The origin of Sophia University can be traced back to more than 450 years ago when the Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier came to Japan in 1549 to spread Christianity in Japan. The actual foundation of the university began In 1908, when three Jesuit priests arrived in Japan in response to a request from the Roman Pontiff at that time, Pope Pius X. Five years later, in 1913, they opened the first Catholic university in Japan on this Kioi site where Sophia still stands. The university will celebrate its centennial in 2013. There are currently 11,929 students enrolled at Sophia University (undergraduate and graduate students). Of the total students, 881 are international students.
Sophia University has more than 150 partner institutions worldwide and receives exchange students based on the student exchange agreements. Every year, more than 200 exchange students study at Sophia.
With a population of about 14 million, rising to nearly 20 million on weekdays when commuters arrive for work, Tokyo is the quintessential metropolis. But it is also composed of scores of small and intimate "villages", each with its own character and rhythms. From the soaring towers and flashing neon of Shinjuku to the wooden temple structures of Akasaka; from the luxury complex of Roppongi Hills to traditional winding back streets of Shitamachi; from Yasukuni Shrine where the war-dead are enshrined to Okubo where large ethnic enclaves are thriving; from the bustling center of political power in Kasumigaseki to the newest play land of Odaiba; from the quiet refinement of the Ginza to the garish technology of Akihabara; from the youth capital of music and style in Shibuya to the green mountains of Takao in the western fringes. And you are only a short train ride from such other historical and natural sights such as Yokohama, Kamakura, Hakone, and Nikko.
Tokyo is clean and safe, easy to get around, and to get things done. The low crime rate is famous, and the efficiency of the city's public transport legendary. Computerized systems keep the city functioning smoothly; shopping is easy, and information in all languages is readily available. In only a few months after moving here, you will become familiar with your neighborhood and they will get to know you.
Campus tour video
Courses are offered in the following disciplines: Accounting, Anthropology, Art History, Computer Science, Economics, Finance, Geography, History, International Business, Literature, Management, Marketing, Political Science, Sociology and Theology. More information courses taught in English and Japanese language courses may be found here: Sophia Course Information.
Since the Sophia campus is located in the heart of Tokyo, the cost of living near campus is very high. As reasonable housing is located in the suburbs, exchange students should expect a 45-90 min. commuting time to campus. The train and subway systems in Tokyo are well-developed, but during the morning rush hours, the trains are very crowded.
Home Stay with a Family (with meals)
To live with a Japanese family gives you the opportunity to learn the language as well as experience Japanese culture. However, the life in Japan is quite different from that in your own country. Furthermore, the rules and situation may differ from family to family.The students who wish to live with a Japanese family should be flexible in dealing with different situations.
Wakeijuku was founded in 1955 by Kisaku Mayekawa, a Japanese philanthropist. The aim of Wakeijuku goes beyond pure academic pursuit, with a view to developing character and international understanding, it serves as a place where scholars, regardless of university affiliation, can experience frequent and free interchange with their peers in a residential environment.
The resident body of some 600 students of approximately 50 universities in the metropolitan Tokyo area consists of both Japanese and foreign students. The Wakeijuku campus offers foreign students the opportunity to study traditional Japanese culture, customs and philosophy. An annual program of special courses in Karate, kendo, Zen, Tea Ceremony, etc. is offered under the direction of leading individuals in their respective fields, and a wide variety of other student-organized activities are held throughout the year.
The main benefit for international students residing in Wakeijuku is the ability to eat, breathe, and speak Japanese 24 hours a day. Living together with over five hundred Japanese students presents international members with a unique learning experience, a way to make lasting friendship, and valuable insights into the workings of Japanese society.
Foreign students wishing to become residents of Wakeijuku are welcome without prejudice on the understanding that they will receive no special treatment as non-Japanese and that they recognize and adhere to the principles and rules of the establishment.
Azalea House is an apartment-style residence that provides unique international experiences. Eighty people live at Azalea House. Through daily life, its residents learn to appreciate and respect differences in culture, race, religion, national and political systems. At Azalea House, true friendship is cherished beyond culture. Meals are not provided.
House Warabi is a clean and safe apartment/ dormitori-style residence in the north of Tokyo. When you feel lonely, come to the lobby and dining room. Friends are there for you . If you need your own space, your private room can provide a quiet-time.
Kashiyama Scholarship Hall
Kashiyama Scholarship Hall is an apartment-style residence run by Kashiyama Scholarship Foundation. It is located near Shibuya, and Sophia has rented the apartment for the short-term students staying less than 1 year. Meals are not provided.
More information on accommodation at Sophia University made be found by navigating to: Housing Information.