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General FAQ

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University International Undergraduate Admissions

General FAQ

This page is mainly for applicants and covers general information about APU, our application and enrollment process, as well as costs, life in Japan and APU. We also have a FAQ for Teachers, Counselors, and Family for more information and answers guardians of applicants may have.


Studying at APU

What can I study at APU?
There are two colleges to choose from at APU―Asia Pacific Studies and International Management. Asia Pacific Studies will lead to a Bachelor of Social Science degree and International Management will lead to a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. For more details regarding each college, see our academics page. Students study major-related courses in their base language (English or Japanese) while also taking language courses in the opposite language. For more details on language education, visit our language courses page.
I've never been to Japan and I don't speak Japanese. Can I still study at APU?
Yes. Many of our international students have never visited Japan or studied Japanese before studying at APU. Almost all courses at APU are offered in both English and Japanese, meaning applicants only need sufficient ability in one of these languages at the time of enrollment. However, for English-based students that have no Japanese language abilities, it is highly encouraged for you to start learning basic Japanese on your own before coming to APU. This will ensure you have a smooth start as you will be required to take intense Japanese language classes in order to graduate. The reverse applies to Japanese-based students with limited or no English ability.
Am I required to study Japanese at APU?
In order to graduate, it is necessary for English-based undergraduate students to fulfill at least 16 credits of Japanese language courses (excluding third year transfer students). Most students fulfill this requirement by the end of their second year. However, APU encourages students to continue their Japanese studies beyond the minimum requirement as Japanese language skills greatly benefit students when interacting with the local community and when applying for jobs. Similarly for Japanese-based undergraduate students, learning English is required to graduate. Students are required to fulfill 12 or 24 credits of English language courses. The number of required credits of English language courses will be decided by placement test.
Can I major in Japanese at APU?
APU does not offer a Japanese language major. However, English-based undergraduate students (excluding third year transfer students) undergo intense Japanese language classes as part of their regular degree. The same applies to Japanese-based students.
What career support does APU offer?
APU has extensive support through the Career Office to help students in their job search. For the 2018 Academic Year, 96.2% of APU students looking for employment received at least one job offer by the time of graduation. Some students choose to continue their studies by pursuing a graduate degree at APU or other graduate schools around the world.

Life at APU / in Japan

I have never been to Japan and/or do not speak the language. What assistance does APU provide to help me when I first arrive?
APU provides an arrival assistance service on specific dates before each semester where student staff greet incoming students at Fukuoka Airport to help them travel to APU for the first time. Before classes start, as a new student, you will participate in several orientation sessions. A select group of second to fourth year students serve as resident assistants (RAs) and live on each floor of AP House, APU's on-campus housing, to help you adjust to your new life in Japan.
Is it expensive to live in Japan?
While Japan's metropolitan areas such as Tokyo and Osaka have quite high costs of living, APU is located in Beppu, which is a mid-sized city and considerably less expensive. Many students also choose to do part-time work while studying to help cover expenses. However there are restrictions for international students working part-time in Japan. For more information regarding living costs, working part-time, and other money matters, visit our Money Matters page.
Can I live on campus?
Yes. Incoming international students are required to live on campus at AP House (APU’s on-campus housing) during their first year at APU. AP House allows you to adjust to your new surroundings and make friends from all around the world.
I heard international students are required to live on campus at AP house for their first year at APU. What about second year onwards?
There is AP House 1 and 2 on campus and AP House 3 and 4 off campus. After the first year, you will move off campus but you can apply for an extension of stay in the dormitories before the end of your first year (subject to the availability of rooms and particular reasons). Also, you can apply to be a Resident Assistant (RA). RAs continue to live in AP House in order to help new students adapt to life in Japan and at APU.
What about second year onwards? Where do students live off campus?
After their first year, most students move to private apartments or independent dormitories in Beppu. Many students choose to rent an apartment with friends to reduce costs. Housing support is available at APU to help students find off-campus accommodation.
How do most students commute to campus? Can students have a car or motorbike?
The city of Beppu is serviced by a public bus system, which provides easy access to campus. As a student, you will be eligible to purchase a discounted yearly commuter bus pass. While you may own a car, you are not permitted to drive or park on campus. You may drive a motorbike to campus with proper permission from APU.
Is part-time work available? Can I have a part-time job?
If you wish to do part-time work as an international student on a student visa, you are first required to apply for a work permit that allows you to work up to 28 hours per week part-time while school is in session. During breaks and vacations, you are permitted to work up to 40 hours a week. You can apply for this permit at the On-Campus Student Job Center after arriving at APU. Jobs are available both on and off campus. The current minimum hourly wage in Oita Prefecture is 790 JPY.
What dining options are available on campus?
The APU cafeteria on campus serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is open daily even when classes are not in session. Pacific Café is another option and serves other styles of food such as sandwiches and ice cream. This café is closed between semesters.
I am on a restricted diet. What options are available to accommodate this?
APU's cafeteria and café offer a variety of foods to meet the needs of students with personal or religious diet requirements, such as offering vegetarian food or halal options. Additionally, AP House has over 40 communal kitchens that students are free to use to prepare their own meals. Some restaurants in Beppu offer vegan, vegetarian, and halal options as well.

