Current students

Q&A with Senior IP students who have completed overseas exchange

The International Program is an educational program for students in the School of Design that started in 2021. Under this program, many participating students have been sent to partner universities abroad as exchange students.

Here, the first and the second batches of International Program students who have completed their exchange programs answer questions about the International Program and studying abroad.

Student 1: 1st batch of International Program, Host University: The Köln university of Applied Sciences (Germany), September 2022 – February 2023

Student 2: 1st batch of International Program, Host University: Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), August 2022 – June 2023

Student 3: 2nd batch of International Program, Host University: Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands), February 2023 – July 2023

※the Q&A is to provide information related to the experience of senior IP students, for detail information on overseas exchange study. Please check the website or contact with Geiko International Office.

Apply for International Program

Q: If I were to apply for an international program, when should I start preparing?

A: No specific preparation is required to apply for International Programs, but it is a good idea to develop your English skills on a regular basis.

Q: When and how can I apply for the International Program?

A: Applications can be submitted via the Geiko Global website. Please also see the application details. An information session is also held at the beginning of April, you can get the information there.

Q:How many students apply to the International Program each year? And what is the ratio of being selected?

A: We look for 10 applicants, but in the past years, about 15 to 20 people have applied. The ratio of being selected to all applicants is 1.5 to 2 times.

Study abroad destination, timing, duration, etc.

Q: Have you had a firm idea of studying abroad since your first year as an undergraduate student?

A: Many people began to consider studying abroad as a result of joining International Program.

Q: Can I choose my own study abroad destination?

A: You can choose from among our partner universities. For more information, please refer to the Geiko Global website and the Kyushu University International Affairs Department’s website.

Q:How did you search for and decide which university you wanted to study abroad?

A: I searched for a country I would like to visit or consulted with my teacher and the International Office.

Q:How do you think studying abroad in graduate school differs from studying abroad in graduate school?

A: When you study abroad as a graduate student, you will be able to make more use of your expertise and have more partner institutions where you can take classes in English. Undergraduate students can aim to graduate without staying in school longer.

Q: In what year of undergraduate or graduate school do you think it is most effective to study abroad?

A: Taking into account that you will need specialized knowledge in your study abroad program, we recommend that you study abroad after your junior year of undergraduate studies.

Q: In what year do most of students study abroad in undergraduate and graduate school?

A: In most cases, it is in the second semester of the third year in the undergraduate school and in the second semester of the first year in the graduate school.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the countries in which I can study?

A: If you are doing an exchange through Geiko or Kyushu university, you will choose from a list of partner universities. For more information, please refer to the Geiko Global website and the Kyushu University International Affairs Department’s website.

Q:In which specific countries did the students study abroad?

A: As an International Program, we currently have/ had exchange students in the Netherlands (Amsterdam), Germany (Koln, Karlsruhe), Singapore, Italy (Milan), Austria (Vienna), the United States (San Jose), and Taiwan (Tainan).

Q: How long do students study abroad?

A: Six months or one year.

Q: Will the period of study abroad and the period of job hunting interfere with each other?

A: It can be an obstacle, but it can be manageable. It is possible for you to graduate in four years and find a job.

Q: Did you study abroad alone? Or did you do it with a friend?

A: Each one alone.

Fees and Scholarships

Q: How much does it cost to study abroad?

A: It varies greatly depending on the duration and location. For more information, please refer to the Study Abroad Report on the Geiko Global website.

Q: How did you raise the money to pay for your study abroad?

A: Although there are individual differences in the use of scholarships, support from parents, etc., in some cases, student who studied in the Netherlands was able to cover most of their expenses for a month with a scholarship from JASSO and the salary they received from a project at a local university.

Q: Is there any financial assistance, such as scholarships, related to studying abroad?

A: Scholarships by Kyushu university and by private foundations are available. Scholarships vary from year to year, but for example, scholarships by Kyushu University, you may receive travel expenses or a certain amount of money each month to help your life in abroad. For more information, see the website of the International Affairs Department of Kyushu University.

