Sophia University – Tokyo, Japan

Sophia University was established in 1913 and has a strong reputation for excellence in undergraduate education, outstanding graduate programs, and a competitive research environment. This has enabled it to maintain its ranking as one of Japan’s top private universities. The word ‘Sophia’ was taken from the Greek language and it means ‘the wisdom which is expressed in ethical activities that further the goals of human existence.’ The wisdom, or ‘Sophia’ is the ultimate treasure which the university aims to give to its students.

Sophia, classed as a pioneer in global education has a student population of up to 15,000 students and welcomes over 1000 international students from 80 countries worldwide. The faculty includes members from more than 20 countries, and most faculty members have overseas study and research experience.

The university is located centrally in Tokyo, a culturally unique city with its mix of traditional and modern elements of Japan.  The campus is centrally located within walking distance of places of interest such as the National Diet and the nation’s administrative district, the Imperial Palace and the National Guest House. Shinjuku, one of the most exciting areas in Tokyo, is just a 5 minutes train ride away from Yotsuya, the closest station.

Programmes of study

Sophia University offers the opportunity for students to take Japanese language classes alongside other majors offered in the English-taught Faculty of Liberal Arts (FLA). The tentative module offer can be found by following the links for each major.

Only students enrolled on the DMU programmes mentioned below in brackets are eligible to apply to study on exchange at Sophia University.

Exchange students will be required to follow a full programme of study for the academic year based at Sophia University.

view exchange programme

Travel & accommodation

  • Travel – the nearest major airports to Sophia University are Narita International Airport (1 hour and 15 minutes by train to Yotsuya station costing £20) and Haneda Airport (30 minutes by taxi for £50 or 50 minutes on the train to Yotsuya station for £5). Please note, prices and distances are approximate. Further details on arrivals will be provided by the university directly.
  • Accommodation – various off-campus accommodation options associated with the university are available. Commuting times vary between 45 – 90 minutes and rent costs are £4000+ for the academic year depending on the option selected. Full details are available here.

Visas & insurance

  • Visas – To take part in this exchange you are responsible for ensuring that you meet Japanese immigration requirements.
  • Insurance – DMU insurance is not sufficient for studying on exchange in Japan. Students are required to purchase mandatory national health insurance which costs between £10-20 per month as well as personal accident insurance.


Living costs in Japan tend to be higher than those in the UK. We recommend that you do further independent research to gain a better understanding of the cost of your year abroad. On average, Sophia University recommends students to prepare approx. 150,000 JPY (£970) per month for living expenses. To help you, we have a created a simple cost comparison between the UK and Japan.