2. Study at NU
  3. Non-Degree Programs (Exchange Student Program)
Study at NU

Non-Degree Programs (Exchange Student Program)

Inbound Student Exchange Programs at Niigata University

Based on inter-university agreements or inter-department agreements with its partners, Niigata University hosts their students for up to two semesters as exchange students.

The point of contact for most exchange programs based on inter-university agreements is our International Office. In case where a faculty or graduate school is responsible for student exchange based on an inter-university agreement, the liaison for inter-university partners will be the faculty or graduate school that hosts their exchange students.

For student exchange based on inter-department agreements, each department (faculty or graduate school) is responsible for the admission of exchange students and will be the liaison for their respective inter-department partners. Inquiries and application for student exchange based on an inter-department agreement should be made to the relevant faculty or graduate school.

Important Information for All Exchange Students

Academic Calendar

Niigata University has 2 semesters: First (Spring) and Second (Fall). Each semester is divided into two terms.

■ First Semester (Spring: April - August)
 First Term: Early April to early June     
    Second Term: Mid-June to mid-August

■ Second Semester (Fall: October - February)
 Third Term: Early October to late November
    Fourth Term: Early December to mid-February

■Academic Calendar  English/ Japanese (Academic Year 2022)

Course Offerings

Japanese language-learning/global communication subjects and those taught in English.
   Course offerings for the second semester of AY2022   (Updated July 27, 2022)
   Course offerings for the first semester of AY2022  (Revised April 5, 2022)
    For other courses please search for syllabus.

Program for Exchange Students at International Education Center, Niigata University

The Program for Exchange Students at International Education Center, NU is an inbound program that welcomes exchange students mainly from our inter-university partners and is managed by International Office. The Program aims to provide exchange students opportunities to deepen understanding and enhance knowledge about Japan, and to strengthen collaborative ties with our partners.

For coordinators in charge of student exchange:
If your liaison for student exchange is not International Education Center (International Office),  please inquire your liaison regarding their inbound programs which are managed independently by a faculty or a graduate school. If your contact is International Education Center (International Office), please have your prospective exchange students prepare required application documents, and have them apply by following instructions in the "Application Requirements" below.

Program for Spring Semester of 2023 (Starting April 2023)  NEW  (posted on Oct. 18, 2022)
 Application Submission Period:  From November 1 to November 11, 2022
 Please read the application requirements carefully before application.

  • Application Requirements English     Japanese
  • Application Form   Word  *required only if applying through the application website did not succeed.
  • Sheet1 Japanese/English   *regarding application by graduate students.  (Oct.19,2022: the due date corrected in the Japanese section)
  • Basic Information Sheet for Graduate Students who wish to apply to a graduate school as an exchange student  WORD
  • Sheet2 English/Japanese *regarding the Special Online Program for Japanese Language Learners in Spring 2023
  • Certificate of Health PDF
  • Certificate of Eligibility Application Form Excel     Sample   Excel *Updated on Oct.31, 2022
  • Financial Support Statement PDF
  • Letter of Recommendation (Form 1) Excel
    *A responsible person of the university must submit only one Letter of Recommendation, listing all of the applicants.

Nomination / Application Due Date

Application guideline and forms are published biannually and are posted on this page.

First (Spring) Semester of 2023 (starting April of 2023):
Due date: November 11, 2022

Second (Fall) Semester of 2023 (starting October of 2023):
Due date: TBA, normally early May of the same year

Eligibility for Application

There is no requirement for GPA, but applicants must have a good academic standing of at least 2.30 points by NU's designated  calculation formula.
Eligibility requirements are subject to change. Coordinators and applicants should check details in the latest application guideline applicable to their planned study period.

Language Proficiency Requirements

There is no minimum requirement set for language examinations of English or Japanese to apply for the program. However, if applicants intend to take general subjects taught in Japanese, they must have advanced Japanese proficiency (equivalent of N1 or N2 in Japanese Language Proficiency Test will be needed for successful completion).  All applicants should be able to, and are expected to, communicate smoothly in either English or Japanese. If students have scores or certificates, copies of such documents will be accepted as part of application.
Language requirements are subject to change. Coordinators and applicants should check details in the latest application guideline applicable to their planned study period.

