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Hokkaido University
Sapporo, Japan
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Dates &
Click here to view
Restrictions: OU applicants only
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Program Type: University Exchange
Housing Type: Student Dormitories Minimum GPA: 3.0
 Non-English Language Learning Option(s):
Japanese Study Abroad Adviser: Shanna Vincent
 University Name:
Hokkaido University
 Language Category:
Language Category C
Program Description:

Brochure Header - Hokkaido University

Location Overview

Known as one of the country's top  universities, Hokkaido University is located in the center of Sapporo on Hokkaido, northern island of Japan.  The Sapporo campus of Hokkaido University is situated in the center of Sapporo and it is only a 5 minute walk from Sapporo Station.   The campus is also known for its splendid greenery which encompasses a total of 450 acres, and the paths lined with old elm trees make for a pleasant stroll.  As a backdrop to the campus, there is Mt. Teine noted for its panoramic views of the city and its excellent ski grounds.  Combining urban and scenic natural environments, Sapporo, the capital of the northern island of Hokkaido, is Japan's fifth largest city with a population of over 1.8 million.  It's known for its unique history and beauty, relaxed character and is considered one of the most desirable places to live in Japan.  The excellent quality of life, the reasonable cost of living and the wide variety of attractions, including shopping and entertainment areas, restaurants, museums, art galleries and the many parks, make it a great place for OU study abroad students.  Transportation is made easy by a convenient public transportation system which facilitates getting around by foot, subway, bus and train.  The Chitose International Airport is within easy access of downton Sapporo by train.  For more information on the city of Sapporo, click here.  Sapporo is in a moderately cold climate zone.  It is cool in summer, from June to August, with an average temperature of 20° Celcius and an average humidity of 80%.  In winter, from December to February, due to the seasonal northwesterly winds, the temperature remains low with an average of -5° Celcius and average humidity of 70%.  On very cold days, the temperature can drop down to -15° Celcius.  It is therefore necessary to wear an overcoat, a hat, a pair of gloves and winter shoes because of the heavy snowfall which is more than 1 meter during the winter.

Program Description 

Originally founded in 1876, it now consists of twelve faculties, eighteen graduate schools, and twenty-seven research institutes and centers, with around 3,900 faculty and staff members, 12,000 undergraduate students and 6,000 graduate students.  Among the student body, there are a little over 1,000 international students from 85 countries currently at the university.  .Hokkaido University offers OU undergraduate students a unique opportunity to spend one full year (11 months) studying courses in a variety of disciplines.  Courses can be taken in both Japanese and English in a learning environment conducive to acquiring both language and cultural  knowledge.  The Hokkaido University Short-Term Exchange Program (HUSTEP) participants take courses offered in English with no prior Japanese language courses required.  Hokkaido university invites motivated university students from ALL disciplines to participate in its program.  For HUSTEP participants interested in Japanese culture, there will also be opportunities to take part in numerous traditional and contemporary Japanese cultural activities.  Students admitted to the HUSTEP are eligible to apply for a scholarship.  Hokkaido University offers some very unique possibilities for OU exchange students.  The university's Research Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies is an ideal place to study for OU students interested in Native American Studies.  Under the guidance of a Faculty of Letters professor, for example, HUSTEP students interested in Indigenous Studies can use their "independent study" course to focus on Ainu and Indigenous Studies.

Academic Calendars

Hokkaido Academic Calendar:
  • Host university application deadline is in mid-February
  • Host university admission notification is in mid-April
  • Fall Begins in October (late Sept. arrival)  -  Spring Ends in August
  • Click here to see a detailed Hokkaido Univ. calendar
Holiday Calendar:
  • University Foundation Day:  August 14
  • Summer Vacation:  Early August - Late September
  • Winter vacation:  Late December - Early January

Program Requirements

You must have a 3.0 Combined Retained GPA to participate in the HUSTEP.  Prior Japanese language coursework (preferably two years) is required to apply and gain accepance to the HUSTEP.  If you intend to supplement your HUSTEP English language coursework with Japanese language courses, then Hokkaido University will require you to take the Japanese language proficiency test (level 1) upon arrival.  The Japanese Language and Culture courses will be administered by the International Student Center.  Two (2) OU students per year will be nominated by the Education Abroad office to participate in the Hokkaido exchange program.  OU students interested in attending Hokkaido University as an exchange student must first gain the nomination of the OU Education Abroad office and complete the Education Abroad online study abroad application.  After having completed the online application, the student will be given explicit instructions on how to proceed with the Hokkaido University exchange student application.  Applications sent directly from OU students to Hokkaido University will not be accepted.  Official acceptance to study at Hokkaido University will come from Hokkaido University representatives.  Note:  The host university application deadline is early and students failing to meet it will not be considered for the program.  See the Academic Calendar information below for deadline details.

