Asia,  Japan,  Waseda

How to become an exchange student at Waseda

Background on how to become an exchange student at Waseda

Waseda has one of the biggest numbers of international students in Japan! There are many departments in Waseda, but the school with the most international students is The School of International Liberal Studies, also known as SILS. They have over 700 international students! I will be covering the overall application to apply to be an exchange student at Waseda, but since I was a SILS student, I will be going over the most detail for that department. This is your sign to become an exchange student at Waseda!

Within the SILS department, there are 3 plans that they use to separate the students. Japanese students who speak Japanese fluently follow Study Plan 1 (SP1). Those who come from countries other than Japan as an international student and are studying at Waseda for 4 years follow Study Plan 2 (SP2). Then, students from foreign institutes as exchange students either for a year or follow Study Plan 3 (SP3). SILS will use these terms often so remember who is what study plan.

The timeline for the application is shown on their official website, but I will also make a simpler version to make it easier to understand. If you want to see if your school is partnered with Waseda, check here! List of Partner Universities

Most times, your study abroad advisor or office will help you with your application. They are the people who know the most information about how to apply to studying abroad! I’m writing this post for students who want to know if studying abroad might be the right fit for them, or are hesitant to ask their advisor. Just remember that I’m not an official person who works for studying abroad, I just want to help students who were in the same boat as me when I was applying to study abroad!

me as an exchange student at Waseda University
Me during my time studying abroad!

Timeline on how to become an exchange student at Waseda

1. Screening at Home University Spring Entry DeadlineFall Entry Deadline
Check with your school to see if they offer an Exchange Program to Waseda that year.
Let your advisor know that you are interested in going to Tokyo.
To be able to even apply for an exchange, you will first need to be nominated by your study abroad office.
For when I wanted to study abroad, I went to the study abroad office 2 semesters before the semester I wanted to go to. The earlier you show interest, the better the chance you will be nominated.
Date set by home universityDate set by home university
2.Preparation for ApplicationSpring Entry DeadlineFall Entry Deadline
Select the School and Department
Read the “Requirements and Course Lists” and “Course Registration ” carefully to decide which school (major) and department you want to apply for. Once you pick a department, you will not be able to take classes from another department.

Please note that each school (major) has different requirements and you need to meet all of them.

The department that has English courses:
·  School of Political Science and Economics
·  School of Commerce
·  School of Social Sciences
·  School of International Liberal Studies

Prepare for online application and required documents
Be sure to read through everything you need, and start getting documents ready such as 2 recommendation letters and a language-proficiency test if you come from a country that doesn’t speak English.
August to OctoberNovember to January
3.ApplicationSpring Entry DeadlineFall Entry Deadline
Complete online application (including uploading documents)

Your program coordinator will let you know the online application URL when the time comes.
The application form will be only opened during the entry period in Japan Standard Time (JST).

Do not miss the deadline or they will not accept you. They are very strict with time.

When submitted, make sure to print out all the pages to submit to your home university for keeping.
November 1 to 20February 1 to March 1
4.Screening at WasedaSpring Entry DeadlineFall Entry Deadline
The waiting game.December to JanuaryMarch to May
5.Announcement of Successful CandidatesSpring Entry DeadlineFall Entry Deadline
You’ll get an email from your advisor that you have gotten accepted to the program!
For me, the notification came on May 31.
Within that email, you will get an Orientation schedule, Pre-departure information, and Guideline of Housing Questionnaire 
Late JanuaryEarly June
6.Submit Housing QuestionnaireSpring Entry DeadlineFall Entry Deadline
Waseda will send you a questionnaire to fill in to apply for housing.

Important notes on Housing:
–       Students will be required to sign a “Dormitory Agreement”. Please make sure students carefully read through the sample “Dormitory Agreement” provided, before they submit their Housing Questionnaire. 
–       Allocation will no longer be done on a first come first served basis, but by a computerized lottery system.

