Study Abroad in Japan

Study Abroad

Study Abroad

DHU is committed to promoting international student mobility, both inbound and outbound, as a key pillar of its curriculum and educational mission.

International students make a large and important contribution to student and academic life on campus. This section explores short term programs available to international students.

For admission to DHU’s undergraduate or postgraduate programs as a full degree-seeking student please see the separate section admissions.

DHU is actively developing a range of inbound programs so that international students may spend some time in Japan with us while being enrolled in a higher education program in a foreign institution.

Semester & Year Abroad offerings

Through our main inbound study abroad programs students can attend DHU as a visiting student for a semester or a year.

Such study is typically not governed by an inter-university exchange agreement and is privately funded. For that reason, DHU welcomes expressions of interest in studying with us from students at a wide range of higher education institutions. Credit recognition for studies undertaken at DHU will be solely at the discretion of the student’s home institution, as is the case anyway under exchange programs. DHU will provide a certified academic transcript of all studies completed, which together with the routinely provided course descriptions, will be of assistance to students when they apply for credit towards their home program.

All of the regular classes in our degree programs that are made available to such visiting students are currently taught in Japanese.

For that reason, visiting students are required to have passed Level 2 of Japanese Language Proficiency Test, or proof of equivalence. Students who are not yet can certified as being at such a level may take Japanese language courses offered through DHU and the take regular courses from the following semester if passing a designated test.

Short Courses / Inbound Study Tours

・Study Abroad Program
Our Study Abroad program gives international students the opportunity to study for one semester or a year at DHU

・Customized Program

We can custom design a program to specifically meet the unique needs of any group. Most of classes are delivered in Japanese and full English interpretation will be provided. 

In addition to the semester and year in Japan offerings, DHU also periodically offers short courses, of one to two weeks’ duration, on the digital industries, and pop and traditional culture in Japan. These programs sometimes are customised offerings conducted for a foreign partner institution as a study tour offering, and sometimes are open to all applicants. They are conducted in English, with professional interpreters assisting when groups meet with leading creatives or undertake site visits. For further information on forthcoming and possible programs please don’t hesitate to contact us directly. Periodic announcements are also made on our website and through our partner institution networks.

Outbound Study Abroad

For DHU’s regular degree students, both Japanese and foreign, a period spent studying abroad presents a special opportunity to not only study a foreign language, most often English, but also technical, creative and other academic subjects.

Students entering DHU with an already strong grasp of English, and making reasonable progress, can have confidence that they will have an opportunity to take specialist studies abroad should they wish to.

DHU has strategic partnerships with some leading foreign institutions in the fields of CG, moving image, web design and more so students can complement their specialised studies in Tokyo with an enriching study abroad experience in the field of their professional interest.

All students will take a range of English-language courses suited to the current level during their time at DHU and can then transition easily to either further language study abroad in a fully native-speaker environment, or specialist courses, or a program that offers the scope for both.

It is DHU’s hope that, over time, all domestic students will have a substantial experience abroad before graduation. This commitment to internationalisation is shown in the annual study tour for newly-entering students, usually to Los Angeles. We hope that students will take inspiration from this initial experience and become motivated in their creative, technical and language studies to the point where a semester or longer study abroad period is a natural extension of their academic achievements.

DHU’s adoption of the ‘quarter system’, in which courses are offered in four period a year rather than the more traditional two-semester model, offers greater flexibility for students in when they can depart for, and return from, study abroad.

Study abroad program for language and technical education.

1. DHU helps fund study abroad

To help realise students’ dreams of an experience living and studying abroad, DHU will provide up to one million yen, depending on overseas study destination and program, to cover the cost of tuition fees owing abroad*.

  • *The tuition varies by school and duration for study abroad and the amount offered is determined individually. The amount offered for support is different for international students.

This effectively means that the DHU is rebating a substantial proportion of the tuition paid by students to it, and is done so to diminish or obviate the burden of ‘double fees’. While currency movements and the high cost of tuition at some prestigious foreign institutions are constraints, DHU makes best efforts to lessen the financial burden to students and their families in studying abroad.

Encouraging students to go abroad ultimately means that DHU foregoes considerable student tuition revenues but it always remains a core educational priority for the institution.

In addition to this commitment to diminishing financial barriers to study abroad, staff with specialist knowledge and personal experience of study abroad provide close guidance, support with application procedures and securing housing abroad.

Once abroad, students will benefit from strong ongoing support, both from Tokyo and from local staff at DHU’s partner institutions.

2. Varied duration of study abroad programs

Depending on English skills and purposes, students can select the duration of study abroad from short-term programs of three to five months to long-term study abroad up to one year. As provided below, the destination of study abroad can be selected from various countries and regions.

3. Study abroad AND still graduate in four years

Going on a period of study abroad from most Japanese universities usually results in students having to delay their graduation, which is costly both in time and financially. DHU has worked to develop a system of credit-granting for pre-approved studies taken abroad so that students can complete their academic program in the usual four years. This means that students need not take a formal leave-of-absence from the university, nor be required to repeat an academic year; depending on how they attain credits.

