPLA provides an opportunity for students at our partner institutions to study a variety of Liberal Arts classes taught in English, including Economics, Management, Education and Literature at Tohoku University.
The program also offers language and culture classes in order to assist students in understanding Japanese language and customs. In addition to these classes, participating students will take liberal arts and social science classes offered in English. Students who have attained adequate Japanese proficiency may take advanced language classes taught in Japanese or regular classes with Japanese students.Cultural and intellectual exchange with Japanese students is an important part of the program and is achieved through group activities and interaction with local Japanese students, both in classes and in extracurricular activities.
DEEP - Direct Enrollment Education Programs
October to August (Also available for 1 semester only)
Undergraduate and graduate students
All fields of study
In this program, students study or conduct research at a department assigned to them depending on their field of study/study plan.
- Special Auditing Student (Undergraduate or graduate students):
Students join the regular courses offered in each department or graduate school, where the lectures are mostly given in Japanese. Therefore they are required to provide evidence of proficiency in Japanese, such as the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) Level N1 or equivalent certification of Japanese proficiency issued by the student's home university. The certificate(s) should be submitted at the time of application.
- Special Research Student (Graduate students only):
Students engage in research activities under the supervision of an academic advisor at Tohoku University. They are not always required to provide evidence of proficiency in Japanese, especially in the field of natural science. If the student's academic advisor agrees to supervise in English, the student will not be required to show proficiency in Japanese.
English and Japanese.
COLABS - Cooperative Laboratory Study Program
September - August (Also available for 1 semester only)
Graduate (Preferably Master level)
All Natural Sciences (including Engineering, Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy)
Though COLABS students are not graduate-level degree candidates at Tohoku University, a similar experience is offered by special arrangement. They can experience high-quality "real" research in the natural science fields.
COLABS is a graduate-level research oriented program which offers an opportunity for international students from partner universities to take scientific research training in the assigned research laboratory as well as to take basic education courses taught in English at Tohoku University. COLABS offers a wide range of research topics in all fields of natural science and students are encouraged to conduct their research in new, interdisciplinary, scientific fields.
UNC Charlotte Course Equivalencies & Credit
OEA is not responsible for determining UNC Charlotte course equivalencies. Students will work with the corresponding UNC Charlotte academic departments in order to understand what UNC Charlotte credit they will receive for the courses they take abroad prior to departure. The Department Chair of the academic department will determine this (not the student's Academic Advisor). More instructions can be found in the student's study abroad application and will be communicated by OEA once they begin the study abroad process. It's important that students have as many host courses as possible approved by their academic department(s) prior to going abroad in order to have flexibility when registering for courses at the host university. Courses abroad are not guaranteed (i.e. not all courses abroad may be open to international students, some courses may only be offered certain semesters, courses may be full, etc.).
All courses and earned grades from abroad will be reported on the student's UNC Charlotte transcript when they return. Once the official host university transcript is received by OEA, all grades from abroad will be translated into A-F letter grades. This process can take anywhere from 1- 6 months after the end of the student's program. Students cannot earn pass/fail credit abroad (there are very few exceptions to this). Grades from abroad will be factored into the student's UNC Charlotte cumulative GPA.
Please see the following information regarding the typical month range that students can expect to be abroad with this program. Please note that this is a general time frame and could differ per student, per program.
Fall: September to February
Spring: April to August
Please see Tohoku University's Academic Calendar
for more specific dates.
Check out Student Life
at Tohoku University
Students are eligible to go abroad for the Spring semester only or for the Academic year (Fall and Spring). This is because the fall semester at Tohoku interferes with the subsequent Spring semester at UNC Charlotte, meaning students would not be eligible to attend UNC Charlotte during the following spring semester. If students are okay with taking the subsequent semester off, they are then able to apply for a fall only or calendar year program.
Tohoku offers two types of dormitories for international students: International House and University House
Learn more about on-campus dining and nearby restaurants
Housing Application Process
If housing is available on or off campus abroad and if the housing application process is facilitated by the host university, the student will be contacted directly by the host university with further instructions. This will occur after the student has been approved to go abroad by OEA and likely after they have been accepted by the host university. Housing is not arranged for the student by OEA nor UNC Charlotte. All students will have to apply for on or off campus housing through the host university, if applicable and/or available, or will need to secure their own private accommodations (if allowed). Housing is not paid to OEA nor UNC Charlotte. Housing will be paid to the applicable entity (host university, landlord, apartment complex, etc.).
Students should consider their housing arrangements before and after they study abroad. For example, if a student currently lives off-campus and have signed a lease for a year but will be going abroad during that year, they should be prepared to arrange someone to take over their lease or understand that their lease likely cannot be broken without a fee if they go abroad during that time. Similarly, while students are abroad and before they come back, it's important to determine where they will be living when they return from studying abroad.
Tuition & Fees
Student Accounts at UNC Charlotte will bill students for full-time tuition & fees according to their in-state or out-of-state residency rate prior to the start of the semester they will be abroad (according to UNC Charlotte's academic calendar). Students are expected to be the equivalent of full-time at UNC Charlotte while abroad. This means students should be taking the equivalent of 12 UNC Charlotte credit hours for undergraduates or 9 UNC Charlotte credit hours for graduate students. Students are not also paying tuition and fees to the host university while abroad.
The following are typical expenses incurred by students studying abroad. For more information regarding Cost Estimate Sheets, please contact an Education Abroad Advisor:
- Roundtrip airfare
- International Health Insurance
- Personal expenses (additional meals, traveling, cultural activities, etc.)
- Application fee
- Study abroad fee
- Visa (if applicable)
Students are eligible to use financial aid towards their education abroad expenses. Make an appointment with your financial aid advisor to ask any financial aid-related questions. Please see our financial aid page for more information.
Students are encouraged to apply for scholarships. Please see our scholarship website for more information.
All students must have a valid passport before they leave for their program. You can apply for a passport at your local post office or at Union Station
located in UNC Charlotte's Student Union.
OEA is not qualified nor legally able to disseminate visa advice or assist with visa requirements. However, below is basic information regarding visas for this country if you are a U.S. citizen. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain a visa before departure if necessary. Please visit the embassy's
website for more information.
You do not
need a visa to enter the country.
need a residence permit if you are in the country for more than 90 days.
- A residence permit is similar to a visa.
- Students should submit their application two months prior to departure. This must be done in person at the nearest consulate.
U.S. Department of State
If you are a U.S. citizen, please see the U.S. Department of State's
website for more information regarding visas. Once on the travel.state.gov website, scroll to the bottom and choose "U.S. Passports & International Travel." At the top, choose the "Country Information" tab and type the country you are going to. Scroll down to "Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements" and read thoroughly. Note: travel.state.gov will most likely take you to the consulate or embassy's actual website.
Students are responsible for purchasing their own airfare. Students should not purchase airfare until they have been both approved by the Office of Education Abroad and have been accepted by the host university. The official start date of the program (to include any mandatory on-site orientation or events) and end date of the program (to include the last day of exams and/or any other mandatory events) will be communicated to the student by the host university once accepted.
Office of Education Abroad
College of Health & Human Services (CHHS) 256
(704) 687-7747 | fax (704) 687-1661