Q: Is there any chance that I will not receive a scholarship for study abroad?

A: Depending on your grades and family financial situation, you may not be eligible to receive the scholarship. For more information, see the website of the International Affairs Department of Kyushu University and the websites of the respective donors.

Q: What did you do with your house in Japan, cell phone, and other contracts prior to your study abroad while you are out of Japan?

A: Many students cancel if they are studying abroad for a year, while many leave it in place if they are studying for six months.


Q: Is English proficiency important for studying abroad?

A: Speaking and listening skills are especially important, and you should aim to achieve a CEFR B2 level, IELTS 6.0, or TOEFL 80-90 before studying abroad.

Q: What is the minimum level of conversation I should be able to have when I study abroad?

A: The level you can tell your opinion even roughly.

Q: How should I study English?

A: We encourage you to interact with international students through our International Program and Geiko Supporter activities.

Q: How much did you study the language to study abroad?

A: I did not study using textbooks, but I tried to listen to English every day by creating opportunities to speak English by getting involved with international students on a regular basis and learning English while watching YouTube and Netflix. In terms of scores, I would need 6.0 for IELTS and 80-90 for TOEFL, so that’s what I studied for. However, in my personal experience, the above scores were not enough for me to speak and interact with local people on an equal level.

Q: Did you study German during your study in Germany?

A: I did not, but I strongly recommend learning German, as there are few English speakers in rural areas.

Preparation for Study Abroad

Q: How did you prepare for your study abroad?

A: In the International Program, you will first decide which university you are going by consultation with your professor. Subsequent preparation varies from university to university.

Q: How did you obtain your Visa?

A: When to obtain it varies from country to country. For example, in Germany, if you are staying for more than 180 days, you will obtain a visa (residence permit) after entering the country. In the case of Singapore, you will obtain a student pass after entering the country through a local university as an intermediary. Then you will receive visa information from the university. In the case of the Netherlands, we prepared in advance by communicating with the university in Netherlands.

Q: When did you buy your airline tickets?

A: I bought a month ago for a round trip. I would recommend buying at least 3 months in advance for the best price.

Academic and credits

Q: I think it will be difficult to take the required courses at Kyushu University if I study abroad for more than six months, but is there any way I can study abroad without taking a leave of absence?

A: The International Program is designed to allow students to graduate without staying university longer.

Q: How many credits can I exchange?

A: Credit exchange depends on the partner university and the subjects chosen, but it is possible to obtain 8-10 credits. For more information, please contact the Academic Affairs Section, Student Affairs Division.

Q: How busy were your classes at your study abroad university?

A: In the case of Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), most of the classes were 3 hours x 14 sessions in content, and accordingly, a lot of time was spent on class assignments.

DSS Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, (The Netherlands) is basically full time from morning to evening 5 days a week. There is no homework etc.

At The Köln University of Applied Sciences (Germany), students are free to decide the number of classes they take on an individual basis, and the busyness varies considerably from person to person. However, since the class format is group work and class time is presentation time by each group, you will be busier than the number of classes you are taking because you will be working together as a group outside of class time.

While Studying Abroad: Daily Life

Q: How did you find your house?

A: There are differences from country to country. For example, in Singapore, applicants are assigned a university dormitory. In the case of the Netherlands, there are dormitories suggested by the university, and we searched from there. In the case of Germany, students themselves use an app to find a house. Basically, you will live in a place that takes the form of a flat share or room share.

Q: How did you sign up for mobile telecoms?

A: I used to buy a Sim Card and charge it every month, and it is basically cheaper to use this method than to sign up for a Sim Card for a fixed period, such as six months.

Q: What was your diet like?

A: In Europe, eating out is expensive, so we mainly cook for ourselves. I often eat bread, pasta, salad, etc. (Germany)

I used to cook for myself or eat in the school cafeteria. (Singapore)

Q: Where did you get your daily necessities?

