Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS) was initially founded in 1873 making it the oldest academic institution devoted to international studies in Japan. Home to approximately 4,500 students, TUFS is located in the Tokyo Metropolitan area of Fuchu. The primary TUFS campus is situated in Asahi-cho near the Tama Station of the Seibu Tamagawa Line. This is about 12 miles from central Tokyo which is easily accessible by public transportation. The campus features on-site dormitories, a library, gymnasium, sports field, cafeteria, and a few small shops. Students have the ability to study in a modern, hi-tech environment.
In 2014, TUFS was designated as a Top Global University by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT). It is also considered one of the most selective universities in Japan. TUFS is truly a global institution with 26 language departments and over 70 languages taught at the university. This program is a great opportunity for those who are interested in acquiring a firm understanding of Japanese culture and who want to deepen their perspectives on current international issues at an academic level.
Application cycles are open one semester at a time. Applications for the fall/academic year will open around December 1 of the year prior and applications for spring/calendar year will open around July 1 of the year prior.
Click through the brochure tabs to learn more about this program.
In order to participate in this program, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Students must have completed at least 45 credits at the time of departure.
- For students applying for fall or academic year programs, this total does not include summer coursework that has yet to be completed.
- Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA at the time of application and departure.
- Students planning to study abroad in the last semester of their senior year should discuss this with their GEO program administrator and major advisor as this may affect their ability to graduate on time.
- Recent transfer students cannot study abroad their first semester at Mason.
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies offers two options for exchange programs - the Japanese Language Program at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (JLPTUFS) or the International Student Exchange Program of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (ISEPTUFS). Exchange Students need to take 10 hours (7 classes) per week for the student visa requirement.
Students are to choose courses from the following programs TUFS offers:
- Global Liberal Arts Program
- Subjects in the School of Language and Culture Studies
- Subjects in the School of International and Area Studies
There are restrictions to the number of Japanese language subjects ISEPTUFS students can take. Students who place in the 100-600 level can take up to 6 credits while students who place in the 700-800 level can take up to 3 credits.
Japanese Language Program
ISEPTUFS students can take other subjects taught in Japanese but will need to acquire special permission upon arrival. ISEPTUFS students generally choose 5 credits from the Japanese Language Program (taught in Japanese) and five credits from other subjects provided in both Japanese and English.
For those who desire a higher level of Japanese language, you can enroll in language subjects called Regional Languages A / Japanese: Integrated and Japanese Skill. Students are required to take a placement test. Classes run for 15 weeks in each semester; to meet the diverse levels of Japanese language ability and needs of the students, we have set up seven levels of classes, from "beginner"to "advanced". Students can take between 1 to 10 classes on the level that suits their own individual needs.
Course Equivalency and Plan of Study
The Global Education Office has a Course Evaluation and Registration System
(CERS), which you will use to complete the steps needed to evaluate your courses abroad, and see how they will count at Mason. This database is accessible whether you have already applied, or are just beginning to think about studying abroad. Look at the courses in the database. You are by no means limited to these courses. The database shows courses that have already been evaluated. You can request equivalency for any course not yet evaluated, through CERS.
You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to look at this institution’s courses ahead of time to see how they will match up to your Mason degree requirements. Talk to your academic advisor about what courses you will need to receive credit for during your time abroad to stay on-track for your degree. When looking at courses keep in mind that course schedules can change. We recommend having twice as many courses approved as necessary.
The academic calendar at TUFS is a bit different from Mason. The fall (third quarter) begins in late September and ends in late January and the spring (first quarter) begins in early April and ends in mid-July. Due to the structure of their calendar, students may study abroad for the academic year or spring only.
Students are expected to take a full-time course load during their time at TUFS. Due to visa requirements, students will need to take a minimum of 7 classes.
- 1 TUFS credit = 1 Mason credit
This will allow you to transfer between 12-16 credits back to Mason per semester. Students who complete 24+ credits at TUFS will be issued an ISEPTUFS course completion certification.
When transferring courses back to Mason, the credits will transfer but the grade will not. However, you must receive the equivalent of a "C" or above in order to transfer your credit back.
Students participating in this study abroad program will automatically fulfill the Mason Global Understanding core requirement.
Most exchange students reside in one of two TUFS International Residences on the TUFS campus. Built in 2004 and 2006, both Residences are well-equipped. Each room comes furnished with a single bed, desk, chair, bookshelves, shelves, a small kitchen area with stove, refrigerator, and sink. In addition, students are provided with telephone and internet (ethernet) connection, a waste basket, several lighting fixtures and a desk lamp. Some rooms are equipped with a private bathroom that includes a shower/bath, sink, and toilet, while residents in other rooms have a private sink and toilet, but must share showers with several neighbors (separate for males and females). Each floor of both dormitories have coin-operated laundry facilities (washers and dryers). Other common areas and rooms include a large Shared Kitchen, Television Lounge, Music/Piano Room, Japanese Style Room for cultural activities and events, Study Room equipped with computers and desks, and a recreational area with table tennis and other equipment.
Fees at the TUFS International Residence are generally very low compared to similar private housing, and depend on the type of room. Students also have to pay for utility services such as electricity, water, and gas. Students who maintain a telephone line in their room will also have to pay the requisite costs, but most international students opt for a mobile phone. The university does not currently offer any sort of meal plan. However, the on-campus cafeterias offer good meals at low cost, and students can prepare meals by themselves using the kitchen facilities in their rooms or the larger shared kitchen in each Residence.
On-campus accommodation is located in convenient, quiet, and green surroundings. Residents can enjoy many Japanese cultural events and international exchange activities such as tea ceremonies and Japanese calligraphy.
This is a Bilateral Exchange Program. Students are enrolled as regular students at the partner university, pay Mason tuition to Mason, and pay room and board abroad. Students can use the budget sheets located at the top of this page to see what GEO estimates as expenses.
As this is a Bilateral Exchange Program, students will pay for their tuition as they normally do in PatriotWeb.
Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee of $200 for Mason students. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system.
Administrative Fee: A non-refundable administrative fee of $325 (for semester length programs) or $525 (for year-long programs) must be received in order to confirm your enrollment in the program. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system.
Financial Aid: Students using financial aid are encouraged to talk to their counselor regarding how their financial aid can transfer to their program.
The Ministry of Education of Japan supports the Japan Students Service Organization (JASSO) Scholarship Program, which some international exchange students coming to TUFS receive each year. Students applying to the exchange program are asked to submit a Certificate of Enrollment Form for the JASSO Scholarship Program with their Application to TUFS.
GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:
Academic Year: Early-Mid February*
Spring: Early-Mid October*
*See the bottom of this page for the exact deadlines for the upcoming term(s).
Once accepted into a program, it will be your responsibility to apply for a student visa and/or residence permit (if required, based on your citizenship). You will receive details on this with your acceptance letter. Do not apply for a visa until after you have been officially accepted. Visit the Embassy of Japan's website for further information.
Application fee: $200 for Mason students.
Official Transcripts: An official copy of your Mason transcript is required as well as copies of official transcripts from any other college or university you have attended.
Passport Status: If you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now.
Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents.
Questionnaires: Read and complete the documents according to the instructions.
*Additional paperwork may be required for this program and can be viewed inside your application.