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Off-Campus Study

ISEP at Rikkyo University


Founded by an Episcopalian Missionary in 1874, Rikkyo University is one of Japan’s oldest and highest rated private universities. Today, it enrolls over 19,000 undergraduate and 1,400 graduate students within its 10 colleges and 14 graduate schools. Rikkyo University has a long history of excellence in education and research, which, combined with substantial investment in state of the art information technology and teaching facilities and thus earned a reputation as one of the premier educational institutions in Japan.

This program would be suitable for students that are ready to be abroad, but would still like some of the academic services that a U.S. college provides.  It is a good choice for someone that is a world traveler OR has never left their hometown.

Learn more about Rikkyo University here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Program Type

Exchange or Direct-Enroll


Tokyo/Saitama, Japan

Languages of Instruction

Japanese, English - minimum 2 semesters of Japanese or equivalent required

Program Dates

Fall 2018: Early September to Late January

Spring 2019: Early April to End of July

All dates are tentative and may change.  ISEP will alert all accepted students of final dates.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0.  
  • Language Requirement: A minimum of 2 semesters of university-level Japanese or the equivalent is strongly recommended in order to participate in the exchange program. Courses offered in Japanese require Japanese Language Proficiency Test level N1 proficiency or Rikkyo Japanese Placement Test level J6. Some exceptions may be permitted based on Rikkyo Japanese Placement Test results of J4 or J5 and instructor permission.
  • Students must submit ISEP language proficiency report in the application, even if native speaker.


Students applying to ISEP must apply for an Exchange option (in any country) as a first choice but may apply to a Direct option as a back-up.  Direct options may have an additional cost.


ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Very Limited.


Tokyo is a unique city where a thriving popular culture, and an ancient cultural history all exist side-by-side. Rikkyo University’s Ikebukuro campus is located in the center of Tokyo, making it an excellent venue for experiencing the many aspects of life in Japan. Also, Niiza campus, which is located in Saitama prefecture, offers a quaint academic environment with modern facilities.


Rikkyo University started its history in 1874 as a small boarding school teaching English language and Bible studies. The University currently operates two campuses in Ikebukuro and Niiza, both conveniently located in the vicinity of the metropolitan Tokyo area, with more than 20,000 students. The University offers academic programs in undergraduate and graduate levels with a wide variety of subjects throughout its 10 colleges and 14 graduate schools.


Japanese students are typically very quiet during class. Rather than interrupting the professor to ask questions, Japanese students may be more inclined to wait until the class has dismissed before speaking with peers, checking their text books, or meeting with professors to ask specific questions.

Open questions presented for anyone to answer within the classroom may receive little feedback from Japanese students. Professors in Japan often times call students by name when seeking classroom participation.

Japanese students sometimes refrain from using eye contact when speaking with their professors. This does not mean that these students are insincere nor does it suggest that the student is being disrespectful.

Attendance plays an important role in the final grade for students, especially for Japanese speaking class. Speaking examinations are given periodically to students to test their language comprehension abilities.

Please review country handbook for more information on the education system, grades, class hours, and classroom etiquette.



Particularly strong programs in Liberal Arts, Business, and Intercultural Communication.

Students enroll in at least 7 classes per semester, which amounts to at least 10 hours in class per week. A term generally runs for 15 weeks. Students will want to aim for at least 12-15 hours of class per week to earn 4 Lake Forest credits.  More details can be discussed with the Lake Forest Registrar.

Please refer to the website for the latest Courses in English.

Generally, the following disciplines offer courses taught in English:

Cinema Studies
Japan Studies
Japanese Language
Sports Science


Japanese Language Courses: Japanese language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year free of charge in 9 levels from beginner to advanced. Students must take the Japanese language placement test, organized by the university’s Center for Japanese Language Education (CJLE) to be placed at their appropriate level. 

Tutoring: CJLE offers the Japanese Language Support Desk, a tutoring service available by appointment when classes are in session (also free of charge).



If students intend to take academic courses offered in Japanese, please follow the instructions below to check course syllabus:
1. Click on the link to course syllabus: Courses in Japanese;
2. Select academic level on the top left bar – “daigaku(undergraduate)” or “daigakuin (graduate schools)”;
3. Choose appropriate college or graduate school and department or major;
4. Select names of courses for which you are interested in registering.

Courses in English.

Course Approvals

Check to see if your department has pre-approved courses here. If not, don’t worry. You can work with your advisor.

Experiential Opportunities

International students can have ample opportunities for volunteering since the International Office has collaborated with local schools (elementary schools and high schools) on “cross-cultural understanding” programs for young Japanese students. If you are interested in participating, please contact the International Office after your arrival.

Student Life


The orientation program includes the guidance on daily life issues, visa and immigration matters, information on course registration. Also, the students are required to take the Japanese language placement test (paper test and interview) during the orientation to determine their Japanese language proficiency. The orientation also features the special seminar on emergency (free of charge) at Ikebukuro Life Safety Learning Center, which is run by the Tokyo Fire Department.


The host will provide arrival directions with acceptance packet.


International Office organizes many activities, such as excursions to baseball games and grand sumo tournaments and welcome receptions twice a year in spring and fall. Rikkyo University’s alumni associations, Tokyo St. Paul Lions Club and Rikkyo Ladies Club (women’s alumni association) most notably, generously provide opportunities for international students to become familiarized with the Japanese culture and society, such as an annual bus tour in the Kanto area, traditional Japanese tea ceremony, as well as international luncheon. International students are also encouraged to join various student club and associations. There are over 150 such organizations in the University.

Housing and Meals

For incoming ISEP Exchange students, Rikkyo University offers two buildings Rikkyo University International Dormitory (RUID) and Rikkyo International Residence (RIR) as housing options. RUID-Asakadai and RUID-Shiki dormitories are both located in Saitama prefecture, which is located north of Tokyo, while RIR-Shiinamachi dormitory is in close vicinity to Rikkyo’s Ikebukuro campus. Though the placement is made based on the students’ preference and room availability, interested students are strongly recommended to apply early for housing. All the rooms in RUIDs and RIR are singles and cannot accommodate any accompanying family members. Students with dependents need to make a suitable arrangement on their own (contact the International Office for a referral to affiliated real-estate agencies). 

ISEP Exchange students receive a meal plan for 12 meals per week (2 meals per day for breakfast and dinner, Monday to Saturday) as part of their residency plus a meal stipend for 7 meals per week.

Financial Information

All Lake Forest students pay College tuition plus a program fee. This program fee covers housing, 19 meals/week, and university fees.

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 semester:

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost


College Deposit (credit)


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College


ISEP Fee  due on Stage 2 Application


College Deposit due on Acceptance (non-refundable, but shows as credit on bill for off-campus term)


ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance ($90/mo estimated)

Note: Some countries require national insurance. Check ISEP


Additional Meals


Estimated Airfare


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance, if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)


Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses






Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of March 2017.  We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

Do check your student account on My.Lakeforest for your aid awards, as much of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here: https://www.lakeforest.edu/admissions/tuition/fees.php

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.