A: Cooking utensils were available at local supermarkets and “Don Quixote”. I bought a refrigerator and a hair dryer at a local electronics store. (Singapore)

Groceries were available at supermarkets such as Rewe and Netto, small heaters and cables at an electronics store called SATURN, and pillows and blankets at Muji. (Germany)

I bought all my daily necessities at supermarkets such as Albert Heijn, Lidle, Aldi, etc. I also bought some things at flea markets. (The Netherlands)

Q: How did you find the community?

A: At first, I actively participated in events for international students and made contacts. I also sought out events on Facebook and was invited by friends.

I looked for tennis partners on Facebook and it spread from there. I also joined a local baseball team through a friend. (The Netherlands)

Through a friend in the dormitory, I was invited to join a group that played volleyball after school. (Singapore)

Q: How did you make friends?

A: In many cases, making friends through Instagram exchanges. One of the students found people she could get along with at parties and in the community and exchanged contact information, etc. After that, I think it is a good idea to be proactive and ask people out.

Q: Regarding cultural differences in house usage, parties, etc.

A: Since you will be living with people from a completely different culture, you will have to get used to it yourself. As a local friend of mine said, she had to move out because she had a roommate who smoked marijuana. (Germany)

Q: If you have studied abroad for more than one year, have you ever returned to Japan during your study abroad?

A: Many students do not return to Japan during studying abroad, but if you are close to Japan, the travel costs are not that high, so it is possible to return.

Q: Did you feel racism in other countries?

A: The response from city hall differed between Germans and non-Germans, and was slow and crude. (Germany)

I rarely felt lost or uncomfortable as a Japanese person in Amsterdam. (the Netherlands)

I never experienced any discrimination. (Singapore)

Q: What is your impression of Japan/Japanese people in your host country?

A: Good impression! You will be welcomed (Singapore)

There are a certain number of people who like Japan, and I feel that no one is uninterested. I don’t think there are many people who think badly of Japan. (the Netherlands)

While Studying abroad: Troubles

Q: Did you have any immigration problems?

A: I was asked at the airport about visas for a little while. If you are in a country where you will apply for a visa after entering the country, print out and prepare documents related to your university in advance.

Q: Are there any incidents or accidents that may occur at your study abroad destination?

A: There are possibilities. Depending on where you study, you may be involved in demonstrations, pickpockets, etc.

Q: Have you ever had your luggage stolen or been scammed? I have an image that such things are common in foreign countries.

A: No previous International Program students have experienced this, but some of their friends have.

Q: What did you do when you got sick or felt unwell?

A: Once when I had a rash on my body caused by freshly dried laundry, I looked it up on the internet and took an antibiotic from the drugstore and then recovered. (Singapore)

When I had corona, I went to a clinic to get tested. Beforehand, you should look for a hospital or clinic near your home. (Germany)

Q: What kind of problems did you have with your roommate?

A: Due to differences in lifestyle, I asked my roommate, who is from the U.S., to take off her shoes indoors. (Singapore)

There was trouble over garbage duty. (Germany)

Some roommates may be dirty in the use of common areas such as kitchens and toilets. (the Netherlands)

While Studying abroad: Travel

Q: How many countries have you traveled to?

A: 4 countries (Student 1: Germany)

After the program was over, I spent two months traveling to about 15 countries. Besides that, I took day trips to visit within the Netherlands (Student 2: the Netherlands).

Three Southeast Asian countries (Student 3: Singapore)

Q: How safe was the destination?

A: In Southeast Asian countries, we travelled in groups and had no problems, but girls should not travel alone.

The timing of the World Cup coincided with my travel and there were riots in some areas. The subway was not very safe with many pickpockets and fights went on.

Pickpockets and rip-offs are common in large cities such as Paris and Rome. Personally, I felt that Eastern Europe is safer.

Q: How did you find your accommodations?

A: Sites like and Airbnb. You should often look at reviews and other information. Check the reviews carefully.

(Updated on May 22nd, 2024)