FAQ for SIT student mobility program

1 Before applying for the exchange program

1-1)What kinds of “student mobility programs” does SIT offer?

SIT offers SIT student mobility programs as bellow. Choose the program according to your purpose

1-2)Am I eligible to apply for the program?

Each program has it’s requirement, please check each guideline first.

1-3)Does my home university have a partnership with SIT?

You can check partnership universities of SIT from the link below.

1-4)I’m not the student from Partnership University of SIT, am I still eligible to apply for the program?

Even if you are NOT a student from partnership university of SIT, if your university approves and if you can pay the program fees after arrival, you are still eligible to apply for our program The program fees are described in each guideline.

1-5)What kind of courses are offered in SIT?

SIT has more than 130 courses offered in English in undergraduate and master degree level. Check each courses conducted in English from the guideline of Course Taking Sandwich Program.

1-6)How do I apply for the Sandwich Program/Research Exchange?

First please read through the program guideline and check that you have all the requirements to be able to apply for the program. Then please have your international exchange coordinator at your home university to send us by e-mail, your Nomination Letter by the due date. After that please fill out all the application forms and submit through your international exchange coordinator.

Please note that it takes some time before we send out the Letter of Acceptance (LOA) to your international exchange coordinator.

1-7)How do I apply for the Student Commuter Pass?

SIT will issue your student ID when you arrive in Japan, and with the student ID you will be able to apply for the student commuter pass for all metro, JR railway and bus. For student with duration stay more than 1 month, it is suggested to buy commuter pass. It is available with duration for one-month, three-months, or six-months.

To apply the commuter pass, you should go to a manned counter and show your student card. Train staff may ask you to fill an application form. Please prepare the route that you want to use. Following websites can be used to search train route.

1-8)How do I apply for the SIT scholarship?

In the application form there is a place you need to indicate if you wish to receive SIT scholarship. If you indicate “YES”, then you will screened and once you receive the letter of acceptance (LOA) it will indicate if you will be receiving scholarship or not. Please note that we cannot let you know how the screening is proceeded.

1-9)How do I apply for the JASSO scholarship?

Unfortunately, SIT was not able to receive the JASSO scholarship for the Sandwich/Research Exchange Program, hence we can not provide our Sandwich/Research Exchange Students with this scholarship.

1-10)I’m a Bachelor student at my home university, can I still apply for the Research Exchange program?

For the Research exchange we only accept students who have completed at least 4 semesters or more (for undergraduate students) or for graduate/post graduate students, at least 1 semester needs to be completed before they join the program.

1-11)What courses are available for Sandwich Students? (Or Research Exchange students who are coming for 1 semester or more?)

For the courses you can have a look at the previous courses offered this year. Only the courses on this list is open to Exchange Students and it will change slightly for the next year. You can have a look as a reference. You can find out the courses from the course list here:

2 VISA and COE

2-1)What is a VISA?

A visa is a conditional authorization granted by a country to a foreigner, allowing them to enter, remain within, or to leave that country. Visas typically include limits on the duration of the foreigner's stay, territory within the country they may enter, the dates they may enter, the number of permitted visits or an individual's right to work in the country in question. (From Wikipedia)

Depending on the country, nationality or duration, there may be some cases that you will not need a VISA.

2-2)How do I know if I need a VISA?

If your stay in Japan is more than 90 days you will need to apply for a student visa.

If your stay is less than 90 days, please check the below website to check:
If your stay is less than 90 days and you do not need a visa, in some countries, you will need to check that your passport is a Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) in compliance with ICAO standards.

If your stay is less than 90 days and you need to apply for a short-term visa, we will send you the documents (Invitation Letter, Letter of Guarantor etc...) to your international office. Please apply for the short-term visa at your nearest Japanese Embassy upon receiving the documents.

2-3)If I am a 3rd generation (sansei) Japanese-Brazilian, do I need to have a special VISA?

If you don't have Japanese nationality, your visa will be student VISA. In case you have Japanese nationality, please let us know.

2-4)How do I apply for a VISA?

