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.
- Comparative Culture (English Literature, Creative Writing)
- International Business and Economics (International Business, Business Administration, Business Management, Accounting and Finance, Economics)
- Social Studies (History, International Relations, Politics, Health and Wellbeing in Society)
Exchange students will be required to follow a full programme of study for the academic year based at Sophia University.
Learn more about campus activities and events
Students are encouraged to participate in student life at Sophia University by joining an extra-curricular club that matches their interests. Over 270 student groups available are categorised in relation to sport, music, theatre, culture, hobbies and more. Examples of things you can get involved in range from learning about the Japanese tea ceremony, practicing ice skating, volunteering in a local nursing home and teaching English to participating in a Drama performance, or joining a group to discuss Anime! Further details of the groups are available here.
Exchange students can sign up for the student supporter program before arriving at Sophia. The supporter student is usually the first Sophia student exchange students meet before class starts and is there to assist you throughout your time at the university. Annually, an orientation camp and freshman week takes place to allow new and existing students to get to know each other and learn about student organisations.
“Global-Network,” or more commonly known as “GL-Net” is a student volunteer organization runs various events for interaction of local and international students at Sophia. What makes “GL-NET” unique is that it is officially sponsored by the Center for Global Education and Discovery at Sophia University. Students can also join SSIC (Sophia Student Integration Commons) which aims to inspire exchange and communication between international and Japanese students.
Travel & accommodation
Visas & 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.