Nagasaki University

As the first (and for many years the only) port of Japan open to the world, Nagasaki has a long history of welcoming those from abroad.

WaKaRan 和華蘭 cuisine reflects Nagasaki’s unique flavour of multiculturalism in Japan, from “wa” for Japanese, “Ra” for Chinese, and “Ran” for European - it is a distinctive local cuisine demonstrating the diversity of the city.

Often thought of as the “San Francisco of Japan” with tram lines and slope elevators, you can take in the views from Insasa-yama, visit Nagasaki Chinatown, or Glover Gardens as well as the atomic bomb museum and peace park. Spend a weekend in Beppu, a famous hot spring resort on the Northeast coast of Kyushu or head down to Kagoshima, where you can try a volcanic sand bath. Founded by a Dutch doctor as one of the first western style medical schools in 1857, Nagasaki University in its modern incarnation was re-established in 1949 and today is home to over 9000 students.

Key information


Nagasaki, Japan


English, Japanese


Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type


Application information

Application status



2020-21 applications

Applications for Winter 2021 exchanges are still open. First come, first considered for remaining spaces!

University-specific additional requirements

Two references required - see the Eligibility section below.

2021-22 applications

Open Nov. 1, 2020

Program details

Areas of Study: students can select from the following programs for a semester or academic year exchange (See the Liaison Centre for International Education's website for more information on the two programs below):

Nagasaki University's Japanese Language & Culture Program (JLCP) is available to Japanese majors/minors who have achieved an N3 level or above in Japanese before the start of the program. Exchange students will be non-fee paying at Nagasaki and will be charged tuition at UCalgary.

Nagasaki University's Student Exchange Program is open for the following fields:

  • The School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences has four programs: Global Society, Social Dynamics, Culture and Communication and Dutch Studies.  They have the most courses taught in English.
  • The Faculty of Economics also offers some courses in English - check the last column for language of instruction.
  • Other faculties teach in Japanese and students who meet the language requirement may apply. The exchange handbook lists the requirement by faculty.

Summer Field School Opportunity: students studying at Nagasaki over our Winter (Spring) semester have the option to apply for a unique Anthropology summer field school run by Nagasaki, focusing on engaging with locals, immersion in rural Japanese life, and learning from local history. The course is worth 4 Japanese university credits (3 UCalgary units) and runs over the month of July for 3 weeks.

Course requirements:
4 Japanese credits = 1 UCalgary Half-course equivalent (3 units). Minimum/Maximum courseload is set by faculty at Nagasaki.

Nagasaki University has two semesters, Spring (First Semester) and Fall (Second Semester).

  • Spring (First) Semester runs from early April to mid-August* 
  • Fall (Second) Semester runs from late September to mid-February*.

*The administrative dates run from early April - late September and late September - late February, but these dates include the summer break and the spring break. Quarters are also mentioned in their Quarter System, in case students are taking classes by Quarter. 

You can also apply for their July Summer Anthropology Field School!


Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. 

Nagasaki University provides the following cost of living estimates:

Rent: 12,500 -22,000 JPY/month, 
7500 - 15,000 room restoration fee, 
Utilities (electricity, gas, water: actual cost) 4,000 to 8,000 JPY/month, 
Restaurant: 600 – 1,000 JPY(lunch)

Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations etc in your budget planning.


Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange?   
Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

Our office administers the International Study Travel Grant for students travelling on approved UCalgary study programs that are credit bearing. The amount changes year to year as the money is split evenly between qualified applicants. Students may only receive the study travel grant once. Please see the exchange funding page for more information.

Most exchange students will live in Nishimachi International House or International Dormitory Hortensia, both located less than 15 min walk from Bunkyo Campus. The live-in tutors are students who can advise new international students on daily life in Japan.  More information of prices and living arrangements is in the accommodation section of the guidebook

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at UCalgary, who have completed at least 2 full years (20 courses) at the post-secondary level before departure, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B).

Language requirements for students planning to study in Japanese varies by faculty. The exchange handbook lists the requirement by faculty. At minimum for English-taught courses we recommend having Japanese 205 completed before you leave for your exchange. See the FAQ for more info. 

An academic reference is required for a complete application. Only for students doing the intensive language JLCP program: While only one reference is required for our application, Nagasaki will require a second Japanese language reference to be submitted with your application. Since this secondary reference needs to be completed on a specific form provided by Nagasaki for JLCP, please wait to do not submit this additional reference until after you have been nominated to this partner.

Important Visa Information: Japanese citizens/students with a Japanese passport are not eligible for this exchange partner. 

Do I have to speak Japanese?

At least a basic understanding at minimum - for courses taught in English it may not be required, but in daily life it can be difficult to navigate without a basic understanding of Japanese. So for programs taught fully in English, a minimum of Japanese 205 is recommended. For requirements by Faculty, please consult the exchange handbook.  

How can I learn or improve my Japanese?

For advanced learners, the JLCP program offers an excellent opportunity to advance your Japanese knowledge. Additionally, there are options to take Japanese language courses through the School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences as a part of the Student Exchange Program option. 

What's special about Nagasaki?

Nagasaki University is one of the oldest national universities in Japan and has over 120 activity clubs, including cultural associations and sport associations. The university also reflects the intercultural history unique to Nagasaki - starting as a small fishing village and expanding to an international trading port following the first Portuguese explorer contact in 1543, Nagasaki opened its doors to Dutch and Portuguese merchants. The international hub created by this trading port led to the creation of Nagasaki university as we know it today. Dutch surgeon Pompe van Meerdervoort's medical lectures in 1857 gave rise to the formation of the university which added to the multicultural character of Nagasaki in juxtaposition to the national isolation of Japan. 
You'll see this history reflected in pockets of unique Dutch colonial houses in Nagasaki - the Huis Ten Bosch village on Omura Bay was modelled after medieval Dutch homes (including canals and brick Dutch-style homes). The Huis Ten Bosch theme park also continues this theme, with the slightly less Dutch addition of the world's first robot-staffed hotel, where a multi-lingual dinosaur robot will check you in! Japanese-Dutch relations have their origins in Nagasaki as Dejima in Nagasaki was the sole place of trade for Dutch traders in Japan during the Edo period.  
The city of Nagasaki offers diverse experiences, from natural excursions, urban nightlife, historical sites, and beaches for weekend leisure. It also has been recognized as having one of the "New Three Great Night Views of the World", so make sure to take the glass cable car up to Mount Inasa for 10 million dollar views at sunset. For a more unusual adventure, check out the fruity bus stops in nearby coastal Konagai!

Nagasaki has an enviable climate, with dry, light snow and an average temp of 8 degrees in winter, a gorgeous and temperate spring full of flower blossoms, and a warm, humid summer with temps ranging between 25-32 degrees. Each fall, the average temperature ranges around 20 degrees and ushers in the Kunchi festival in October, a popular celebration in Nagasaki that has taken place for over 400 years!  

What resources are available for exchange students?

Nagasaki University has a tutor program. With your residence card, there are several museums you can access for free.

What supports or services are available at Nagasaki?

The Student Accessibility Office is able to support students with disabilities.

Have questions?

Study Abroad 101

Please watch this YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment.

Watch Study Abroad 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Study Abroad Advising

If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below. Appointments are currently on zoom.

1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.

Book an appointment

The exchange advisor for this program is: Kathryn Bauer

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.