Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Beppu, Japan

Important Information

Semester Dates
  • Fall: September - early February
  • Spring: March - late July
  • Every program is offered in both English and Japanese

Information Sheet

For further information, visit the International Centre Office (SU060) or email outgoing@uleth.ca

Ritsumeikan APU Learning in Motion


Japan, an island nation located in East Asia, is renowned for its cultural heritage, technological advancements, and stunning natural landscapes. It boasts a unique blend of ancient traditions and modern innovations, with iconic attractions like Mount Fuji, historic temples, and futuristic cities like Tokyo.

Basic English is widely spoken throughout the country, particularly in major cities and tourist centers. Announcements on public transportation are frequently made in both Japanese and English, and signs generally include decipherable roman characters or an English explanation.

In Japan, there are many fascinating places that you can enjoy for free. These include such diverse attractions as beer museums, food galleries, hi-tech consumer electronics showrooms, cosmetics factories and television studios. With so many different places to visit there's bound to be something of interest for everyone.

Traditional cultural pursuits such as sado (Japanese tea ceremony) and ikebana (flower arrangement) are much more than simple pursuits in skills. They embody spiritual ways seeking the traditional values of wabi (elegant stillness) and sabi (antiquated elegance with calm).

Beppu is the leading hot spring resort of Japan with as many as 104 public baths. In an excellent natural setting, 130,000 kiloliters of hot spring water (enough to fill 3,600 2-meter swimming pools) gushes out daily from approximately 2,700 sources scattered over an area of 50 square meters. In 1950, Beppu was designated as an international spa tourist cultural city. Eight areas (Hamawaki, Beppu, Kankaiji, Horita, Myoban, Kannawa, Shibaseki and Kamegawa) are called the "Eight Major Hot Springs Areas of Beppu." Each identified and characteristically different based on the mineral contents and natural surroundings. They serve as places for hot spring treatment, recuperation and recreation.

Ritsumeikan started as a private school in 1869 by Saionji Kinmochi, one of the most prominent politicians in the modern period of Japan. Located in Saionji's residence in Kyoto Imperial Palace, the school sought to foster young leaders in the new era. In 1900. the institution became known as Kyoto Hosei School. In 1913, the school was renamed Ritsumeikan University, with Saionji's permission. Saionji's spirit of "liberalism and internationalism" still lives in the motto of Ritsumeikan University's, "liberalism and vivacity." After Second World War, Suekawa Hiroshi joined the university as president. With deep remorse over WWII and Japan's own 15 years of war (the Manchurian Incident, the Sino-Japanese war, and the Pacific War), "peace and democracy," was became the ideal of academic affairs of the University. Today, the university seeks to facilitate an international culture, with 50% domestic Japanese students and 50% international students.

Program Information

APU works on a quarter system. Japanese language courses run for the full semester while regular courses run for one quarter. Students will normally take around three to four regular courses a quarter (6-8 credits) and a four-credit Japanese course. University of Lethbridge students must attend courses over the course of two quarters (one semester).

Courses in English

Since every program is offered in both English and Japanese, students who have no background in the Japanese language can study at APU without any problems. Students studying at APU for 1 semester or 1 year can choose to enroll as an English or Japanese basis student and take courses in the language of their choice.

For a list of courses in English and Japanese available for exchange students, click here.

To access the syllabus for courses you are interested in, use the Syllabus Search tool to search by course name or keyword. All courses, including those not open to exchange students, can be viewed using the tool, so ensure you only choose courses that are included in the list above.

Language Courses

Japanese language courses meet four times a week and are offered from beginner to advanced levels. Placement tests and an oral interview will be held after arrival to determine placement. For a list of available language courses click here.

Important Information

Please note that transcripts for fall semester will be ready at the end of March and spring semester transcripts are ready mid-September. This may affect those students attending APU in the spring and wishing to convocate in October. The University of Lethbridge’s document deadline for applications submitted to graduate is August 31. Students should be aware of the applicable document deadlines according to the University of Lethbridge calendar.

Exchange students may choose to study from two colleges:

  • College of International Management
  • College of Asia-Pacific Studies

Students are able to register for courses of both colleges, but will have later priority for the courses of their non-registered college.

Courses completed at a Japanese exchange partner will not be transferred back to the U of L on a course-for-course basis. Rather, students will be required to successfully earn an adequate number of equivalent U of L credits. 

