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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.5 Language of Instruction: English, Japanese
Housing: Campus Housing Number of Credits Offered: 12-16
Language Courses Offered: Japanese Eligible Population: 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior
Type of Program: Bilateral Exchange Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Philosophy, Tourism, Honors, Communication, Economics, English, Global Affairs, History, Integrative Studies, Japanese Studies
Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office Open to non-Mason Students: No
Click here for a definition of this term Course Equivalency Database: View Approved Courses Program eligible for VA Benefits: No
Program Description:

Nagoya University of Foreign Studies

Nisshin, Japan

Nagoya University of Foreign Studies (NUFS) was established in 1988 as the only foreign language university in central Japan. Home to approximately 4,000 students, the NUFS campus is situated in the hill country east of Nagoya City in Nisshin, a city of over 90,000. Nagoya, which is Japan's fourth largest urban area, is just 30 minutes away by car (60 minutes by public transportation). Nagoya has many museums, including traditional and modern art. Its two most famous sightseeing spots are the Atsuta Shrine and Nagoya Castle. The Chubu region is known for its unique local Nagoya cuisine and cafe culture. The historical contact between other regions in Japan, climate, vegetables, and other ingredients give Nagoya cuisine its unique features. Because Nagoya is located in the middle of Japan's main island, it is easy to get to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, the mountain town of Takayama, Ise-Shima islands in Mie Prefecture, and even the Japan sea side.

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 (not including summer) at Mason.

Courses Available

Students attending NUFS can select courses from the following programs:

Global Japan Program

This program for exchange students focuses on acquiring Japanese language skills and gaining knowledge about Japan from a global perspective. It offers a wide variety of classes categorized into the two following courses:
  • Global Japan Studies Course (GJSC)
    • In the GJSC, international and domestic students alike deepen their understanding of the global society from two angles - Japan from the World Perspective and the World from Japan's Perspective - with the purpose of utilizing what they have learned in their future careers. All classes are English-taught. Exchange students will take the L1 classes. The GJSC classes can be categorized into two thematic blocks: language and culture and business and society. These classes offer a wide variety of topics focusing on the historic heritage and traditional culture of Central Japan and the Tokai Region with its center in Nagoya, as well as the technological innovation and corporate management in the local manufacturing industry with Toyota as its most prominent example.
      • L2 classes are only available to exchange students after they have enrolled in the minimum of 7 classroom hours per week of GJSC-L1 or JLC classes.
  • Japanese Language Course (JLC)
    • JLC offers Japanese classes on various levels. With the maximum of 12 students in a class, the JLC is characterized by thorough support and supervision provided to students by well experienced and highly qualified Japanese language instructors. By taking advantage of being immersed in the Japanese learning and living environment, students taking the JLC can rapidly expand their Japanese language proficiency. The JLC is composed of core language classes and applied skills classes. The classes are offered on six proficiency levels from beginning to pre-advanced and in three styles of intensiveness (intensive, semi-intensive, and introductory) differing in the number of classroom hours per week (1 classroom hour = 90 minutes). Japanese proficiency levels and expected proficiency goals for the six levels are presented in the chart below.
      • Japanese - Intensive (levels I and II): A comprehensive course composed of various communication activities carried out through practice and grammatical structures and forms, kanji, and the four linguistic levels. These are eight classroom hours per week, allowing students to complete the entire beginning level in one year.
      • Japanese - Semi-Intensive (levels I to VI): This course focuses on acquiring the knowledge of the core of the Japanese linguistic system. It offers classes on all six proficiency levels and is composed of four classroom hours per week. Students can design their curriculum by combing these core classes with various applied skills classes based on their individual interests or needs, thus improving their four linguistic skills. The available applied skills classes are kanji, reading, composition, projects (speech, interview, fieldwork, local community interaction, etc.). The classes are held one per week.
      • Japanese - Introductory (level I): Offered on level 1 only, this course is composed of two classroom hours per week. These core language classes focus on acquiring the basic vocabulary and expressions necessary for daily life in Japan.
    • Global Japan Program Course Offerings
JLC Levels and Expected Proficiency Goals
JLC Class Levels Proficiency Goal Upon Completion JLC Kanji Class Levels Number of  Kanji Characters Upon Completion
I Lower Beginner JLPT N5 I 150 kanjis
II Upper Beginner JLPT N4 II 300 kanjis
III Lower-Intermediate   III 500 kanjis
IV Mid-Intermediate JLPT N3 IV 700 kanjis
V Upper-Intermediate   V 1000 kanjis
VI Pre-Advanced JLPT N2 VI Over 1000 kanjis
Students in the Global Japan Program may compose their own timetable by combining classes in the GJSC and JLC based on their interests. 

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.

Academic Calendar

The academic calendar at NUFS is different from Mason's. The fall semester runs from late August to late December and the spring semester runs from mid-March to mid-July. 

Credit Conversion

Students are expected to take a full-time course load during their time abroad. A full-time course load is 12-15 credits.