Grading / Academic Transcript / Credit Transfer

◆ Grading
Grading will normally use: S(90~100), A(80~89), B (70~79), C(60~69), D(59 and below)

◆ Number of Credits
NU confers 2 credits for each subject (90 min x 15 times, a total of 1,350 min.) and 1 credit for each foreign language-learning subject of the same length (1,350 min.) including Japanese language subjects. Please check syllabus for the number of credit that each subject offers.

◆ Academic Results and Credit Transfer
An official academic transcript will be issued upon completion. Transcript will include course/subject names, results, and the number of credits earned. Subjects which students did not pass will not show on their transcript.
Based on the transcript issued by NU, students’ home university will determine whether to accept transfer of the credits. Students are strongly advised to consult their home university regarding credit transfer before applying to NU.

Transcript will be issued in Japanese and English after the completion of their study period in either at the end of September or March, and will be sent to a coordinator at their home university by post (normally EMS).

Minimum number of subjects required

<Compulsory subjects>
There are no compulsory subjects for students participating in the Program for Exchange Students at International Education Center.

<Maximum number of subjects>
Based on careful planning, exchange students may apply to take as many subjects as they wish as long as it is academically reasonable.

<Minimum hours of attendance required by Japanese law>
Exchange students at NU will have a student visa as an Auditing Student in Japan.
Their status at NU will be “Special Auditing Student.”
By Japanese law, exchange students on a student visa, who will mostly audit classes must have over 10 hours (600 minutes) of taught class sessions per week. Since each class session of Niigata University is 90-minutes long, international students must register enough subjects to have at least 7 class sessions per week.

Advice for Academic Planning

If applicants do not intend to take Japanese language-learning/ cross-cultural understanding subjects, nor to take general subjects taught in Japanese which require advanced Japanese proficiency, they should plan even more carefully because the number of subjects taught in English or other foreign languages at NU is presently limited. Students are strongly advised to consult their home university regarding credit transfer before applying to NU.

For careful planning in advance, applicants should ask the following questions to themselves.
1. Does NU have subjects which I should learn, and which I am eligible to take?
2. Will I have a sufficient number of subjects which fulfills the requirement by Japanese law: more than 10 hours (7 sessions) per week?
3. Will I have a sufficient number of subjects necessary to earn credits I need?
4. Does my home university accept these credits?


Syllabi can be found at the following website.
 English: https://www.niigata-u.ac.jp/en/study/syllabus/
 Japanese: http://syllabus.niigata-u.ac.jp/
 Search Guide: https://www.niigata-u.ac.jp/en/study/syllabus/

Subjects Offering / Registration

Exchange students will apply to take subjects using Student Web System, a portal website for academic affairs, before the beginning of each semester. They will be enrolled in subjects after they are permitted by a lecturer in charge of each subject. As a principle, exchange students will not be permitted to take subjects with prerequisites or restrictions. Undergraduate students are not able to take subjects offered by Graduate Schools.

Exchange students may select subjects in the areas (1) to (3) shown below.

(1) Japanese Language-learning/ cross-cultural understanding subjects
Japanese language-learning subjects are offered from pre-intermediate/intermediate to advanced level. Information for Japanese language-learning subjects are posted at the following website.
 English: https://www.niigata-u.ac.jp/en/study/japanese-language/
 Japanese: https://www.niigata-u.ac.jp/international/study-japan/japanese-learning/

(2) Subjects taught in foreign language (English or Chinese)
As shown in the list of subject on the following website, NU offers subjects taught in non-Japanese languages. The number is presently limited.
Course offerings for the second semester of AY2022   (Updated July 27, 2022)
Course offerings for the first semester of AY2022  (Revised April 5, 2022)

(3) Subjects offered for degree-seeking students
These subjects are offered by each faculty or graduate school for NU’s degree-seeking students and are taught mostly in Japanese. Advanced proficiency level (equivalent of N1 or N2 in Japanese Language Proficiency Test) will be needed for successful completion of these subjects. Exchange students who meet requirements of each subject may apply and take them with permission by a lecturer in charge. Students should check requirements and details of each subject by syllabus.

