Study Abroad


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Pre-Arrival Information

The Center for International Education (CIE) provides support and services to all students who want to learn more about the world since we believe this to be part of Seinan Gakuin University (SGU)'s mission in education and the pursuit of vocation.

We are excited to welcome you to our SGU community and support you academically, culturally and socially. The information below will help you to prepare for your studies at SGU.

1. Receive your Admission Letter

The Letter of Admission will be sent to you via email in line with the below-mentioned schedule.

  Fall semester: middle of May
  Spring semester: early November

After you are admitted, you should expect numerous emails from us before your program begins. These emails will provide you with information regarding your student visa application, Japanese placement test, pre-course registration and more.

If you have questions at any point, please feel free to contact us at inbound@seinan-gu.ac.jp

2. Apply for a student visa (留学ビザ)

In order for you to enter Japan as a student, you must obtain a student visa. Your visa indicates the period that you will be permitted to stay in Japan (i.e. six months or one year), date of visa expiry and visa category (i.e. student). All incoming students in the International Division are eligible for student visas.

Visa Application Procedures:
1. SGU will apply for your Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) to the Immigration Bureau in Fukuoka
2. As soon as it is issued by the Immigration Bureau, we will send your CoE along with the hard copy of the admission letter by mail.
*Please note that there will be a delay in sending the CoE if you are late submitting the application form.
3. You need to apply for the student visa at the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate in the country that you currently reside as soon as your required documents are ready.

Resources:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan - Student Visa
List of Japanese Embassies and Consulates

3. Book your flight

You can only check into and check out of on-campus dormitories on the below-mentioned dates. Please note that the off-campus dormitory check in and out dates may vary.

Fall 2020 Semester *cancelled        
Dormitory Check-in: N/A
Orientation Sessions: N/A
First Day of Classes: N/A
Dormitory Check-out: N/A

Spring 2021 Semester
Dormitory Check-in: February 21 to 28, 2021
Orientation Sessions: online during your quarantine period
First Day of Classes: March 1, 2021
Dormitory Check-out: June 30, by 12:00pm at the latest

Please note that your accommodation will not be available before the check-in dates (or after the check-out date). If you intend to arrive before the check-in dates (or after the check-out date), you will need to make your own arrangements for accommodation with a local hotel.

4. Review medical insurance coverage information

The four types of insurance below are required for both exchange and self-financed students coming to SGU.

1. Overseas Travel Insurance 海外旅行保険
This type of policy normally covers medical care before, during and after the program, trip cancellation, trip interruption, delays, and lost, damaged, or stolen luggage. You need to purchase it prior to your departure to Japan.

During the orientation sessions, we will provide you with the enrollment and payment information on the following types of insurance. 

2. Japanese National Health Insurance (NHI) 国民健康保険
Premium: approximately 1,500-2,000JPY/month
Period of insurance: from the time you arrive in Japan

Whether or not you have the insurance in your home country, all residents in Japan including international students are obligated to enroll in the Japanese National Health Insurance (NHI). This policy covers 70% of your medical bill and you pay the remaining 30%. You will receive a collection of bills by mail one month after your residence registration at the ward office and can pay these bills at any convenience store.

Resource:
The National Health Insurance (NHI), Fukuoka City

3. Personal Accident Insurance for Students Pursuing Education and Research (PAS)
    学生教育研究災害傷害保険
Premium: 1,000JPY/one-time only
Period of insurance: from the day after the premium is paid until the last day of your program

All SGU students including international students are required to enroll in this insurance under SGU regulations. This policy covers medically-required services from any disasters and accidents happening during educational and research activities and during the commute to school.

Resources:
2020 PAS broshure
2020 PAS handbook

4. Comprehensive Insurance for Students Lives 外国人留学生向け学研災付帯学生生活総合保険
Premium: 1,210JPY/semester, 1,680/two semesters
Period of insurance: from the first day of orientation sessions until the last day of your program

All international students at SGU are obligated to enroll in this insurance under the SGU regulations. This policy covers compensation liabilities in case of injury to someone or damage to another person's property.

Resource:
2020 Comprehensive Insurance for Students Lives

5. Plan your courses and prepare yourself for your studies at SGU

The International Division is mainly designed for students from universities that have entered into mutual exchange agreements with SGU. Students in the International Division study Japanese and other Japan-related topics including Japanese culture, economics and business for one or two semesters.

Students in the International Division are required to be enrolled in a minimum of 14 credits per semester in order to maintain their student visa status with the Immigration Bureau of Japan. Failure to meet a minimum requirement can lead to your student visa being cancelled by the Bureau. In order to receive a Certificate of Completion, students are required to complete a minimum of 28 credits.

Japanese Language Classes (日本語:にほんご)
*Pre-registration is not required.
Students are required to take mandatory “Japanese Language Classes” offered four times a week (or two times a week for the Introductory Japanese). You will be placed in the appropriate class based on the result of Japanese Placement Test.

