Why the Osaka University?

As one of Japan’s National Seven Universities, the Osaka University has earned itself a reputation of academic prestige on a national and global scale. With 16 graduate schools and 11 undergraduate schools, the university prides itself in its ability to accommodate to a wide range of subjects and research topics pursued by its students.

Osaka University Minoh Campus West Entrance Source: https://www.pdfkitapciniz.com/tag/universitysign

A Brief History

The Osaka University is unique in that it was not founded by Japanese feudal lords, but by local citizens. Its roots trace back to the establishment of “Kaitokudo” in 1724 by five local merchants and the foundation of the “Tekijuku” in 1838 by a scholar named Ogata Koan. The “Kaitokudo” and the “Tekijuku” both pursued to cultivate scientific truth and socio-cultural awareness in their students, an ideal that lives on in the Osaka University today.

Internationalization

One such example is the current strive for the “World Tekijuku”, or an educational environment that fosters international exposure and cross-cultural awareness. In addition to its numerous English-based activities and classes, the Osaka University has established the Human Sciences All-English Undergraduate Program that requires no prior Japanese language skills!

About the Human Sciences All-English Undergraduate Program

In response to the Global 30 Project’s call to promote internationally accessible facilities in 13 of Japan’s top universities, the Osaka University launched the Human Sciences All-English Undergraduate Program in 2011. Under this program, international students can attain a Bachelor of Human Sciences Degree from the Osaka University… in English!

What are the Human Sciences?

The Human Sciences expand our understanding of the human world through a broad interdisciplinary approach. Areas of study include sociology, anthropology, philosophy, education, behavioral sciences, psychology, human development, and area studies. The faculty aims to achieve an interdisciplinary and international orientation to education.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The program tuition is ¥535,800 per year. There is an additional one-time admission fee of ¥282,000 and an application fee of ¥17,000, as well. To cover these financial costs, the Osaka University offers a selection of scholarship options, such as the MEXT Scholarship, the JASSO Scholarships, the Osaka University Scholarship (for one international student in the program), and other privately funded scholarships.

Admission

The Osaka University opens applications to this program to qualified international students and domestic students with an international education background. The admission office states that they will admit only a small number of applicants each year. As reference, the very first graduating class of the program only had 4 students!

Applicants must satisfy one of the following requirements:

  • Has completed or be expected to have completed 12 years or more of primary to secondary education [or equivalent] in a country outside of Japan
  • Has completed or be expected to have completed 12 years or more of primary to secondary education [or equivalent] at an educational institution located in Japan which is based on a foreign country’s education system.
  • Has obtained the International Baccalaureate Diploma awarded by the International Baccalaureate Organization.
  • Has obtained the Abitur issued by the Federal Republic of Germany for college entrance.
  • Has obtained the Baccalaureate Diploma issued by the French Republic for college entrance.
  • Has obtained the General Certificate of Advanced Level accredited as a qualification for admission to a university in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Timeline

The annual application submission period lasts from early December to early January. If necessary, students will receive an interview between mid-February and mid-March. In late March, the Notification of Acceptance will be sent to successful applicants by e-mail, and a reply must be sent back by May 1st. For successful applicants, classes will start in October of that same year!

Curriculum

The Human Sciences All-English Undergraduate Program organizes it curriculum into three sections:

  • Foundation courses, Core courses, and Electives taken during semesters 1~3
  • Specialized classes taken during semesters 4~8
  • Japanese Language courses taken throughout the duration of the entire program (8 semesters)

The Specialized classes are made up of three topics: Political and Global Studies, Diversity and Inclusion Studies, and Japan Studies.

The Political and Global Studies

This concentration covers domestic politics, international relations, and political economy. Examples of courses include Peace and Conflict Studies, East Asian Politics, and Globalization, as well as courses on Japanese politics.

The Diversity and Inclusion Studies

This focus exposes students to issues on equality, participation and inclusion of the discriminated members of society. Examples of courses include Human Rights; Health, Education and Inequality; Civil Society Movements; Sociology of Migration; and Gender and Development.

Japan Studies

This focus allows students to study Japan from a number of angles including its culture, social systems, and institutions, as well as its global influence. Examples of courses include Contemporary Educational Issues in Japan, Social Stratification in Japan, Religion in Japanese Society, Popular Culture, and Japanese Law.

Student Life

On Campus

The Office of International Exchange (OIE) is an on-campus support center for international students located in the School of Human Sciences. In addition to on-the-spot assistance, they host English Lounges that welcome students/faculty from inside and outside of Japan to learn Japanese culture in English.

The Information Room for International Students (IRIS) is located in the Center for International Education and Exchange on Suita Campus. IRIS is the place where international students can visit for consultations, information, and various international exchange activities. It provides multi-video systems, computers, and foreign newspapers and magazines for international students, as well!

English Café is an event held every Friday evening during the semester in the Student Cafeteria in the School of Engineering. It invites students from all over the world for fun games and relaxing chats!

Off Campus

The Osaka International House Foundation is a public-service corporation founded by the city of Osaka that offers consultation, interpretation services and Japanese learning to foreign residents.
Website: http://www.ih-osaka.or.jp/english/”

Students in the Human Sciences All-English Undergraduate Program have priority access to the university residence halls (dormitories) in their freshman year. Rent and utilities combined range between ¥20,000~¥25,000 a month. This option provides convenient support for international students adapting to life in Japan!

Cultural Exposure

As the second largest metropolitan area in Japan after Tokyo, Osaka offers international students an exposure to a lively fusion of culture and modernity. It is referred to as ‘the nation’s kitchen’ for its staple cuisines such as the tako-yaki, okonomi-yaki, and the kushi-katsu!

Traditional sightseeing locations include the grand Osaka Castle, the Shitennoji Temple, and the Namba Yasaka Shrine, while modern tourism consists of the Universal Studios, Dotonbori, and America Mura (American Village)! In fact, the Kansai culture that fills Osaka is a cultural experience in and of itself!

After the Program…

The program aims to develop academic knowledge, critical thinking skills, communication skills, teamwork and leadership attributes, personal development, and overall understanding of global citizenship in its students. With such skills, graduates can shine in various professional environments, be it to continue their higher education or to enter the global work force!

To learn more about the Human Sciences All-English Undergraduate Program, you can visit their website cited in the reference section below! Happy readings!

References

Human Science International Undergraduate Degree Program OSAKA UNIVERSITY, g30.hus.osaka-u.ac.jp/index.html.

“International House, Osaka: The Osaka International House Foundation Was Created as a Focal Point for Promoting Mutual Understanding and Friendship and Goodwill at Citizen Level.” International House Osaka, 8 Apr. 2020, www.ih-osaka.or.jp/english/“.

Nahobm. “25 Top Things to Do in Osaka: Osaka Bucket List 2020.” Japan Web Magazine, Japan Web Magazine, 10 Apr. 2020, jw-webmagazine.com/osaka-bucket-list-2019-20-best-things-to-do-in-osaka-dd105d96399a/.

“Osaka University International College: Information on Financial Support and Scholarships for Students Enrolled in Undergraduate Degree Programs Taught in English.” 大阪大学, www.osaka-u.ac.jp/en/guide/student/tuition/scholar/international_c.

Top Page – Osaka University, www.osaka-u.ac.jp/en.