Tuition and Fees

Exchange students are waived of tuition and examination fees based on an applicable student exchange agreement between NU and its partner institution. Applicants are advised to inquire a coordinator at home university for further information.
At NU, exchange students fall into the categories in the table shown below. Participants to the Program for Exchange Students at International Education Center will be given the status of “Special Auditing Student.”

Status at Home University Purpose of Study Status at NU Admission fees Examination fees Tuition (Free for fee-exempt students)


Lecture auditing (credits offered)

"Special Auditing Student"



per credit


Lecture auditing (credits offered)

Postgraduate "Special Auditing Student"



per credit

Research (Students are able to attend lectures with a permission of the lecturer; credits offered)

Postgraduate "Special Research Student"



per month

<Information for tuition-paying students>
- Special Auditing Students will receive an invoice at the start of each semester (April and October) for the tuition(14,800 yen per credit). Please bring the invoice to a bank to make a payment by the end of the month.
- Special Research Students will receive an invoice every 3 months for the tuition for the respective period of 3 months (April to June, July to September, etc.) Monthly tuition is 29,700 yen. Please bring the invoice to a bank to make a payment by the end of the month.


After Certificate of Eligibility for Resident Status has been issued by the Immigration Services Agency of Japan for participants, NU will send to their coordinators Notification of Admission, Certificate of Eligibility, and other documents required under current border enforcement measures by the Japanese government.
Participants should prepare Notification of Admission, Certificate of Eligibility for Resident Status, and passport, along with any other necessary documents*, and apply for a visa at a Japanese diplomatic mission (embassy or consulate) in their own country. Contact the diplomatic mission in advance and ask what documents must be submitted.
*Additional documents may be required by present border enforcement measures.

Read the following webpage for further information, and follow instruction by NU.
 (English): https://www.niigata-u.ac.jp/en/study/life/visa/
 (Japanese) : https://www.niigata-u.ac.jp/international/study-japan/life/visa/

Student Life – Insurance, Housing, Living expenses, etc.

Insurance and fees

Information for mandatory or optional insurance plans is posted at the following page.

Housing / Accommodation

NU has two campuses Ikarashi and Asahimachi. Note that exchange students who will be enrolled in the International Education Center will study at Ikarashi campus and will live in an apartment room off-campus.

Exchange students should apply for a room (single room) near Ikarashi campus before arriving in Japan by using the service provided by Niigata University Cooperative Association. Detailed application procedure will be announced after exchange students are accepted by NU.

“Co-op Leased Apartments supported by NU” provides a reasonable service to international students. Rooms are already furnished with furniture and home appliances necessary for starting a new life including free wi-fi, bed, desk, chair, kitchenette with stove, refrigerator, washing machine, microwave, air-conditioner, and curtains. The service also allows students to sign a contract without having a joint guarantor, which is normally required when renting an apartment room in Japan.

Students may rent a room at a reduced cost because NU pays the part of the initial cost: deposit and brokerage fee. Students will be responsible for paying initial fees, monthly rent, and utility fees (electricity/gas/water). Room rent will vary depending on the apartment room that students select, but in general, average costs for a room near Ikarashi campus are as follows:
  Monthly rent: 25,000 yen – 45,000 yen
  Initial fees: 23,500 yen
  *Initial fees include household property insurance 8,500 yen per year; rent guarantee commission fee 10,000 per year; Co-op membership fee 5,000 yen (Co-op membership fee will be returned when completing the study at NU).

Website for housing for international students:
 English: https://www.niigata-u.ac.jp/en/study/life/housing/
 Japanese: https://www.niigata-u.ac.jp/international/study-japan/life/residence/

◆ Bedding Items
Each room of “Co-op Leased Apartments supported by NU” has a bed, but it does not come with bedding items. Students should apply for a set of rental bedding items at the same time they apply for a room. The set includes a comforter, futon mattress, a pillow, sheet, comforter case, and pillow case for the total price of 13,000 yen (to be paid in cash upon your arrival). The renting fee is subject to change.

Part-time job

As a principle, exchange students must have sufficient financial support for the entire study period at the time of applying and submit verification thereof as part of application. Exchange students should always prioritize their academic goals with their time in Japan being limited. Having a part-time job, which would be an additional responsibility to be taken seriously, may interfere with concentration in studies.

