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Exchange Student Programs

ESP at Michigan Universities, USA

Shiga University and Michigan State University (MSU) have been longtime academic exchange partners since 1985. Since 1986 they are also been student exchange partners. During this partnership, MSU has served as the center of the university consortium involving fifteen state universities in the Michigan State.
As a result of the former International Student Center (now reorganized as SUi)’s efforts to provide students with opportunities to study at the fifteen state universities belonging to the aforementioned university consortium, we were able to conclude a student exchange partnership agreement in 2003. This agreement enables Shiga University students to study at fifteen state universities belonging to the consortium and students at those fifteen state universities to study at Shiga University The agreement also provides Michigan Universities students with opportunities to attend “Lectures in English (Japanese Economy and Business)”, join various club/group activities, use library, etc. at Shiga University.
In FY 2005 two Shiga University undergraduate students studied at Wayne State University and Ferris State University, respectively; in FY2006, one undergraduate student studied at Michigan State University.

Students from the Michigan Universities stay at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) in Hikone, where you can exchange with students. Shiga University students are provided free access to the books/videos, etc. at the library as well as to facilities and equipments at the JCMU. For more information, visit: http://www.isp.msu.edu/jcmu/

1 Partner University
Shiga University students can study at any of the fifteen Michigan Universities belonging to the consortium without the necessity of paying tuition for that particular university or taking a leave of absence from Shiga University, provided that the students have already paid the tuition to Shiga University.
List of Michigan Universities, USA
The credits earned at partner universities can be transferred to the credits of Shiga University. Note, however, that each university/faculty has different criteria for selecting candidates, so once you have selected your faculty/university, collect information on the selection criteria on the website of your chosen faculty/university. Information is also available on the JCMU website.
Students can study at partner universities for one year (two semesters) maximum without tuition payment, although most students study for only one semester.
2 Language Skills
The levels of language skills required vary depending on the university/faculty. Generally, a TOEFL iBT score of at least 79-80 is required. To achieve this level, study abroad candidates must study intensively for about a year. As TOEFL has a unique pattern, it is recommended students consult the SUi staff beforehand and organize a study program to achieve results. If students have not reached the required level, they are asked to study at an affiliated English Language Center of their destination. The tuition needed for the study at such an institution is not, in most cases, exempted.
TOEFL is an international standard test of English communication provided by Educational Testing Service (ETS), USA. For more information, visit: http: //www.ets.org/ Online resources including downloadable sample questions are provided.
3 Accommodation
Dormitories and apartment houses on campus as well as off-campus private housing are available. The rental fees vary depending on the accommodation, and should be paid individually.
4 Cost needed
Expenses other than tuition (e.g. travel expenses, living expenses, costs for learning materials, leisure expenses, etc.) should be paid individually. The price level is about the same as in Japan.
5 Security
Generally, most partner universities are located in the university towns in a calm and safe neighborhood. However, that does not necessary ensure the same security level as in Japan, so remember to take precautions.
6 Preliminary Selection
Students who wish to study abroad starting in autumn semester 2008 should submit completed application forms to the International Exchange Section, Department of Academic and International Affairs, by 15 December.
7 Steps to Study Abroad
If you wish to start studying abroad in autumn 2008, you should:
(April 2007) start preparations for TOEFL
(June 2007) start taking TOEFL
(August 2007) research programs offered and narrow down options
(September 2007) start writing statement of motivation
(October-November 2007) attend a pre-departure orientation session
(mid December 2007) submit application forms for preliminary selection
Destination / Faculty / TOEFL scores / Statement of Motivation (in English and Japanese) / Academic Transcript

(January 2008) attend a preliminary selection
(January-February 2008) complete and submit application forms
(late February-April 2008) decide on destination
(April-August 2008) make preparations for studying abroad
(September 2008) start studying abroad

The time needed to go through these steps may vary depending on the student’s language skills and TOEFL scores. Try to improve your TOEFL scores for a start.

8 Other Remarks
The important thing is to select a destination capable of providing the best learning opportunities for your future career. For this purpose, it is recommended you clarify your motivation, destination (university/faculty), area/subject of study, as well as relationship between your past studies and experiences and your future studies and careers.
These respects must be dealt with in the statement of motivation submitted to Shiga University as well as to partner universities. Therefore, draw out plans to promote your studies and prepare appropriate documents by consulting SUi staff as well as collecting information on the web.
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