Temple University Japan (TUJ) was founded in 1982, making it not only the oldest foreign university in Japan, but also the largest. TUJ is located in Minato, in Tokyo. As TUJ is an American university based out of Philadelphia, it is 100% English speaking. TUJ’s entire campus is placed in two buildings: Azabu Hall and Mita Hall.
There are six floors in Azabu Hall; floor one hosts the Parliament lounge along with most of student service offices, meanwhile the second floor hosts classrooms, the cafeteria and even an outdoor smoking area.
There are only five floors in Mita Hall with classrooms exclusive to the fifth floor. Mita Hall hosts most of TUJ’s offices e.g. graduate counseling, undergraduate admissions, etc. Vending machines, lounges, and a smoking area can be found in both buildings.
Both Halls can be reached via the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line or Toei Mita Line. From the Shirokane-Takanawa station, the walk is about 7 minutes. Depending on the dorm hall or housing accommodation, Temple offers a commuter pass at a discounted rate. In Japan, cost of transportation is determined by distance traveled, therefore, the commuter pass makes school days in Japan much more affordable.
Regarding housing accomodations, Temple presents three options. Students can choose between one of the two dormitory halls, homestay with a Japanese family, and personal housing. I live in the Crevia Will dorm located in Musashi-Kosugi, Kawasaki. The other dorm is the Uninest Hakusan dorm located in Bunkyo, Tokyo. The biggest difference between the two dorm halls is that Crevia Will features a cafeteria, fitness center and outdoor garden, whereas Uninest features a theater room. Uninest is advertised as a 40 minute commute to TUJ and Crevia Will as 50 minutes, but bear in mind that part of Crevia Will residents’ commute includes a 15 minute hike to the Musashi-Kosugi station. If you are interested in a homestay, there are forms along with a phone interview that you must undergo in order to be matched up with a Japanese family. TUJ advertises the commute time for homestay housing as an hour and a half to two hours; of course this varies depending on the family you get paired up with. These are all things to consider when determining your housing arrangement.
TUJ’s student body is made up of international students coming from around 60 countries ranging from the United States and Latin America to Africa and Europe. With an array of students stemming from different backgrounds, TUJ maintains a diverse learning environment that accommodates everyone. Granted that TUJ is very diverse, international students can still interact with Japanese students because Japanese students make up 40% of the student body. Furthermore, class sizes are quite small; with an average class size of 21, the professor-student engagement is optimized. This can make your experience studying abroad in Japan a very unique experience compared to other universities which primarily use lecture-based curriculums.
As a Temple student, you receive access to programs like Adobe Lightroom and Premiere Pro, as well as discounts on university planned trips and bullet train tickets for personal trips to cities like Kyoto or Osaka. Additionally, restaurants around TUJ’s campus offer discounts just by showing your student ID. Studying abroad in Japan definitely has its perks.