The Japanese language classes are separated into seven levels:
  -  Introductory Japanese *two classes per week
  -  Beginning Japanese (101) / (102)
  -  Pre-Intermediate Japanese (201) / (202)
  -  Intermediate Japanese (301)
  -  Advanced Japanese (401)

Japanese Orthography and Reading Skills Classes (日本語表記法:にほんごひょうきほう)
*Pre-registration is not required.
In addition to the above-mentioned language classes, you are required to take a “Japanese Orthography and Reading Skills (Kanji)” class held two times a week if you are placed in one of the Beginning (101) (102), Pre-intermediate (201) (202) or Intermediate (301) Japanese classes. This class is an elective class for students in the Introductory and Advanced Japanese (401) classes.

Elective Courses
Almost all elective courses are taught in English by instructors; a few classes are conducted in Japanese and interpreted into English. You will be asked to submit a pre-registration form for elective courses in July for the fall semester and in November for the spring semester. Please note that because there is a maximum student number set for some courses, enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. You can add or drop courses after attending actual classes. The add/drop deadline will be announced during the orientation sessions.

Resource:
Course List and Syllabi

6. Check out the Housing website to get a detailed overview

You will receive a room offer from the Housing team via email by the end of June for the fall semester or by the end of November for the spring semester. We try our best to accommodate your preferences in your application. However, we are not able to guarantee your request for a particular type of housing as we assign dormitory, room or roommates in order to consolidate vacancies. You will be informed of the payment method during the Housing orientation session.

Resource:
Housing

7. Prepare your finances

Student Living Costs in Japan
While in Japan, you will need to budget carefully to cover all of your living costs including accommodation, food, transportation, books, and personal expenses. It is very difficult to estimate the exact cost as it will vary depending on your preferences and circumstances but the monthly estimated budget should be approximately 60,000-70,000JPY, excluding accommodation fees.

It is essential to arrange access to 50,000JPY or so during your first few weeks as there are a number of initial costs that you may need to pay up front as shown in the examples below:
  - SGU student insurance
  - Room cleaning
  - Rental futon (Japanese bedding) pack
  - Books and supplementary materials for your classes
  - Household items

Currency Exchange
Japan is still very much a cash-based society and it can be handy to have some cash on hand to cover expenses like transportation and food at least for the first few days after you arrive. If you are planning to exchange money, the best location is the airport. It is challenging to exchange money once you leave the airport. You can exchange money at large banks and post offices but the process can take a long time (sometimes a few hours) and you are subject to their office hours (9:00AM-3:00PM on weekdays). Depending on where you are traveling from, you may also want to consider exchanging money before arriving in Japan.

Resource
Fukuoka Airport website

Money Withdrawal at ATMs
Your cash card, credit card or debit card may work on the following ATMs in Japan.

  ・Seven Bank ATMs (at 7-Eleven convenience stores)
  ・Japan Post ATMs

Before coming to Japan, check with your bank regarding your card availability and foreign transaction fees. The ATMs in Japan have service fees depending on the time and day of the week.

Bank Account in Japan
There are many local banks and ATMs around SGU. To open a bank account in Japan, you will need your:

  1. Residence Card
  2. SGU Student ID card
  3. Personal seal (inkan)(or signature in some banks)
  4. Social security number (for U.S. citizens)

8. Check out your route and transportation to your accommodation

It is important that you know where you are going once you arrive in Fukuoka. Plan ahead for the trip to your accommodation.

1. International Houses (I-Houses)
Fukuoka City Subway
(Kuko Line/空港線)
Fukuoka Airport Sta. --- 20min. --> Fujisaki Sta. (300JPY)
Hakata Sta. --- 15min. --> Fujisaki Sta. (300JPY)
From the Exit 3 at Fujisaki station, it is a 15-minute walk to I-Houses.
Access Map to I-Houses

2. Dormy Fukuoka
Fukuoka City Subway
(Kuko Line/空港線)
Fukuoka Airport Sta. --- 20min. --> Nishijin Sta. (300JPY)
JR Hakata Sta. --- 15min. --> Nishijin Sta. (300JPY)
From the Exit 2 at Nishijin station, it is a 10-minute walk to Dormy Fukuoka.
Access Map to Dormy Fukuoka 

Taxi/Cab Services
Taxis run on a meter, so prices will vary depending on trip length/traffic volume. A taxi from Fukuoka Airport to I-Houses/Dormy Fukuoka will start at approximately 3,500JPY with no traffic and it takes 20-30 minutes.

Resources:
Fukuoka Airport
Subway Route Map

9. Plan what to pack and what not to pack

Before you begin packing, make sure to know the checked baggage allowance (size and weight restrictions) of your airline(s). Keep in mind that most household items and toiletries can be bought in Japan. The following are typical items that you might expect to bring with you.

Important Documents
Before your departure, make sure to photocopy important original documents and keep the copy in your suitcase, separate from the original documents that you must carry with you on the airplane(s). These include the following documents:
   - Valid passport and visa glued into your passport
   - SGU Letter of Admission
   - Overseas Travel Insurance Certificate
   - Medication records by your physician (if applicable)

・Other Items
  
- Cash and credit card(s)
   - A few copies of your ID photos (3cm x 4cm)
   - Your own essential medication (if applicable)
   - Photos of your family and friends (to make you feel at home in your new room!)