Tuition, Fees, Scholarships and Financial Aid

How much is tuition at APU?
Yearly tuition at APU is as follows:
First year: 1,300,000 JPY
Second – Fourth year: 1,500,000 JPY per year
What is included in the yearly tuition?
Tuition at APU covers course and administrative fees. Tuition does not cover other expenses such as housing, food, books, or transportation.
What scholarships are available at APU?
International students who will obtain a student visa are eligible to apply for the APU Tuition Reduction Scholarship at the time of application. Please note that this scholarship only covers the cost of tuition. Once you become an APU student, there are other scholarships that you can apply for. You will receive more information on these after enrollment.
How can I apply for the APU Tuition Reduction Scholarship?
You can apply for the APU Tuition Reduction Scholarship in the online application system. You will be evaluated for the scholarship based on your submitted documents, online assessment, and interview. It is not possible to apply for the APU Tuition Reduction Scholarship after enrollment. For more information regarding the APU Tuition Reduction Scholarship, visit our scholarship page.
Does APU offer any scholarships to cover living expenses?
APU only offers a Tuition Reduction Scholarship. However there are external scholarships for living expenses that you may apply for after enrollment. For more information regarding external scholarships, visit our Scholarships Available After Enrollment page.
Does APU provide any loans or grants?
No, APU does not have a loan or grant program, but you may apply for a number of different scholarships after enrollment. You are also encouraged to apply for private scholarships in your home country.

Applying to APU

I am currently in my last year of high school. When should I submit my application?
If you are currently in your last year of high school, you may apply at any time during the application period that corresponds to your country of residence and desired time of enrollment, as long as you will graduate before enrolling at APU. If you apply to APU before graduating from high school, you will be required to submit your most recent official transcripts with your application. If you are accepted to APU and decide to enroll, you will need to submit proof of high school graduation (such as a high school diploma or graduation certificate) before enrollment. Please check the relevant application handbook for specific application deadlines. Please go to the download page for the application handbook.
In my country, only 11 years of education are required to graduate from high school. Can I still apply?
Students are required to complete the equivalent of 12 years of formal education before enrolling at a university in Japan. If your education system only requires 11 years to finish high school, you will need to complete at least one year of university-level study or an equivalent program in order to meet the 12-year education requirement. However, you can apply to APU if you have completed an 11-year standard education curriculum at an educational institution in Uzbekistan, Sudan, Belarus, Peru, Myanmar, Russia, or an 11-year standard education from an educational institution designated by MEXT, even though your country's standard length of education is 11 years. For more details, contact the Admissions Office before applying.
Am I required to submit TOEFL/IELTS scores to apply to APU?
Whether or not you are required to submit an English Proficiency Test score such as TOEFL/IELTS depends on your educational history. Please refer to the relevant application handbook for information which is available on the download page.
Do I need to send any original documents with my application? Can I apply by sending an application by post, email, or fax?
No. APU will only accept your application through the online application system. However, you will be required to submit original documents, not photocopies, after acceptance to APU during the enrollment process by post.
I cannot pay the application fee. Can you waive the application fee for me?
No. APU requires every applicant to pay the application fee. This fee cannot be waived. The fee covers the cost of screening your documents and the postage necessary to send you documents during the application process such as your admission result. APU cannot begin screening your application until the application fee has been confirmed.
What happens if an application is submitted without an application fee?
APU will not screen applications without confirming the payment of the application fee. In principle, APU will not contact applicants regarding unpaid application fees.
Can I ask for a refund of the application fee?
In general, the application fee is not refundable. However, a partial refund (after administrative fees are deducted) or a full refund may be possible in the following cases.
  • When the application fee has been paid multiple times, or in cases in when it is clear that the amount paid exceeds the amount for the application fee and administrative fees set by APU.
  • When your application is deemed inadmissible and is not screened.
Further information about our refund policy for the application fee can be found on here.
I am older than most students. Does this affect my application's chances?
There is no age restriction when applying to APU. We welcome individuals of any age to apply.
I am a dual citizen of Japan and another country. Can I still apply as an international student?
Applicants with Japanese citizenship, including dual citizenship, are not eligible to apply as an international student regardless of their country of residency. If you have Japanese citizenship, you must submit your application through Domestic Admissions, you can also contact them at If one or both of your parents has Japanese citizenship but you are unsure if you yourself have Japanese citizenship, you are encouraged to contact your local Japanese embassy to confirm this.
I submitted my application, but I have not heard anything from APU. How can I stay updated on my application’s status?
After we receive your online application and application fee payment, we will send you a confirmation email usually within one week. This may take longer if you submit your application close to a deadline or when the office is closed for an extended period, such as during mid-August or the New Year’s holidays. If you have not heard from APU within two weeks of submitting your application, contact the Admissions Office.
How long does it take until I receive my admission result?
After completing your interview, your application will be evaluated and you will be able to view your admissions result and APU Tuition Reduction Scholarship result on the final result notification date specified in the Undergraduate Application Handbook on our download page. On this date, you will receive an email with instructions for how to view your final results online.
Will you let me know if I forget to submit one of my documents?
If anything is missing from your application or we require any additional documentation, APU will contact you by email. Please check your email regularly so that you can respond to our inquiries as soon as possible. When you submit your application, make sure your email address and your postal address are written accurately. Please be aware that missing or incomplete documents may delay your admissions decision significantly.
After applying, I moved or changed my mailing address. How should I update this information?
Inform us at when you change your mailing address, telephone number, or email address.
I cannot afford to pay the amount listed on the Invoice for Enrollment Procedure Fees all at once. Can I pay in installments or after I arrive at APU?
No. In order to begin your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) application process, APU must be able to confirm that you are financially able to support the cost of studying in Japan. For this reason, we must receive all fee payments before beginning the COE process. For more information regarding the Certificate of Eligibility (COE), please see the About Student Visa section below.

