The iconic statue of Okuma Shigenobu on campus - the man who founded Waseda University
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Funding: Private university
Size: 43,962 Undergraduates
Percent Women: 36.4%
Tuition (one year): Differs across majors but can cost up to JPY1,615,000 (approx. USD13,288)
Most Popular Majors: School of Education, School of Commerce, School of Political Science and Economics, School of Law, School of Culture, Media and Society (Based on number of undergraduates)
Greek Life: No
Acceptance Rate: 16%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit Waseda University's site at http://www.waseda.jp/nyusi/
Why Choose Waseda?
Why did you choose Waseda University?
"Waseda is just a huge pool of opportunities - the amount of study abroad programs, overseas internship programs that are available is just really amazing. The sheer amount of opportunities make Waseda great place to develop myself and explore my interests."
"Two words: Ramen town. Okay, honestly it's just that I love how convenient the campus is. It's easily accesible, it's near city center so it's easy to get everywhere. There's awesome and cheap food and by food I mean ramen, everywhere near campus and that's just incredible."
"I think it's a wonderful place to meet many other people. There are so many foreign students who come to Waseda every year on exchange programs and many more who are here as undergraduates. It's such an international environment; I have friends from Norway to Russia to Indonesia. It's great!"
"Definitely how international the environment is. Despite how cosmopolitan Tokyo is, people tend to think of Japan as kind of isolated and closed off to the rest of the world but honestly, it's really just so vibrant now and there are people from so many different countries who are all equally enthusiastic about Japan!"
"The campus is just really beautiful...I mean, Japan is a beautiful place through all its seasons but Waseda really showcases it. Especially Okuma Garden, it's really pretty, and it's a quiet little place of nature that I can't help but feel attracted to."
"We're in Tokyo! It's one of the most magnificent cities in the world so obviously there's just an insane amount of things to do and see and play and eat! You can be here for years and there'll still be something weird or fun that you havent seen before."
"Location is great. There are, what, at least three train stations all within walking distance of our school. It's just really, really convenient."
"I love the Uni Cafe that's right next to Okuma Garden. The food's good, the coffee is really nice, the atmosphere is so quaint and comforting. I love it there. I actually study there quite a bit on my own and it's really become my fave spot on campus!"
"We have a really, really good library. I didn't even realize how great it was until I had to submit a bunch of reports and used the library as well as the library's online resources. The database is really great, it's huge, it's so comprehensive and it's great for finding things that I need for work. The physical library is great as well. It's sprawling, it's peaceful and there are quite a lot of seats."
"The jumbling up of national holidays. Waseda doesn't follow the Japanese national calendar completely so there are times when there's class during national holidays and then there are times they just declare that there's no school cos they need to compensate the holidays they took from you. It's confusing,"
"The general bureaucracy of things. Communication across different administrative boards can be more effective but that's not a problem specific to the school itself. Most Japanese institutions suffer from this problem."
"Housing...there's no on-campus housing, and only a handful nearby so it's not enough to accomodate us students from overseas. The school does provide some help for you to secure housing if you don't get the dorm of your choice but a lot of it is either far away from campus, really small or really expensive."
"Lunch time could definitely be longer! The lunch break between second and third period is only 50 minutes long and given the long queues at the canteen as well as nearby eating establishments, it's completely not enough. I'm pretty much forced to eat bentos from convenience stores if I happen to have second and third period together. And even then, I have to queue at least a good 15 minutes for it! This really, really annoys me."
"There should be more flexibility. I'm SO DONE with the rule in Japanese classes that even if you're late for a valid reason, you're still counted as late and you can't retake the test! I mean, trains break down sometimes, I even have the certificate to prove it but they just won't budge! One time I studied for a test and there was an accident along the subway line which I need to take to get to school and I couldn't take the test anymore when I got there. It's ridiculous!"
New Collegiette on Campus
"To be honest, there's not a lot of orientation going on. You have to find out a lot of non-academia related things on your own, which I learnt the hard way, but once you get past the initial difficulties, it can be quite fun to be a freshman on campus! The people I've met are quite friendly and willing to help and you can always clarify your doubts with the office of your major if you don't know anything. A lot of the information I got was through talking to other people so that process allowed me to meet many new friends. "
"Well, there's no real freshman dorm...that's a big shame but I guess it can't be helped since most people actually live with their families here or rent a place on their own. Renting a place on your own is really quite common here...you can ask help from the school, there's a little booth that deals with student life of this sort in the builidng with the bookshop."
"I think a lot of people, freshmen, prospective students, even alumnus and teachers go to Waseda-sai as a sort of introduction to the school. Freshmen in particular, along with prospective students, are encouraged to go to get a sense of the sort of clubs and communities available for students to participate in, as well as to get to know the school and it's spirit and culture better."
All About Academics
"The classes at SILS are pretty much anything goes which is good and bad at the same time. It's great because there are so many classes but bad because it lacks a bit of focus and it's hard to choose classes to fill up all of my 21 credits. I'm hoping to use up as many credits as I can so that I can accelerate my studies so I can graduate in 3.5 instead o 4 years."
"Although I'm in one of the schools deemed to be busier, I still think it's quite manageable. It's tougher closer to exams of course, but aside from that, if you're generally consistent with your work and put in at least some sort of effort, the teachers understand and so it's not that easy to fail. In general, attendance is really important. Teachers here really appreciate the effort of showing up. Some classes even require that you have at least 80% attendance before you can earn the credits for the class. That's mainly where the pressure is, if I have to say."
"Depending on what major you pick, writing a thesis might be something you have to do. I definitely have to do it but I know others who have negotiated plans such that their assessment is not based on their final year thesis. However, there aren't so many people like that, most still have to wrtie a thesis unless you have some sort of a legitimate reason to do so."