10. Obtain work permit for part-time job

Foreign nationals on a student visa can get permission to work part-time only when you fulfill your responsibilities as a student which include you attend classes and are not late for classes. After you obtain your work permit (Shikakugai katsudo kyoka/資格外活動許可), you may work up to a maximum of 28 hours per week during the duration of your program.

Prohibited Jobs
It is strictly prohibited by laws and regulations for foreign students to engage in any work related to the adult entertainment industry including night clubs, hostess bars/host clubs, pachinko parlors and bars/cafes. More specifically, you must not work as a dishwasher, cleaner, kitchen staff or server in the places above.

Applying for the Work Permit
There are two ways to apply for the permit if you are newly admitted students:

1. At the airport
You can obtain the work permit at the airport if you intend to work part-time in Japan. Please inform the immigration officer at the airport of your intention to obtain work permit. It should take a few minutes to receive the permit at the airport.

2. At the Immigration Bureau
You can apply for this permit later by submitting the following required documents to the Fukuoka Regional Immigration Bureau.

Required Documents
- Passport
- Residence Card
- Application form for “Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted under the Status of Residence Previously Granted (Shikakugai katsudo kyoka)”
  (available at the immigration office or the CIE office)

Once your permission is approved, a sticker of the work permit is placed in your passport and a stamp is placed on the back side of your Residence Card. Please bring your Residence Card to the CIE office and we will make a copy for our records.

Reference:
資格外活動許可申請 (Japanese only)

11. Connect to the Internet via mobile phones and pocket wi-fis

SIM Cards
You will be able to purchase prepaid SIM cards at airports and electronic stores.

Mobile Phones and Pocket Wi-fis
To make a new subscription for mobile phones or pocket wi-fi devices, most companies require the following documents:
  1. Residence Card
  2. Passport
  3. Credit card or bank card

For minors (age 19 or younger), the following are also required:
・ Letter of consent from a legal parent or guardian
・ Identification document of a legal parent or guardian
*You may need a guardian living in Japan.

“Fukuoka City Free Wi-Fi” service
Fukuoka City Wi-Fi
is available at the airport, stations and some hotels. Please take an advantage of the service if you would like to inform your safety arrival to your family.

12. Attend mandatory orientation program for all participants

Orientation Dates
Fall 2020 semester: N/A *cancelled
Spring 2021 semester: during your quarantine period
* More details will be announced in late July for the fall semester or December for the spring semester.

Orientation Program Outline
- Welcome session
- Information sessions including course planning, campus life, health & safety
- Campus tour by SGU student volunteers
- Placement test for Japanese classes
- Local ward office tour (Notification of Residence submission and National Health Insurance enrollment)
- Internet network setup at SGU (SAINS)*
- SAINS Account (Student ID and a password) activation*
- Housing orientation session including the payment procedures and dormitory rules (for on-campus residents, evacuation training is also included)
- Welcome Ceremony and Reception *Fall semester only

*On-Campus Wi-Fi (SAINS)
Seinan Academic Information Network System (SAINS) is a free internet network for students and faculty members at SGU. Right after your SAINS account is activated during the orientation session, you will be able to access the internet on your personal devices such as computers and mobile phone. Please note that SAINS limits access to on-line games and services for security reasons.

13. Get the most out of your time at Seinan

Meals
There are two cafeterias on campus. You can find a meal for between 300 and 500JPY.
  CO-OP Cafeteria (next to the Gym)
  ・Seinan Cross Plaza Cafeteria
There are many restaurants and shops accessible within a 10-minute walk from the campus. The average cost for a set lunch menu in the area is around 1,000 JPY. You are more than welcome to use the kitchen facility at the dorms.

ATMs (Bldg. 2, 1st floor)
Fukuoka Bank, Ninishi Nippon City Bank and Japan Post Bank ATMs are available from 9am-5pm on weekdays and from 9am-2pm on Saturdays.

CO-OP Mini Mart (Seinan Student Centre, 1st floor)
Some freshly made bentos and baked bread are available at the store.

14. Learn how to get around the transit system in Fukuoka

Fukuoka City Subway
The closest subway station to campus is Nishijin (西新) station on the Kuko line (空港線).

  Nishijin sta. --- 10min. --> Tenjin sta. (downtown area)
  Nishijin sta. --- 15min. --> Hakata sta. (JR Hakata station area)
  Nishijin sta. --- 20min. --> Fukuoka Airport sta.

Bicycles
Cycling in Fukuoka can be one of the most convenient ways to commute to school and to go shopping. From the campus, it takes about 20 minutes to get to the Tenjin downtown area and about 30 minutes to get to Hakata station area.
*Fukuoka Prefecture mandated compulsory bicycle insurance from Oct. 1, 2020 so be sure to buy it when you use a bike in case you are involved in an accident.

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