Academic Overview

HUSTEP is a ‘junior year abroad’ type program designed to provide undergraduate students from affiliated universities with the opportunity to study in Japan at Hokkaido University. Participants in this program take a wide variety of classes offered in English in the fields of Culture and Society, Environment, Science and Technology. Students also have the chance to study the Japanese language.

At least 20 "credits" are needed to have completed the full-year program.  The credits include 10 credits from HUSTEP classes, but they do not include "Independent Study" courses.  The independent study research takes place under the guidance of a Hokkaido faculty member.  The International Student Center offers supplemental language and culture courses to study abroad students who are majoring or minoring in Japanese and are participating in the HUSTEP.  Click here to see an example schedule in which HUSTEP courses are mixed with Japanese language courses.  Many of your questions about Japanese language course content can be answered by clicking the FAQ to be found here.  Detailed Japanese language course content information can be found here

Once you're back at OU, you will need to complete the following form in order to have your Hokkaido credits and courses evaluated and equated to OU credits and courses.  You will need to contact and set up a meeting with Professor Shizuka Tatsuzawa of OU's Japanese Language Department to turn in the form along with supportive materials such as course descriptions, syllabi and assessments.

Hokkaido University - Course Equivalency Information

Application to Request a Study Abroad Equivalency for Japanese


The student dormitories are located on or near the university campus in the center of Sapporo. Furnished rooms in the university dormitories are available for HUSTEP students. The first dorm option is the Soen International Residence: Rent: 18,000 yen per month (utility fees are charged separately, 3,000-7,000 yen per month) Internet charges included.  Amenities: each room has its own shower, washroom and kitchenette.  Common space: lounge, laundry rooms.  Commuting time: 10 minutes on foot to International Student Center (ISC).  The second dorm option is the Minami-Shinkawa International Residence:  Rent: 14,000 yen per month (utility fees are charged separately, 5,000-10,000 permonth) Internet charges included.  Common space: shower rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, washrooms, lounges, laundry rooms.  Commuting time: 30-40 minutes by bus and subway to ISC.  The third dorm opion is Keiteki-Ryo (male students only):  Rent: 4,700 yen (utility fees are charged separately, 5,000-7,000 yen per month).  Internet charges not included (around ¥4,000 per month, optional).  Common space: shower rooms, lounges with kitchen, laundry rooms, washrooms.  Commuting time: 25 minutes on foot to ISC.  The fourth dorm option is Sosei-Ryo (female students only):  Rent: 4,700 yen (utility fees are charged separately, 5,000-7,000 yen per month) Internet charges not included (around ¥4,000 per month, optional).  Common space: shower rooms, lounges with kitchen, laundry rooms, washrooms.  Commuting time: 20 minutes on foot to ISC.

Money Matters

Since this program is a University Exchange program you will pay OU tuition/fees and insurance to the OU Bursar and housing/meals/living expenses to Hokkaido University.

Use this Hokkaido University Budget Estimate to help you plan for study abroad and compare programs!

There are number of scholarships available for study abroad students. Below is a partial list to get you started!
An approximate upper total cost for a full-year abroad is $20,000 which includes both OU and Hokkaido costs and the international flight cost.  Costs at OU:  All students participating on semester or academic year reciprocal exchange programs are enrolled at OU for 12 credits each semester abroad.  Tuition and fees are billed through and paid directly to OU at the appropriate resident or non-resident rate.  The above estimate includes in-state tuition which would have to be adjusted for out-of-state residents.  Fees are charged at the Arts and Sciences College rate, even if the student's major is in a different college.  All participants pay a $10/credit hour study abroad fee.  There is also $ 35 non-refundable application fee for study abroad.  Costs at Host Site:  A estimate of host university costs per semester is $1500 for food, $3000 for housing, two semesters of books totalling $250.   

To assist international exchange students, the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) offers the "Short-term Student Exchange Promotion Program Scholarship" to a limited number of students.  It is comprised of a monthly stipend = 80,000 yen (~700 USD).  If the host university chooses to nominate an exchange student for the JASSO, then the student will be made aware after the host university application has been submitted.  

How do I apply?

Start by attending a Study Abroad 101 information session to learn the basics about study abroad as well as your next steps. Then, schedule an appointment with the study abroad adviser for Asia to move on to Phase 2! 

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Academic Year 2014-2015 02/21/2014 
03/07/2014 TBA TBA
Fall 2014 02/21/2014 
03/07/2014 TBA TBA
Spring 2015 09/12/2014 09/26/2014 TBA TBA

Indicates that deadline has passed