Ritsumeikan University, founded in 1869 (but not given the name Ritsumeikan formally until 1913), is part of a larger "Ritsumeikan Consortium." This consortium includes the Ritsumeikan University campus in Kinagusa (located in Kyoto, Japan), a second University campus in Biwako-Kusatsu (the BKC campus, located in Shiga, Japan), the Rits Junior/Senior Highschool, The Rits Uji Junior/Senior Highschool, as well as the Rits Keisho Junior/Senior Highschool. I am told by a graduate student friend of mine that the consortium will be expanding next year to include a Ritsumeikan Shougakkou, or elementary school. Recently, Ritsumei was ranked among the best private universities in Japan. Rits has a baseball rival in fellow Kyotoite Doshisha University.

Unlike western universities (at least universities in the United States), the semester system in Japan begins with first semester in April, and ends with second semester, which begins in September. Rather than having a large multi-month summer vacation, Japanese university students have a lengthy spring vacation, which lasts from February to April 1st. Universities in Australia follow a similar semester schedule, so students visiting from down under seem to have an easier time adjusting to the system in Japan than those from the United States.

Ritsumeikan University has a number of relationships with other universities abroad. Each year, a number of students come to live for six months or a year in Kyoto, to study at Ritsumeikan on the Ritsumeikan Study in Kyoto Program (SKP). Beyond that, Rits has both a Dual Undergraduate Degree Program (DU-DP) and a Dual Masters Degree Program (DM-DP) arrangement with American University, among others. In either the DU-DP or DM-DP program, students from Rits or American can do half of their undergraduate/graduate work at their home institution, then complete the second half at the partner school (i.e, an AU student would then go to Rits after two years, or vice versa on the DU-DP program). After completing their course of study, the student receives a degree from both Ritsumeikan and their home university.

  • http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/eng/profile/history/index.shtml
  • Personal experience attending Ritsumeikan