The Meiji Law School was founded in 1881 during one of Japan’s most dynamic and progressive eras. This was a time characterized by a drive to become a modern and independent nation. The law school would subsequently become the highly reputable institution today known as Meiji University; a place still led by its founding aspiration to ‘foster bright capable youths’. Having so far produced 520,000 graduates, Meiji University has contributed vastly to the progress of society in Japan, and has expanded to include 10 undergraduate and 16 graduate schools.
As of 2018, Meiji University ranked 35th nationally, but has previously ranked first in student support during job hunting efforts. This award highlights the university’s courses on job hunting guidance, business Japanese and written examination counseling.
With nearly 320 partner institutions in 50 different countries around the world, Meiji University is showing a clear focus on developing its relationships within the international community, and adapting to the ever evolving, globalized needs and issues of todays environment. With 1894 inbound international students in 2018, Meiji University was placed sixth amongst all 780 universities in Japan for its number of overseas students. Its location in the center of Tokyo is no doubt a large part of the attraction for students coming from abroad.
Meiji University is made up of four campuses, each centrally based in several of Tokyo’s most distinct and dynamic districts. The original site remains at the university’s main Surugadai campus, located just five minutes from Tokyo station.
Primarily for junior and senior year students, the Surugadai campus is home to the university’s distinctive Liberty Tower, which offers incredible views of the city. Not only can students take in scenes of some of Tokyo’s most famous sights, but the Surugadai campus is also a mere 15 minute walk from Akihabara, a renowned ‘mecca of Japanese pop culture’. Other neighboring areas include Kanda’s ‘curry town’, and the famous old bookstores of Jimbocho contribute to the feeling of an ‘old-fashioned college town’. Students studying at the main campus are therefore well placed to immerse themselves in this eclectic and diverse collection of Japanese cultural hubs. Not only can students experience Japanese culture from the surrounding location, but also on site as well, as the Surugadai campus houses both the University museum and the Aku You Memorial Museum. Also on campus is the new ‘global front’ educational and research building, as well as the international student office and international lounge.
The Izumi campus is located just 10 minutes from Shinjuku station, arguably the biggest and busiest district in Tokyo. Catering mostly to freshmen and sophomore students studying humanities subjects, the Izumi campus is home to the University’s newest and most extensive library, which opened there in 2012.
The third campus at Ikuta, can be found out to the west of Tokyo, approximately 30 minutes from Shinjuku. Here, the School of Science and Technology and the School of Agriculture, allow pupils to study and undertake research in the cutting edge fields of science, technology and bioscience all the way up to graduate level. Included in these facilities are the Advanced Plant Factory Research Center and the more recently opened Kurokawa Farm (a large scale urban farm using advanced technology to develop highly efficient production systems).
Opened in 2013, Meiji University’s newest campus in Nakano is located just 10 minutes from Shinjuku station. Mostly for students of Global Japanese Studies and Interdisciplinary Mathematical Science, the open learning environment at the Nakano campus was designed to encourage interaction between faculties, undergraduates, and graduates, with a particular focus on internationalization and interdisciplinary studies.
For international students, Meiji University provides two main dormitories. The Izumi International House is made up of 61 dorm rooms, and is within just a 10-minute walk to the Izumi campus, and a 15-minute train ride to the Surugadai campus. Alternatively there is the Komae International House, which out of 120 rooms allocates 40 for international students. By train, this dormitory is approximately 10 minutes to Ikuta campus, 15 minutes to reach the Izumi Campus, and a 30-minute journey to the main campus at Surugadai.
Although these dormitories are available to international students, the university cannot guarantee a place, and so prospective students should be prepared to arrange their own private accommodation.
Studying in English
Over 540 classes at Meiji University are held in English, evidence of a rapidly expanding international approach to the education of its students. Those looking to complete an English taught masters degree at the university can do so through two of its graduate schools: the Graduate School of Science and Technology (on the international program of Architecture and Urban Design), and the Graduate School of Governance Studies. Prospective students considering embarking on a PHD can apply for English-taught doctoral courses at three different graduate schools: the Graduate School of Science and Technology, the Graduate School of Advanced Mathematical Sciences, and the Graduate School of Global Governance.
The most recently developed English degree program at the university was introduced in 2011 as the School of Global Japanese Studies for undergraduate level tuition. With the purpose of promoting international education, the course curriculum focuses on giving students a deep and in depth understanding of Japan, within the context of the global community. Not only does the course look at traditional Japanese culture, but it also pays particular attention to contemporary Japanese studies. The course specializes in three main areas of study, and students can select units from: Culture and Art, Business and Society, and Globalization. The freshman and sophomore years focus on the student’s broader education within global Japanese studies, English classes and general studies. The junior and senior years allow student’s greater agency over their degree path, as they can choose from further specialized units on topics such as immigration policy, Japanese cinema and global integration. All subjects are taught in English, and at the end of their four-year course students will graduate with a Bachelor of Global Japanese Studies Degree.
The courses at Meiji University benefit from the institutions long-held reputation for high quality research facilities and output. In particular the Meiji Law School is widely considered one of the top law schools in Japan. As well as the Law School, humanities courses more generally at Meiji University have repeatedly won the Study in Japan Award, a title given by teaching staff from around the country for the best private institution in the region for international students to enroll at.
Japanese Language Programs
Japanese language education at Meiji University has become an integral part of the university’s approach to the education and integration of its international students. The Japanese Language Education Center provides over 200 Japanese language classes available to international students, in addition to the language classes provided by individual schools. Even students completing their degrees in Japanese have the opportunity to improve their language ability through extra language classes.
Otherwise, the students can take classes from the general course, a program with levels available from beginner all the way to advanced. Targeted at students in the Global Japanese Studies major, this course is designed to develop their comprehensive Japanese language ability through a full range of tuition: oral expression, written expression, speed reading, essay writing, etc. Levels one to six focuses on the base language skills of the student, taught through the curriculum of the general course three times per week, alongside a vocabulary and Kanji class once per week. Once students reach the upper levels the course focuses on more integrated and specialized Japanese, where their language proficiency allows them to tailor their Japanese language education to their needs and future goals.
The Meiji University International Students Incentive Scholarship
Seeking to help young, competent students struggling with financial difficulty, this scholarship is targeted at those from the countries of: Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. As part of the nation-specific nature of this scholarship, recipients are expected to try to develop the relationship between Japan and their home country. In order to be eligible for this scholarship students must have citizenship in one of these target countries, reside there at the time of application and intend on gaining ‘college student’ resident status. If granted students will receive the examination and admission fee, 100 or 50% waiver of the tuition fee, a monthly stipend of 100,000 JPY, and a flight to and from Japan, upon the students enrollment and final completion of their degree.
Meiji University Special Grant for Privately Financed International Students
Designed to support promising students from overseas who will contribute to the advancement and globalization of Meiji University, this scholarship targets those able and willing to succeed in the international arena. Subsidizing 50 or 100% of the tuition fee, this scholarship is offered to undergraduate students who entered via the international student exam or the English track exam from abroad.
Meiji University Scholarship for Privately Financed International Students
In order to support international students with high academic motivation, but who struggle to financially support their education, the university can provide 160 nominees with a monthly stipend of 50,000 JPY. Eligible students must have outstanding academic results, and must be in need of financial aid in order to continue their studies. This scholarship is open to graduate students in any year, or undergraduates in their second year or above, and the application period takes place each April, with successful applicants notified in the fall semester.
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