4. Combining language & digital arts study

DHU has developed its international partnerships with a view to offering students access to both quality instruction in English as a second language, and IT, programming, and the content industries. The particular focus of each student’s study abroad program can be tailored then to their own personal needs and goals.

5. Remote learning for DHU core courses

In order to lesson the barriers to study abroad, and to completion of the degree program in the usual four years in particular, DHU has implemented an innovative system so that some core web design and CG seminars offered at DHU can be taken independently online. This allows students to work on a project and study a range of fields, as available in Tokyo, whilst abroad.

Study abroad support

DHU provides ample support system to back up students to study abroad in English-speaking countries.

Specialized staff provide support to students!
Studying abroad for the first time causes many concerns. DHU has specialized staff who help with study abroad procedures and provide consultation.
DHU offers a well-developed system for each student to study abroad with peace of mind.

Ample study abroad support!

As mentioned above, DHU offers strong support for students from the initial stage of selecting and applying for a study abroad program through to the end of the period abroad.

1. Facilitating study abroad processes

A first experience of study abroad can be the cause of many anxieties. From identifying the best fit between a program and the individual student, through the complexities of visas applications, submitting documents in English to the host institution and reserving housing, ours experienced staff will help to smooth the way.

DHU endeavours to maintain close personal working relationships with key staff in its partner colleges and universities; meaning that complications arising with students’ applications or programs can be responded to quickly and effectively. Resolution of a small problem is often only an email or phone call away for our specialist staff.

While the rules and processes of host institutions typically require students to take direct responsibility for the applications that they submit, our staff will offer advice and all permissible assistance.

Such support before departure, and ongoing support from Tokyo during the study abroad period, should provide students with the peace of mind conducive to a rewarding and enjoyable educational experience.

2. Study abroad guidance sessions

While specialist support during the application process is critical for many students to have the confidence to initiate a specific study abroad program, the earlier stage of coming to understand the potential and range of prospects of going abroad is equally important. DHU holds guidance sessions to present the range of study abroad options, including some basics such as required IELTS® scores and anticipated costs of the program, which are sometimes joined by representatives of partners who are visiting Tokyo.

Once students have decided on a program, and been approved by both the host institution and DHU, further guidance sessions are held on preparing for travel, safety abroad, and academic and other expectations. Importantly, a briefing session for all interested parents to clear up any concerns and answer questions, is routinely held.

3. Housing options during study abroad

One of the main concerns related to study abroad is a housing during study abroad. Both the range of options and costs varies significantly depending on destination and institution. DHU staff are very aware of the importance to both parents and students of advance understanding of accommodation arrangements and costs entailed and expend considerable efforts to stay up-to-date on options.

Quality, security, convenience, and the opportunity accommodation arrangements present to make friends and have positive learning experiences are all utmost in the minds of DHU planning of study abroad program options.

4. DHU funding of Independent Study Abroad programs

DHU’s subsidy of foreign tuition, up to one million yen depending on program character and duration, applies across the range of study abroad programs that DHU has negotiated with its preferred partners.

Should a student have a particular objective and desire to study at an institution that is not a current DHU partner, consideration will be given - on a case-by-case basis - for some DHU funding, at a lesser rate to support such a study abroad experience. This may be relevant for students who have a boutique study interest, or who wish to study a, or using, a foreign language other than English.

Please note that education ministry (MEXT) guidelines effectively prohibit the granting of credit for study taken abroad in institutions that are not affiliated with a higher education institution that is considered to be a university or college-level institution. Foreign language studies undertaken in university-run dedicated language study centers are not affected by this constraint, although government policy generally does favour credit recognition of academic studies abroad.

An approximate indication of living costs (monthly) during study abroad

U.S.A. (Los Angeles) Approx. JPY135,000
Canada Approx. JPY100,000
United Kingdom Approx. JPY130,000
Ireland Approx. JPY100,000
Singapore Approx. JPY95,000
Australia Approx. JPY100,000
New Zealand Approx. JPY90,000
  • * The above living costs are average costs and the actual costs increase and decrease depending on currency exchange rates and dwelling environment.

Study abroad FAQ

This section introduces typical questions on study abroad frequently asked by students.

Q. Can I choose a school for study abroad on my own?

A. While each school has their own criteria for accepting international students, students can select from partner institutions.

Q. Are students required to study abroad?

A. While it is not a requirement, DHU recommends that students study abroad not only for studying a foreign language but also for acquiring international awareness and connections with people overseas. DHU offers a system for recognizing credits and tuition assistance to make study abroad easier.

Q. Do I have to repeat the same year during study abroad?

A. DHU endeavours to give as much credit as possible to students for courses taken abroad, subject to MEXT guidelines and DHU’s own core course requirements, so that students can complete their degree in the usual four years.

Q. Do I have to pay for all the tuition costs living expenses abroad?

A. In principle, DHU offers up to one million yen to cover tuition for study abroad (principle costs such as tuition fees). The amount of assistance is determined depending on destination and duration. (In cases where international students go on study abroad from DHU, the amount of assistance is different, reflecting differences in fees paid to DHU owing to partial scholarship assistance and the like). In addition, please note that the living expenses during study abroad, travel expenses and textbook costs are not included.

