The bridge to the Emperor's Lair

Waseda University

Located in central Tokyo, Waseda University is a member of the prestigious “Tokyo Big Six” which is both a baseball league and a nickname for the prominent member universities.

Explore the many famous neighbourhoods of Tokyo, from the anime and technological mecca of Akihabara to the shopping areas of Harajuku and Shibuya or have fun in Odaiba. Internationally, Waseda ranks in the top 2% of universities worldwide making QS’ top 400 universities list. Over 50,000 students over 4,000 international students call Waseda home.

Key information


Tokyo, Japan


English, Japanese


Fall, winter, academic year

Program type


Application information

Application status


2023-2024 applications

Program full


University-specific additional requirements

One academic reference required, Min GPA 3.0 - see the Eligibility section below.

This reference will not be collected at time of application but during the partner application step.


2024-2025 applications

Open November 1, 2023

Program details

Areas Of Study: 

Waseda offers English-taught courses in several of their faculties and departments:

  • The School of International Liberal Studies (SILS) is entirely taught in English and offers courses across a variety of subjects: Biology*, Business*, Communications, Economics, Environmental Science*, History, International Relations, Languages (Chinese, French, German, Korean, Russian, Spanish), Linguistics, Literature, Law & Society, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Urban Studies     *Limited course offerings in English
    NOTE: Students accepted to SILS may be required to take up to 6 units of Japanese, depending on the level of fluency. 
  • The Transnational & Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Innovation (TAISI) school is entirely taught in English. They offer social sciences courses in Economics, Development Studies, Gender Studies, International Relations, Law & Society, Political Science, Sustainability & Global Food Security, and Urban Studies.
  • The Schools of Political Science and Economics/Social Sciences have some courses offered in English.


Waseda also offers a Japanese language program designed for intensive language study.

Students with the JLPT N1 certification who plan to take courses taught in Japanese can speak to an advisor about the other areas of study available at Waseda.

Note: the Faculties of Science and Engineering are closed to exchange students.


Course Information:

Course information can be found online using the Syllabus Search in English or in Japanese.

1 UCalgary half course equivalent = 4 Waseda credits. 
Waseda recommends exchange students take 14 credits (approx. 7 courses) per semester, although it is possible to take more; some full-year exchange students have taken as many as 40 credits (approx. 20 courses). Courses are scheduled to meet once per week. 

The academic year is divided into two semesters:

  • Fall Semester runs from mid September to early February.
  • Spring Semester runs from early April to early August.

Waseda is willing to accept exchange students for either semester, or the full academic year (Fall to Spring or Spring to Fall). Please note that students doing a Fall exchange or finishing a year exchange in the Fall will not be able to attend UCalgary Winter courses due to the overlap in semester dates. 



  1. Costs

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

    Waseda estimates average living expenses in Tokyo to be 80,000 yen a month plus the cost of housing. Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations etc in your budget planning.

    Tokyo cost comparison vs. Calgary: Click Here

    Student Tips: "I believe it is a bit more expensive since standard of living in Japan is higher, however, I think food is cheaper so it balances out the cost, since housing in Calgary can be pretty expensive. However, transit there probably costs more since we don’t get a transit sticker like at UofC, making the overall cost greater in my opinion. The experience, however, definitely outweighs the costs."

  2. Funding

    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 several awards, including the Global Access Fund (based on a funding-first model where students apply prior to committing to a global learning program) and the Global Learning Award (students apply after being accepted to a global learning program; the amount varies year-to-year as the money is split among chosen recipients). Students may only receive these awards once. Please see the funding page, linked below, for more information.

    You can also see any scholarships offered by Waseda here. Note: MEXT and JASSO are not always guaranteed to be offered each year. 

You can apply to live in one of Waseda's 3 student dormitories: the Waseda University Student House, Waseda Hoshien, and Nishi-Waseda International Student House, which are all within walking distance of campus. There is no curfew at the dorms, but non-residents are not permitted to enter the dorms.

There are also options to live with a host family, or you can arrange your own off-campus accommodation.

For more information, visit their Housing page

Student Tips: "I lived in Nishi Waseda International Student House. The room was very standard size for Tokyo I think, with a small bathroom and a medium-sized fridge. The residence is located in a very quiet place and around lots of restaurants. There is a bike parking lot next to the building. A bed/desk hybrid furniture was provided (bunk bed on top, desk on the bottom), and all bedding was provided for a fee (around 4000 yen). Every floor had a shared kitchen with some dishes/spoons available. There were also vacuum cleaners available for free." 

"There was a kitchen provided in the dorm, but no cafeteria, therefore students will have to make their own food. However, the dorm is located near many convenience stores, supermarkets, and food places, making it easy to find cheap and varying types of food nearby. The dorm manager there was very nice and helpful, and the kitchen is cleaned daily making it a nice, clean environment to live in. In addition, it is near a lot of awesome places, such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, etc., making it very convenient. You also get your own bathroom and it is near campus and many food areas and cafes, making it a wonderful central community to live in."

