Hokkaido University Exchange

Language Requirement: 1 year recommended
Academic Standing by Program Start: Junior or Above
Location: Asia, Japan
GPA: 3.0
Program Overview
Application deadline extended to June 15 for Spring Quarter 2023.

Enroll in classes at Hokkaido University, one of the largest and most prestigious universities in Japan. Hokkaido University offers a broad-based educational experience, world-class research facilities, and all the attractions of living in the cosmopolitan city of Sapporo.

With a student body of around 20,000 students, Hokkaido offers abundant opportunities for international students to participate in the many activities available on campus. There are over 250 clubs and societies to choose from, providing numerous opportunities to connect with local Japanese students and other international students. Hokkaido’s campus is considered one of the most beautiful campuses in Japan, and it is centrally located in a city of close to 2 million residents.

Hokkaido is the northernmost region of Japan, and offers many opportunities for students interested in the outdoors. The capital city of the Hokkaido region, Sapporo is known for its amazing food, unique history, natural beauty, and relaxed atmosphere. Sapporo offers a high quality of life with its perfect blend of bustling city life and the natural peace of the great outdoors. Sapporo is also home to the world famous Sapporo Snow Festival, during which international teams compete in the snow sculpture contest, creating giant sculptures out of snow.

Scholarship Opportunity

Scholarships from the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) or the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) may be available. These scholarships provide around $700-1,000 per month and are highly competitive. If funds are available, the scholarship application will typically be part of your secondary application for Hokkaido, which happens after the GEO deadline.

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date  
Fall/Winter Semester 2022-23 01/01/2022 Late September Mid-February  
Academic Year 2022-23 01/01/2022 Late September Mid-August  
Spring Quarter 2023 6/15/2022 Early April Mid-August  
Academic Details

As an exchange student, you will either participate in the Hokkaido University Short-Term Exchange Program, (HUSTEP), or the Japanese Language and Culture Studies Program (JLCSP). HUSTEP is ideal for students wanting to focus on taking content classes in English on a variety of topics or students with minimal or no Japanese language skills, while the JLCSP is ideal for Japanese language and culture majors.

Note: UO credits listed below are estimates and are subject to change. Please refer to the Hokkaido links for the updated credit information on their classes. One credit at Hokkaido is equal to 1.5 UO quarter credits.

Hokkaido University Short-Term Exchange Program (HUSTEP)

Participants in this program choose from a wide variety of classes offered in English in the fields of culture and society, social sciences, environment, science and technology. In your classes, you will be studying alongside local Japanese students as well as other international students. You also have the option to take one or more Japanese language classes with specialized focuses such as kanji and vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, etc. In addition, yearlong students can pursue independent study research under the guidance of a faculty member. During the program, there will be opportunities to take part in numerous traditional and contemporary Japanese cultural activities.

In the HUSTEP program, you will earn:

  • Around 22-25 UO credits per semester. This may include a mix of content classes, which are typically worth 3 UO credits each, and Japanese language classes, which are typically worth 2-3 UO credits each.

For more information about program and courses, visit the HUSTEP website.  

Japanese Language and Culture Studies Program (JLCSP)

In the JLCSP program, you will take Japanese language classes as well as classes taught in English on Japanese culture, linguistics, and society. Yearlong students have the opportunity to participate in an independent study class in which you complete a research paper within your field of study.

For more information about the program, visit the JLCSP website.

Course Equivalencies

UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

Additional requirements

Eligibility Requirements for HUSTEP program:

  • Junior standing or above by the time the program starts
  • No language requirement, but one year of Japanese is recommended to facilitate daily life in Sapporo and navigating a Japanese university
  • Note for non-native English speakers: Hokkaido has a higher TOEFL requirement than UO. Read the complete list of eligibility requirements for HUSTEP.

Eligibility Requirements for JLCSP program:

  • Junior standing or above by the time the program starts
  • Must be a Japanese language and/or culture major
  • By 6 months before the program start date: Must have language proficiency of level N3 or higher on the JLPT test, or equivalent: applicant should know 500 or more kanji and have the ability to understand conversation spoken at a natural speed and read/write simple sentences. Applicants will take an online language placement test during the secondary application for Hokkaido.
  • Must be 18-30 years old during the program – this is a requirement set by Hokkaido University
Application process

Selection for the program is based on a review of your written application, transcripts, recommendations, and completion of the interview process. After the initial application is complete, GEO will review your application and select successful candidates for nomination to Hokkaido University. Students will then need to complete a secondary application for Hokkaido University, which typically consists of a letter of recommendation, certificate of enrollment at UO, official UO transcript, passport copy, etc. The secondary application is typically due in February for the fall term and in October for the spring term of the following year. The final decision regarding acceptance is made by Hokkaido University. Notification about final acceptance will happen in April for fall students, and in December for spring students. 

Housing Description

Residential life is an integral part of the Hokkaido University experience with around half of all international students living on campus. Exchange students live in dormitories that are usually within walking distance of campus. Most rooms are single rooms, and dormitories are either single-sex or unisex. You will be living alongside another international students, or a mix of international students and local Japanese students. Each dormitory has internet access and typically includes a kitchen, lounge, and laundry facilities. Please note that dormitory living in Japan may involve a curfew and cleaning duties.

Visit the Hokkaido University website for more information about housing.

Travel Advisories

GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel. All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure.

To learn more about COVID regulations while studying abroad, visit our FAQ page.