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Programs : Brochure

  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English, Japanese Language Prerequisite: No previous study
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: College
Other Eligibility Requirements: 1 Area Studies Course in Language or Culture (Recommended) Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad
Housing Options: Apartment/Off-Campus, Homestay, University Residence Hall/Apartment Application Deadline: Fall/Year: February 15
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

International Christian University
BIC Logo
The International Christian University is located in Mitaka City, a suburban community adjacent to the district comprising Tokyo proper. The campus is a spacious wooded area of approximately 150 acres on Musashino Plain. The University was founded in 1949 and in 1953 was established as the first liberal arts college in Japan, conceived out of the cooperative planning efforts of both Japanese and North American Christian educators. Total enrollment is just under 3,000 undergraduates and 160 graduate students. 92% of the students are Japanese with the remaining 8% comprised of 41 different nationalities.

For additional information, visit the International Christian University website
The City of Tokyo

Tokyo is the seat of the Japanese government and the home of the Imperial Palace and Japanese Imperial Family. The city of Tokyo began as a small fishing village named Edo and during the subsequent Edo period, Edo grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million in the 18th century.  The current population is around 13.35 million, and the official language is Japanese.

Did you know…?

Tokyo Station is one of the two stations designated as an Important Cultural Asset in Japan which is currently operating.  The entire floor space of Tokyo Station measures 182,000 square meters which is 3.6 times the size of Tokyo Dome.



The program at the International Christian University is for College credit only.

Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0

Language Prerequisite: Completion of Advanced Japanese (recommended for Japanese program); no previous study required for English program.
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of Area Studies course in language or culture by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure is recommended, but not required. 

The program at International Christian University is for the fall semester or academic year only. 


Language of Instruction

English, Japanese


A full course load at the International Christian University consists of 13 units of 2-3 unit courses per semester (students may take a maximum of 18 units).  Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

Students studying abroad on this program must also enroll in the Summer Courses in Japanese program, which begins in July.

Students should use XCAT and consult with their home school academic advisor for study abroad to determine the number of CUs they will earn during their summer plus autumn term or summer plus academic year abroad.

ICU Academic Calendar
ICU Course Catalog for Incoming Exchange Students
Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy.  For more on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here

Special Features

BIC Special FeaturesOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by the International Christian University prior to the start of each semester. 

Language Courses

ICU is widely admired for its excellent Japanese Language Programs (JLP). There are around 200 students from about 30 different countries enrolled in the JLP courses at any time, including degree-seeking regular four year students, one-year exchange/invitee students, and Japanese students who have been living abroad. Read more here.

Student Associations

Penn students studying at ICU have access to a wide range of student activities and associations. More information can be found here and here.


BIC CampusParticipants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

Students are strongly encouraged to live in on-campus dormitories during their studies at ICU. Presently, there are two undergraduate dorms for men, three for women, and four co-ed dormitories. Dormitory rooms accommodate one to four persons and are furnished.  In addition to the students’ rooms, each has a social room, a kitchenette, and a study room.

Students who cannot or choose not to be accommodated in a dormitory will be assisted by the ICU Housing Office in locating suitable off-campus housing in either private, rented apartments or lodging rooms.

Information regarding accommodation can be found here.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets

Academic Year

Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad: Supports undergraduate study abroad focusing on geographical areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to US national security. (Excludes study in US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.) These US government grants entail a service obligation. 
Several different scholarship opportunities also exist for international students studying in Japan. For additional information, please follow this link

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Tokyo, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.

This program is currently not accepting applications.