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Country Handbook

Nihon University - Mishima


Program Snapshot

Nihon University (Mishima campus) offers students the opportunity to study Japanese from intermediate to advanced levels. Although language classes are not intensive—usually held twice a week—students will be able to experience the life and culture of Japan away from the crowds of the city. Regular courses are taught in Japanese and English across the International Studies and International Liberal Arts departments. English options include an expansive Japan Studies course, while other offerings cover Social Science, Humanities, Economics, and Business from a global perspective.

What do ISEP students think about their programs in Japan?

To the east of Shizuoka Prefecture, the Nihon-Mishima campus is located in clear sight of Mt. Fuji and at the base of the Izu Peninsula which is famous for its hot spring resorts. Including a popular shrine, Mishima is an historical town, one of the key waystations for travelers on the ancient Tokaido Road from Edo to Kyoto that today is just an hour west from Tokyo. This modern university campus, home to some of the friendliest students in Japan, is a short walk from the train station. Recently opened in 2012, a major new building serves as a second convenient site right by the Shinkansen (hi-speed train) terminal.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate and graduate programs available for an academic year or semester

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.

Chance of Placement
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Good.
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for I-to-I students is generally Good.

For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students or Sites Open for I-to-I Applications.

Program Dates
Academic Year: September to August
Semester 1: September to February
Semester 2: March to August

Fast Facts
Mishima, Japan (pop. 100,000)
Student Enrollment: 3,700
Language of instruction: Japanese, English
University Home Page
Courses (English)
Course Syllabi

Most regular academic courses are taught in Japanese. Two departments: International Studies and International Liberal Arts. Courses typically available in the following fields, all with an international emphasis: Business, Cultural Studies, Economics, Law, Politics, Sociology.

Courses taught in English
The English curriculum is geared towards Japanese students who want to develop their skills of class participation in English and/or those who plan to study abroad in the future, but they are also open to international students.

Previous English Course Options: International Relations/Introduction to International Relations, Intercultural Relations/Introduction to Intercultural Relations, Sociology, World’s religions, Japanese Literature (Comparative Literature and Comparative Culture), Japanese Traditional Culture, Japanese Society, Japanese Cultural History, Management/Introduction to Management, Asian Economic Development, Art and Society.

Courses for Graduate (Masters) Level
The Department of International Relations is open to non-degree-seeking graduate students. Applicants must pass Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level N1 or equivalent proficiency.

Academic Notes

Students typically enroll in 6-7 classes per term, which averages to 10-12 hours in class per week. A term runs for 16 weeks.


Semester 1 transcripts are issued in April.
Semester 2 transcripts are issued in September.

Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the student’s home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility.

Language Notes
Language Requirement: 2 semesters of Japanese language study is required with passing grades or equivalent level of proficiency. Advanced level students can take content courses offered for native Japanese students, but in this case, the equivalent of JLPT N1 level language proficiency is required, as demonstrated by a placement test.
Language Courses: Students will be placed at appropriate levels of Japanese language courses based on the result of a placement test and an interview. There are basically two kinds of courses for each level; one with more emphasis on basic aspects of learning Japanese such as grammar/patterns, oral communication, and listening and reading comprehension, and another course with more emphasis on synthesized study through presentations, discussions, and writing, along with answering questions to review or learn expressions and grammar/patterns. Contact hours per course/week: 90 minutes x 2.


ISEP Language Proficiency Report may be substituted for official score? Yes
Institutional TOEFL accepted? TBD
Other tests accepted: TBD
English as a Foreign Language courses available? TBD

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility.

Special Academic Conditions
The courses for teacher’s license and business internships are closed to ISEP students.

Special ISEP Application Instructions
Applicants are strongly recommended to have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Hints for Researching Courses
Course selection may vary each term depending on student interest for English courses and Japanese levels of enrolled students for language courses. Please note that flexibility in English course options is essential.

Housing and Meals
Students are housed in off-campus apartment complexes managed by the university, located within walking distance from campus. The aparments house both international and Japanese students. International students have their own furnished room complete with a bed, a mini-kitchen including utensils, a rice cooker, and microwave oven. The room is furnished with linens, a desk, air conditioner, and restroom with a shower and bath. The room is also equipped with Internet access. Students can rent a TV and a washing machine at an optional cost. Students can watch cable TV by subscribing to the service. Married student housing is available. Students receive a cash stipend for meals on or off-campus or for food purchases to cook in the room.


You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: optional fees (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount below is provided as a guide; the actual amount needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses per month are estimated at JPY 30,000 - 50,000. Textbooks are estimated to cost JPY 20,000 for a full year.

Students participate in a full day of orientation before the semester begins where they cover topics including:
  • Alien Registration / National Health Insurance / National Pension and Exemption
  • Immigration Policy / Re-entry Permission / Permission for Part-time Job
  • Emergency Contact Information / Earthquake Awareness
  • Dormitory Policies (Rules, equipment rental, etc.)
  • Japanese language placement test
  • Course Registration
  • Student ID Registration
  • Campus Tour
  • Welcome Party and Meeting with Buddies
  • Optional Activities Information

Airport pick-up is not available. Host will provide arrival directions with acceptance packet.

Student Activities

College Activities

  • New Student Introduction and Language Exchange Activity (Fall/Spring)
  • Welcome BBQ (Fall/Spring)
  • Japanese Day (Fall/Spring) - Students experience wearing the yukata and practice the art of Japanese flower arrangement, tea ceremony, and calligraphy (Note: in the fall, these activities may be offered on different days)
  • College Cultural Festival or Fuohsai (Fall) - Fuohsai is the biggest college event held in October or November. In the past, exchange students have participated in activities including band concerts, Japanese cultural club performances, and mogiten (food stalls)

Local Events

  • Mishima Grand Shrine Otauchi Festival (January)
  • Japanese Traditional Festival events around Shizuoka Prefecture (summer fireworks festivals, the "Yosakoi Dance Festival", "Fujinomiya Autumn Festival", etc.)
  • International Fair in Mishima (November)
  • "Daido-gei" World Cup in Shizuoka (November)

There are also a number of clubs and circles at Nihon University College of International Relations where students warmly welcome the participation of international students. Students can participate in clubs such as soccer, outdoor activities, American football, badminton, photography, and music.

For photos, please click here.

Nihon University is the largest university in Japan and was established in 1889 as Nihon Law School by the Minister of Justice, Akiyoshi Yamada. The College of International Relations was founded in 1979 as Japan’s first college that provided education in this field. Nihon is one of Japan’s distinguished private universities with the motto, “the spirit of independent creativity,” as the principle and goal of university education.

What Past Students have to Say
"Nihon University at Mishima is a place that allowed me to experience true Japanese life and culture while being conveniently close to the world's biggest metropolis, Tokyo. I couldn't have been more pleased with what I got from Nihon University. What truly stood out the most was the individual teaching assistant system. Overall, this has been the most fulfilling experience of my life, and I am very thankful with Nihon University for opening their doors to me." --Mauricio Mejia Regiomontana University, Mexico

"If you're an independent sort of person, you will do very well here. Don't rely on the school to make your experience enjoyable. You're in a perfect area to explore most of Japan and Mishima is an extremely beautiful place, so get out there and seize the day!" --Samson Condon, Iowa State University