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SIS Abroad

Undergrad Semester Programs:
Asia Pacific University

Photo of view from Japan

Asia Pacific University (APU) has a unique multi-cultural and dual-language (English and Japanese) education system set in an international environment. AU exchange students can take classes from either the Asia Pacific Studies (APS) or Asia Pacific Management (APM) tracks. It is not necessary for international exchange students to have any pre-existing knowledge of Japanese in order to study at APU. The campus is located in the city of Beppu on the island of Kyushu, which is famous for its hot springs. This exchange opportunity is a great way to add an Asian Pacific focus to your studies.


AU students who study at APU take 12-17 credits per semester.

They have two undergraduate colleges of Asia Pacific Studies (APS) and Asia Pacific Management (APM). APS offers studies in specialized areas including City and Environment, Tourism and Information Media. APM covers all aspects of Marketing, Production, Finance and Accounting, Human Resource Management and IT.

As an exchange student from American University, there is no limit to the type of courses participants may select. However, APU recommends that study schedules are not too overloaded so that each individual can enjoy extra-curricular activities and absorb as much of the culture outside of the classroom as possible.

Language Requirement

A unique feature of APU is that lectures are taught in both English and Japanese in both colleges. APU is proud to be one of the few universities in Japan offering this capacity. All exchange students are therefore able to study subjects in their major fields and areas of interest in Japanese, English or both.

For Japanese language students APU is attractive in that although they are an "international" university, the predominant language of communication is Japanese. The administrative body, executives and 2/3 of both the student body and faculty are Japanese natives or Japanese speakers. Specialist Japanese courses on offer are also extremely valuable to students of Japanese and these can be taken alongside regular subjects taught in Japanese. In addition to the 4 X 95 minutes of intensive Japanese language instruction per week, advanced students can select courses in interpreting, teaching of Japanese as a foreign language and business Japanese.

Academic Calendar

Spring Semester: April – July

Fall Semester: September – March

Students can enroll at APU for either a full year (Fall and Spring) or the Spring semester only.


  1. Students are registered through the SIS Office of International Program Development for 15 AU-APU exchange credits (SIS-461). Students who wish to take fewer (12-14) or more than (up to 17) 15 credits need to arrange this with their academic advisor before they can be registered for the AU exchange credits.
  2. Students are required to meet with their AU advisor and obtain formal pre-approval before registering for courses at APU. This ensures that all credits earned at APU can be applied toward the student’s AU degree.
  3. Students register for APU courses once they arrive in Beppu.

Credit articulation: Grades and credits earned at APU are articulated through the SIS Office of International Program Development upon receipt of an official transcript from APU. For conversion purposes, students should expect 1 APU credit to equal 1 AU credit.

Tuition and Fees

Students pay regular tuition, emergency international health insurance, and technology fees to American University for the duration of the program. Students do not pay the student activity fee, sports center fee, or AU room/board fees while at APU. Students are billed by APU for housing and supporting fee. Students are responsible for any incidental costs, such as library fines and lab fees, incurred during the program.


The APU campus is at the top of a moutain. Semester students live in the international dormitories located on campus. Each student gets a single room with a washroom and the kitchen area is shared. Students pay APU directly for housing.

Visa and Immigration

Once admitted to the program, students are issued a Certificate of Eligibility by APU. Students then need to take this document, with a passport and visa application, to the closest Japanese Embassy to apply for a student visa.

Students are responsible for researching the most up-to-date immigration requirements and arranging all immigration documents.

Student Orientation

During the semester prior to the start of the program, the SIS Office of International Program Development conducts a mandatory pre-departure meeting. Topics covered include administrative, logistical, security, health, and cross-cultural issues. APU also holds an orientation for students at the beginning of the semester. 

How to Apply

Application deadline for study in Spring 2015: September 15

NB: Students who wish to participate in this program must first submit an internal SIS application to the SIS Office of International Program Development. Students may not submit any applications or documents to APU until after they have received instructions from SIS.

  1. Complete and submit the SIS Semester Abroad Program at UMB application to the SIS Office of International Program Development by the application deadline. Do not apply directly to APU.
  2. After applications are processed and reviewed, students are selected for nomination to APU.
  3. Upon nomination, students must complete and submit the APU application for exchange students. The APU application process also includes submission of a certificate of enrollment at AU, official transcripts from all universities attended by the student, a statement of financial support and supporting financial documents, a copy of the student's passport information page, and 3 passport-size photographs.
  4. APU makes the final admissions decision and corresponds directly with Program participants regarding course registration, accommodation, orientation programs, etc.

    The Program is competitive, and applying does not guarantee admission.