- Location and Housing
- Pricing and Dates
- Application Instructions
- Additional Information
Ritsumeikan University (立命館大学) was founded in 1900 as a private university in Kyoto, Japan. It is home to approximately 35,000 students. Of which, over a 1,000 are international students. Needless to say campus life can be pretty exciting with nearly 200 active student clubs as well as a wealth of community festivals. In addition to campus clubs and circles, students can get involved in the local community through various volunteer activities. The Ritsumeikan University Volunteer Center provides support for students wishing to volunteer for a good cause. Whether you are interested in health issues, the environment, or international activities, the Volunteer Center can direct you to an opportunity that meets your interests and schedule. This program is university-wide, meaning any undergraduate Pitt student regardless of major may participate.
As an active and engaged participant on this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:
- the ability to succeed independently in a foreign education environment.
- non-US based perspectives on your field of study and/or future career path.
- a global network of peer in similar fields of study and connections with faculty in Japan.
Located in central Japan, the ancient city of Kyoto is known for its traditional festivals such as Gion Matsuri, one of the largest and most famous in Japan. It is home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, of which the famous Ryoanji Temple and Golden Pavilion are located within walking distance of Ritsumeikan. At the same time as being an ancient city with a rich cultural heritage, the city of Kyoto is also progressive and modern.
Ritsumeikan offers options for university-affiliated housing or private accommodations. Although Pitt students are not guaranteed spots within university-affiliated housing, Ritsumeikan will provide instructions on when and how to apply for housing. See Ritsumeikan’s general housing website.
At Ritsumeikan, courses are taught in Japanese, as well as English. Credits taken at Kobe are equivalent to credits received at Pitt according to a 1:1 ratio. For example, 3 credits at Ritsumeikan will transfer as 3 Pitt credits.
All credits taken at Ritsumeikan require approval by both your academic advisor(s) and study abroad program manager. Additionally, for the purpose of full-time status here at Pitt, students should be prepared to take what is equivalent to at least 12 Pitt credit hours. Courses taken at Ritsumeikan will be treated as transfer credits and will be marked as pass/fail (S/NC) on a Pitt student's transcript. In other words, transfer credits will not affect your Pitt GPA. Actual grades earned will appear on the transcript from the exchange university.
At Ritsumeikan, Pitt students will choose between one of three tracks: Intensive Japanese Language (ILJ), Open Study in English Track (OSE), and Business Track (BT). See their website for more details regarding each track.
|S (90-100%)||A (4.0)|
|A (80-89%)||B+ (3.5)|
|B (70-79%)||B (3.0)|
|C (60-69%)||C (2.0)|
|F (below 59%)||F|
For Pitt transfer credit, in order to earn a grade of “S,” (satisfactory) at Pitt, you must make an equivalent to a grade of “C” or higher. An equivalent to a “C-” or lower will result in a grade of “NC” (no credit) at Pitt.
Pitt students may utilize the following online resource to understand the grading scale within this host country.
Items Billed by Pitt
|Study Abroad Fee||$400||$400|
|Total Billed by Pitt*||$10,259||$17,273|
Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs
|Travel Expenses: Airfare, Passport, Visa, Resident Permit||$2,000|
|Room & Board||$4,000|
Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates. However, you may need to purchase additional insurance if the exchange university you will attend requires purchase of a specific health insurance coverage per their regulations. It is your responsibility to ensure you know the cost of that insurance prior to committing to the program.
Pitt students enroll at Ritsumeikan for either a full semester (spring) or a full academic year (two full semesters). Ritsumeikan's academic calendars may differ from Pitt's normal fall (August through December) and spring (January through April) semesters, so Pitt students should check the academic calendar at the exchange university. Unlike Pitt, Ritsumeikan’s academic calendar follows a Spring-Fall progression, meaning Spring is the first semester followed by the Fall semester as the second. Because Ritsumeikan’s academic calendar varies significantly from Pitt’s, exchanging for only the fall semester is not possible. However, if a single semester at Ritsumeikan is desired, then the Spring (or second) semester is the only option. The dates listed above are estimated and therefore subject to change according to the host university’s schedule.
Pitt sends a limited number of students per semester to Ritsumeikan. In addition to applying to the Pitt Study Abroad application above, be sure to review Ritsumeikan's website regarding their application requirements for incoming exchange students. A formal nomination from Pitt Study Abroad is required for Pitt students to be recognized as an exchange student at Ritsumeikan. Therefore, Pitt students must complete all necessary Pitt Study Abroad steps in addition to Ritsumeikan's requirements. In other words, acceptance by Pitt Study Abroad does not guarantee acceptance by the exchange university.
The exchange university may require the following to be submitted through an online application. Requirements may include but are not limited to the following:
- Application Form
- Copy of Valid Passport
- Official Pitt Transcript
- Official Pitt Verification of Enrollment
- Statement of Intent or Purpose
- Resume or CV
- Official Language Evaluation
- Up to 2 instructor letters of recommendations
- Up to 2 passport photos
Scholarships: Pitt students exchanging at Ritsumeikan are eligible for the JASSO and RUSSES scholarships. For details, visit Ritsumeikan's scholarship page.
Language Requirements: Non-native English speakers will be required to show evidence of English proficiency either through the IELTS or the TOELF. In order to take courses in Japanese at Ritsumeikan, Pitt students will be required to submit evidence of Japanese proficiency through the JLPT. Please check with Ritsumeikan regarding these requirements.
Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates. However, Japan requires Pitt students to purchase additional coverage through their national health plans. Students are required to join the National Health Insurance system while in Japan, costing approximately ¥2,000 per month. This insurance allows the bearer to pay only 30% of the incurred medical costs. To provide assistance with this payment, the Kyoto City International Foundation reimburses a portion of the National Health Insurance cost to international students living in Kyoto. Contact Ritsumeikan for more details.
In order to study as a student in specific countries, a visa is required. A visa is formal endorsement by the host country to grant permission for an individual to enter, live or stay in that country for a specific purpose and period. In addition to a visa, some host countries may require a residency permit upon arrival.
For those without Japanese nationality, students must obtain a student visa to study in Japan. For an overview regarding the visa process, please review Ritsumeikan's website. Also, check the Japanese Embassy or consulate closest to you for additional information. Ritsumeikan will provide general direction after formal admission on for how to apply for either the visa and/or residency permit. Pitt students should also research the visa and/or permit process through the specified country consulate website. In general visa and/or permit application requirements include but are not limited to the following requirements:
- Visa application
- Valid Passport
- Verification of acceptance from sponsoring university (exchange university)
- Financial Documents, such as bank statements, tax documents or pay statements.
- Passport photos
- Application fee
- Medical/physical examination (likely to require a doctor's appointment so plan accordingly)