Loyola University Chicago

Study Abroad

Tokyo, Japan - Sophia University

Sophia Lead Photo

Exchange Program

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 Website


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 the 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.

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

Curriculum Type

Students take classes in the Faculty of Liberal Arts. All courses except language classes are taught in English. 

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.

PLEASE NOTE: Students who study abroad on Global Exchange programs should prepare for a highly independent and immersive experience. You will take courses with host university faculty and be held to the same academic policies and standards as local students. Academic support will vary across programs and often differs from the support you receive at Loyola. While the coursework and support may be different than what you are used to in the U.S., the grades you receive abroad will still factor into your LUC GPA.  Check out our policies pagefor more information on academics.

  • 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


*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.