  • Japanese Language Classes*
    • Intensive Program (16 credits at NUFS) = 13 credits at Mason
    • Semi-Intensive Program (8 credits at NUFS) = 7 credits at Mason
    • Introductory Program (4 credits at NUFS) = 3 credits at Mason
  • Japanese Applied Skills & JSC Classes*
    • 2 credits = 2 Mason credits
*This information is estimated and will be confirmed.

Students must take a minimum of 7 classroom hours per week each semester to maintain their visa. 

Grade Conversion

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. Refer to the table below regarding how grades are converted at this institution.

 NUFS Grade* Mason Grade
A+ (100-90) A+
A (89-80) A
B (79-70) B
C (69-60) C
D (59-0) F
E (Incomplete) F
*This information is estimated and is being confirmed.

Global Understanding

Students participating in this study abroad program will automatically fulfill the Mason Global Understanding core requirement.


Exchange students are guaranteed space in NUFS-provided apartment buildings. All housing facilities are located within walking distance of campus (maximum ten minutes). All rooms are single occupancy and are equipped with a private toilet and bathroom, bed, desk, and other furniture. Rental bedding is also available. In the vicinity of the facilities, students can find large supermarkets and a home depot, numerous restaurants and cafes, cellular phone shops, 100-Yen shops, as well as a large spa complex, making the student life very comfortable and enjoyable.

Most importantly, it should be noted that housing at NUFS is FREE! NUFS offers a scholarship to all exchange students that covers the cost of housing as well as other basic daily life expenses in the amount of 60,000 yen a month.
  • NUFS International House (I-House)
    • International House is located approximately five minutes on foot from the campus. There are three communal kitchens, a number of computers for students' free use, and free Wi-Fi. Coin laundry is available. There is an 11pm curfew at the I-House.
  • NUFS-NUAS Residence
    • Located 7-8 minutes from campus on foot. Each room is equipped with free Wi-Fi, a private kitchenette, a refrigerator, and a washing machine. There is no curfew.
  • NUFS Global Village
    • This new dormitory was just completed in July 2018. There is free Wi-Fi, communal kitchens on all eight floors as well as communal areas for students to interact. Coin laundry is available.
Students who wish to stay off-campus, including homestay, must make their accommodation arrangements on their own.

Visit the NUFS Housing website for more information.


While there are no meal plans at NUFS, there are six cafeterias and cafes on campus with a ride range of reasonably priced meals to choose from. Prices for a lunch meal at NUFS cafeterias range between 300-500 yen ($2.60-$4.30 USD). There are also four convenience stores on campus with a variety of light meals, snacks, and drinks. There is also a bakery with freshly baked pastries!

Life at NUFS

Students are highly encouraged to join NUFS clubs and societies. The include, but are not limited to:
  • Sports Clubs and Societies
    • NUFS Badminton Club, Women's Basketball Club, Women's Lacrosse Club, Kendo Club, Cycling Club, Table Tennis Club, Men's Volleyball Club, Karate Club, Aikido Club, Sosaichi Club, Taekwondo Club, Track and Field Club, Men's Basketball Club, Baseball Club, Women's Volleyball Club, Iaido Club, Dance Club
  • Cultural Clubs and Societies
    • Theatrical Company Saru, Wind Orchestra, Photography Club, Acapella Club La Voix, Kado Flower Arranging Club, Jazz Club, Tea Ceremony Club, Performance Club Silmultaneous Interpreting
Excursions, workshops, and guest lectures are held almost every week through the Japanese Culture Practicum which guarantees that you will gain knowledge about Japan! Examples include:
  • Workshops: Ikebana (flower arrangement), tea ceremony, pottery making, soba (buckwheat) noodle making, Zen meditation.
  • Excursions: Ninja Village, Ise Grand Shrine, sumo grames, visits to museums and galleries.
  • Overnight Study Tours to Kyoto, Nara, Shirakawa Village, Eiheiji Temple.
NUFS also provides a variety of on and off-campus activities that allow international students to interact with NUFS domestic students as well as the local community. These include: Tanabata (Star Festival), Halloween, and Christmas Parties, Weekend homestay and home visits, Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) events and festivals, Summer Festivals, Cultural Exchange and Networking Parties, NUFS Language Lounges, and a Buddy Program.

Airport Pick Up

Students arriving at Central Japan International Airport "Centr'air" (NGO) on designated dates can request a free pick up from the airport to their NUFS-provided housing facility only.

Program Cost

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.

Program Payments

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.


NUFS offers a scholarship to all exchange students that covers the cost of housing as well as other basic daily life expenses in the amount of 60,000 yen a month. Students do not need to do anything to receive this scholarship.

Students may also apply for the JASSO Exchange Student Support Program scholarship. Upon receiving information on available scholarships from JASSO, NUFS will select the eligible students.

GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:

Application Deadline:

Fall/Academic Year: Early-Mid April*
Spring/Calendar Year: Late September-Early October*

*See the bottom of this page for the exact deadlines for the upcoming term(s).

Visa Information

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 requirements:*

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.

Application instructions:

GEO Program Administrator

Name Martha Sadler
Phone 703-993-2154
  Make an appointment

Additional Resources

Follow NUFS on Social Media

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2023 10/10/2022 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Calendar Year 2023 10/10/2022 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.