Sendai, the largest city in the Tohoku Region, is located about 350 km to the northeast of Tokyo. It can be reached in two hours from Tokyo by Shinkansen Superexpress, the Bullet Train. It is an important economic and cultural center in northern Japan with many universities, government agencies, and corporate branch headquarters. Sendai, often called the City of Trees, is a city known for its tree-lined streets, and it is also regarded as an academic city with its center on Tohoku University. Sendai is regarded as one of the most pleasant Japanese cities in which to live.
Tohoku University was established in Sendai in 1907 as Tohoku Imperial University by consolidating an agricultural college and a science college. It is the third oldest former Imperial University after Tokyo and Kyoto. Tohoku University is well known for its open and progressive polices. It was the first Imperial University to admit women and foreign students, and also pioneered in opening a university by offering public lectures. In 1911, Tohoku University graduated its first foreign students, thus becoming the Japanese university with the longest history of foreign graduates.
This program is restricted to Penn State engineering students. You will enroll in science and engineering courses offered by Tohoku University's Junior Year Program in English (JYPE) program. You are also required to take Japanese language while on the program. This program is not recommended for advanced Japanese speakers, as it is designed for students with little to no previous Japanese language instruction. Visit the on-site course catalog to find more information about specific courses and read course descriptions.
Education Abroad Credits
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas of a Pass/Fail basis. Students will register for a minimum of 13 credits for the program; students can enroll in a maximum of 16 credits.
Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page. Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.
Housing and Meals
You will assigned to live in either the Tohoku University International House or University House Sanjo with other international students where you will be responsible for providing your own meals. View the Tohoku housing web site for more information. View the Tohoku Handbook for International Students for other helpful information and resources.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Budget Sheets listed above. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully. Please note that tuition rates above may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships, including the Whole World Scholarship. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please see Funding Study Abroad.
For More Information
For more information about this program and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. Students at University Park can also contact their International Coordinator within their college. If you're not at University Park, students at Commonealth Campuses can contact their Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of this program, schedule an appointment with Whitney Strickler, the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
Penn State College of Engineering has resources to help students gain international experience. The college's international office is located in 205 Hammond Building, and international engineering envoys are available during fall and spring semesters to help answer your questions. In addition, there is a study abroad advisor in each department in the college who can help to answer academic questions that you may have. Please see the Global Engineering website for more information about our office, programs for College of Engineering students, and the College of Engineering International Travel Grant. In addition, it is strongly recommended that all College of Engineering students take ENGR 111: Introduction to Cross-Cultural Communication for Engineers, a 1 credit online course, before their semester abroad.