Ritsumeikan University Kyoto, Japan

exterior of the ornate and brightly colored Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Kapan

The Graduate School of International Relations (GSIR) at Ritsumeikan University is the first college of international relations in Western Japan and has an excellent reputation in the Japanese academic world. Ritsumeikan University (RU), founded in 1896 by Prince Kinmochi Saionji, is nestled in the northwestern corner of Kyoto near Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) and Ryoanji Rock Garden, a location which demonstrates the coexistence of time-honored tradition and contemporary academic thought that permeates RU’s campus. Study abroad in Japan to experience this fascinating dynamic while gaining cross-cultural competencies and earning credit towards your AU degree.

Academic Terms

Fall Semester
September - February
Spring Semester
April - July

Students may spend one semester at Risumeikan. Due to the differences between the AU and RU academic calendars, students are encouraged to participate in the spring semester.

Students may earn up to nine (9) credits toward their AU degree. Classes in the Global Cooperation Program (GCP) include:

  • Area Studies
  • Development Strategies
  • Policy Evaluation
  • Sustainable Governance and Policy

Students are not required to demonstrate Japanese language proficiency as all classes are conducted in English. However, students are encouraged to begin studying Japanese prior to beginning the program in order to gain communication skills for daily life in Japan.

Emergency International Health Insurance
Technology Fees

Students do not pay the student activity fee, sports center fee, or SIS fee while studying at Ritsumeikan.

Students are responsible for any incidental costs, such as library fines and lab fees, incurred during the program. Students are responsible for all personal expenses including housing and transportation.

Students must find their own accommodations in Kyoto. There is no graduate student housing at on RU’s campus, but students may be allowed to live in RU’s International House. Any such arrangement would need to be approved upon acceptance into the program.

Once admitted to program, students are issued a Certificate of Eligibility by RU. 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.

Application Deadlines

Spring: September 15
Fall: February 15

Applicants are required to submit a non-refundable $50 application fee.

You will be notified by email with a decision regarding your nomination for study abroad.

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Suggested Program Match

This program is generally compatible with all SIS degrees programs.

Students are required to choose one program of study at Sciences Po, a choice which will influence the courses that are available to them.

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