Q. Does DHU arrange housing during study abroad?

A. The accommodation situation varies considerably depending on host institution. Generally students are required to make application themselves for accommodation although DHU will provide assistance, as well as provide a detailed introduction to housing options. Accommodation can variously be homestay-type arrangements, dormitory accommodation, share house or sole occupancy apartment. The latter options are more often found once a student has spent some time in-country, often after an initial homestay experience. Once the study destination is decided DHU staff will provide further advice on a case-by-case basis.

Study abroad schedule

Study abroad students can also graduate from DHU in four years!

First year Acquisition of linguistic skills
Students acquire English skills required for their learning and campus life during study abroad by taking English conversation classes where they can enjoy learning. In addition, there are classes to prepare students for TOEFL necessary for study abroad and TOEIC tests.
Second and third year Students select their destinations to begin studying abroad
Students go study abroad after completing the second quarter in their 2nd year to the beginning of their third year. Depending on their desire, the duration of study abroad ranges from three months to a year to focus on increasing linguistic skills and acquiring specialized knowledge.
Fourth year Credit transfer and the start of job search activities
If the credits acquired at a partner institution during study abroad are recognized as DHU’s official credits, in many cases, students do not have to repeat the same year.
Support upon returning to Japan
To eliminate any concern for job placement, students are provided with career counseling upon returning to Japan to offer empathetic support for their job placement and career options after graduation. The experience of study abroad will be of great benefit for job search.

Study Abroad Partner Institutions

A list of educational institutions that conclude an agreement for study abroad partnership (as of March 31, 2015)

A list of study abroad partner schools  
Northumbria University  
University of Sunderland U.K
Canterbury Christ Church University
Oxford Brookes University
University of Leeds
University of Portsmouth
Griffith College Dublin Ireland
LASALLE College of the Arts Republic of Singapore
Griffith University Australia
Queensland University of Technology
University of Wollongong
Edith Cowan University
Monash University
Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology New Zealand
University of Victoria Canada
University of Toronto
Concordia University
New York University U.S.A.
California State University , Long Beach
UCLA Extension - American Language Center
Kapiolani Community College
Pierce College

Notes on study abroad

  • Each partner institution sets admission requirements that must be met and DHU will screen student applications on that basis. Academic programs are subject to minimum TOEFL® or IELTS scores. Language programs are not but students will usually take a placement test to match them to the optimal class. Some specialised language classes, such as English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programs, which may sometimes provide a pathway into regular Faculty-based specialised academic study, may also be subject to a minimum TOEFL® or similar requirement. Some partner institutions might also require the submission and screening of a portfolio or other documents.
  • Students are responsible for various expenses associated with study abroad includeing accommodations, travel expenses. Costs of visa application, insurance, books and other materials, and daily living expenses.
  • As explained elsewhere, DHU will make a contribution to direct tuition expenses, up to one million yen and depending on program character and duration.
  • Considerable information about each educational institution can be obtained from their websites. Please note that the contents offered on their websites may differ from DHU’s study abroad program.

International Exchange

Inbound Summer Program

DHU offers a short-term course to international visitors, usually as a summer program, to provide opportunities to engage academically and directly with Japan’s pop culture and culture.

Japan’s pop culture has been attracting considerable attention from countries around the world; a phenomenon much-discussed of late under the rubric of ‘Cool Japan’. Content industries, and manga, anime and video games in particular, have found much popularity abroad and have become substantial export industries for Japan. Digital Hollywood University (DHU) is located in Akihabara, an iconic playground of Japanese pop culture, attracting an increasing number of international students from year to year who are fascinated by Japan’s pop culture and have dreams of working in the content industry.

For approximately two weeks, this course takes participants to Asakusa and Akihabara, to visit an animation studio, join a live concert and experience Japanese tea ceremony and much more. The program is conducted in Japanese with professional interpreters and instructors are prominent identities in their field.

China partnerships ( Partner universities in China )

  • Shanghai Conservatory of Music
  • Communication University of China
  • Jilin Animation Institute
  • Liaoning Normal University

Digital Media Art School

With the approval of the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, Digital Hollywood University has established a collaborative school, Digital Media Art School, with a leading national university, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, offering classes since September 2011.

Customized Program


  • Organize the dates and timeframe to fit the group
  • Design a program from Japanese traditional culture to pop culture including 

    anime, manga, game, music, fashion,

  • Hands on program from drawing to digital animation
  • Fully equipped facility
  • Be taught by professionals in creative industries
  • Have an opportunity to visit content production site

Customized Program Examples Lectures and Hans-on program:

  • Making an Japanese anime
  • Japanese painting
  • Cultural history from traditional art to contemporary art
  • A fusion of pop culture and art technology
  • Anime business in Japan
  • Anime digitalization


  • Visit anime production studio
  • Visit museums including Ghibli Museum

Contact Us

International Office

Digital Hollywood University

Ochanomizu sola city Academia 4F,

4-6 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku

Tokyo 1010062 Japan