Discover what it’s like to study at the biggest English-based program offered by Japan’s top private university.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to study at a top private university in Japan? You’re in luck because our hosts are from Waseda University, one of Japan’s top private University!

John and Eli are both born and raised in the Philippines and are currently enrolled in Waseda University’s School of International Liberal Studies.
Hear directly from the two hosts as they talk about what kind of program SILS is, how to apply for it, and some tips if you are interested in the program!

What is SILS?

Eli: “SILS stands for the School of International Liberal Studies. Basically, we get to choose what we want to study. We have a lot of choices, and everything is in English.”

John: “SILS is also famous for the number of international students that are currently enrolled in it. Classes are also divided into lecture and seminar types.”

John: “Lecture-type classes usually have students that sum up to as much as 200 students per class, while seminar-type classes have a maximum of 20 students in each class. In these (seminar-type) classes, students have more opportunities to share their ideas, talk with their peers, speak in class and hold presentations as well.”

SILS and its Curriculum

Eli: “SILS has four curriculums, SP1, SP2, SP3, and SP4. (SP stands for Study Program).”

John: “SP1 and 2 are the SILS’s regular four-year degree program.”

John: “SP1 is the study program for native Japanese students, which requires them to study abroad for a year. Taking this also requires them to take some classes in Japanese. At the same time is [sic] SP2 is for students like me and Eli whose native tongue isn’t Japanese.”

“The study abroad program isn’t required and becomes optional, but in exchange for that, SILS requires us to take 24 credits from Japanese language classes.”

Eli: “SP3 and 4 are people who are on an exchange program at Waseda. SP3 is a one-year program or half a semester, while SP4 is (for) people who take double-degree programs.”

Is the program recognized in Japan and other countries?

John: “From my experience, when someone asks me where I study or what I’m studying, when I say I’m from Waseda and from SILS, usually, you don’t really need any further explanation than that because they already get the idea.”

Eli: “Waseda is part of the top four best universities in Japan. That’s why when you tell someone you’re from Waseda, everyone knows you’re really smart.”

John: “And did you know that Waseda University is number one in Japan for graduate employability and number 26 in the whole world?”

Eli: “Also, the Chairman of Samsung group is a graduate of Waseda university, so a lot of alumni from Waseda is really well known in Taiwan, China and Korea.”

John: “Of course also in Japan, because a lot of Japanese politicians are also graduates of Waseda.”

Eli: “Haruki Murakami, if you guys know him, He’s actually from Waseda too!”

John: “If we’re to talk about liberal arts programs in Japan, specifically in Tokyo, SILS is on par with other liberal arts programs from universities like Sophia University’s Faculty of Liberals Arts (FLA) , or International Christian University’s English Language Program.”

Daily Life in SILS

Eli: “How about life in SILS? Is it easy John?”

John: “I guess it would entirely depend on what study program you’re in, what year you’re in and what classes you’d be taking [sic]. I’ll be on the second semester of my second year. I would say that the first year wasn’t really that rigorous.”

John: “It was fun because SILS requires students to take at least one introductory course from three different clusters. So it means you’ll be shuffling through different areas of studies, especially on your first semester in SILS. Right now, I found the area of study which I want to focus on which is economics.”

John: “The more you go up through the level of difficulty, of course they demand more workload from students. so i guess the first year isn’t that bad How about you, Eli?”

Eli: “Since I’m on my second year and I’ll be on my third year the next semester, I had to take introductory, intermediate and advanced classes. Basically, from my first year i had to take a lot of introductory classes.”

Eli: “In essence, you just have to choose what you want as long as its within the requirements. Since I took classes under Arts and Media, I actually enjoyed them so it wasn’t as hard as i expected them to be. Cause I didn’t take a lot of math classes. Math is my kryptonite (laughs)”

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