The Japan-Okinawa Studies Course is a special track within the Ryukyus International Student Exchange (RISE) Program. Japan-Okinawa Studies Course is for students who wish to learn the history & culture of Japan and Okinawa while developing their Japanese language skills.

Program Website

Course Description

Students learn and develop cross-cultural communication skills alongside exchange students from all over the world. Japanese classes are available from beginner to advanced, and there are general Japanese classes that develop reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. Students can use these electives to learn Japanese in the style that meets their needs. You can find these in UR's syllabus database in the Global Education Center faculty.

History and culture classes are offered in Japanese and English, and fieldwork opportunities are plentiful. Students can also take classes for Japanese students that match their major or interests. See the page for course program information as a reference for what may be offered in coming semesters.

Please see this link for an overview of which courses are taught in English. Note that Studio Art courses are taught ONLY in Japanese.

Website for Course Availability

ISEP STUDENT SERVICES OFFICER Rachel Brown 703-504-9994 | Thanks for your interest in ISEP Study Abroad! I’m your Student Services Officer and main point of contact here at ISEP. As you search for programs, I'll be available to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to contact me at any point in your search process for help, tips or advice.

University of the Ryukyus

The University of the Ryukyus was established in 1950 on the remains of Shuri Castle, which was burnt to ashes in the Battle of Okinawa. Under the U.S. administration governing...


(in English)

*This program is OK for Sophomores

Fields of Study

  • Area Studies Recommended!

    Japanese Studies

  • Foreign Languages and Literatures Recommended!

    Japanese Language and Literature

  • Hospitality and Tourism

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences

  • Social Sciences

    Political Science and Government

  • Visual and Performing Arts

    Fine Arts and Art Studies, Other

Academic Requirements

  • U.S. GPA: 2.3 or higher
    *accepts lower GPA with explanation

Special Application Instructions

An internal application is also required to be submitted to UR. Please see the application guidelines and forms on the GEC website.

PASSPORT: All students must have a valid passport to participate in this program. If you do not have a valid passport, we suggest you start the application process as soon as possible.

NOTE: Students with full Japanese citizenship or dual-Japanese citizenship are ineligible for placement at this site and must consider other programs.

VISA/RESIDENCE PERMIT: Most students attending this program will be required to obtain a visa/residence permit. For more information on the process and estimated cost, please review the ISEP Country Handbook here.

Other Academic Conditions

Applicants must be either enrolled as (full-time) undergraduate students who have completed their first year of study at their home institutions or be matriculated as graduate students.

Credits at UR

Students at University of the Ryukyus must enroll in 14 or more credits while at University of the Ryukyus. This is because all Japan student exchange students must take at least 10 hours a week of lecture each week to meet visa standards. A majority of academic courses at the University of the Ryukyus are 2 credits each.

Course Requirements

The ISEP Exchange program at the University of the Ryukyus includes admission into the Japan-Okinawa Studies Course track in the RISE Program. This program is intended for students who wish to learn the history & culture of Japan and Okinawa and develop their Japanese language skills at the same time. There are general Japanese classes that develop the four skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing. Students can learn Japanese in the style that meets their needs. 

Students have to pick at least one of the following courses. Aside from this they can take any other course they like in English at the University of the Ryukyus:

Classes held in Japanese: 

-  Study of Japanese History I・II 

-  Study of Japanese Culture I・II 

-  Study of Okinawan History I・II 

-  Study of Okinawan Culture I・II 

Classes held in English: 

-  Japanese History in International Co-learning 

-  Japanese Culture in International Co-learning 

-  Okinawan History in Intercultural Collaborative Learning 

-  Okinawan Culture in Intercultural Collaborative Learning 

If you are interested in any other program tracks in the RISE program, please let your ISEP Student Services Officer know. Some program tracks have additional eligibility requirements.

Other English-taught Courses

Please see our folder of previous course lists at the University of the Ryukyus that were taught entirely in English or partially in English. The course catalog for the current semester will not be finalized until a few months before the start of the program. Please note that ISEP nor your host university coordinators at University of the Ryukyus cannot guarantee course enrollment. We encourage students to have a flexible course plan before they go abroad.

Syllabi + Japanese Language Courses

To find syllabi for the courses taught in English at University of the Ryukyus, you can use the syllabus bank here. You can find course descriptions and syllabi for some of the Japanese language courses offered by the Global Education Center here as well. You can toggle the language of the search page at the top to “English”, and then search for “Global Education Center” in the Faculty section. You are welcomed to take other courses offered in English in other faculties, but most courses at University of the Ryukyus outside of the RISE program are taught in Japanese.

You can also find the Spring 2023 course model for the Japanese Language and Culture classes here.

Semester & Prices (based on your filters)

Select a semester to calculate the price. Semesters are named according to host university's calendar.

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University of the Ryukyus

Nishihara, Japan



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ISEP Application Fee US$100

ISEP Acceptance Fee US$425


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