Welcome to the Faculty of International Studies
Meiji Gakuin University’s pioneering Faculty of International Studies was established in 1986, and it celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2016.
It consists of the Department of International Studies and the Department of Global and Transcultural Studies. Students in the Faculty study for all four years at the University’s Yokohama campus. Our campus is also home to the Graduate School of International Studies, and the Institute of International Studies.
The Faculty’s affiliated Institute for International Studies supports professors’ research activities in order to continually enhance the curriculum that constitutes the Faculty’s educational core.
Meiji Gakuin University’s International Peace Research Institute, which has a deep relationship with the Faculty’s curriculum, is also on the Yokohama Campus. It provides information and sponsors learning events related to peace studies research. YISA (Yokohama International Studies Association) is the Faculty’s own alumni organization, and it creates networks for past and present students through its plans for symposiums and lectures.
The forces of globalisation continue to strengthen the mutual integration of peoples and regions around the world. With an eye towards the society of tomorrow, the Faculty strives to educate capable people who can actively contribute to a diverse range of fields and activities in and outside of Japan.
Questions for You
Why are you changing yourself?
The Faculty of International Studies, which was the first of its kind in Japan, bases its academic research and educational activities on knowledge of the humanities and social sciences.
In today’s world, cultural, economic, and political exchanges are increasingly expanding across borders and regions.
As a result, we are facing more problems that cannot be addressed within one academic discipline alone.
In the Faculty of International Studies, professors with knowledge in a diverse range of specializations present their perspectives on important multidisciplinary issues facing modern society.
These range from peace, human rights, democracy and minority rights to humanity and the environment, the growth of developing countries, and cultural and religious diversity.
On the basis of such a tradition, the Faculty of International Studies strives to foster in you the ability think independently and thereby challenge widely held “common sense” views.
The Faculty does this by providing you with an education in which you will study history and use interdisciplinary thinking to question and criticize the presuppositions of such “common sense.”
The Faculty envisions an educational experience based on the liberal arts in which you will free yourself from ideas that are taken for granted and not questioned, and from the belief that there is only one correct answer.
In this vision, you will change your own awareness and knowledge, and through these personal changes, you will change social injustice.
Why do you come to campus?
The Faculty of International Studies is rooted on Meiji Gakuin’s Yokohama campus, which is the city where our founder, J. C. Hepburn, opened his Hepburn School at the end of the Edo era.
Our green campus in the hills Totsuka shows different a face with each season. You will see goats eating grass and many green spaces suggesting that we should be aware of the relationship between humans and nature. In Maioka Park, adjacent to our campus, you can still see a traditional Japanese rural landscape. This is an urban oasis.
Student and groups often hold their activities in our campus’ library and lecture buildings.
You can join club activities on Hepburn Field, which is an athletic field. We hold our Totsuka Festival in collaboration with local residents in May every year. At that time, the university offers a range of events for visitors.
Our Totsuka campus is not easy to reach and there are not many convenient facilities around it.
However, being away from such conveniences has created a unique learning experience at the Faculty of International Studies.
Our campus is waiting for you, as a place for contemplation away from hustle and bustle, a place for encountering other people and discovering knowledge, and a place for learning together with classmates and teachers.
Why do you go out into the world?
Education at the Faculty of International Studies is not only limited to classroom-based learning. The Department of International Studies and the Department of Global and Transcultural Studies field studies.
Other programs offered by the Faculty or the university includes study abroad, internships at international companies and organizations, volunteer activities, and club activities. The destinations of these many programs include the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Acquire the ability to identify issues and solve problems through theories and concepts learned in classroom lectures, and go out into the field.
Find gaps between theories/concepts and reality in the field, return to the classroom, and deepen your academic understanding about the gaps you discovered.
One of the features of studying at the Faculty of International Studies is this back and forth between practical and experienced based knowledge, and classroom lectures.
In future, in Japan as well as in the world, societies will change such that many of us will live and work with people from different backgrounds.
Due to these social transformations, cross-cultural awareness and communication skills will become increasingly important.
This interplay of practice-based learning and classroom lectures will help you to live with others in such a society, and it will support you.
Message from the Dean
Prof. ABE Kohki
Since our establishment in 1986 as Japan first faculty of international studies, we have academically and practically endeavored to bring forth a more just world.
We created our vision of international studies by organically forging knowledge from a variety of academic disciplines that include politics, economics, religion, law, geography, linguistics, culture and literature. Indeed, our Faculty greatest quality is its interdisciplinary character.
We ask these things of our students: Read extensively and deepen your understanding of world issues. Go off-campus and expose yourself to actual conditions outside the classroom. Express what you have learned from international studies in your papers and research projects. International studies is not a body of received knowledge but rather a discipline that is being constantly created. We thus want our students to create and implement dynamic international studies that envision a future better for us all.