Japanese: Semester-length Student Exchange Programs

Student Voices: Hear what other students have to say about their experiences in Japan here!


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.

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. http://www.jlpt.jp/e/about/levelsummary.html


The University requirement is a credit average of at least 65% 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.


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 does NOT encourage students to complete their final semester abroad as we do NOT recommend students complete their major or minor studies while abroad.

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, applicants need to get their study plan approved by the Japanese Program and by the Faculty several months in advance of these final deadlines. See ‘How?’ below for more details.


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.

Details of the programs available for exchange students at these universities can be found on the Monash Abroad website.

How much?

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

    • 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: http://www.jnto.go.jp/affordable/

Are scholarships available?

Yes, but they are increasingly competitive.

Please note that the scholarships listed here are only those whose applications are organised by the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics as part of our exchange program. The scholarships listed below have been offered in the past, but we cannot guarantee that they will always be offered.

The following chart shows the types of scholarships and what each scholarship includes:

Amount Return Airfare Arrival Allowance Accommodation Notes
(Japanese Student Services Organization)
80,000 per-month No 150,000(relocation allowance) Arranged by host university at the student’s own cost
Language and Culture Study
125,000 per-month Yes N/A Same as above 3rd and 4thyear students

A 2011 Honours student received the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Awards and studies at a host university in Japan.


1. Check that you are qualified to apply.

You will need to meet the minimum eligibility requirements shown in ‘Who?’ above.

2. Find out more about exchange in Japan.

There is more information about the universities and programs you can attend on the Monash Abroad website.

Hear what other students have to say about their exchange experience here. You should also read our FAQ.

Information sessions are held early in each semester: dates and venues will be announced in Japanese classes and in the news section at the bottom of this page.

3. Plan your studies on exchange and beyond.

You need to complete a Course Map with unit names and codes so you have a clear idea of how the exchange would fit in to your overall course progression. Download your Course Map here.

  • Think about which Monash Japanese language/studies units you would be taking equivalents for during the exchange. These should follow on from the units you will be enrolled in prior to the exchange. For example, if you are majoring in Japanese and taking Japanese Intermediate 2 in the semester before your exchange, you would logically take the equivalent of Japanese Proficient 1/2 while on exchange.
  • Remember that you must have room in your course to enrol in 18-24 credit points of Japanese language/studies units while on exchange.
  • Talk to a Faculty of Arts Course Advisor if you have any questions about course progression.

4. Come to an information session.

Information sessions are held twice a year in the lead-up to application deadlines: one in late March / early April and one in September.
Session details will be announced on this page and in class in Japanese language, Japanese studies, and Asian studies units.

5. Consult with the Japan exchange coordinator and obtain approval of your study plan.

Before the consultation, you must be fully familiar with the information on this page.

The Japan exchange coordinator for applications to go on exchange in semester 1, 2016 is:
Dr Jeremy Breaden (Menzies E570; jeremy.breaden@monash.edu).

To make an appointment for a consultation, please go to this sign-up page: http://doodle.com/hqsbw2gvsyf8seez

When you come to the consultation you will need to bring:

  • Your completed Course Map (see step 3 above) including unit names and codes.
  • A Monash Abroad Application Form. You can download the application form here. There is no need to complete all sections of the form before your consultation. At the consultation, the exchange coordinator will fill in section 5 of the form ‘Proposed study plan of first preference university’ together with you.
Approval deadline: If you are planning to go on exchange in semester 1, you must have your study plan approved by early April of the preceding year. For semester 2, the deadline is early October of the preceding year. Exact dates will be announced early in the semester in which the deadline falls.The deadline for exchange in semester 1 2016 is 15 April 2015.

6. Obtain faculty approval of your study plan.

Once the Japan exchange coordinator has signed off on your study plan (step 5 above), you need to submit it to the Faculty of Arts. If you are enrolled in another faculty, you will also need to obtain approval from that faculty.

Approval deadline: If you are planning to apply for exchange in semester 1, you must submit your study plan for faculty approval by 15 April of the preceding year. For semester 2, the deadline is mid-October of the preceding year.

7. Prepare and submit your application.

Once your study plan has been approved, please complete all other sections of the Monash Abroad Application Form and submit with the Japan-specific exchange application form (Download here) and other required supporting documents to Monash Abroad.
Submission deadlines are as follows.

  • For exchange commencing in semester one: 15 June of the previous year
  • For exchange commencing in semester two: 1 December of the previous year

What else?

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. If you still can’t find the answer to your question, contact the Japan exchange coordinator, Dr Jeremy Breaden (jeremy.breaden@monash.edu, Menzies E570)