1) Those who stay in Japan more than 90 days

To apply for a Student Visa in Japan, you will first need to fill out the Certificate of Eligibility form, which is given to you at the time you apply for the program at SIT. SIT will then act on behalf of the student to apply for the COE. Once the COE is issued, SIT will send it to the international office at your home university or send it directly to your home address.

When you receive the COE, please apply for the student visa at your nearest Japanese Embassy. You will need to take your COE, passport and letter of acceptance (LOA). Please check with your Embassy to see if you need other documents.

2) Those who stay in Japan is less than 90 days

You need to apply for ""Short-Term Stay VISA at your nearest Japanese Embassy. Once you receive the documents (Invitation Letter, Letter of Guarantor etc...) sent by SIT, please check with your Embassy to see the required documents and then apply for it.

2-5)I would like to do some part time job while I'm in Japan. How do I apply for the “Application for Permission to Engage in an Activity Other Than That Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted”?

With permission you are allowed to work up to 28 hours a week (up to 8 hours a day during long-term vacations) and you can apply for it in the airport you will arrive. Please declare that you would like to do a part time job and they will give you a permission stamp. Also you can apply for it at the immigration bureau near where you are staying.

Please note that you may be ordered to leave Japan for violation of the immigration control law if you work without permission, or if you work more than you are permitted."

3 Accommodation

3-1)Where can I find accommodation?

We will send you a list of accommodations that you can apply for once the letter of acceptance is sent out to your coordinator.

3-2)I would like to share a room with another student to lower the cost of living, where can I find share mates?

You can try connecting with other international students in the SIT Student community (we will let you know the Facebook page once the letter of acceptance is sent to your coordinator)

3-3)How do I apply for the Global Dormitory?

We will let you know on how to apply for the dormitory after your letter of acceptance has been issued. There will be a screening process and only a limited number of students will be able gain a room at the dormitory. We will also announce other methods of accommodation such as renting apartments and guest houses at the same time so you have some choices.

3-4)Is it difficult to apply for the dormitory? And I want to know about the average cost in the dormitory.

It's possible for you to apply for the dormitory. For the details including the costs, please check the guideline first.

3-5)What is TIEC?

Tokyo International Exchange Center (TIEC) is the international dormitory operated by JASSO (Japan Students Services Organization). The location of Tokyo International TIEC gives it commanding views of the Odaiba district. It is a center for intellectual exchange equipped with facilities to provide information on studying abroad and in Japan, and also has conference facilities such as International Conference Hall in Plaza Heisei. TIEC is a place that can be used for intellectual exchange: International conferences, lectures, academic meetings, movie screenings, concerts, and much more. Also, as a part of Tokyo Academic Park, where graduate students and researchers from Japan and abroad gather to meet and discuss, TIEC conducts various international exchange activities such as international symposiums and festivals.

TIEC is for graduate students, and it is NOT for undergraduate students.

3-6)I am a bachelor student, can I apply for TIEC?

If you are in your Bachelor's study year, you will not be able to apply for the TIEC. You will need to be a masters or above at your home university in order to apply for TIEC.

3-7)When will be a good timing to book my guest house?

It is best to find your accommodation before your arrive in Japan since not all guest houses will have rooms available when you come.

3-8)Is the accommodation rent waived by SIT?

You need to cover rent and all living expenses by yourself.

3-9)If I'm going to live in my apartment half way through the month, do I still need to pay a full month's rent?

Please ask the agency that you have your contract with. For TIEC and dormitory, you can pay by the amount of days, for guest house and apartments, please check with each agency for details.

3-10)In the check list it says that I have to register my address in Japan, within 14days of arriving in Japan, however if I do not have a permanent residence by then, what should I do? Also what do I need to do if I change address?

First it is highly recommended that you have a permanent accommodation before you arrive in Japan. If you are residing in a hotel until your room open for an apartment or guest room, you may not be able to register a hotel's address in the municipal office because most of the hotels are not considered as the permanent residence. Since it depends on a type of hotels, it would be better to ask at the nearest municipal office for the hotel you'll stay in.

If you move to other place, you need to register again your new address in the municipal office.

