Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) is a private university located in Beppu City, Oita Prefecture, on the southern island of Kyushu. A mid-sized city, Beppu has a great mix of urban and natural areas, and has lower living costs as compared to cities like Tokyo or Osaka.

An interesting point about Beppu is its famed hotspring (onsens). Soaking in these onsens – a special aspect of life in Japan – are a welcome relaxation from studying, and as a student at APU, one would have easy access to and a great variety of hot springs to choose from!

Example of a hot spring in Beppu City. “Beppu sightseeing” by Fredrik Rubensson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A key feature of APU is its international and multicultural environment – with almost equal ratio of Japanese to international students. Similarly, the faculty ratio of domestic to international hires are almost equal.

Such diversity on APU’s campus means a truly vibrant and interesting student life. APU hosts a variety of events on campus throughout the year that encourages its community to share in different cultures and experiences. For example, the “Multicultural Weeks” event, which takes place many times throughout a semester, is dedicated to celebrating the languages and cultures of different countries or regions. Another such event is the Tenkusai Campus Festival (the largest on campus) – a two-day celebration in which students sell international cuisine, and organize cultural performances and other activities. The event is so large that even the local community in Beppu is involved.

APU also offers international students housing in student dormitories, in which international students can interact with domestic students. Some of the student dormitories have almost equal ratios of domestic to international students, which help to foster cross-cultural exchanges in more casual and day-to-day settings. Furthermore, all international students in their first year are guaranteed on-campus housing, which will greatly help international students acclimatize to a new life in Japan. The on-campus housing, known as the AP House, also features on-site support faculty, staff members and Resident Assistants (RAs) to help international student settle in.

International students craving food from their home countries need not worry too much, as local supermarkets in Beppu city and online vendors provide options for such students to obtain ingredients to cook their favorite dishes. Moreover, in addition to APU’s cafeteria, which offers both Japanese and international food, food trucks also park themselves on APU’s campus to sell a variety of international and Japanese foods such as kebab sandwiches or Korean chicken.

By JKT-c (Taken by JKT-c.) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. From: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ritsumeikan_Asia_Pacific_University_-_02.jpg
APU’s campus features thirteen major buildings across its campus, including important supportive institutions such as the Student Office, Health Clinic, Student Unions, Gymnasium, and other sports facilities such as tennis courts and multipurpose sport fields.

Prospective students looking to visit APU’s campus can do so in a few ways. For example, they can do a self-guided tour, or they can also book an exchange meeting with APU students, in which they can talk with current students about APU.

Featured Image is Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific Campus, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.(Beppu City, Oita Prefecture, Japan) By JKT-c (Taken by JKT-c.) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons Retrieved: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ritsumeikan_Asia_Pacific_University_-_01.jpg