FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions for Exchange Programs

Instructions for current and prospective JYPE, IPLA, COLABS and DEEP students
Updated: August 2, 2023



Exchange Program



How can I participate in the exchange program at Tohoku University?

Students who will be registered as regular students in one of Tohoku University's partner universities during the whole exchange period are eligible. See Exchange Programs and contact your coordinator at your home university for more details.


Language Requirements

Do you accept English certificates other than TOEFL®?

Yes. We accept any internationally recognized English exam including IELTS, TOEIC etc.; your score should be equivalent to TOEFL iBT® 79 or higher. You may use the latest score you have if your score is out of date, and you are not able to take one of the accepted exams by the application deadline.


Note: TOEFL is a registered trademark of Educational Testing Service (ETS). This product is not endorsed or approved by ETS.


Visas and Entering the Country

What are the procedures for obtaining a student visa?

After notification of the final results, successful applicants will be guided to our web application system for the Certificate of Eligibility (CoE), which is required to apply for a visa. Based on the information the student enters, Tohoku University will then apply to the Immigration Bureau for the CoE on their behalf. It takes approximately 2 months to get the certificate. As soon as Tohoku University receives the CoE, it will be sent to the student/partner university. Then the student must apply for the student visa using the CoE at the Japanese embassy/consulate general in their country before departure for Japan.


Note: We do not provide a pickup service. (Access Information)




What is the grading scale at Tohoku University?

Grade Evaluation:

Letter Grade Score
AA 100 - 90
A 89 - 80
B 79 - 70
C 69 - 60
D 59 or below (Fail)

Note: One Tohoku University credit is awarded for 45 hours of schoolwork.


Course Information / Registration

Where can I find the course information (title/syllabus etc.) during my exchange period?

You may refer to the current/previous course information/syllabus as the updated versions are available right before the semester begins.




The course registration period is the first 2 weeks of the semester.

More detailed instructions will be provided during the program orientation.


Completion Requirements

How many credits do I need to complete the program?

Program Completion Requirement / Term
JYPE 13 TU* Credits
DEEP 13 TU* Credits
COLABS 30 ECTS Equivalent
IPLA 15 TU* Credits

*TU = Tohoku University

Campus Life


Financing and Banking

Are there any scholarships available other than the JASSO scholarship for exchange students?

Unfortunately there are no other scholarships available for these exchange programs.


Health and Insurance

I am already enrolled in health insurance in my country. Do I have to subscribe to National Health Insurance in Japan, too?

All international students staying in Japan more than 3 months are required to enroll in National Health Insurance in Japan. This insurance will cover 70% of medical costs at clinics or hospitals. The fee is approximately JPY 20,000 per year.


What other types of insurance do I need at Tohoku University besides the health insurance?

In principle, students are required to have 2 types of student insurance:

Personal Accident Insurance for Students Pursuing Education and Research ("GAKKENSAI") and Comprehensive Insurance for Students Lives Coupled with "GAKKENSAI" for International Students ("Inbound futai-gakuso").

Without them, students will not be able to participate in some of their practical training courses.


Are there any healthcare and counselling services available at Tohoku University?

The Center for Counseling and Disability Services (CCDS)

The Center for Counseling and Disability Services offers services to students in English free of charge if they experience difficulties and/or anxiety during the exchange period. The details of each student’s problems will be kept strictly confidential.


You may contact the center directly for more details even before your program starts.

> Counseling Office

> Disability Services Office


The Student Health Care Center (SHCC)

The Student Health Care Center conducts activities to maintain student health and promote healthy lifestyles while offering a variety of consultations and services concerning health.

In addition to the main office on Kawauchi-Kita Campus, the Student Health Care Center has branch health care offices on the Katahira, Seiryo (Medical/Dental School), and Aobayama (Engineering and Agriculture) campuses, that provide health consultations and medical services.


University Dormitory

When do I need to move in/out of the dormitory room?

Exchange students are required to live in the university dormitories:

(1) Move-in must be performed on the designated date.

(approx. 1 week prior to the new semester on a weekday between 9:00 - 16:00)

(2) Move-out procedure must be completed right after the program ends.

(around the middle of Feb. for Fall Semester /Aug. for Spring Semester)

The exact dorm-residence period can be found on the Residence Permit letter given upon arrival.


Emergency/Disaster Management

What disaster management activities does Tohoku University conduct?

Tohoku University founded the Disaster Management Promotion Office to utilize the lessons of the Great East Japan Earthquake and take all possible safety measures for future disasters.

Using the Earthquake Early Warning System, warnings are issued before earthquakes to notify people to take precautions.

The university also has a Safety Confirmation system (English/日本語) to confirm the safety of all students and staff in case of an emergency.


What is the radiation level in Sendai?

Tohoku University measures radiation levels regularly.

Also, refer to Japan Travel Updates after the 3.11 Earthquake.


What are your precautions against missile strikes from neighboring countries?

We have implemented university-wide precautions in the event of a missile strike.

Certificate / Transcript


Transcript Distribution Schedule

Where and when will I obtain my transcript?

An official transcript and other certificates will be sent by email directly to the student’s home university (coordinator) and the student approximately 2 months after the program ends.


Semester Issuance Schedule
Fall April
Spring October


Requesting Certificate / Transcript

I was a former exchange student. I need my transcript(s) to apply for a new school/company. What should I do?

Complete our Certificate Request Form.

The Incoming Student Exchange Section will be in touch with you shortly after your online registration is confirmed.


Letter of Acceptance

I need an official confirmation letter stating that I have been accepted to Tohoku University as an exchange student to apply for a scholarship in my home country. What should I do?

We will enclose a Letter of Acceptance (LoA) with the following information: period of study / assigned school / academic advisor.

We will mail the letter with the original hard copy of the Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) by post.

Or you may send us a request form if you need a digital version in advance.


Other Documents

Who should I contact to have my documents signed by Tohoku University?

(i.e. Learning Agreement, Scholarship Application, Confirmation of Stay etc.)

Submit your form via the Certificate Request Form.

The Incoming Student Exchange Section will be in touch with you shortly after your online registration is confirmed.