SEA (Student Exchange Advisors)
The student exchange program requires students not only to have a high level of English proficiency but to have a solid study plan. At APU, the SEA (Student Exchange Advisors) support students who aspire to participate in the student exchange program. SEA is an organization comprised of senior students who have experienced student exchange and provides support for students who wish to consult about student exchange, setting up study plans to achieve one’s goals, life overseas and career pathways following the student exchange program.
Overview of Events
SEA will hold the Student Exchange Café on the following dates to share information about partner universities, preparation for the student exchange application process, and other preparations needed prior to participating in the student exchange program. At this event, you will have the opportunity to listen to and consult students who have experienced the student exchange program.
※Events will be conducted via Zoom in the 2020 Spring Semester. Please use the Zoom ID below to enter the Student Exchange Café by the starting time.
Overview of 2020 Spring Semester Events
|June 17 (Wed)
|Spring 2021 Student Exchange Program Guidance Session ※||ZOOM ID : 945 0675 5078|
|June 24 (Wed) 4th period||Student Exchange Café 1 (Selecting an exchange destination)||ZOOM ID : 980 5757 5026|
|July 1 (Wed) 4th period||Student Exchange Café 2 (How to write the student exchange application)|
|July 8 (Wed) 4th period||Student Exchange Café 3 (Introducing partner universities around the world)|
|July 15 (Wed) 4th period||Student Exchange Café 4 (Introducing partner universities around the world)|
Book Advising Session at the SEA Booth
In order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the SEA Booth will be closed for the 2020 Spring Semester. If you have any questions, please book an online consultation session with a staff member from the Academic Office. Online booking is possible from the bottom of this page.
It is possible to consult SEA regarding life as an exchange student overseas and preparations for the student
exchange program. We recommend you speak to students who have experienced the student exchange program. Place: SEA Advising Booth (In the Academic Office)
Booking: Please book through the link below.
Cautions about booking:
-Each student may book up to 2 sessions per week. Students cannot book 2 sessions in one day.
-The booking will be cancelled if students are over 10 minutes late.
-Walk-in advising sessions are possible but students who have booked a session will be prioritized.
Student Exchange (SEA) Coordinator
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The SEAs have compiled a FAQ with a list of common questions and answers concerning the Overseas Student Exchange Program. The FAQ below provides valuable information on everything from host university selection to application requirements, so please refer to this information before deciding whether to book a consultation with SEA or the Academic Office.
- Q1. Which host university should I go to? What is the “best” host university?
APU partners only with universities which meet APU’s own high standards for academic excellence. As such, we recommend all universities to potential applicants. However, it is up to you to choose a host university based on your area of study at APU, host country living expenses, host university strengths, and other factors.
Ultimately, the “best” university is the one that will provide you with the most opportunities for personal and academic growth, while also challenging you to push your boundaries. Though some universities may have a higher profile than others in international rankings, this does not mean that a more highly ranked university is necessarily the best option for you. Also, don’t be discouraged if you fail to receive your 1st-choice university. Students often find that going to a country or university which they might not necessarily have considered initially can result in a truly unique experience.
- Q2. How long can I go on exchange?
- With a few exceptions, you almost always have the option of applying for a one- or two-semester (i.e. one academic year) exchange. While it is not possible to go on exchange for longer than two semesters, students can sometimes combine a short-term program or internship with their regular exchange. For example, a student may do a two-semester exchange in Korea followed by a short-term summer or winter program in the same country. Please refer to the Overseas Short-Term Summer/Winter Programs page for more information about short-term programs abroad. Also, keep in mind that APU students must remain at APU for their 8th and final semester, and cannot participate in an exchange during this time.
- Q3. When is the best time for me to go on exchange?
- Just as there is no “best” host university, there is no “best” time to go on exchange; the best time will vary depending on your personal, academic, and professional goals. For example, by going on exchange later in your academic career, you may be eligible for more advanced courses at your host university. On the other hand, going on exchange earlier may be the better option if you plan on pursuing research, internships, job hunting, etc. in Japan after your return. You should also plan your exchange carefully to ensure you graduate on time. Lastly, keep in mind that some universities only recruit students during certain semesters (i.e. spring or fall) due to differences in their academic calendar.
