Quick Info

  • Kobe
  • Spring, Year (Fall and Spring)
  • : Exchange
  • : Anthropology and Archaeology, Biology, Chemistry, Communication and Rhetoric, Computing and Information Science, East Asian Languages, Literature, and Studies, Economics, Education, Engineering, English Literature, French Language, Literature, and Studies, German Language, Literature, and Studies, Health and Rehab Sciences, History, History of Art and Architecture, Italian Language, Literature, and Studies, Linguistics, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics and Astronomy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology
  • : 9/29/2019 - 8/10/2020
  • : Regular Pitt tuition and fees + living expenses + airfare
  • : Fall: Friday, 03/22/2019; additional information must also be submitted to this institution directly.
  • : 3.0 GPA, Pitt Students: Must have completed 24 credits on a Pitt campus, Clear Judicial Record, 2 semesters (or equivalent) of host language


There are 3 types of courses offered at Kobe University according to patterns I - III described below. Patterns I and II are "quarter courses", and III takes the format of "semester courses". As it depends on the course, please see the syllabus for further information.

  • 1 course per week for 8 weeks (including examination days)
  • 2 courses per week for 8 weeks (including examination days)
  • 1 course per week for 16 weeks (including examination days)

*1 course is regarded as 120 minutes at Kobe University. (Actual lecture is 90 minutes.)

The grading system is based off the following scale: 

Kobe North America
S (90-100%) A (4.0)
A (80-89%) B+ (3.5)
B (70-79%) B (3.0)
C (60-69%) C (2.0)
F (below 59%) F

Although Kobe University does not require a full-time load, as a Pitt student, you are required to maintain full-time status (at least 12 credit hours) while you are abroad at Kobe University. Kobe's individual faculties (schools) will have varying maximum registration loads.  However, Japanese immigration law requires all international students including exchange students to take at least 10 lesson hours (equivalent of 6-7 courses) per week.

Faculties at Kobe University include the following: Letters, Global Human Sciences, Law, Economics, Science, Medicine, Engineering, Agriculture, Maritime Sciences, and General Education.  Most classes offered at Kobe University are taught in Japanese, so we expect for Pitt students to have prior experience with the Japanese language before applying. However, there are a select number of courses which are taught in English.  See the links below for classes:

Students requiring additional Japanese language enrichment may enroll, in the following Japanese language courses offered by the Center for International Education (CIE).   

Student Life

Students can enrich their experience at Kobe University by taking part in numerous extra-curricular activities, clubs, and circles.  Through these groups, students can learn more about Japanese culture, make friends with local students, and truly become a part of life on campus. 

In addition, the International Student Center at Kobe University offers counseling services for students in a range of areas including, but not limited to, administrative procedures, accommodations, faculty, and daily life in Japan.


Housing options at Kobe can vary. All dorms and apartments are furnished. You may be living with other international students in International Housing.  Exchange students are guaranteed housing on-campus and are given priority for room allocations in the university dormitories and . The room type will be single only; no other room can be selected.

Please refer to Kobe's website for updated housing information.

Pricing And Dates

Arrive in Kobe Depart Kobe
Early April Mid August

Arrive in Kobe Depart Kobe
Late September Mid February

Keep in mind that dates change.  You should not book airfare until given confirmation from the exchange institution.

Inclusions & Exclusions

You will pay for tuition and fees to the University of Pittsburgh. If you have a tuition scholarship, please check with the entity providing the scholarship to confirm coverage for studying abroad. 

While you will pay Pitt tuition and fees (Student Activity Fee; Wellness Fee; Computer and Network Services Fee; Security, Safety, and Transportation Fee; International Services Fee (if applicable)), keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Study Abroad Administrative Fee ($400.00)
  • Deposit ($350, to be credited to your PittPay account)
  • Visa Fee
  • Airfare (round trip ~$1,000.00 - $2,000)
  • Room and board
  • Personal expenses (depends on personal spending habits)

The following is an example of costs for an undergraduate student living in Kobe.  These prices are provided as a reference only. The costs provided correspond to on-campus living. Prices are subject to change and will vary depending on lifestyle and preferences of individuals.  These are estimated on a semesterly basis: 

  • Accommodation: $300 - $1200
  • Books: $400
  • Board and Living Expenses: $1650
  • Utilities: $825
  • Health Insurance: $200
  • Transportation: $450 - $1110
  • Miscellaneous: $540
  • TOTAL: $4332 - $5892

Personal expenses varies with individual students. Wonder about the cost of living? You can review the Kobe website for more information. 

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our budgeting page for more information.

Special Information

Insurance: Students are required to join the National Health Insurance system while in Japan, costing approximately ¥1,700 per month. Once in Japan, students may apply at the city/ward office near their residence. This insurance allows the bearer to pay only 30% of the incurred medical costs. However, it cannot cover the period prior to application so it is strongly recommend that students purchase private travel insurances before coming to Japan. Contact Kobe University for more details.  

Visa: Students who are not Japanese citizens will need to apply for a Student Visa to study in Japan.  Kobe University will provide more details, but you may review the Embassy of Japan in United States website for an overview.  

Language Requirements: Kobe prefers undergraduate exchange students to have an advanced level (at JLPT2 or higher) of Japanese to be academically successful in coursework conducted in Japanese.

Scholarships: Exchanges students will be considered for the JASSO and the Kobe University Fund. For details, see Kobe's website under "Scholarship." 

Ready to get started on your application?  

Program Staff

Jessica Sun

Walk-In Advising Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays: 2 - 4 p.m.

Hailing from the great state of Texas, I am the exchange program manager at the Study Abroad Office at Pitt.  I am so excited to be a part of your exchange experience, be it here at Pitt or over at another institution overseas.  I studied abroad in Tuscany, Italy, while I was in school and absolutely loved all the experiences that came with exploring fresh pasta, Renaissance art and new experiences.  I certainly hope that you will love your exchange experience just as much wherever you choose.  Outside of the office, I am all about cities, food, art history and tea.  Good eating and traveling!  Let me know if you should have any questions at jessicasun@pitt.edu or at +1 412-383-7165.