Loyola University Chicago

Study Abroad

Tokyo, Japan - Sophia University


Global Exchange Program

Program Description

At Sophia University, located in the heart of Tokyo, Japan, Loyola students can study in English at the Faculty of Comparative Culture with Japanese students as well as students from around the world. Students also benefit from intensive Japanese language courses. Courses available include international studies, business and economics, political science, anthropology and sociology, Japanese studies, history, art history, literature, philosophy and religious studies.

University Affiliation—Sophia University (enrollment of 1100 undergraduates)

One of Japan's foremost private universities, Sophia takes pride in its traditions of promoting humanitarian values, a liberal spirit, and international awareness. The Jesuits founded Sophia in 1913. From the beginning, the founders of the university stressed an internationally oriented curriculum and rigorous training in foreign languages. Located in central Tokyo's Yotsuya district near the National Diet and Imperial Palace, Sophia is easily accessible by train and subway.

University Websitewww.sophia.ac.jp/

Academic Calendar Dates

Submit an application before the Application Deadline.

Loyola GPA Requirement - 2.75 cumulative*
*Students should note Sophia University's GPA requirement may differ from Loyola's

Tokyo and Japan

"Known as Edo until 1868, Tokyo is a coastal city with an intricate history. In 1457, Edo Castle was constructed and in 1603 it became the seat of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Under the Tokugawas, the city was constructed in order to profit from the natural waterways that serve as transportation canals. By the early 1700's, the population of Tokyo was already estimated at 1.2 million, while the population of London and Paris was 650,000 and 500,000 respectively. In 1868, with the overthrow of the Tokugawas and the beginning of the Meiji era, Edo became capital of Japan under a new name, Tokyo, which means " Capital of the East".

Tokyo is a sprawling megalopolis on the Pacific coast of Honshu, the largest island of the Japanese archipelago. Japan consists of four main islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Covering 145, 882 sq. miles it is just smaller than the state of Montana. Japan experiences all 4 seasons. Japan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world with a total population of 127 million. Tokyo is one of the world's most populous cities. Sophia University is located in the heart of Tokyo, the thriving capital of Japan. The campus is surrounded by numerous landmarks, the National Theater, the National Stadium, the Akasaka Palace (where political leader and royal families are accommodated), to mention a few.

Curriculum Type

Students take classes at the Faculty of Comparative Culture. All courses except language classes are taught in English. Intensive training in the Japanese language is also offered to non-native Japanese speakers. The aim for all students is a bilingual capacity in English and Japanese.

There are courses offered in a range of areas such as:

  • General Studies
  • Languages, Japanese Language
  • Humanities (Art History, Literature, Religion-Philosophy)
  • International Business and Economics
  • Social Studies (Anthropology-Sociology, History, Political Science)
  • Japanese Linguistics
  • Teaching Methods

For course descriptions, visit the Sophia University Faculty of Liberal Arts website.

Summer Session

For over 40 years Sophia University's Summer Session of Asian Studies has provided the opportunity for both students and teachers to study and reflect on the relation of Japan, Asia, and the world. Located in one of the many "hearts" of Tokyo, the Summer Session allows participants not only the chance to experience aspects of Japanese culture and society themselves but also to witness the myriad ways in which the cultures of the world are both present and reflected in the maze-like urban landscape of Tokyo.

  • Contemporary Japanese Economy
  • Japanese Business and Management
  • Japanese 1A
  • Japanese 1B
  • Japanese 2A
  • Japanese 2B
  • Japanese Theater
  • Survey of Japanese Religion
  • Contemporary Japanese Society
  • Japanese Art
  • Japanese History: Edo and Tokyo
  • Comparative Asian Industrial Systems
  • Japanese Literature and the City
  • Contemporary Japanese Politics
  • Contemporary Chinese Society
  • Foundation of East Asian Culture

For course descriptions go to summer course page.

Housing for the Summer Session is available at various hotels (a group rate is provided) or a college residence hall. For more details about housing and meals visit the website http://www.sophia-summer.jp/fqa/index.html.

For more general information about the Summer Session visit the website http://www.sophia-summer.jp/.

Types of Accommodation (for semester and year-long programs)

  • Off-Campus Residence Hall
  • Apartment-Style Residence Hall
  • Independent Housing (see links on Sophia website for apartment and homestay information)

For more detailed information about housing options, visit the Sophia website. (Housing fees are paid directly to Sophia by the student)

Program Fees

Loyola Tuition, Sophia University Room and Board

Loyola (OIP) Fee—$100

CISI Insurance Fee- about $300 per semester ($150 for summer programs)

*To see a detailed list of additional estimated expenses, click here.

Aid Transfer—Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal PLUS Loans, IL Monetary Award Program Grant (MAP), Loyola University Chicago Grants and Scholarships, Alternative Loans

Application Process 

  1. Submit the LUC online application.
  2. Submit the Sophia University Exchange application.


If you have questions about Sophia University's Exchange Program, contact Annie Reagan, Loyola Study Abroad Advisor.