Program Details: Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University


Is this program for me?

Discover Japan and the Asia Pacific while improving your Japanese language skills! Founded in 2000 in Beppu, Japan, APU’s primary mission is to foster international understanding by bringing together future leaders from countries and regions throughout the world. Rated as one of Japan’s most innovative universities, APU offers a truly multicultural experience with a student body drawing from over 80 countries. Currently, approximately 44% of APU's students are international students.  APU offers students numerous campus activities to engage students in Japanese culture while meeting students from around the world.

APU Homepage

APU Exchange Student Website

APU Summer Gateway Program



Beppu is one of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations and one of the world’s treasures due to the many onsen (hot springs) throughout the city. The city’s bayside location, its spectacular scenery, hot springs, and its old-style Japanese architecture attract over 11 million visitors each year.

Cultural Information


2017-2018 Estimated Semester Budget

How will I pay for this?

Financial Aid FAQ's

The cost of any study abroad program depends to a large extent on the participant's personal spending habits and lifestyle.

JASSO SCHOLARSHIP - Each year, GVSU students have been awarded JASSO scholarship funds for participation in this exchange. While this is not guaranteed, students are strongly encouraged to submit a JASSO scholarship application with their application to APU. The JASSO stipend has been in the amount of 80,000 yen per month. Up to two students can potentially be awarded a JASSO scholarship from APU. Additional information can be found on the APU website. 

A PIC Partnership Grant is available ($1,000 each) 2 available per year for this program. This grant is not available for students who receive the JASSO, JICUF, or TAKASE scholarships.

Any student studying abroad for a semester is automatically considered for the Study Abroad Semester Grand, click here for the grant guidelines



Visa Information

US citizens will be required to apply for a student visa prior to entry into Japan for stays longer than 90 days. For more information and application details, please reference our student visa guide. Please note that the appropriate consulate or embassy must be consulted for the most up-to-date visa information.

Housing and Meals

Students will stay in the AP House, APU’s on-campus residence hall, or in an off campus dormitory (Oita International House) in downtown Beppu. Rooms are typically single units with either private or shared washrooms. The AP House provides Japanese-style shared baths located on the ground floor, computer rooms, a communal kitchen, and meeting rooms. Students are more commonly placed in the Oita International House which requires the student to commute to the APU campus via the bus. The Oita International House is in Beppu city. Students can obtain a bus pass for about $40 per week. English is widely spoken in the Oita International House since this building primarily houses international students. Utilities can range around $100 per month.

Students may eat at the campus cafeteria.

Visit APU's Student Life page for detailed information.


Program Dates

Summer: June - August

Fall: September - February (no early departures)

Academic Year: September - July

Winter: April - July 




Exchange students are able to take undergraduate courses at the 100 – 400 level. Students must choose to enroll in the College of Asia Pacific Studies (APS) or the College of International Management (APM) but will be able to enroll in courses from both colleges.

Courses available at APU

APU Course List (page 8)

APU Course List (Curriculum Overview)

Quick link to Syllabi

Restrictions: Exchange students are restricted from taking “Major Seminar,” “Research Seminar,” and “Undergraduate Thesis” which are for degree seeking students only.

Actual courses to be offered will only be released a few weeks before the semester. Students will register for courses after arriving at APU. While most courses are offered in both English and Japanese, the language a course is being offered in depends on the semester.

How will the courses I take at APU transfer back to my GVSU transcript?

If the course you wish to take at APU appears on the "Existing Course Equivalencies" list, you do not need to secure course approval for that course. The courses on this list have already been approved by the academic department.

Existing Semester Course Equivalencies

Existing Summer Course Equivalencies

Note: This is not a full list of courses offer at this partner University


APU Application Process

Step 1 - Students must apply and be accepted into the GVSU OASIS application system.

Step 2 - The Padnos International Center will provide all applicants with application instructions after the OASIS priority deadline.

Step 3 - Students must complete all required application materials for APU.

Step 4 - Students receive admission into the program and are provided with additional pre-arrival instructions.

Summer Gateway Program

APU offers a the Summer Gateway Program for students interested in courses in Japanese language and culture. 

Dates: early June - end of July (8 weeks)

Estimated Budget

Summer Gateway Program

Travel Information

Students typically fly into either Fukuoka airport or Oita airport. Bus service is available from both airports.  APU will provide detailed instructions on how to get to the University in the guide they send to incoming students. APU does arrange arrival assistance for new students. There will be someone at both airports to greet students and make sure they get on the correct bus. Students will be expected to cover the cost of their transportation to Beppu.



Study at APU

Page last modified July 16, 2019