Rikkyo University, also known as Saint Paul’s University, is one of Tokyo’s most prestigious universities. The university was founded in 1874 by Anglican church missionaries as Saint Paul’s College, with its main campus located right in Tokyo’s vibrant district of Ikebukuro. Reflecting its international origins, the university is included in the MEXT’s Top Global University project alongside other 36 top schools in Japan. Today, the university has two undergraduate programs taught in English: the Dual Language Pathway in the College of Intercultural Communication and the recently launched Global Liberal Arts Program.
The Global Liberal Arts Program (GLAP) at Rikkyo University
Started in the year 2017, the Global Liberal Arts Program (GLAP) at Rikkyo University seeks to educate free-thinkers to become future global leaders. By learning a wide range of subjects in a diverse international environment, one will be able to acquire the necessary skills to tackle complex global problems and live in harmony with the world. GLAP students study in small classes, the average class size being 13 students, with only 20 students being admitted to the program each semester. This allows instructors to interact and focus more on teaching each student. During their freshman year, students take “tutorial” classes which develops basic skills such as academic writing critical-thinking through essay writing and discussions. The maximum number for these “tutorial” classes are five students, which creates a small but immersive learning environment.
The GLAP encourages its students to take a year studying abroad in one of its partner universities located around the world so students can acquire a truly global mindset. Destinations include University of Vermont and Trinity College in the United States, Saint Thomas University and the University of Lethbridge in Canada, and Leiden University in the Netherlands. For the study abroad program, there are no changes in tuition payment and tuition will be paid only to Rikkyo University and not the host university, which is definitely an advantage because tuition for universities in some destinations can be more expensive. Although travel, accommodation, and living costs while on study abroad must be covered entirely by the student.
After completing their year abroad, students can choose one of the three areas to specialize in the GLAP: Humanities, Business, and Citizenship. Studying each of the three areas allows students to gain a deeper comprehension of various subjects. Humanities cover subjects such as literature, visual arts, and gender studies. The Business area teaches students the basics of finance, marketing, and accounting. Finally, the field of Citizenship includes the study of sociology and international relations. By the end of the program, students would have acquired a deep enough understanding of their study in order to write their final graduation thesis. After graduation, students can continue to find employment in various international companies and organizations, who will find much value in the practical skills learned in the GLAP.
The Global Liberal Arts Program at Rikkyo University will definitely provide a valuable and fun college experience. In addition to its comprehensive curriculum that enhances the minds of its students and giving them a truly global outlook, its strategic location in Ikebukuro, Tokyo’s main cultural center, will enrich and ensure a fun college life for any international student who wants to study in Japan.