Study Abroad

> Pre-Arrival Information

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, elective course pre-registration and more.

If you have questions at any point, please feel free to contact us at

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:

Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) for admitted students are digitally issued by Fukuoka Regional Immigration Service Bureau and emailed to receiving institution (SGU).
SGU forwards the email to each admitted student and their home institution.
*CoE has been digitized as of March 17th, 2023. Please note that there will be a delay in sending the CoE if you are late submitting the application form.

 International students apply for their student visa at an Embassy or Consulate-General of Japan by presenting the email forwarded from SGU.
Student visa will be issued. Its processing time differs depending on the countries/regions.

<Required docoments to apply for a student visa>
 - Valid Passport
 - Visa Application Form
 - Photo
 - (Email forwarded from SGU) An Electronic Certificate of Eligibility
 - A Copy of Admission Letter
 - Other Documents and/or Processing Fees (if necessary)

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

3. Book your flight

You can only check into both on and off campus accommodations within 2 days prior to the first day of the orientation session. Accommodation check-out should be done within 2 days after the commencement day.

For more detailed information on academic dates, please visit Academic Calendar.

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 until the time you leave 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.

The National Health Insurance (NHI), Fukuoka City

3. Personal Accident Insurance for Students Pursuing Education and Research (PAS)
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.

2022 PAS brochure
2022 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 others or damage to another person's property.

2022 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 courses are a requirement for all students of the International Division. Courses are offered at various levels, from introductory to advanced.


Students are required to take the following courses:
-    Comprehensive Japanese I, II, III, IV, V or VI (5 credits/semester)
-    Japanese Reading I, II, III, IV, V or VI (2 credits/semester)
-    Japanese Writing I, II, III, IV, V or VI (2 credits/semester)

Important notice:
If you are one semester student and have never studied Japanese before, the following course is an alternative option as a required Japanese course:
-    Introductory Japanese* (2 credits/semester)
*You cannot take "Japanese Reading" and "Japanese Writing" courses.


Not required.
You will be placed in the appropriate class based on the results of a Japanese Language Placement Test and Record of Previous Japanese Studies.


A variety of elective courses are offered in English and some other languages.  Only for the Fall semester, you may take elective courses offered in the Regular Departments.


Students are required to enroll in a minimum of 6 credits per semester*.
*Students who take the Introductory Japanese course are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 credits per semester.


You will be asked to submit a pre-registration form for elective courses in June for the fall semester and in November for the spring semester.
*Please note that there is a maximum student number set for some courses.

Requirements Elective courses offered in the Regular Departments
You may pre-register elective courses offered in the Regular Departments if you satisfy the minimum requirements of Japanese proficiency determined by the respective instructor.
*Please note that satisfying the minimum requirement does not gurantee the enrollment.

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.


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 (other than housing fees) in cash 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
  - 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.

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. Please note that ATMs in Japan may also have service fees depending on the time and day of the week that funds are withdrawn.

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.

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!)

If you are in need of bringing prescription medicine into Japan with you, please carefully read the information below.

In general, visitors to Japan are permitted to enter the country with prescription medicine without any special procedures if they applied to the following conditions:

  1.  It is only for your personal use
  2.  It is not a prohibited or controlled medicine/drug under the laws in Japan
  3.  The quantity is up to 1 month’s supply

<Preparation for bringing permitted medicine in Japan>
A copy of the prescription and a doctor’s note of explanation should accompany the medication when brought with you to Japan. Medication should be stored in the original package.

(Yunyu Kakunin-sho: 輸入確認書) *Special certificate of import
Under the following  cases, generally, you will be required to apply for a Yunyu Kakunin-sho in advance and present at customs (if customs officers require you). 
  1. You need greater than 1 month’s supply of prescription medicine
  2. You need greater than 2 month’s supply of non-prescription medicine
  3. You need syringes or a number of medical devices that exceed the limit.

Regarding its application protocols, please visit the website below.
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare - Importing Medicine

Important Note:
It may take up to 3 weeks to obtain the Yunyu Kakunin-sho.

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.

Application for permission to engage in an activity other than those permitted by the status of residence previously granted

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 2023]  23 (Wed) - 25 AM (Fri): Orientation sessions
                   25 PM (Fri): Opening convocation
[Spring 2024]  17 (Wed) & 18 (Fri): Orientation sessions (for Spring semester students)

Orientation Program Outline
- Welcome session
- Information sessions including course planning, campus life, health & safety
- Campus tour by SGU student volunteers
- 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

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.

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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6-2-92 Nishijin, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka 814-8511 Japan

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