Some part-time jobs may accompany risks and danger which students may not be aware of at first hand. In order to protect international students from being involved in unwanted incidents or troubles, NU requires international students to meet with the director of the International Education Center and go over job responsibilities and working conditions before being employed. International students should be aware that there are jobs that are allowed to Japanese citizens but no to non-Japanese nationals, and of the possible risk of being charged as a result of being engaged in such a job, which may then lead to deportation and prohibition to stay in Japan in the future.

Details of Living Expenses

◆ Opening a bank account in Japan/ How much money to bring
International students whose study period is 6 months or longer will be eligible to open a bank account in Japan. Students whose study period is shorter than 6 months are not eligible.
Exchange students should prepare a sufficient amount of money to support themselves while living in Japan along with other means of payment or cash withdrawal such as credit cards. Regardless of their eligibility to open a bank in Japan, it is desirable to be prepared to pay in cash 150,000 to 200,000 yen for living expenses for the first month and on. Students also should check in advance credit cards they plan to bring with them are usable in Japan.

◆ Immediate expenses after arriving
Moving into an co-op apartment: 23,500 yen (Ikarashi Campus)
Rent for the first month varies by room: 25,000 yen – 45,000 yen
Rental Futon Set: 13,000 yen
Mandatory insurance for university students: 1,340 yen
Other various expenses including textbooks, kitchen supplies, etc.

◆ Monthly expenses for living
Apartment rent varies by room: 25,000 yen – 45,000 yen
Utility fees (electricity/gas/water): Approx. 15,000 yen
National Health Insurance: Approx. 2,000 yen
Food: Approx. 25,000 yen if students cook themselves; 500-600 yen per meal when using a student cafeteria
Cost for other various necessities for living (such as SIM card/smartphone if necessary)

◆ Transportation to Niigata University’s Ikarashi Campus
Presently no pick-up service is available. Students will need to travel on their own to get to NU.
From Narita Airport to Niigata Station (JR): 13,370 yen
From Niigata Station to Niigata University (JR): 240 yen (6,000 yen if taxi is used.)

◆ Additional cost would be incurred for those who are obligated to self-quarantine.
Details of entry procedures will be announced after exchange students are accepted by NU. As new entrants, all exchange students must follow their host institution (NU)’s instruction regarding entry procedures and comply with applicable measures enforced by the Japanese government.
New entrants from designated countries or regions* are required to self-quarantine after entry. New entrants without a vaccination certificate valid in Japan are also obligated to self-quarantine. The length of self-quarantining as well as expenses incurred by self-quarantining will vary by country/region students are arriving from, and by whether students have a vaccination certificate that is valid in Japan.
*Note that border enforcement measures, including designated countries/regions, are subject to change.


Pick-up Service

Present post-arrival quarantine measures of the Japanese government hinder NU to schedule free pick-up service on specific dates to meet the needs of individual students who may arrive in Niigata on various dates. Students should be prepared to come to NU on their own at their own expense. If any assistance becomes possible, NU will inform in advance to prospective students.

Orientation Program

Post-arrival Orientation Program normally takes place during the week before classes start each semester. Exchange students are strongly encouraged to participate in the orientation program. As a preventive measure for COVID-19 infection, however, the orientation program may be conducted via online partly or entirely under the university’s activity restriction guidelines.

Website for Orientation for International Students: https://www.niigata-u.ac.jp/en/study/orientation/

NU's students will help international students moving in to their rooms and with address registration at the city hall.

Information regarding COVID-19

NU’s responses and measures regarding COVID-19 on the following webpage.

Students should note that their arrival plan would be influenced by boarder enforcement measures by the Japanese government, which are subject to change at any time. As of October 2022, the Japanese government permits entry by exchange students whose host institution has pledged to comply with border enforcement/ infection prevention measures as well as to make maximum efforts to ensure the compliance by its incoming international students. Exchange students must follow NU’s instruction very carefully so they will be able to enter Japan smoothly.

Contact for Inquiries regarding information on this page:

Niigata University International Office
8050 Ni-no-cho Ikarashi, Nishi-ku, Niigata-shi 950-2181, Japan
Tel: +81-25-262-7627 / Fax: +81-25-262-7519
E-mail: intl@adm.niigata-u.ac.jp