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at UCalgary who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with an absolute minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B).

Waseda University offers a wide variety of courses in English, however students must have completed at least Japanese 205 or the equivalent to participate in this exchange. Students who want to take classes offered in Japanese must have passed the JLPT N1 exam. Non-native English speakers may need to show proof of English proficiency test for Waseda as well. 

Important Visa Info: Japanese citizens must travel on their Japanese passport. However, all applicants must have taken secondary schooling outside of Japan to be eligible. 

Application requirements

Waseda has specific forms that references need to be submitted on. You may approach your professor to ask if they can provide you a reference specifically in February, after you have been accepted by our office. We cannot accept references that do not meet the partner's requirements and/or are on the school specific form.

What's special about Waseda?

In April 2017, Waseda became the first Japanese university to establish a Gender and Sexuality Center. Waseda's GS Center provides support and consulation to LGBTQ students, and works to promote understanding towards the LGBTQ community on campus through events and talks each year to raise awareness of LGBTQ related issues. 

What supports or services are available at Waseda?

Students with accessibility needs may consult the Office for Students with Disabilities at Waseda to determine if their accessibility services meet your needs.

What's the climate like in Shinjuku-ku?

Typical temperatures range:
Fall (September to November): 11 to 26 degrees
Winter (December to February): 2 to 10 degrees
Spring (March to May): 6 to 26 degrees
Summer (June to August): 19 to 33 degrees

Student Tips: "Getting a bike is very useful in Shinjuku, although it can be dangerous as there are a lot of bikes on the road at any given time. For climate, I’d bring waterproof shoes and clothing for the arrival months (September to December) because heavy rain happens quite often."

"Tokyo’s climate is agreeable but very humid. The summers get really hot. The rainy seasons (June-July) have rain pretty much every day. The winters are agreeable, not below zero. The transit system is comprehensive, and convenient. Maybe avoid the tourist trap areas like Shibuya and Harajuku if you want more diverse, or more accurate depictions of Japanese lifestyle. Transit costs rack up quickly if traveling across Tokyo, with West to East side costing about 7 dollars one way. Look into getting commuter passes and whatnot, but put aside money for transit."

"Tokyo is relatively hot therefore don’t worry about bringing a lot of clothes (I made the mistake of bringing too many winter clothes and sweaters and almost never wore them). The wind can get pretty strong in winter making it chillier, however, they sell big scarves there that are better than the ones in Calgary. Transit in Japan is very convenient and you can get anywhere via train, so you should get a pasmo or a suica card to charge for transit (essentially a rechargeable train card). Anywhere you go for food is bound to be good (at least from my experience), but Hakone for hot springs, Mt. Takao for a light hike, and visiting Nikko for the changing leaves are a few of the highlights of my stay in Tokyo. If you enjoy shopping, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, and basically all the well-known places in Tokyo are a must-go."

What resources are available for exchange students?

Student Tips: "There were multiple [events] through the year through the ICC office of Waseda. They send monthly newsletters (if subscribed) featuring many activities to do for international students where you just need to apply and show up to have a good time. I participated in a few of them, ranging from visits to the Japan mint in Saitama, to hanging out with Waseda students and alumni from other campuses."

"There were departmental events (through SILS), or organized events from ICC, an office made for international exchange [students] that catered to many interests. ICC offered language chat circles, ski trips, cherry blossom viewing, bamboo harvesting, etc. There are volunteer English teaching assistant opportunities as well. Join a circle or try a new hobby. It instantly allows you access to a whole friendpool and you get to have cool experiences."

"There is a building for clubs and also libraries and computer labs are accessible by students making Waseda University an ideal place to do homework and study as well as to make friends in class. In addition, there is a workout room in the clubs building if you want to get fit. The university also offers yoga and dance classes for a fair price, making it easy to get involved on campus. The school cafeteria also has a variety of cheap and yummy foods that allow cheap alternatives for students who don’t cook or don’t have time to cook, and there are also a lot of nearby cafes and convenience stores so you have many options and won’t get sick of the same food everyday."

Have questions?

Global Learning 101

Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment. In these videos, you will learn much of the basics about Global Learning, which may answer your initial questions.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how this program 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

Global Learning Advising

If you have questions, please reach out to our office! We offer drop-in advising for general inquiries, and if you have questions about this specific program or any others, you can book an appointment with the responsible advisor.

Please use the link below to find the most up-to-date information about our current advising options.

View the Global Learning Advising page

The exchange advisor for this program is: Flavien Niederst

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 global learning 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 Global Learning Advisors will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

If you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Global Learning Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Please note: All participants must adhere to COVID-19 and other vaccination-related requirements for the destinations visited on this program. Failure to do so may have consequences such as being denied access to accommodation/housing, program activities, or to the host country itself.