Exchange in Japan – FAQ

  • What are the merits of going on exchange to Japan?

°  Improving Japanese language competence

°  Developing understanding of Japanese culture, society and people

°  Making friends with local and international students from all over the world. Many students claim that one of the best and unexpected outcomes of exchange in Japan was making very good friends from various parts of the world.

°  Becoming mature and independent person

°  Getting an advantage in the job market. A comment from a returnee student (2009-2010, Ochanomizu University): I have secured a position with a large accounting firm and my year in Japan is what set me apart from other applicants. My recruiters were extremely keen to discuss my experiences while on exchange. You yourself may be surprised at the skills and talents you develop while away. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll change. And it will definitely give you a competitive advantage when it comes time to enter the workforce.”

Please see more “student voices” on our website.

  • When can I go on exchange?

Students usually go on exchange from the second semester in the second year or from the first semester in the third year. Please note that The Faculty of Arts do NOT encourage students to complete their final semester abroad as we do NOT recommend students complete their major or minor studies while abroad. 

  • Where can I go on exchange?

Monash University has 12 partner universities in Japan including most prestigious universities. They are the University of Tokyo, Hitotsubashi University, Ochanomizu University, University of Tsukuba, Saitama University, Chiba University, Nagoya University, Osaka University, Kyushu University, Waseda University, Seikei University, Meiji Gakuin University. Please see our website for details.

  • When should I apply for exchange?

The final application deadline is 1 June to go on exchange from the first semester in the following year, and 1 December to go on exchange from the second semester in the following year. However, students should get their study plan approved by the Japanese Program and by the Faculty. As these dates are far in advance, students should plan ahead of time.

  • Who is eligible?

Please see Monash University’s overall eligibility requirements.

The University requirement is a credit average of at least 60% in the results so far in a student’s current course, but a student may need much higher marks in order to be recommended to a host university of their choice. In addition, students should note some restrictions. As the application process a takes long time, it is difficult if not impossible for a postgraduate student whose course is for only three semesters to go on exchange. A student who cannot enrol in Japanese language/Japanese studies units of 18-24 points, for example a single degree student from another Faculty, especially Medicine, will find it very difficult to go to Japan for exchange. Please see the answers to the following questions, too.

  • What will I study at a Japanese university?
    • The majority of Monash students participate in an exchange program conducted in English at a host university. The students can study units in Japanese language, Japanese studies, and possibly other areas. Please see our website and its links for details.

  • A student with intermediate Japanese language competence and majoring in Japanese can participate in a dedicated Japanese Studies Program (日本語日本文化研修生プログラム), which is offered by some partner universities.
  • A student with very high proficiency in Japanese, equivalent to N1 (in some cases N2) of JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test), may be allowed to take units conducted in Japanese. However, because of the language barrier, other Monash faculties and schools do not usually give credits for these units. In that case, any unit conducted in Japanese could be counted as a Monash Japanese language unit.

Please see the following website for details of JLPT.

  • Which Monash units will I be enrolled in while on exchange in Japan? (as of 28/03/2013)

In order to go on exchange a student will need to enrol in Monash units totalling 18-24 points per semester. Due to the circumstances explained above, a student is usually instructed to enrol in Arts exchange units, which are considered to be equivalent to Japanese language and Japanese/Asian studies units offered at Monash. Student will not receive regular marks and grades for these exchange units: results will be recorded as satisfactory or non-satisfactory only. (An honours student will receive marks and grades.) Host universities in Japan issue exchange students with certificates or statements of results, but these will not form part of students’ academic record at Monash.

       AEH2001/3001 – Arts Exchange Unit – 6 points

       AEH2002/3002 – Arts Exchange Unit – 6 points

       AEH2003/3003 – Arts Exchange Unit – 6 points

       AEH2004/3004 – Arts Exchange Unit – 6 points

       ATS4131 – LCL Language Study Abroad 1 (Honours)

       ATS4132 – LCL Language Study Abroad 2 (Honours)

PLEASE NOTE: if a student plans to do an Honours degree after returning from study abroad, their work at the Japanese university may need to be assessed by Monash staff to help determine eligibility for Honours (note: to be eligible for honours, students must have a D average across 24 points, 18 of which must be at third-year level). Potential honours students should consult with Honours coordinator (Dr Shani Tobias) before they apply for exchange.

  • Before you come and get your study plan approved …..

      Students should check their course progression, fill their ‘course map’ with unit names and codes, and bring a completed map with you.

      Students should know which Monash Japanese language and Japanese studies units (year level, core units/elective units, etc.) they need to take equivalents for during the exchange.

  • Can I choose a host university?

Students can write their preference, from their first choice to usually fifth or sixth choices. Based on the applicants’ preferences, academic record, Japanese language competence etc, the selection committee will decide to which host university a student will be recommended.

  • What will happen after I submit my application?

Monash screens applications, notifies selected candidates, and recommends them to host universities. A host university screens applications and recommends some students to the government for the scholarships. It will be a long process, and students will be informed about acceptance and scholarship a few months prior to the departure.

  • Where will I live?

Students lives in the halls of residence of a host university. Some are located on campus, but some are not. You may need to take a bicycle or public transport. Usually you will be provided with a well equipped modern room with bed, desk, small refrigerator, and bathroom. However, these conditions vary from university to university.

 How much does it cost to live in Japan as an exchange student?

Minimum expenses are for accommodation, transport and meals.

  • Accommodation: It is usually subsidized by the Japanese government or a host university and the fee is not very high, approx $300~500 per month including water and electricity.
  • Transport: If you live on campus, you will incur no transport costs to go to your university. If you take a train or bus, it may cost $5~10 per day.
  • Meals: You may find prices of groceries and eating out in Japan is lower than in Melbourne. For example, buying lunch at a Japanese university costs much less than doing so at Monash Campus Centre.
  • Other cost: It totally depends on a student’s lifestyle, but you may find it not so expensive as you think. The Japan National Tourism Organization website has a comparative guide to costs of some everyday consumer items: 

 Are scholarships available?

Yes. Though it is getting increasingly competitive, Monash exchange students going to Japan receive the AIEJ Scholarship, Japanese Studies Scholarships, or a host university scholarship. Please see our website.

Students who do not receive any scholarship will receive Monash Abroad Travel Scholarship.

 How many exchange students does Monash send to Japan?

Approximately 20 students each year.