Study Guide for OUSSEP Students

1. OUSSEP Students

The Osaka University Short-term Student Exchange Program (OUSSEP) was launched in the 1996-97 academic year at Osaka University as an English speaking exchange program for those who have difficulties earning credits in Japanese. In this OUSSEP scheme, the participants have been offered special academic lectures taught in English under the close coordination of the Center for International Education and Exchange (hereafter referred to as the CIEE).

The University grants credits to the students who attend OUSSEP, for the courses they take at Osaka University, and presents a certificate of completion to the students who successfully meet the program requirements. The credits can be transferred to the student's home university according to the provisions included in the pertinent inter-institutional exchange agreement.

The Osaka University English speaking program will admit more than forty students who opt to study a variety of subjects such as medical sciences, natural sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences, arts and foreign studies. Students who participate in these programs will likely attend the same classes, join several extracurricular activities together and develop very close friendships amongst themselves. Needless to say, they will also make friends with Japanese students. Students are expected to earn at least 14 credits in each semester (28 credits annually), from lectures in English, Independent Study and Japanese language classes, then transfer the credits to their home institutions.

Students who enroll in OUSSEP are from a variety of countries around the world and study in a unique international environment. They come with different cultural backgrounds and various academic majors. In the eighteenth academic year of the program (Fall semester of OUSSEP 2013-2014) sixty four students were admitted from thirty eight universities in nineteen countries. Asia, Oceania, North America, Latin America and Europe were represented among the students. Students have a choice of participating in the program for two semesters (Full-year OUSSEP) or one semester only (Half-year OUSSEP). Although the regular OUSSEP semester starts at the end of September, if necessary, OUSSEP accepts a certain number of the enrollments in April. In so doing, this allows participants the flexibility of choosing the best duration and period for their studies at Osaka University.

2. Structure of the Program

International Exchange Subjects are offered by a variety of faculties and are designed mainly for 3rd year undergraduate students. Exchange students for OUSSEP are expected to earn at least 14 credits each semester mostly from International Exchange Subjects (28 credits in an academic year). This includes Independent Study Course, Internship Course, and Japanese language classes. Students can then transfer the credits to their home institutions.

i) International Exchange Subjects

Osaka University tries to balance the number of students majoring in the natural sciences (including engineering and medicine), the humanities, and the social sciences. Students may select their subjects according to their majors and interests. At the same time, students are encouraged to take subjects outside their own majors as this will help them to broaden their perspective and gain a deeper understanding of Japanese society and culture.

ii) Independent Study Course

One of the unique features of the Full-year and Half-year OUSSEP programs is the Independent Study (2-4 credits per semester). Students can propose a study topic and are then assigned to a supervising professor in an appropriate school/faculty/graduate school. Students may study a particular subject that is not found in the International Exchange Subjects (Individual Study) or conduct a research project on a particular theme (Independent Research). Students and their supervising professor will agree upon the scope and depth of the study at the beginning of the program*. For Full-year OUSSEP students, the Independent Study usually continues for two semesters. At the end of each semester students submit their report on the topic to the supervising professor. Refer to the Guide to Independent Study found on the OUSSEP Website for further details. Those who wish to undertake Independent Study must fill out the Independent Study Proposal along with the other application documents.

*When the amount of work required for the Independent Study is particularly large in scope, the supervising professor and the International Affairs Committee may decide to grant up to 4 credits per semester for graduate students, instead of the usual 2 credits.

iii) OUSSEP Internship Course

From October 2020, OUSSEP launched a new Internship Course to provide an opportunity for participants to gain practical work experience and earn academic credits. In this course, OUSSEP cooperates with partner in the private sectors.

iv) CIEE Japanese Language Course

In addition to the aforementioned courses, OUSSEP students may take any of the six levels of Japanese courses (4 credits each semester) according to their proficiency level.

v) Field Trips

The OUSSEP program offers field trips for students in order to give them opportunities to see as many things and to meet as many people as possible during their full-year or half-year stay in Japan. As a part of the academic courses, students go on overnight trips to different parts of the country to meet local people and experience local culture. Students have traveled to Hiroshima to listen to English testimony of atomic bombing survivors, and to Koyasan to stay at one of the mountain temples that was once at the heart of esoteric Buddhism. OUSSEP participants who successfully acquire the required credits for completion will be able to join these field trips without having to pay a fee.

3. Advisers, Supervisors and Course Instructors

We will assign each student to an Adviser at the faculty he/she belongs to. The Adviser will give the student some advice necessary for his/her study and life.

Students in the Independent Study course may submit a proposal for the study. The students will then be assigned a Supervisor to oversee their study at an appropriate faculty. The Adviser / Supervisor will in most cases be the same person.

Faculty members belonging to various faculties or to the CIEE will teach the courses of the International Exchange Subjects.

*Refer to "Guide to Independent Study" for more detailed information about the Independent Study course.

4. Registration

All the courses offered for Full-/Half-year OUSSEP including the Japanese language and Independent Study are electives.

Students select and register for the courses of their choice at the beginning of each semester. The minimum requirement in each semester for satisfactory completion of the OUSSEP program is 14 credits. The International Affairs Committee of Osaka University will award Certificates of Completion to those students who have successfully completed the Full-year OUSSEP. As for Half-year OUSSEP students, the participants will receive a (Half-year) Certificate of Completion issued by the International Affairs Committee if they take more than 14 credits during the semester.

Besides the International Exchange Subjects, Independent study and CIEE Japanese Language, the University will count two of the Osaka University's regular credits towards the completion of OUSSEP.

5. Grades, Credits, and Transfer of Credits

Students will be graded on the basis of class participation, examinations, reports, etc. Upon successful completion of the courses, the faculty to which the student belongs, will award the credits. Osaka University will issue an Academic Transcript to the student's home university. If the overall results satisfy the requirement of OUSSEP, the International Student Committee of Osaka University will issue a Certificate of Completion. Transfer of OUSSEP credits is up to the discretion of the student's home university.

6. OUSSEP Assembly

OUSSEP Assembly meets a few times a month for about 30 minutes at the CIEE. All the OUSSEP students must attend it. At these meetings OUSSEP coordinator will give them information and materials necessary in facilitating their stay. The Assembly serves as an opportunity for exchange of information between the students and the staff and among the students themselves. CIEE staff will be pleased to give them advice or counseling as needed.

7. Opportunities to Learn Japanese

It is important for them to try to socialize with Japanese students as well as the people in the local community. The staff at the Information Room for International Students (IRIS) on the 2nd floor of the CIEE will be pleased to assist international students in finding such opportunities. IRIS is also prepared to introduce each student to a host family, if they so wish.

8. Miscellaneous

All OUSSEP students should routinely check the bulletin boards at the following locations.

  • Center for International Education and Exchange(CIEE) (Suita Campus)

Some necessary information will be shared through OUSSEP mailing list.
Please regularly check any email sent by the OUSSEP coordinators.

OUSSEP students should strictly observe "No Food, No Beverage and No Smoking" in all the classrooms. Whenever they rearrange the desks and chairs in the rooms during the classes, they must not forget to return them to the original positions before they leave the rooms.

JAPANESE Osaka University

Center for International Education and Exchange

Intercultural Collaboration Hall, Osaka University
1-1 Yamada, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 Japan