Life in Japan

To support the newly enrolled international students, a variety of assistance is offered by the International Graduate Program on Civil and Environmental Engineering. This page lists some of the major assistance offered to the new students.


The Saitama University International House (I-House) was established for the purpose of providing accommodation and other facilities to international researchers and students in their first year of residence in the university. Presently, the I-House consists of three buildings with a total of 172 single, couple and family rooms. In principle, the period of residence for researchers and students is minimum of one month and a maximum of one year. Since the number of available rooms is less than the number of students applying for accommodation, only selected students and researchers are able to get rooms in the I-House. Many students find off-campus housing in apartments nearby the university. The Foreign Student Office (FSO) can help students to find such off-campus housing.

Tutor System

The department adopts a system whereby every international student is assigned a tutor who can give him/her individual extracurricular assistance on matters concerning his/her research and studies as well as formal university procedures. The tutor to be assigned is a graduate student who is majoring in the same field of study. The staff of the Foreign Student Office (FSO) as well as the academic adviser of individual student may also be approached for advice on the day-to-day general matters including housing accommodations.

Japanese Language Course

The department offers Japanese language courses throughout the year beginning from April and October to help international students acquire practical skills in the Japanese language. Although Japanese language capability is not a requirement for the graduate study programs, students new to Japan are encouraged to take the basic Japanese course to help them enjoy a better everyday life in and out of the university during their stay in Japan. Spouses of students are also invited to enroll in these classes.

The basic Japanese course aims at developing basic skills in speaking and listening as well as in reading and writing Japanese. In addition, more advanced courses such as Japanese conversation and reading are offered by the University's International Student Center (ISC).

These courses are given by instructors qualified to teach Japanese as a foreign language. The Japanese class also serves as a place for social interaction and occasionally for personal counseling for international students.

English Language Course

Besides the Japanese language courses, the department also offers English language courses. The courses are designed to improve students' skill in writing scientific and academic reports or papers. Although the courses are not a requirement of the graduate study program, all international students, regardless of whether or not English is their second language in their home country, are encouraged to attend.

The English courses are offered with the purpose of increasing awareness of and building skills for writing academic essays and research papers in English. There are courses at two levels which complement each other. The courses are taught by a qualified native English instructor.