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 economic gap between the rich and the poor, 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. Aoi Mori
Cultivate a Global Perspective that Seeks Peace
by Studying at Japan’s First Faculty of International Studies
The Faculty of International Studies was founded in 1986 as Japan’s first undergraduate faculty with a focus on international studies. Since then, our Faculty continues to purse knowledge that will contribute to peaceful international relations. We undertake this academic endeavor with an interdisciplinary perspective that integrates the fields of cultural, economic and political studies. In recent years, due to the progress of globalization there is an increasing flow of “borderless” people who move across cultural, regional and national boundaries. Therefore, mutual understanding between people from different backgrounds is ever more desirable. The Faculty of International Studies offers a wide range of language courses as well as courses related to Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas, the Middle East, and other world regions. These classes foster a global mindset that encourages coexistence and cooperation by incorporating local diversity. We also encourage students to study off-campus so that they can confirm for themselves the knowledge they learn in class. Through learning experiences outside the classroom such as off-campus studies related to seminars, domestic and international internships, and study abroad programs, we hope that students will become individuals who personally reflect upon the importance of international studies for peacebuilding and can live their lives based on this understanding.