Study Abroad FAQ

Study Abroad FAQ

Q What is the difference between Exchange Program and Study Abroad Program?

Exchange Program is a program under which students from ICU study at a foreign university and students from foreign universities study at ICU based on agreements ICU has concluded with various foreign universities. Students taking part in this exchange program remain enrolled at ICU while they study at the partner universities for one year (three ICU terms). On the other hand, Study Abroad is a program that enables students to study abroad, at universities in countries and regions where ICU does not have individual agreements, under a curriculum implemented by non-profit educational institutions headquartered in the U.S. in collaboration with universities and institutions of higher education around the world.

Currently, ICU students can participate in 16 programs in 14 countries through the Study Abroad Programs of Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and Institute for the International Education of Students (IES). Similar to the Exchange Program, credits earned in the Study Abroad Program can be recognized as ICU credits upon assessment after the student returns, and therefore it is possible to study abroad and still graduate in four years. It, however, differs from the Exchange Program in the sense that the student bears the participation fee of CIEE / IES, while being exempted from the tuition and facilities fees of ICU.

Q Is it possible to study abroad at universities with which ICU does not have agreements?

Yes. ICU, in fact, offers diverse opportunities for overseas studies at universities other than those with which it has agreements. In addition to the Study Abroad Program explained earlier, it is also possible to study abroad through the Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia(ACUCA)*1and Middlebury C.V. Starr*2. Also, using the "study abroad on a Private Basis" system, a student can study at a university/country of his/her choice for one year as long as the destination is approved by ICU in advance. Credits earned at such institutions, a maximum of 40 credits, are recognized, similar to International Exchange Program, as part of the credit unit requirements for graduation from ICU upon assessment after the student returns. All the expenses for the overseas study are borne by the student, who should also pay Non-Resident Fee (30,000 yen per term) to ICU.

*1 Studying abroad through Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia (ACUCA) - 15 universities in 5 countries.

Established for mutual cooperation of Christian higher education institutions in Asia, the Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia (ACUCA) counts more than 50 universities and colleges as its members in the eight countries and regions of India, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan. Among the ACUCA member institutions, ICU students are entitled to study at 15 universities in five countries for one term in spring or autumn through the Student Mobility Scheme.

*2 Middlebury C.V. Starr - 2 universities in 2 countries.

This program enables students to study based at University of Oxford (United Kingdom) or University of Delhi (India) through agreement with Middlebury College which has emerged as one of a handful of the most highly regarded liberal arts colleges. ICU students deepen their knowledge of their fields of specialization in the United Kingdom or India, with students from universities in the United States such as Middlebury College students.

Q What kind of preparations should I do for studying abroad?

Why do you want to study abroad? What do you want to achieve by studying abroad? It is very important that you have a clear goal for studying abroad and find a program that suits your purpose. Research well the options available for studying abroad and think carefully of your goal and target for overseas study. Most of the study abroad programs require strict review of your academic performance at ICU and language skills (TOEFL and IELTS test scores) in the screening process. For this reason, you are encouraged to enhance your English skills required at the university through English for Liberal Arts (ELA) program at ICU, interactions with foreign students on campus and taking English courses offered by ICU. At overseas universities, you will receive numerous questions regarding Japan from the perspectives of Japanese culture, society, politics and economy as a representative of Japan. It is equally important to deepen your knowledge of Japan when preparing for studying abroad.

Q How does studying abroad affect job prospects?

The experience of studying abroad during university days has various positive impacts on a student's future career prospects including job hunting activities. During your overseas studies, it is important that you focus on the goal which you set forth before leaving Japan, take part in activities offered only at the university abroad and interact with other students and faculty to enhance your daily campus life. While doing so, you may collect the latest information regarding the job market when you find enough time. If you wish to seek job opportunities in Japan, you may swiftly come back to Japan once the overseas study program ends.