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USD Direct in Otaru, Japan
Otaru, Japan (Exchange Program)
Program Terms: Academic Year
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Homepage: Click to visit
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Housing Options: Dormitory Minimum GPA: 3.0
Term: Academic Year City: Otaru
Country: Japan USD Scholarships: Coyote Commitment, Mickelson Scholarship, Presidential-Alumni Scholarship, South Dakota Opportunity, Ullyot Scholarship
National/Non-USD Scholarships: JASSO Scholarship Language Prerequiste: None
Course Area: Business, Japanese Language & Culture Language of Instruction: English
Program Description:

Otaru, Japan

Known as an elite university in Japan, Otaru University is located in northern Japan.  Otaru is a port city situated in the region of Hokkaido and is a popular tourist destination due to its many historical buildings, including a canal lined with Victorian-style street lamps. Many students opt to visit Sapporo, which is the biggest city in the region; Sapporo offers shopping (specializing in glassware and music boxes) and arenas for music concerts.

Access to the rest of Japan, including Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, and all points in-between, is easily accomplished from the local train station or the Sapporo airport. Japan has much to offer students, including seeing the various Shrines of Ise, trying out Japanese karaoke, and sampling the multitudes of different types of sushi. 

Otaru University of Commerce

The YOUC program (Year at Otaru University of Commerce) is a specially-designed program for international students to pursue business and Japanese language and cultural courses in English. The program is intended primarily for upper-class business students as the majority of courses, including Japanese Companies in Global Business, Marketing Strategy in Asia and Pacific, and International Economics Seminar, will be upper-division courses. Students also have the option of pursuing Japanese language and culture courses as well as exercise and sports classes.

Student Life

Students can choose to live in a single or a double room in the International House located 10 minutes from the university campus. USD students will be living with the other international students who are participating in the program; these students come from a variety of different countries, including Germany, Iceland, China, France, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, and Vietnam.   The rooms within the International House come equipped with a kitchen and bathroom. Students have access to local grocery stores and inexpensive student cafeterias; the university does not offer meal plans.

While at Otaru University, USD students will have access to the full range of student organizations and student-oriented services. Students will receive a local student ID which allows them access to university facilities and activities. Many students enjoy the weather and the accompanying outdoor activities; northern Japan is known for its exceptional skiing.


Otaru University is a USD Direct program, which means students will continue to pay USD tuition and fees. Students will continue to receive any federal financial aid (with the exception of federal work/study) and most USD scholarships (Coyote Commitment, Mickelson, Presidential-Alumni, SD Opportunity, and Ullyot).

In the past, there have been two scholarships offered to qualified students interested in this program. These scholarships are intended to cover the tuition cost of this program; one scholarship comes from the Japanese government (JASSO) and the other is a matching scholarship from the USD Business School. These scholarships are not guaranteed every year; students should speak with USD Global Learning about the possibility of receiving one of them.

Application Process

USD students must complete the Global Learning application before being nominated to Otaru University. Students will work in conjunction with overseas staff to coordinate their arrival in the Japan, course registration, and housing.

This program is only offered on an academic year basis.

This program is currently not accepting applications.