- Q4. When and how should I apply for the exchange program?
The Academic Office recruits for the exchange program twice per year, with fall recruitment typically beginning around October, and spring recruitment around April. At the start of each recruitment period, the Academic Office will post an announcement to Campus Terminal and upload the list of recruiting universities to the Overseas Student Exchange Program website.
Students apply to the exchange program one year before their intended departure date. For example, students wishing to go on exchange in Fall 2021 should apply in Fall 2020. Note that you must be in or between your 2nd and 5th semesters to apply. Also, while some host universities recruit students in both the fall and spring, some universities recruit only during one or the other due to differences in their academic calendar.
When applying to the APU internal screening, you will be asked to write a series of short essays describing your personal and academic goals and explaining how the exchange program will help you achieve those goals. You must also provide basic personal information, IELTS or TOEFL scores, and a list of courses you would like to take while on exchange. In some cases, you may be asked to do an interview with Academic Office staff and APU faculty.
- Q5. I took IELTS/TOEFL before, but my scores are now expired. Can I apply to the exchange program with expired scores?
- You can submit expired scores (official score report, web printout, or screenshot) for the APU internal screening. However, if you pass the internal screening with expired scores, or if your scores will expire before the host university nomination deadline, you will be given a status of “conditional acceptance.” Conditionally accepted students must submit new, valid scores by the final score submission deadline (one week before the nomination deadline). Please take this into account when scheduling new language examinations, as failure to submit new, valid scores by the deadline will result in the cancellation of your application. Also, please be aware that the Admissions Office will not return scores submitted at the time of your APU entrance exam.
- Q6. What are the GPA/IELTS/TOEFL requirements?
For the APU internal screening, you must meet both APU’s minimum semester GPA requirement (2.00 or above) and the host university’s minimum cumulative GPA requirement (varies). Note that there is no “conditional acceptance” for GPA; you must meet the semester and cumulative GPA requirements at the time of the APU internal screening. Also, remember that you must continue to meet the GPA requirements until the date of your departure for your exchange program, as failure to do so will result in the cancellation of your application.
You can confirm each host university’s language and GPA requirements by referring to the university list, which is published on the Overseas Student Exchange Program website at the start of each recruitment period.
- Q7. Can I work part time during my exchange program?
- Many countries do not allow exchange students to engage in part-time work due to visa restrictions. However, there are some exceptions, so you will need to confirm these details with the respective embassy or consulate for your host country when applying for your visa.
- Q8. How much does the exchange program cost?
- Students who go on exchange to an APU partner university continue paying tuition to APU, without having to pay additional tuition fees to their host university. All exchange students are required to enroll in the APU-mandated Overseas Travel Insurance/J-TAS Risk Management Support System, and may be required to purchase additional insurance depending on their host university’s and host country’s requirements. Additional expenses such as housing, airfare, visa application fees, and daily living costs will vary greatly depending on the host country.
- Q9. Are there scholarships available for exchange students?
A small number of host universities may offer some degree of funding or language teaching opportunities to help offset living costs. However, please be aware that these are the exception.
Scholarships such as JASSO and TOBITATE are available for Japanese nationals and permanent residents. Please refer to the Scholarship System for Study Abroad website for more information.
- Q10. Will all of my host university courses transfer back to APU? How many credits can I receive from my exchange program?
In general, all courses are eligible for transfer as long as they have an academic component and some relation to the APU curriculum. However, courses may transfer back under different categories (Major Subject, Common Liberal Arts, etc.) depending on the course content.
Each host university has different credit registration requirements for exchange students. Host university credits are transferred back to APU according to a specific formula, which also varies for each host university. The Academic Office will provide in-depth guidance regarding credit transfer for students who pass the internal screening.
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