3-11)I don't have an actual move in date yet but it seems Mini Mini (apartment agency that SIT will introduce once you are accepted to SIT) needs the date, what should I do? Also what is a guarantor agency?

For the move in date, please consult with Mini Mini on the dates. A guarantor agency is in case you cannot pay for the rent (or you go back to your home country or cannot be contacted) the guarantor agency will pay on your behalf. Usually in Japan you will need to have a guarantor within Japan who will sign to say that they will pay on your behalf, however since International Students do not have family or friends who will be willing to become their guarantor, most agencies will ask the student to apply for the guarantor agency. This is part of the risk management system that the agency undergoes so that they do not have people who cannot pay the rent.

4 Travel Insurance

4-1)What is a travel insurance?

A travel insurance is to cover you for unexpected costs which may occur before or during your trip to Japan so costs are less likely to come out of your own pocket. Depending on your plan, the insurance may reimburse you for the pre-paid, non-refundable portions of a trip if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason. It can also include medical evacuation coverage and medical expense coverage, plus reimbursement for lost, damaged or stolen luggage and personal effects. Most travel insurance plans also include 24/7 assistance services to re-book flights and hotels on your behalf and act as a personal travel assistant while you are away from home.

It may also cover for the 30% of the medical fee that you will need to pay with NHI (national health insurance in Japan)

As with all travel insurance plans, always carefully read each DOC (description of coverage) to learn the boundaries of your coverage. There are many companies and you will need to choose depending on the boundaries for the coverage during the period that you are in Japan.

4-2)When do I need to but the travel insurance by? Is a credit card insurance ok?

There is no exact time for buying your travel insurance however please have it ready before you depart your home country. Some credit cards offer travel insurance, please make sure the boundaries of your coverage since credit card travel insurance does not cover all necessary boundaries.

4-3)Our university do provide group personal accident policy but they do not provide us with an actual documents that included my name or information.

You will need to apply for a travel insurance that covers for your transportation and coverage within Japan (the coverage is for you to decided). All Insurance companies will issue a DOC (description of coverage) with the amount. Please send us the copy of that to us.

4-4)If my travel insurance DOC (description of coverage) is not in English what should I do?

Could you ask your insurance company to issue an English description? Most companies will be able to do so since when an emergency occurs you will need to present it to the hospital or company to ensure your costs are covered.

5 Flight

5-1)Is it ok to purchase my flight ticket before I apply for my VISA?

We do not recommend you to purchase your flight ticket before the VISA is issued, in case your VISA is not approved. However some Embassies will need you to have your flight ticket when you apply for the VISA, so please check with your nearest Japanese Embassy.

In any cases please purchase your flight tickets at your own responsibility.

5-2)Is it possible for me to enter Japan from other airports, other than Narita or Haneda?

You can enter Japan from any airports other than Narita or Haneda, however when you apply for your visa you will need to inform the Embassy so that you can receive your Residence Card

6 Health Certificate

6-1)Are there any exams or vaccines that I need to take to be able to study at SIT.

There is no compulsory vaccine for entering Japan however in recent years there has been some outbreaks in certain diseases from traveler who were not vaccined. Please check with your Doctor about the types of vaccine that you have already had, and if there is anything extra you need to take. For students staying for more than 90 days, please submit the health certificate provided by SIT.

For students staying less than 90 days, if you have a certain health issue please state so in the health form provided by SIT and if there is explanations on the medication you take, or the symptoms, please have your Doctor write in the letter.

6-2)Is there any preferred institution for authorizing health certificate?

There is no preferred institution for authorizing the health certificate as long as it is written and covers all the questions stated in our health certificate form.

7 Course Registration

7-1)What should I do if I cannot attend the orientation?

You will need to participate in the orientation at the date we have informed you, however if you have certain issues, please let us know the reason you cannot attend the orientation with the date you will be arriving at SIT.

7-2)Can Research Exchange Students register for courses?

Yes, Research Exchange Program Students can take courses if they are staying for more than 1 semester and are at SIT at the time of course registration.

7-3)Can we choose courses ourselves?

