Literatures, Languages & Cultures


Asian Studies has exchange programmes with 43 universities in China and 16 in Japan which involve student exchange, staff mobility, joint research collaborations, etc.

University exchanges

We have the following exchanges for Japanese:

Gakushuin University, Tokyo, Japan

In 1949, the year when, as a result of educational reforms, the Japanese university system was modified, Gakushuin established a university. It started with a Faculty of Letters and Politics, comprising a Department of Philosophy, a Department of Letters and a Department of Politics, and a Faculty of Science, which had a Physics Department and a Chemistry Department. This developed into the present day university, with its 14 departments in four separate faculties.

In addition, with a fully equipped Graduate School comprising six separate schools and 14 specialist courses, Gakushuin offers students ample opportunity to build on the basis of their undergraduate education, in terms of both breadth and depth, by pursuing further academic research.

With a total student body of around 9,000 and a large and distinguished teaching staff from the very forefront of the academic world, Gakushuin offers, as well as normal lectures, one-to-one guidance through seminars, the preparation of graduation theses, scientific experiments, special research, etc.

"I spent my year abroad studying at Gakushuin University in Tokyo. During this time I lived in a residential area around fifteen or twenty minutes from the main campus. The majority of international students studying at Gakushuin lived here, which meant that it was very easy to meet new people who were in the same boat as me. It felt very satisfying to be utilising the information I had learnt in first and second year at Edinburgh in a practical way. I also joined a couple of music clubs and circles on campus, which was both a good experience and great for my Japanese. This, more than anything else, made me feel really immersed in Japanese life. It felt good to be using the language at a kind of level that wasn’t just “survival Japanese” but instead to communicate and understand various complex ideas and opinions. It was rewarding to have it taken for granted that I understood what was being said."

Chris (Haddington, Scotland)Chris, Japanese, 2011

Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is called “the capital of a thousand years” with its long history since the 8th century. While the city has been preserving and passing down its history and tradition, its open and progressive environment has also nurtured innovative people and industries. Since its establishment in Kyoto in 1875 by Joseph Hardy Neesima, Doshisha has been committed to upholding its founder’s spirit as well as to upgrading itself with the up-to-date educational programs and leading-edge academic research. Respecting the tradition and at the same time continuously developing to be at the forefront of the time.

"I had never been to Japan before my year abroad, when I spent one year in Kyoto. The first two years of the degree had provided me with vast amounts of information about Japan, so I was confident that Kyoto was the right place for me to live and I was right. I was lucky enough to be placed in student accommodation in a rural area in the south, so I had to use my Japanese constantly from day one. The local residents were very friendly and inquisitive — I was often approached in the supermarket by people who were eager to hear about where I was from and was quite regularly told that I was the first person from Scotland they had ever met! With the amazingly efficient Japanese train service, I was able to reach the city centre with ease and thoroughly enjoyed the juxtaposition of central Kyoto. One minute you could be walking down a bustling electronics shopping district, before turning a corner and finding yourself in the grounds of an ancient temple or shrine. I will never cease to be amazed by the friendliness of the Kyoto people and it wasn't long before I found myself able to have confident conversations in Japanese. My year in Kyoto was the best year of my life and I would definitely consider moving there permanently in the future."

Al (Edinburgh, Scotland)Japanese