Japanese: Semester Length International Program

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


The majority of Monash students participate in an exchange program conducted in English at a host university. You can study Japanese language, Japanese culture, history, politics, etc., and possibly other areas. The units you undertake will at the host university will be counted as equivalent to units taught at Monash, up to a maximum of 18-24 credits per semester. Please note that from 2016, exchange units will receive a numerical mark/grade. See here for more details.

If you have intermediate Japanese language competence and are majoring in Japanese, you will most likely participate in a dedicated Japanese Studies Program (日本語日本文化研修生プログラム) for exchange students.

If you have very high proficiency in Japanese, equivalent to N1 (in some cases N2) of JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test), you 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 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. Moreover, exchange to Japanese universities is limited to students currently studying Japanese at Monash, due to the limited number of spots we have. 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 application deadline is 15 April to go on exchange from the first semester in the following year, and 15 October to go on exchange from the second semester in the following year. Applicants need to get their study plan approved by the Japanese Program in advance of these 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, Waseda University, Seikei University, Meiji Gakuin University and Rikkyo 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?

For scholarships and other types of financial support you can apply for through Monash, please contact Monash Abroad.

There are also some scholarships offered by Japanese organisations, but they are increasingly competitive. The scholarships listed below have been offered in the past, but we cannot guarantee that they will always be offered. Please note that applications for these scholarships are coordinated through the host universities in Japan. If you are eligible for any of them, your host university will notify you after you have been selected to go on exchange. There is no need to submit a separate application to Monash. 

  Amount Return Airfare Arrival Allowance Accommodation Notes
(Japanese Student Services Organization)
80,000 per-month No N/A Arranged by host university at the student’s own cost  
Language and Culture Study
117,000-120,000 per-month Yes N/A Same as above Applicants must be aged 18 to 30 years


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… 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. Arts students: download your Course Map here. (If you are enrolled in a faculty other than Arts, please consult with a course advisor in your home faculty.)

  • 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 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/April and one in August.
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 Semester 1 applications to go on exchange is:
Dr Naomi Kurata (Menzies E582; naomi.kurata@monash.edu).

Please drop in during the following consultation times:

  • Tuesdays: 2:00-3:30pm
  • Wednesdays: 10:00am-12:00pm

(No need to make an appointment for consultations, but if these times do not suit you, please email Dr Kurata)

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

  • Your completed Course Map (see step 3 above) including unit names and codes.
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. 

6. Register your application with your approved study plan in the Monash Abroad Portal by 15 April (Semester 1) or 15 October (Semester 2)

(No need to submit your study plan to your Faculty directly, but your application will automatically go to your Faculty.)

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 Naomi Kurata (Menzies E582; naomi.kurata@monash.edu)


  • Enquiries to Dr Rikki Campbell, Monash Abroad, 1st Floor Campus Centre Rikki.Campbell@monash.edu Ph: 9905-3076 Dr Naomi Kurata (Academic consultation), E582, Menzies Building Naomi.Kurata@monash.edu       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 ... Read more
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