Preparing to Arrive – Fall 2024

This page explains instructions for exchange students in JYPE, IPLA, DEEP, and COLABS for the period between their acceptance and departure to Japan.
(Last updated: April 26, 2024)

Welcome to Tohoku University!


We are delighted that you have chosen to study with us. This page highlights the things you must do before leaving for Japan. Please follow the instructions below and submit the necessary applications by the deadlines. Make sure to check this page regularly and prepare the following accordingly. We look forward to welcoming you to Tohoku University!




The Student Exchange Division will be closed for the summer holidays starting August 9 until August 16. We will not be able to respond to emails during this time. We will be back on August 19.

COEs are usually issued in early or mid-September. They are often issued very last minute. It is up to the Immigration Office to determine when they are issued, and the university has no control over the process. Please note that the university cannot tell you when your COE will be issued.

1: Apply for COE

A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is required to obtain a student visa before coming to Japan. Tohoku University will apply for your COE on your behalf at the Sendai Regional Immigration Bureau. Please read the following materials 1 through 3 first, then submit your COE application through the COE Web Application System by the following deadline. Note that entering Japan with a tourist visa is not allowed. This COE application does not necessarily mean that you have been accepted into Tohoku University's exchange program.

This is done in advance to facilitate the COE application process after the announcement of acceptance. If finally you are not accepted from Tohoku University, your COE application will be withdrawn.


1. Application for COE

2.Photo Specification

3. Frequently Asked Questions


COE Web Application System

Deadline: May 13, 2024 for the Fall 2024 new exchange students in IPLA, COLABS, JYPE and DEEP.



Below is a video recording of the COE Information Seminar held for the Spring 2023 semester, which explains the COE application process in detail. Unfortunately, there will be no information seminar for the Fall 2024 Semester, but please watch the video for your reference if needed. Note that the dates and some pages mentioned in the video may not apply for Fall 2024.


Reference: COE Information Session for Spring 2023


Q&A on the COE application procedure



Applying For Student Visa

Sendai Immigration Bureau will send your COE electronically by email once it is issued. As soon as you receive the COE, apply for a student visa at your nearest Japanese embassy/consulate general. It may take longer to issue the COE in some cases, however, we ask for your patience as Tohoku University has no control over the process.


When preparing visa application forms, you need to write the information regarding "Guarantor or reference in Japan" on the second sheet of the Visa Application Form. If you have an acquaintance in Japan, you can write the information. If not, please write the following information. Note that the page is password protected; the password will be sent via email.


Information for VISA Application Form


The earliest date you can enter Japan is determined as follows. You may not enter Japan before the specified date. Tohoku University is responsible for your well-being in Japan as your visa sponsor.


Spring Enrollment Fall Enrollment
Estimated COE Issuance* Early March Early September
Visa Processing Days Approx. 5 working days or more
Entry in Japan After March 18 After September 17

*COE issuance schedules are subject to change.


For inquiries about COE and Visa, please contact the International Support Center via the contact form here.

2: Apply for Dormitory 

All exchange students (JYPE/IPLA/COLABS/DEEP) must live in the university dormitories. Here is how to apply: first, please read and understand the following four documents below. Carefully consider which dormitories you wish to apply for and decide your top four preferences. Then submit the Dormitory Application Form by the deadline, July 16, 2024. Dormitory allocation and check-in procedures will be announced in early September. 


1. Application Guide (TBA)

2. Dorm List (TBA)

3. Access Map

4. Important Note



Dormitory Application Form

The application Guide, the dorm list and the form will be updated until Mid June.  

Deadline: July 16, 2024 for the Fall 2024 New Exchange Students.



Tips on Choosing the Right Dormitories For You

It is not recommended to apply for the University House Aobayama for those who are tight on budget; it is the newest dormitory and is very nice, but the total dorm fees will be the most expensive of all dorms at about 40,000 yen monthly. For those who cannot afford it, it is recommended to apply for the International House or the University House Sanjo.

● The subway, the city bus, and the free campus bus are available to commute to the campuses.

City Bus/Subway Passes are available for students at a discounted price.

● Consider which campus you will spend the most time on. UH Aobayama is a good choice if your lab is located on Aobayama Campus.

● Visit the Finding Accommodation page to learn more. (University House / International House)



List of Dormitories Exchange Students Are Allowed To Apply For

Aobayama area:

University House Aobayama

Sanjo area:

University House Sanjo (A/B)

University House Sanjo II

University House Sanjo III

International House Sanjo 1

International House Sanjo 2



Applying for Bedding - Optional -

A bedding rental service is available for the following dormitories as they are not equipped with bedding. See the application form for details. If you wish to apply, please download the application form for your allocated dormitory below and fill it out. Email it to a respective contact 5 days prior to your move-in date. Applications can be accepted starting September 1, 2024. Your email subject should include bedding rental, your dormitory, and your room number. (e.g.) "Bedding rental: University House Sanjo II A100"


Click to download the application forms in Word file:

3: Japanese Language Programs at Kawauchi (JLPK) - Required for JYPE, IPLA, and COLABS -

All new students participating in JYPE, IPLA, and COLABS are asked to submit this JLPK Form by the deadline. This form is to collect the necessary information to register you for the Japanese Language Program Registration System.


JLPK Form 

Deadline: July 16, 2024, for the JYPE, IPLA, and COLABS Students


- Double Degree or DEEP students do not need to submit this form.
- You will NOT be able to take any JLPK courses if you miss the deadline for submission.
- Late submission is NOT accepted.
- Only the most recent data you submitted will be accepted if you submit the form more than once during the registration period.

