The Freshers' Study Abroad Program: A Fall Matriculation Program for Admitted Students at the University of Tokyo

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Linda Gobbo


Japan is in the process of a national-level internationalization initiative. Young people are being encouraged to study abroad and acquire better English language skills, adaptive personalities, and intercultural competence. Universities are establishing many kinds of programs to get more students to study abroad.

The University of Tokyo (Todai) is the most prestigious, highest-ranked university in Japan, yet very few of its undergraduates study abroad. In order to better enable its students to do so, a proposal has been made by university President Junichi Hamada and the Committee for Considering the Timing of University Entrance to adjust the time of undergraduate matriculation. The academic calendar currently starts in April, right after high school graduation. Under the new proposal, the start of the academic calendar would change from April to September, aligning it with the international standard and making study abroad easier. However, this would create a five-month gap between high school and undergraduate matriculation.

The Freshers’ Study Abroad Program is a way to fill this gap. Newly admitted University of Tokyo students will spend the time between high school and college at Yale University. They will experience intensive English-language education, service or volunteer activities coordinated by current Yale students, and apply all of this to their lives in Japan, while preparing for the active style of learning that awaits them in university. Reflection and awareness-increasing experiential learning activities based on student development theory are included in its curriculum. Students will increase their English abilities, sense of social responsibility, and interest in future study abroad.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | International and Comparative Education

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