It is believed that many international students do not want to study in Japan because they are afraid that the academic environment in Japan is not friendly for international students due to the limited number of courses offered in English. Additionally, Japan’s reputation for low proficiency in English often makes foreign students feel reluctant to spend four years here.

But did you know that in recent years, top Japanese universities are actively enticing both students and professors from all corners of the globe to diversify Japan’s educational systems? Selected for the Top Global University Project, let’s discover why international students should consider The University of Tokyo to further their education.

General Information

The University of Tokyo is also called Tokyo Daigaku (東京大学), commonly known as Todai (東大). As its name suggests, The University of Tokyo is located in Tokyo, which has also recently been named the third best city in the world for international students to come to study, according to The Telegraph. In terms of university ranking, Times Higher Education ranks The University of Tokyo within the top 50 globally, coming at 42nd for 2019 while it is currently ranked third on the national scale. The University of Tokyo features a large-scale academic hub with 10 faculties and 15 graduate schools that are home to a total of 30,000 students, of which 2,100 are international students. A long list of UTokyo’s accomplished alumni, including 15 former prime ministers of Japan and 10 Nobel Laureates also speaks for its quality of education.


The University of Tokyo has three main campuses:

1. Komaba campus
You can refer to the following links to learn more about the Komaba campus.

2. Kashiwa campus
Kashiwa campus is the newest campus and is home to the latest scientific research. On top of that, this campus is also well-known for making the University of Tokyo become the first university in Japan to possess a sushi restaurant on campus. You can have a sushi rice bowl with two types of sashimi in it, called a “One Coin Bowl,” which costs only 500 yen in UTokyo’s sushi restaurant!

3. Hongo campus
The unique feature of this campus is that it has the statue of professor Hidesaburo Ueno and his companion, Hachiko. Renowned throughout Japan, the loyal dog Hachiko also has achieved a high degree of worldwide fame. However, the fact that his guardian was a professor at the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Agriculture has remained largely unknown.

For further details about other special buildings on the Hongo campus, click here!


Two types of accommodations are available for international students at the University of Tokyo: international residences operated by the University and private accommodation operated by private businesses.

Residences operated by the University are available at a lower rate than private accommodations. You can choose to stay in either a single or a shared, fully furnished room. Each residence is highly encouraged to promote international exchanges and pursue activities to encourage communication among residents.

Private accommodation, on the other hand, is more expensive. But with private accommodation, UTokyo enables you to secure housing at locations close to campus and surrounded by convenient facilities.

For more information on the accommodations offered by the University of Tokyo, visit here!

Japanese Language Programs

Apart from general and major courses at UTokyo, students are able to choose to enroll in Japanese language courses to enhance their Japanese ability. The University of Tokyo’s Center for Japanese Language Education offers four types of courses: general courses, Intensive Japanese Courses, Academic Japanese Courses, and Short-term Japanese. In addition to the aforementioned core courses, you can apply to attend special themed seminars, and workshops hosted by Japanese student circles and Japanese professors. These opportunities allow you to widen your international network on campus!

Undergraduate Courses:

The University of Tokyo offers two undergraduate programs for international students:

  1. Programs in English at Komaba (PEAK)
    During PEAK programs, you will study liberal arts for the first two years in the Junior Division and then advance to the two years of specialized studies (Japan in East Asia or Environmental Sciences) in the Senior Division.

    For further details about the PEAK’s requirements and application process, please visit PEAK Admissions.
  2. Global Science Course (GSC)
    GSC is an English-based undergraduate transfer program. Under GSC, you have to already be a student of a university outside of Japan and then transfer to the University of Tokyo in your third year. You will be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tokyo if they fulfill UTokyo’s graduation requirements.
    GSC’s grants:
    – A monthly scholarship of JPY 150,000
    – Accommodation provided with fully supported monthly rent
    – Support from student tutors and teaching assistants

    For further details about GSC’s requirements and application process, please visit GSC Admissions.

Graduate courses

Living Expenses

Japan is already notorious for its high living costs, but those of Tokyo surprise people the most. According to a student survey conducted by UTokyo, the average monthly expense (tuition fees excluded) for international students at the University of Tokyo is 145,500 JPY. This will include an average single-housing fee of 53,200 JPY, followed by the cost of food of around 32,200 – 40,000 JPY. The transportation cost is also significant but no statistics were recorded.

Tokyo is the bustling heart of Japan but prioritise your area of study
Tokyo is the bustling heart of Japan

Please note that this is only for reference as each student has a different lifestyle. If you enjoy cooking at home, then the cost of food is definitely much lower.

Overall, since the living costs in Japan are expensive, you had better plan your budget carefully to avoid unwanted financial situations in the long term.

University of Tokyo Scholarships

One of the most effective ways to reduce your financial worry is to apply for scholarships! The University of Tokyo has a wide range of scholarships for international students. The most popular ones are as follows:

  • Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship
  • Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately Financed International Students
  • University of Tokyo Fellowship; The University of Tokyo Special Scholarship for International Students (for graduate students)
  • The University of Tokyo Scholarship (for PEAK students)
  • Nihon Chouzai Co, Ltd. – the University of Tokyo Scholarship for ASEAN students

Follow this link here for further details!

You might want to hear what other students say about the University of Tokyo? 

Check out the community page for the University of Tokyo!