Make sure to submit this on time, and accurately. Remember that housing isn’t guaranteed. I know some exchange students had to rent a place on their own.
Early FebuaryMid June
7.Visa ApplicationSpring Entry DeadlineFall Entry Deadline
Apply for a VISA at your local Japanese Embassy or Consulate.
Make sure to do this early because this can take time.
Late February Mid July
8.Notification of AccommodationSpring Entry DeadlineFall Entry Deadline
You will get an email saying which dorm you got selected for!Late Febuary Mid July
9.Arrival in JapanSpring Entry DeadlineFall Entry Deadline
The date that students should arrive in Japan will be announced beforehand.
Please make sure not to miss all the orientations that will be held after you arrive in Japan.
Mid March Early to Mid September


Here is a list of documents that are needed to apply. All this information and links are on Waseda’s Exchange Program Overview page. I’m just here to give you more information on it.

All applicants must prepare documents 1 to 9
Supportive documents may be necessary for specific applicants

1. Copy of Passport Make sure your passport isn’t going to expire anytime soon! If it is, be sure to renew it!
2. Academic Study PlanFigure out the department that you want to attend, then look through their course list and list the classes that you are interested.

You also need to write on why you decided that department, and what you exactly want to study. Describe your goals and academic plans.

The purpose of this document is to examine whether your interests match the curriculum of the school at Waseda.
3. Study Abroad Agreement Must be signed by your parent or a family member who is a guarantor.
4. Official Certificate of Enrollment issued by the home universityThe certificate must include: name of the university you are currently enrolled in, year you are in at the university (freshman, sophomore, etc.) at the time of this application, name of the school you are enrolled in, specification that you are attending as a full time student, and your scheduled graduation date.

You should be able to get this from your school’s administrate office.
5. Official Transcript(s)For Graduate school(majors) applicants
Both undergraduate and graduate official transcripts are needed.
Undergraduate transcript must include the name of the degree conferred and the date of conferment. If it is not available, a copy of your undergraduate diploma is permitted.
6. Application of Certification of Eligibility 1. Download the form and type directly (NOT to be handwritten) onto the application form. DO NOT attach your ID photo on the form. Waseda University will attach your photo which will be mailed to the university through your program coordinator.
2. Save the application form directly into a ZIP file. A scanned copy is not acceptable.  Do not scan it together with the other documents to be uploaded.
Those who have Japanese citizenship including dual citizenship CANNOT apply for a COE. Enter Japan with your Japanese passport.
Waseda University does not apply for your COE for other purposes such as internships or studies at Japanese language schools.
7. Documents concerning defraying expenses for COEYou must prove you can cover expenses while in Japan with the following documents. The amount must be more than 960,000JPY/year or 480,000JPY/semester.

You need either a <Official Bank Balance Certificate OR <Official Bank Balance Certificate of the person covering your expense
Written Oath for Defraying Expenses (Sample)> OR
<Certificate of Scholarship>
More information on this is on the official Waseda page.
8. ID photographs Go get your ID photo taken to be printed out. This ID photo will be given to your program coordinator and they will send it by post.
9. Nomination LetterDocument MUST be signed by the program coordinator

Important information on how to become an exchange student at Waseda

Applicants must be enrolled at Waseda’s partner university at the time of application and must be enrolled until the end of the exchange study period at Waseda University.

Course registration process begins after the program starts.

Remember that the URL for the online application form will be sent to your program coordinator before the application period, thus you will not be able to find the application form on your own.

Next Steps on how to become an exchange student at Waseda

Are you still debating on studying abroad? I made a post on why you should do it! Click this link to go to the blog post! Worried about money? Go to my money saving tips while studying abroad in Japan post! Need visuals? I also happen to have a lot of youtube videos during my time at Waseda! Hopefully, this will persuade you to become an exchange student at Waseda!

Email me at for consultations to plan your trip to Japan or more!

If you want to know about how my day in the life of an exchange student at Waseda University, check out my youtube video! While you are there, subscribe to my Youtube Channel!

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Some Useful Sources when traveling to Japan:
My Japan posts: Pennyless Travels Japan posts
Youtube Channel: Just Coneys Corner
Food/Travel Instagram: @coneystravel
General Tourism information: Japan Travel Website
Best E-sim for travel in Japan: Airalo
Airport pickup pocket wifi: 4G WiFi pocket wifi

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