Earning credits while studying abroad in Japan

Each course held at Otemon Gakuin University is worth 2 Japanese credits, with a 45 hour workload per one credit. One completed course most often converts to around 3-4 ECTS credits and around 3 US credits. Students choose 5 courses during the semester plus a mandatory Japanese language course, which in Japan does not bear credits.

The lecture courses are organized once a week for a total period of 15 weeks. The calculated workload for one course is 90 hours including lectures (30 hours) and independent study (60 hours).

The language course has five 2-hour lectures/week with 1 hour of self-study counted for each class. The complete workload of one language course therefore amounts to 225 hours. Even though according to the Japanese system the language course is non-credit bearing, due to its intensity, in most cases home universities have awarded credits for this course as well.  The total of contact hours in Japanese language lessons and the evaluation ratings will also appear on a student’s transcript.

The conversion of Japanese credits into ECTS can also be understood in terms of the relationship between the scope of a local degree program measured in credits and the time it takes to complete it, set against the European standard attainment of 60 credits per academic year. According to this conversion method, the credits of the different universities are determined as follows:

124 (the general scope of a degree in local credits) / 4 (the duration of a degree in years) = 31 credits (local yearly standard attainment).

The European yearly goal of 60 ECTS divided by 31 gives the coefficient 1,9. 10 Japanese credits (the scope of the program not including the language course) x 1,9 = 19 ECTS.

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