Okayama University

Facts | Eligibility | Academic | Research | Accommodations | Scholarship | Calendar | Financing | Apply

This is a reciprocal exchange relationship between SJSU and Okayama University. It is primarily for the study of Japanese language and culture, but limited other courses are available.

  • Take courses in English
  • Earn SJSU resident credits for all completed courses.
  • Pay your normal SJSU tuition and fees.
  • Use your financial aid and apply for scholarships.
  • Immerse yourself in Japanese culture and learn the language
  • Study for the Spring semester or an academic year
  • Gain an advantage when applying for jobs and graduate school.

City Facts

Okayama, Japan

Japan (pop. about 128 million) is an island nation that is located in eastern Asia. Okayama City is the capital of Okayama Prefecture and is located in the southwest region of the largest island, Honshu. Okayama, one of the major educational and cultural centers of the Chugoku-Shikoku area, has a population of approximately 630,000. It has many historic sites and tourist spots such as Okayama Castle and Korakuen Garden, one of the three finest gardens in Japan. Okayama City also has a sister-city relationship with the city of San José.

Campus Facts

Okayama University

The university was founded as a teacher training school in 1870 and upgraded to university status in 1949. Now, it is one of the largest national universities in Japan. Okayama University has 11 faculties, 7 graduate schools, 1 attached research institute, 3 university libraries, 1 national joint-use research institute, 6 campus-wide facilities for education and academic studies, 7 joint-use facilities, a health & medical center and various research and educational institutions belonging to each faculty. It is one of the most important universities in the Chugoku-Shikoku area, supporting a student population of about 13,600, of which about 470 are international students from more than 50 countries.

Exchange Program Okayama (EPOK) was established with the purpose of encouraging international students to understand Japanese language, culture and customs through immersion at the university. Most courses are taught in English, except for Japanese language courses.

Eligibility Requirements

Students must:

  • be enrolled as an SJSU student for one semester prior to departure, or be a California community college student eligible to enter SJSU by the semester of departure,
  • have Sophomore, Junior or Senior standing by the semester of departure,
  • have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher.

There is no language prerequisite, but students are strongly encouraged to take beginning Japanese prior to participation in the program.

Academic Program

The academic calendar consists of two sixteen-week semesters. Units and grading are based on the U.S. system. The class grades are usually based entirely on the final examination. A minimum of eighty percent class attendance is required in order to take the final exam. Some of the course offerings include:

Fall Semester Spring Semester

Japanese Language (beginning to advanced)
Culture & Society of Japan
Japanese Industry & Technology Fundmentals
Outline of Asian Economies II
Japanese Literature
Study of Japanese Affairs
Frontiers of Chemistry
Frontiers of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Frontiers of Agricultural Sciences
Sports Practice

Japanese Language (beginning to advanced)
Japanese Literature
Study of Japanese Affairs
Intercultural Communication
Political Economy of Modern Japan
Outline of Asian Economies I
Young People of Japan
Frontiers of Medical & Dental Science
Frontiers of Biological Science
Japan & Its Environment
Sports Practice

Students who are fluent in Japanese may also take other courses in regular university departments.

Course List 

EPOK Fall/Spring Educational Courses.

Individual Research Studies

Students who are interested in pursuing individual research projects in their specific field of study will be assigned a specialist research professor by the EPOK program. Fields of individual research available include: Engineering, Natural Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Education Studies, Medical Sciences, Dental Sciences, Letters, Law, Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences.


Okayama University has a dormitory for international students. Applications are accepted in February for April move-in, and in August for October move-in. Rooms are fully furnished with a desk, chair, bookshelf, locker, bed, air-conditioning, shower, and refrigerator. Laundry facilities are located inside the dormitory building. Private apartments and rooms are available.

Prospective students should review the information in Health care services provided and not provided at Okayama University (doc).

The JASSO Scholarship

The Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) offers a scholarship every year to qualified students of foreign institutions in mutual agreement with Japanese universities. Those who are selected for the scholarship will receive (as of April 1st 2006):

  • ¥80,000 monthly stipend for a specified duration of time (i.e. six months / one year)
  • ¥150,000 relocation allowance(upon arrival only)

Read more about the JASSO Student Exchange Support Program.

In order to be eligible for the JASSO scholarship, applications for both the EPOK program and the JASSO scholarship must be completed and submitted by SJSU to Okayama University by the deadline date. The following conditions must also be satisfied:

  • The student is of non-Japanese nationality.
  • The student has adequate financial support for study in Japan.
  • The student will resume study at SJSU upon completion of the exchange.
  • The student is eligible for the “College Student Visa” (a requirement for study in Japan).
  • It is the first time for the student to receive the JASSO scholarship.


  • Every new EPOK student needs to purchase the air tickets by himself/herself.
  • We will tell new EPOK students the date they should arrive at Okayama later. We will pick them up at the Okayama Airport or JR Okayama Station on that date.
  • New students will not be allowed to move into the International Student House before the date.

Program Academic Calendar

Semester From–to
Fall Semester* Early October–March 31
Winter Vacation December 25–January 7
Spring Vacation April 1–April 7
Spring Semester Early April–July 31

*Please note: This exchange is for an academic year or the Spring semester. Since the Fall semester goes until late March, only students who are graduating or don’t mind missing the SJSU Spring semester may participate for the Fall semester only.

Financing Your Semester

Estimated Costs

SJSU Tuition & Fees 3,585.00

These costs are current as of 2012–13. These are estimated costs for the whole semester. Consult the Bursar’s Office for up-to-date information on tuition and fees. Personal expenses may vary among different students, and those who will be doing a lot of traveling during the school break and after the program should estimate higher.

Round Trip Transportation 1,500.00
Room & Meals 4,000.00
Health Insurance 350.00
Personal Expenses 2,150.00
Total $11,585.00

Apply for This Program

SJSU Bilateral Program Forms