Location: Machida City, Tokyo, Japan, Asia

Program Type: UMSL Exchange Program at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Language of Instruction: English and/or Japanese

UMSL Term Abroad: Academic Year, Spring, Summer

Approximate Dates Abroad:
Academic Year: September - August (break between January and August)
Spring Semester: April - August

Application Deadline: We encourage applicants to this program to apply by the priority deadline - your chances of admission are increased by doing so.

  • Fall/Academic Year: February 16 (priority), March 16 (final)
  • Spring: September 23 (final)

UMSL Study Abroad Eligibility RequirementsStudents do not need to be proficient in Japanese to participate in this program. This program is open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.

Subjects Available: 

  • TAUGHT IN ENGLISH (see Reconnaissance Japan Information under "Academics" below)
  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • Business - Finance
  • Business - International Business
  • Business - Management
  • Business - Marketing
  • Communications
  • Dance
  • East Asian Studies
  • Film Studies
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Languages - Japanese
  • Literature
  • Media Studies
  • Political Science
  • Theatre
  • Women & Gender Studies
  • Languages - Japanese
  • Students with a high proficiency/native fluency may enroll directly in the regular university programs


The University: J.F. Oberlin University (formerly "Obirin University") is a great choice for students with zero to four semesters of Japanese coursework. Located in a lively Tokyo suburb, it's a great place to experience Japanese culture. Oberlin University has undergraduate and graduate programs focusing on the liberal arts. It was formerly called "Obirin" which means "beautiful cherry orchard" in Japanese, and is derived from the cherry trees that bloom on campus in early spring. The academic year at Oberlin consists of two fifteen-week semesters. Spring Semester begins in mid-April and concludes in late July. Fall Semester begins in mid-September and concludes in late January. There is a two-month summer vacation between the two semesters, a three-week winter vacation in late December through early January, and a three-month spring vacation after the conclusion of Fall Semester in January.

Academics: UMSL students will take part in the Reconnaissance Japan Program. The program offers Japanese language skills and training courses from the introductory to advanced levels. Students are placed in one of six different levels in the Japanese language program. A wide variety of culture and civilization courses on Japan (taught in English) are also offered each semester. Reconnaissance Japan allows students from other countries to learn about and experience Japan within the supportive environment of Oberlin University's Center for International Studies. Some topics include Japanese Politics, Japanese Photography, Japanese Cinema, Intercultural Communication, Modern Japanese History, among many others.

Housing: Participants in Reconnaissance Japan Program can choose to live in a homestay with a Japanese family, live in an apartment arranged by Oberlin, or make their own living arrangements. A homestay is ideal for students who want to truly immerse themselves in Japanese language and culture.

Fuchinobe International House, a new residence hall with 245 studio units, opened in 2010. The hall is conveniently located near JR Fuchinobe station, just a short ride by shuttle bus to the Machida Campus, where most classes are held. All rooms are single occupancy, furnished, with Internet access with private baths and small kitchenettes. There are also laundry facilities. Dorm counselors plan activities for Japanese and international residents. Students are responsible for their own meals and bedding. A caretaker/security personnel are on site 24 hours per day. 

Programs & Activities: The Reconnaissance Japan program provides an uncommonly wide range of opportunities for international student to meet and interact with Japanese students. The "buddy program" pairs up international students with Japanese "buddies" who help them make the transition to student life in Japan. International students will also find a variety of cultural activities and excursions available to them. Many students also take advantage of the chance to meet Japanese students through extracurricular and social activities available right on campus. 


Location: Machida City, the Tokyo suburb where J.F. Oberlin University is located, is a lively, upbeat town, which is neither too big nor too small. In Machida there are upscale department stores, high-volume discount shops, and an eight-story "do-it-yourself " store. Nearby are small shops selling tea, farming instruments, or kimonos; quiet coffee shops for meeting friends; and a pizza parlor that features "all-you-can-eat" lunch hours. Machida is a young city and its economy is geared towards young people. Machida is also convenient in terms of location. Well served by trains, it provides easy access to Tokyo proper and also to nearby mountains and beaches. It's a young city whose economy is geared toward the college crowd.

Reconnaissance Japan Website: http://www.obirin.ac.jp/en/rj/index.html

Course Offerings: http://www.obirin.ac.jp/en/rj/academics/courses/index.html

Clubs and Student Activities: http://www.obirin.ac.jp/en/rj/student_life/index.html

Cost Estimates for 2014-15*

Use the Budget Worksheet to compare the below cost to your personal budget or living on campus at UMSL.

Tuition $3789.60
Books and course materials $350.00
Mandatory HTH insurance $175.00
Accommodations  $3350.00
Meals & Personal Expenses $2000.00
Airfare $1500.00
Local Transportation  $400.00
Other $250.00
Total $11804.60*


Course Equivalencies: Each student is responsible for researching what courses are available to take and for obtaining an UMSL equivalent course. The UMSL equivalent course number is the course for which you will receive credit on your UMSL transcript. Finding courses to take while you are abroad requires some time and research. More information is on the course equivalency page.

Upon Acceptance: Students will be required to submit supplemental materials, purchase HTH insurance, and participate in a mandatory orientation. More information will be distributed to all accepted students.

* UMSL tuition fees are based on 12 undergraduate credit hours at the 2014/15 rate - 2015/16 tuition rate TBA April 2015. Non-resident fees may apply. 
* Costs are based off a four month semester.
* Airline estimate based off of online search.
* Please note that expenses are ESTIMATES. Costs vary depending on the exchange rate, the inflation rate, individual spending habits, and amount of extra travel. The cost estimate above does not include visa expenses, personal expenses, independent travel, which vary widely from student to student.
* Program information is subject to change.
* Housing expense is based on dormitory expenses. Expenses for homestay have a higher rent and placement fee. Students interested in homestay would also be required to pay for transportation to and from school. Homestay includes all meals except weekday lunch. 
* Other includes mandatory Japanese National Health Insurance Policy which would be in addition to the UMSL mandatory health insurance, and orientation fee.