You can choose courses from the ones provided for Non-Degree Students.

7-4)Can I take course from different faculty?

Yes you can take courses from all faculties

7-5)What is the different between English-based and Japanese-based classes?

English-based means that course is conducted in English only, and Japanese-based means conducted in Japanese only. To apply for Japanese-based courses, you need to submit the required documents to SIT international office by deadline. *Please note that Japanese Language Classes are not Japanese-based classes.

7-6)When should I register for English-based courses?

You can register your courses after you arrive in Japan, during the course registration period. For now please go through the course list and see what courses you are interested in, depending on that you can decide where to live etc.…

I would like to know if the courses suit my level, where should I look for the details. Please check the syllabus on the website.(Syllabus search)

7-7)When do we know if we have been accepted for the Japanese-based classes?

Once you have submitted your required documents, we will process it and let you know by approximately one week prior to your arrival.

7-8)What is the difference for Japanese Language 1, 2 and 3? Also the Japanese courses are offered by the department of Engineering, can I take it even if I don't belong to this department?

Japanese Language courses are divided into 3 levels, "1" is for beginner, "2" is for intermediate level and "3" is higher level. Please choose the course based on your Japanese level. These courses are opened for all international students and does not matter which department you belong to. However these courses are highly competitive and you may not be able to take them due to the capacity of the class. If the level of your class does not match your own level, you can change classes during the course modification period.

7-9)Is it possible to take classes from several campuses? Also what does English Acceptable on the Syllabus mean?

Yes, it's possible to choose classes from several campuses or just one. If you are choosing classes from two or three campuses please arrange your timetable carefully to make sure you can arrive to your class on time.
"English acceptable" written on the syllabus means that this course will be conducted in English or mainly conducted in Japanese and supplemented in English. It depends on the courses.

7-10)What does the "Japanese (English accepted)" mean on the syllabus? And when and how do I register for courses?

"English acceptable" written on the syllabus means that this course will be conducted in English or mainly conducted in Japanese and supplemented in English.

Course registration period will start from September 3rd to 6th and we'll inform you how to register courses in the orientation.

7-11)Is the courses on the tentative course list fixed?

You can choose your exact courses and schedule once the registration starts when you arrive in Japan. The courses are tentative and there may be more courses on the list when the registration starts.

7-12)For the research exchange program, how many courses do I need to take? Where can I find the courses that is available for Research Exchange Students?

You need to study 10 hours per week at least due to the regulation for the Student VISA. As for research exchange program students, please choose the courses to open for "non-degree students".

7-13)Is there a minimum total credit hours? If there is, what is the minimum credit?

SIT doesn't have the minimum credit hours you have to take, however, you need to study 10 hours per week at least due to the regulation for the Student VISA.

7-14)How many course am I allowed to take during the course of one semester?

You can take up to 24credits per semester

8 Others

8-1)What is the National Health Insurance? Is it compulsory?

All international students who reside in Japan for more than 3 months (whom hold a Resident Card) must sign up for the National Health Insurance (NHI). NHI is important because whenever you receive medical treatment for any illness or injury, 70% of the cost will be automatically covered by NHI, so you need to pay only 30% at the hospital/clinic counter. Please carry your NHI card with you at all times. (It will arrive by post after you apply)

8-2)Is there a gym on campus? Also is there any information on clubs and extracurricular activities available at SIT?

Yes, we have a gym in Omiya and Toyosu campus. You can use it for free. Also there are many clubs that you can join at SIT. We will hand out a booklet to you at the orientation and you can find out more on which clubs interests you the most.

8-3)How do I find/apply for clubs at SIT?

You can find clubs at SIT from the below booklet.
(When you open the booklet, though you may be required to log in the dropbox, you'll be able to see it without logging.)
If there are any clubs you are interested in,  please contact NEXUS, which is one of the student project to help you to join the clubs, from their facebook page.
Contact Division of Global Initiatives
3-7-5 Toyosu, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8548, Japan (2F Classroom and Administration Building Toyosu campus)
TEL +81-(0)3-5859-7140 / FAX +81-(0)3-5859-7141