4: Academic Accommodations - Optional -

You may request academic accommodations due to your physical and/or mental health difficulties before the semester begins if you need support during your stay.


Academic Accommodations Request Form 

Deadline: October 1, 2024

5: Photo Release Agreement

We, the Student Exchange Division, might take photos, screenshots, and some videos of you in our events, which may be used for publicity on our websites or leaflets, etc. Let us know your preference via the following form by the deadline of September 6, 2024.


Photo Release Agreement Form 

6: Plan to Travel to Japan 

Booking Your Flight

It is recommended to book your flight after receiving your COE because COEs are often issued last minute. In the worse case, you cannot obtain the student visa before the departure date and this has actually happened recently. However, you may purchase the ticket before receiving the COE at your own risk if it's too late for you to do so in September. In addition, it is suggested to book a refundable/changeable flight ticket. The university will not be liable for any costs incurred as a result of any delay/cancellation etc. of your travel. Please note that the arrival airport of your flight must be one of the following airports: Narita, Haneda, Chubu, Kansai, New Chitose, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka Airport. In case you enter through any other airport, including Sendai Airport, you won't be able to receive your residence card at the airport, which would cause delays in residence procedures in Sendai, which we'd like to avoid. 


Recently, there have been cases of exchange students departing their home country and entering Japan after sightseeing in a third country. However, please note that this is not allowed. You must enter Japan directly from your country of residence with a student visa. It is not a problem to take a connecting flight. 


Available dates for moving into the dorms are as follows: September 24, 25, 26, 27 and 30. Orientations for exchange students are planned to be held on September 26 and other administrative procedures will be done on the last week of September and the first week of October. Therefore, please expect to arrive in Sendai by the morning of September 26. In case you cannot make it to move into the dorm by September 29 due to an unexpected event, you can still move in on weekdays in October.



Submitting the Arrival Information Form - Required -

After booking your flight to Japan, please submit the Arrival Information Form, where you can book your move-in orientation for the dormitory. By submitting this form, the university will know when you will arrive at the dormitory and by when your room should be ready for move-in. The deadline to submit this form is September 6 at 23:59 JST.

Arrival Information Form

Deadline: September 6, 2024 for the Fall 2023 New Exchange Students



Preparing the Required Documents, Pledge and Oath - Required -

All exchange students are required to sign the documents, Pledge and/or Oath. Please download and print out the documents at home. Read and sign the documents using a black pen. Bring the signed, original documents with you when you come to Japan. You will be asked to submit them at the orientation.











Not Required


Receiving the Residence Permit by Email

Your assigned dormitory, room number, residence permit, and student ID number will be emailed to you around early September. A resident permit is required when you check in to the dormitory. Once you receive it, please save it on your smartphone or print it out and bring it with you when you come to Japan.



Planning Your Trip From Airport To Dormitory

Once you have booked your flight, we recommend that you research how to get from the airport to the dormitory. You need to come to your dormitory by yourself as there is no pick-up service available. It usually takes at least 6 hours to get from Narita or Haneda Airport to the dormitories at Tohoku University, even if you take the Shinkansen, the bullet train. Therefore, if your flight arrives in the afternoon, it is difficult to move into the dormitory on the same day. In that case, please book a hotel room in Tokyo or Sendai, stay one night, and move into the dormitory the next day. Alternatively, you can take an overnight bus from Tokyo and arrive in Sendai early the next morning. Note that the dormitories are not open for move-in on weekends and national holidays. Below are links to some useful websites.





Purchasing Overseas Travel Insurance - Optional -

You can arrange overseas travel insurance before your departure. After October 1, you will be covered by the student insurances and the National Health Insurance. However, you are not covered for the period between the arrival date in Japan and September 30. If you wish to join overseas travel insurance for this period, you may do so in your country by departure.


7: First Meeting - Required for JYPE, COLABS, and DEEP -

This is applicable for JYPE, COLABS, and DEEP students only. You should have a first online meeting with your academic advisor at Tohoku University to introduce yourself and discuss your study plan/research themes with them before the semester starts. For detailed instructions, please visit the following page.

First Online Meeting with Your Academic Advisor


8: Prepare Funding

The average living cost is approximately 80,000 yen per month (reference). Make sure you have secured enough money to cover your stay. It is recommended to bring a bank card, credit card, and/or debit card issued by an international bank or company. You can use the following Bank ATMs in Japan to withdraw cash in yen.



For those receiving the JASSO Scholarship:
The first stipend is expected to be transferred to your Japanese bank account about two months after your arrival. This is due to the Japanese budgetary system and financial procedures at Tohoku University. Therefore, you cannot rely on the JASSO Scholarship to meet your immediate financial needs after you arrive in Japan.


Submissions and Deadlines

To summarize all the steps mentioned above, here is a list of submissions with the deadlines.


Step Task Deadline
1 COE Application

May 13

2 Dorm Application

July 16

3 JLPK Application

July 16

4 Academic Accommodation (optional)

October 1

5 Photo Release Agreement 

September 6

6 Arrival Information Form

September 6

6 Pledge and Oath

Submit them at Orientation

6 Bedding Application (optional)

5 days before your move-in date

7 First Meeting for JYPE, COLABS, and DEEP 

October 7



Next Step

This is the page you should refer to next:


Contact: Tohoku University, Student Exchange Division

Incoming Student Exchange Section, Student Exchange Division, Tohoku University

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30-12:30, 13:30-17:15

Counter #6-C, 2nd floor, Education and Student Support Center (A01), Kawauchi Campus,
41 Kawauchi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8576 Japan

Contact Form  / studyab @ grp.tohoku.ac.jp

Please include your program name or applicant ID in the email so we don't miss your email.