Tohoku University offers a good number of international courses which are taught entirely in English. Information on all English-taught courses at Tohoku University can be found in the article below :
International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
International Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering – Undergraduate Course (IMAC-U) are one of the many International courses. I’m currently enrolled in the program, started in October 2017 and I am expected to graduate in September 2021. As of January 2018, having passed almost a year and six months, I feel that it’s the perfect time to share the details and first-person experience about the course.
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Tohoku University is famous for its ground-breaking research and cutting-edge technological innovation. Tohoku University ranks 30th in the QS Rankings and 74th in the Times Higher Education Ranking for its Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
The Admission Policy of the international undergraduate courses at Tohoku University is quite different from the American and European counterparts. Unlike USA and Europe where the standardized test scores, admission essays, and recommendation letters are the parameters of accepting or rejecting an applicant, Tohoku University takes into consideration the performance of the applicant in written examination and interview. The Admission Process can be divided into two stages. In the first stage, Tohoku filters out the applicants based on standardized test scores, admission essays, and recommendation letters. The candidates who pass the first step proceed to the second stage, i.e. the written examination and interview. The candidates must take the exam in one of the test centers set up by the university. The second stage screening exams, IMAC-U are mostly held in China (Beijing), Korea (Seoul), Taiwan (Taipei), Thailand (Bangkok), Indonesia (Jakarta), India (New Delhi), Vietnam (Hanoi), UK (London), US (Riverside), Egypt (Cairo), Pakistan (Islamabad) and Japan (Tohoku University, Sendai).
If the applicant does not have a test center in their home country, they’re able travel to their nearest country to take the exam. Around two weeks after the written exam, the list of accepted candidates will be announced.
All the first semester classes are held in Kawauchi campus (Information on Campus Life at Tohoku University can be found here : https://schoolynk.com/media/articles/9f5be8e6-2685-4144-a14b-19e8b3689cdb).
From second semester onwards, the specialized education classes (engineering classes) are held at Aobayama campus and the generalized education classes (courses like Calculus, Physics, Linear Algebra, etc) are held at Kawauchi.
The entire four-year course can be divided into two parts – the first one and a half year of cramped class schedule, and the next two and half years of laboratory research and less frequent classes. The first three semesters are extremely busy as the students take somewhere around 85-90 credits in a year and a half (note that graduation requirement is 130 credits in four years).
IMAC-U classroom. Photo was taken from Tohoku University website.
After a year and a half, the schedule becomes a bit relaxed. Starting from the second semester, the quarter system is implemented for the specialized courses, which means that each course is only two months long, containing two classes per week. The main aim of the quarter system is to provide opportunities for student exchange programs with other universities.
One of the biggest advantages of IMAC-U is its class size. There are 13-15 students in each class, creating a rich environment for teacher-student interaction, where one to one communication with the professor is easily done.
All the professors who are assigned to teach the IMAC-U students are highly accomplished in their fields. It is a pleasing experience to take the classes from such knowledgeable experts.
The best part of the IMAC-U program is its laboratories. Students can select one lab out of more than a hundred labs from the fields of Mechanical Systems, Fine Mechanics, Robotics, Aerospace Engineering, Quantum Science and Energy Engineering, Environment and Energy Engineering, and Mechanical/Biomedical Engineering.
Each student spends two and a half year of their undergraduate life in the lab. So, it is crucial to select a lab carefully. Once assigned to a lab, it cannot be changed. All the labs in the mechanical and aerospace department of Tohoku University are very good for research.
Scope after graduation
It is important to have an idea for after graduation. Tohoku University, one of the top three universities in Japan, ensures very good opportunities for its students. Most of the students choose to continue their master’s course at Tohoku. IMAC-G is the graduate level English-taught Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering course. The students who choose to pursue their graduate course from a different university, often find themselves in other high ranked universities owing to the high quality of education and research work at Tohoku University. Tohoku University also has a very good reputation in the job market as well. Engineers who graduate from Tohoku are among the highest paid in Japan.
My overall impression about IMAC-U is very positive. This course has widened my perspective. Sharing a classroom with students from different countries and background is very important for becoming a global citizen. The next generation of engineers should be aware of the global problems and should join hands to solve the problems together, crossing the borders of nationality and community. This is essential for sustainable development and growth of human society. In my opinion, undergraduate life is highly favorable for learning a new culture and adapting to new surroundings. IMAC-U provides a superb opportunity to learn new things and make friends from all over the world.