About Student Visa

What is a student visa?
A student visa is issued by your local Japanese embassy/consulate and grants you permission to enter Japan for an extended period of time and undertake university level studies. However, before you can apply for a student visa, you must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE).
What is a Certificate of Eligibility (COE)?
A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is a document that is required to obtain a visa and is issued by the Immigration Bureau of Japan. If you are accepted and plan to enroll at APU, APU will apply for the COE on your behalf once you complete all enrollment procedures. You will receive the Enrollment Handbook in your acceptance package, so please follow the instructions in the Handbook on what documents to submit and how to complete these procedures after you are admitted. When the Immigration Bureau of Japan issues your COE, APU will send it to you by registered mail. You must then apply at your local Japanese Embassy/Consulate for your student visa. Be sure to inquire the Japanese Embassy/Consulate in advance about what documents are necessary to apply for a student visa and have them ready.
As part of the COE application, I must send documents such as bank statements. Can I send a photocopy?
First, please upload on the APU Online Enrollment System official documents such as bank statements or income statements. After APU confirms that the documents are acceptable, please send these documents to APU by the document submission deadline. If there is any problem with the documents, APU will contact you. If you submit photocopies, we will not be able to apply for your COE until the original document or certified copy is received. If you send us an original document that cannot be reissued, it can be returned to you upon request.
I have submitted all documents and paid all enrollment fees. When will I receive my COE?
Once we have received all of your documents and enrollment fee payments, your COE application will be submitted to the Immigration Bureau. It usually takes about six weeks from time of application until the COE gets issued by the Immigration Bureau and reaches you. Once you receive the COE, please go the Japanese Embassy/Consulate and apply for your student visa right away. If there is delay in applying for your student visa, you may not be able to come to APU in time for the enrollment period.

Traveling to Japan

When should I travel to Japan/APU?
APU will advise you on the dates that you should arrive on campus. Arrival Assistance is available for those who arrive on the dates specified by the university before the semester begins. You should not arrive on campus earlier than the specified dates as there will be no available rooms in the dormitory, and you will have to look on your own for accommodation.
What airport in Japan should I fly in to?
If you would like to take advantage of APU's Arrival Assistance Service where we help you go directly from the airport to our campus, we recommend flying into Fukuoka Airport, the closest international airport to APU. The closest domestic airport to APU is Oita Airport, but unfortunately we do not currently offer Arrival Assistance at that airport. Arrival assistance will be provided at Fukuoka Airport on specified dates only. For more information about our Arrival Assistance Service, visit our Preparing to Travel to APU page.
Can my family accompany me when I travel to APU for the first time?
Your family can accompany you to APU, but they will need to find their own accommodation and transportation during their stay. If they need a visa to enter Japan, they will also have to apply for their visas on their own. If your family needs an invitation letter to obtain a visa to visit Japan, contact the Admissions Office.

Online Interview

What kind of questions are asked during the interview?
We do not share detailed information about the interview process. However, we advise that you keep the mission of APU in mind. Our mission is to contribute to freedom, peace, humanity, international mutual understanding, and the future shape of the Asia Pacific region. With this as our base, we are working towards our 2030 vision to provide an education to those who want to change the world. We at APU are looking for people who embody these ideas and can inspire those around them to grow as well.
How should I prepare for the interview?
 • Mark the date and time; don’t be late!
 • Check out APU’s website and our brochures.
 • Write down key points.
 • Do some practice interviews.
 • Prepare questions to ask the interviewer.
 • Make sure your device is ready (internet connection, headphone, microphone, background display).
 • Choose an appropriate outfit to wear.
 • Review your application.
 • Have good posture.
 • Smile and maintain eye contact.
 • Answer each question clearly and elaborate as necessary.
 • Take a moment to gather your thoughts before answering unexpected questions.
 • Take the chance to mention key points you prepared.
 • Take the chance to ask appropriate questions.
 • Thank the interviewers.
 • Mark the result announcement date!
 • Celebrate that you finished the interview!

COVID-19 Related

What updates or changes have been made to the application and enrollment procedures due to COVID-19?
APU has created an FAQ for questions specifically related to any changes and updates made to our application and enrollment procedures due to COVID-19. You can find this FAQ here.