Osaka University Exchange

Language Requirement: Varies
Academic Standing by Program Start: Junior or above
Location: Asia, Japan
GPA: 3.0
Program Overview

In this program, you will directly enroll in classes at Osaka University, one of Japan’s leading national universities. Choose from one of four different exchange program emphases to craft the experience that best meets your needs. As an exchange student, you may have the option to take classes in English or in Japanese, as long as you meet Osaka University’s language proficiency requirements.

Osaka University has 22,000 students and three campuses in northern Osaka: Suita, Toyonaka, and Minoh, all of which are just outside the city center. The university provides a free shuttle bus service to help you move between the different campuses for classes or extracurricular activities. In addition, OU offers a wide range of academics, including 11 schools, 16 graduate schools, and many research centers.

As one of Japan’s largest cities, Osaka is both an economic and cultural hub in Japan. It’s located in the middle of the Kansai region, and fast and efficient public transportation can help you explore other parts of the region. Osaka is well-known for restaurants, shopping districts, and live entertainment, making it a popular destination for study abroad students. The Economist ranked Osaka third in the world in their Safe Cities Index and fourth in the Global Liveability Index in 2019.

Scholarship Opportunities:
JASSO scholarships may be available through the Japanese government, and Osaka University may offer a Financial Aid for Student Exchange Programs scholarship for incoming exchange students. If these are available, you will include your intent to apply for these scholarships in your secondary application for Osaka University.

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date
Fall/Winter Semester 2024-25 12/15/2023 Mid-September Early February
Spring Quarter 2025 6/15/2024 Early April Mid-August
Academic Year 2024-25 12/15/2023 Mid-September Mid-August
Japanese Academic Year 2025-26 6/15/2024 Early April Early February

Discount for Pell Recipients

To expand access to study abroad, GEO is offering a $400 discount for this program (Summer 2024 and beyond) to UO students who currently have the Pell Grant as part of their federal financial aid (FAFSA).

Academic Details

As an exchange student, you will choose one of the following exchange programs offered by Osaka University. Osaka University will accept exchange students in any field of study. However, some programs require Japanese language proficiency in order to take courses taught in Japanese. These requirements vary depending on the school at Osaka University and the specific exchange program, visit the specific program’s webpage for more information.

Class Standing/Enrollment Requirements: Students must be enrolled at the UO for at least once year (6 months for graduate students) at the time of application to Osaka University. This would be by March for Fall/Winter programs, and September for Spring programs.

Osaka University Short-term Student Exchange Program (OUSSEP): The OUSSEP program is primarily designed for students in their third year. You will take special academic lectures taught in English, which are referred to as International Exchange Subjects. Japanese students are also encouraged to enroll in these lectures, so as an OUSSEP student, you would be well-positioned to build relationships with local students.

Immersion Exchange Program Osaka (iExPO): The iExPO program allows students to enroll in regular classes taught in Japanese within one of the schools at Osaka University, which makes it an excellent choice if you are seeking to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and use your language skills to take content courses. This program requires a high level of Japanese language proficiency, with a Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) level of N1 or N2 required depending on the school at OU.

FrontierLab@OsakaU: The FrontierLab@OsakaU program is designed to place exchange students in laboratories in the Science, Engineering Science, Engineering, or Information Science and Technology schools at Osaka University. In addition to gaining valuable international research experience, you can also enroll in International Exchange Subjects (taught in English) and take Japanese language courses. There is both an English-based track and a Japanese-based track.

FrontierLab Prerequisites: Undergraduate students are required to have completed at least two years of study before participating in the program. Both undergraduate and graduate students in science, engineering and other relevant fields are required to have completed science and/or engineering foundation courses.

The Maple Program: The Maple Program was designed by Osaka University’s Center for Japanese Language and Culture, and it is an ideal choice if your goal is to increase your Japanese language proficiency and learn about Japanese culture and society. This program is only available for the full academic year and starts in September annually. The Maple Program is open to students with a low intermediate level in Japanese and up – applicants need to have a Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) level of N4 or equivalent. The program requires you to be in at least your third year of study.

A significant number of classes are offered in English at Osaka University. However, there are various enrollment restrictions that are managed by the department listed in the "Course Affiliation" section of each course. Osaka University requests that international exchange students look into enrolling in classes with restrictions after arriving in Japan.

The minimum credit load in the OUSSEP, iExPO, and FrontierLab@OsakaU program is 14 semester credits hours per semester. Students in the Maple program are expected to enroll in at least 30 credits over the academic year.

Students should work closely with their UO academic advisor before selecting courses at Osaka University. Each 1 credit at Osaka University = 1.5 UO quarter credits.

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

Some of the exchange programs require Japanese language proficiency—please see Academic Details for more information about language requirements for each program.

Note for transfer students: Students must be enrolled at the UO for at least once year (6 months for graduate students) at the time of application to Osaka University directly. This would be by March for Fall/Winter programs, and September for Spring programs.

Application process

The application process for this program is competitiveGEO staff will review your application materials, and a decision about your enrollment will not be made until after the application deadline. In some cases, an interview is required. If your program requires an interview, you will be contacted with further details about this process after the application deadline. Early applications are encouraged.

Successful applicants will receive an exchange nomination from GEO. Selection will be based on a holistic review of your application. This includes a review of your GPA, transcripts (including courses taken and in-progress), any additional requirements or prerequisites (see section "Additional Requirements"), and written statements. 

Applying for an exchange program involves 2 steps. If you receive a nomination from GEO, you will also need to complete the host university's application, which is administered and reviewed by your host university directly. Instructions will be provided after acceptance by GEO. The host university makes the final decision regarding acceptance into the program.

Housing Description

As an exchange student, you can apply for university housing through an online application before you enroll in classes. OU offers both on-campus and off-campus accommodation, and you would be placed in a single room with shared bathroom, laundry, and kitchen facilities. OU accommodation does not offer meal plans, but you can cook in shared kitchens.

University accommodation is not guaranteed, but the university can help you find private accommodation if university housing is not available. Exchange students generally live in OU dormitories, apartments, or shared flats.