Type of Program:
Fall or Spring
Aoyama Gakuin's main campus, located near Shibuya in central Tokyo, is complemented by the Sagamihara Campus in nearby Kanagawa Prefecture. As a vibrant educational and research community, the university maintains a number of active international exchange programs for students and faculty. Aoyama Gakuin University is well known for its international ambience: many of the students and faculty have attended universities and research institutes abroad, while numerous scholars and students from around the world have studied at the university.
Attend a Study Abroad 101 and 102 Session
Have the required GPA (3.0 or higher) and prerequisite courses for the program
Students must have completed three semesters of college before studying abroad. Goucher cannot guarantee that any sophomore will be accepted by the host institution.
Declare a major in order to study abroad for a semester
Students cannot be on academic or disciplinary probation at the time of application
**There are a limited number of spaces available on this program. While Japanese is not typically offered on Goucher's campus, Goucher students may take Japanese language courses at Johns Hopkins or Towson University.
Students must complete the online Goucher study abroad application by the published deadline. See the Events and Deadlines Calendar for the most up-to-date information.
Students must be nominated as an exchange student by Goucher, receive the exchange student application from OIS, and apply to Aoyama Gakuin by their published deadline. Initial approval is granted by OIS and final acceptance is granted by Aoyama Gakuin.
Japan's academic calendar differs substantially from the U.S. system. Spring semester is most commonly selected by Goucher students wishing to study in Japan for a semester, since fall semester exam dates may overlap with the start of classes at Goucher. The spring semester at Aoyama Gakuin runs from March to August.
Do not purchase airline tickets until you receive confirmation of acceptance from the program and verificaiton of arrival and departure details.
Goucher students enroll in Japanese language and culture courses, and also take English-language courses in some subjects (including International Politics, Economics, Sciences, Business, and Communications) alongside Aoyama Gakuin's 20,000+ undergraduates.
Grades are transferred to the Goucher transcript based on the grades students earn at Aoyama Gakuin. In the event of a failed course, the failing grade will be transferred and factored into a student's Goucher GPA. The grading system is explained here.
Grades count toward a Goucher GPA
Study abroad courses may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Students must take a minimum of 12 credits and maximum of 18 credits
All students must participate in a 1 credit Study Abroad Immersion Course while studying abroad. Details will be provided at predeparture orientation.
Students on Goucher programs will receive Goucher grades and credits for all approved courses taken while abroad
Students are placed into the appropriate level of Japanese instruction. Beginner courses are currently only offered at the Sagamihara campus, one hour outside Tokyo by train. Students with Japanese language background take courses at the main Aoyama campus. At both campuses, area studies courses in a variety of fields are offered in English.
Since Goucher students are fully enrolled at Goucher and receive Goucher credit while abroad, they pay regular Goucher tuition for any Goucher semester abroad program. This payment is regardless of the cost advertised and is charged by the program itself. Students pay the non-academic costs (i.e. room and board) in part or in full to Goucher or directly to the study abroad organization or overseas institution depending on the program. Estimated additional costs that a student may incur in attending these programs are listed on the Budget Expense Worksheet for each program. You can utilize institutional and federal aid for a Goucher semester program.
Any awarded financial aid may be used as payment for semester programs sponsored by Goucher College; however; you are allowed to transport your Goucher institutional aid for only one semester, unless you participate in the Goucher Oxford University yearlong program. In addition, all students are eligible to apply for Goucher OIS scholarships and can apply during the program application process. For information on OIS and outside scholarships please visit the OIS scholarship/financial aid section.
To apply for an OIS scholarship please submit your application by the study abroad application deadline for this program at through the following application:
A $500 deposit is due upon application. Study abroad program costs are billed through your Goucher student account and are due at the same time as regular semester fees. Please refer to the Budget Expense Worksheet for details for this program.
The $500 deposit paid upon application is applied to the student’s account and becomes non-refundable when accepted by Goucher College and the host program. If you are not accepted into a program, your deposit will be refunded.
If for any reason, a student withdraws from a Goucher semester after the deposit deadline, he or she will not be entitled to a refund of any fees paid to Goucher, including program deposit, tuition fees, travel fees, or any other fees incurred in connection with the program. If, due to any unforeseen circumstances or other circumstances beyond the control of the college, a semester Goucher program is cancelled, either prior to departure or during the course of the program, the student will not be guaranteed a refund of any fees paid to Goucher, including program deposit, tuition fees, travel fees, program fees, or any other fees incurred in connection with the program. In most cases, the college forwards program fees to vendors in foreign countries, making it very difficult to recover such fees due to a program cancellation. In such cases, the college will make a good-faith effort to recover such fees and to return any portion of fees that it may recover that may be attributable to a student’s participation in the program. However, the college makes no guarantees regarding the recovery of fees and is not liable for any fees that it is unable to recover.
Exchange students are housed in student dormitories within one hour's commuting distance from campus, which is typical for Japanese university students. Housing arrangements are made directly between the student and the university housing office after a student's acceptance to the program. Please click here for more details on accommodations at Aoyama Gakuin.
Students are responsible for their own meals. The dormitories offer shared kitchen facilities and the university cafeteria provides inexpensive meal options for purchase.
The main campus is in central Tokyo near Shibuya. The Sagamihara branch campus is located one hour southwest of central Tokyo by train. For details, please click here
A successful semester abroad is dependent upon adequate preparation. Students will participate in online orientation material prior to the mandatory group orientation prior to leaving Goucher for the semester prior to studying abroad. Dates will be provided upon study abroad acceptance.
Passport, Embassy, Consulate, and Visa Resources
Students are required to have passports for all Goucher programs. Failure to have a passport will prohibit participation in the program. Passports take time to process and need to be valid for six months after your return to the U.S. Check your expiration date and renew if necessary. Please see the U S State Department section on passports
You will be required to submit health forms signed by a health care provider prior to studying abroad. Forms will be supplied when you are accepted. Please read the Health and Safety section of the Goucher OIS website for information regarding Health and Safety, Disability Support, Diversity Abroad, Safety and Security, and Insurance:
Study Abroad Insurance
All students participating on Semester, Year or ICA Goucher programs will be automatically enrolled in a health insurance plan tailored to meet the needs of study abroad students. Students participating in Goucher semester programs will be billed $300. The insurance carrier is ACE American Insurance Company.
Prior to the start of the program abroad, OIS staff will register students for the insurance program. Students will receive information about how to use the health insurance policy from the Office of International Studies prior to departure for study abroad.
Students with Disabilities
Goucher encourages all students who meet our eligibility requirements to consider studying abroad. OIS will work with you regarding any special needs you may have. However, we cannot guarantee that any or all of our program sites can accommodate all of your needs or interests. More information can be found on the OIS Disabilities Support section of the website.
Research the fact sheet for your location of interest on the U.S. State Department website for information on LGBTI rights, women travelers, safety and security, religious, and accessibility/mobility laws and information.
On the CIA World Factbook website, look for your host country’s page and research the “People and Society” section, where you can find the breakdown by ethnic group, religion, and race.
Refer to Goucher OIS section on Student Identity for additional resources for student identity.