  • U of L course = 3 credits
  • APU regular course = 2 credits
  • APU language course = 4 credits 

Typically, two regular APU courses (4 credits) within the same stream will transfer as one 3 credit U of L course. Three regular APU courses (6 credits) in the same stream will typically transfer as two 3 credit U of L courses. This may vary on an individual basis. Tuition is calculated based on the number of U of L courses students earn equivalent credits to.


You are eligible for this exchange if you are:

  • A full-time U of L student
  • In at least the 2nd year of your program
  • In good academic standing, with a GPA of 2.5 or higher

It is MANDATORY to obtain a Student Visa from the Consulate General of Japan in Calgary. There is an application fee of CAD $57 (2023).

Before applying for a visa, successful applicants to APU must first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) from the Japanese Immigration Bureau.
APU will apply for the CoE on behalf of successful applicants if the following requirements are met:

  • Applicants have paid for all the necessary fees by the stipulated deadline
  • Applicants are able to prove they possess sufficient finances for their period of studies and have submitted all the required documents.

Visit the Embassy of Japan in Canada website for information about the visa application process.

Consulate General of Japan in Calgary
Phone: 1 (403) 294-0782
E-mail: consular@cl.mofa.go.jp
Website: www.calgary.ca.emb-japan.go.jp

Office hours: Monday to Friday 09:00–12:30 and 13:30–17:00.

All applicants must call the office to arrange an appointment to apply for a visa and submit all documents in person at the Consulate General of Japan at Calgary.

For detailed information about vaccination recommendations when visiting Japan, please visit the Government of Canada's website.


Campus Residence

  • Cost: ¥49,000/month (2023) including utilities and bedding. Additionally, there is a ¥33,000 non-refundable move-in fee.
  • Exchange students are guaranteed placement in the AP House 4
  • No application form is required
  • Single rooms well-equipped with a refrigerator, air-conditioning, private washroom, bedding, internet access and telephone
  • A 24-hr computer room, communal kitchens, and a Japanese bath are also available in each building
  • There many entertainment options near AP House 4, such as shopping malls, cafes, karaoke, bowling, and restaurants with international food
  • For a virtual tour of the residence click here
  • Students will be asked to pay housing fees for the entire period of their stay at APU prior to arrival

Arrival Information

The most convenient airports to get to APU from are Fukuoka Airport (International and Domestic Terminals) or Oita Airport (Domestic Terminal only). When booking your flight, please proceed only after confirming the date of entrance to AP House.

APU provides an Arrival Assistance Service for new students. You will be greeted at the airport and directed to chartered buses bound for AP House 4.

For information on arriving to AP House 4 on your own, so APU's website.

In Beppu

Bus services are operated by numerous bus companies, not only in big cities but also in regional towns. The bus fare varies depending on the bus company but it is usually around ¥200 for an inner-city ride. APU estimates transportation will cost ¥50,000/semester (2023).

Almost all APU students use one of two public bus companies (Oita Kotsu and Kamenoi Bus) to get to and from the campus. Students can receive a student discount by purchasing a commuter pass. In general, the bus takes approximately 15 minutes from the JR Kamegawa station and between 35 and 45 minutes from Beppu station. While times may differ slightly depending on traffic conditions, students can almost always get to APU from anywhere in the city within one hour. Commutation tickets and prepaid cards offered by both bus companies can also be used for sight seeing around Beppu city.

For more information about transportation in Beppu click here.

Students going on an exchange pay regular U of L tuition and fees. For up-to-date tuition information, visit the U of L's Financial Services website.

It is MANDATORY for students to purchase Comprehensive Insurance for Students “Gakkensai” and the Japanese National Health Insurance.

Comprehensive Insurance is approximately ¥4,000/semester (2023) and ¥6,000/year (2023). National Health Insurance is approximately ¥10,000/semester (2023). With proof of national insurance, initial charges for treatment and medication will be reduced to 30% of the amount due at the clinics or pharmacies.

Please note: The insurance incidental to the International Student Card is not widely known in Japan and will not be accepted at hospitals in Japan.


CAD 2,000


U of L Tuition

See Fee Schedule



¥ 49,000

per month

Housing Deposit

¥ 33,000  

Transportation (Bus Pass)

¥ 50,000 per semester


¥ 30,000 – 40,000

per month

Academic Expenses

¥ 10,000 - 20,000

per semester

Health Insurance

¥ 14,000

per semester