"The library can be crowded sometimes so it's not my fave place to study but many people like it. I usually prefer cafes nearby school and there's a ton of them."
Learn from the Best
"I can't speak for other faculties but I've met some really inspiring teachers at SILS. SILS tends to get a lot of professors from other countries, I know professors who worked as foreign correspondents for over two decades and it's very interesting to listen to their stories and their perspective of the world. Most of the professors I've met at SILS are really friendly and you can always visit them during office hours, even for a chat! I've visited Prof. Graham Law before in his office and he was really warm and nice and tried to get me to eat the snacks that were all over his desk!"
"There are a lot of Open courses to choose from, which is one of my favourite things about studying here. You can opt for courses outside of your faculty and there are even lessons for certain activities like yoga, horse-riding. I think that's great because you can get exposed to things outside of your major so the scope of learning is really wide. I love it!"
"Depending on the classes you choose and the professors you get, the learning experience can differ quite a lot. Some professors prefer to do it lecture style, while some professors come right up to you and talk to each and every student personally during class, some ask a lot of questions, some make you do presentations etc. It's good to find out a little bit more before you register for a class, talk to upperclassmen, or just approach the professor about it. Otherwise, there's usually something in the course syllabus that gives you an idea of how the class will be like."
Interests & Involvement
"The Waseda-sai will show you just how diverse the activities you can participate on campus is! There's one every year around November and it's just bursting with people. All the booths for food and drinks are organized by the clubs on campus."
"The number of extracurriculars and clubs (or as we call it, circles) in Waseda is insane! There's really something for everything you're interested in. But I think it's really important to look over your own commitment level and how much you're ready to put in because some extracurriculars are competition-based, meaning that they represent the school in competitions or performances so those are very strict on participation. You have to put a lot of effort into those. Then there are circles, which don't really compete or represent the school but instead it's just a gatehring of people who have a common interest."
"Every year after enrolment, the clubs and circles in Waseda try to recruit new members. Freshmen should definitely go to that to check it out, there are some very interesting circles. I joined a circle which volunteers weekly to organize fun and educational sessions for kids with special needs. Waseda-sai doesn't recruit as much as it showcases the different talents of the students on campus but it's still a great way to get to know what kind of circle you're looking to join."
"It's easy to start your own circle, you can pretty much do anything as a circle but it takes a while, perhaps maybe two years, before it's officially recognized as a circle of the school. But once it's officially recognized in the sense that the school is sure that you and your members are serious about the circle, you start receiving more help and resources from the school so I think it's worth it."
"There's an incredible team spirit in Waseda. Soukeisen* is literally the most popular sporting event across all Japanese unviersities. It's the highlight of college sporting competition season here in Tokyo! I went once and the atmosphere was great, there were a lot of people, a lot of cheering and we won!"
*Soukeisen refers to 早慶戦, which are matches between Waseda, also colloquially known as Sodai and Keio, our rival school! The most popular match out of everything is baseball!
"Our baseball team is really famous and baseball is really big in Japan so I think we get quite a bit of attention, actually."
"I was really surprised when I realized that before Soukeisen matches, Keio actually travels to our school to promote the event and vice versa! It really riles up the crowd and gets all of us excited for the match! The match is usally at the Meiji Stadium near Harajuku so it's also a good day trip out with friends when you watch it!"
"The sporting spirit is really nice here. You stand up and sing the other school's school song when the match is over as a form of respect to the opponent. It's all really graceful and it's not bitter which is something that I think is really rare."
"Japanese are a stylish crowd! A lot of girls in Waseda are quite well-dressed, very put together. You can go for school at nine in the morning and meet tons of people with perfectly applied makeup and beautifully curled hair, it's just the norm here. It's like that in and out of school. But there's no rule or anything dictating that you have to look good everyday for school, it's just the general standard's pretty high. But there's no dress code or anything so you really can wear whatever you want. Some people come to school in lolita drag and it's not a big deal, honestly. You get to see the different subsets of style displayed in school."
"Waseda girls are very stylish and it sometimes overshadows how very intelligent they are; the girls I've met and come into contact with are very sure of what they want to do with their lives. They have a plan going forward and I think that's really, really cool."
"We have an Office for Promotion of Gender Equality on campus. I've never gone because I never felt discriminated due to my gender here in Waseda but I find it comforting that the school has measures in place to ensure that both men and women receive the same quality of education and campus life."
Food & Drink
"The area around Waseda is not called ramen town for nothing. It's one of the most competitive areas for cheap and good ramen in Tokyo and we students absolutely benefit from that! I mean, the options for food is really quite crazy. I can think of at least a dozen places off the top of my head that's five minutes away from campus and totally delicious!"
"There is a dining hall on campus but I rarely go to it because the options for food aside from the dining hall is pretty much neverending."
"You can grab takeout from convenience stores on campus, there are I think maybe four on campus itself and a few more really close by. Takeout usually means bento and it's actually quite good!"
"There's this amazing little bento place run by an elderly couple just off the entrance of West gate and it's just bursting with food! It's really cheap as well so I love it!"
"The social scene is pretty great, there are a lot of parties to attend! I went to one by Omar, a student of Waseda (featured here by Her Campus) and his Halloween party was great fun. A lot of drinks, great music, cool location, the light show and everything, it's quite unforgettable!"
Credits to G-Crew Entertainment
"I think it's up to yourself to decide how social you want to be. I've never personally felt pressured to go partying, I know of people who feel differently but I guess that depends on the kind of cricle of friends you have. If your friends tend to be social, then of course it's tougher to reject it all and stay home. My friends aren't the partying type, we're more of the hang-around-eat-pizza type so I don't party much. That said, I think Waseda parties quite hard generally. There's a lot of booze as well, but nothing that is too crazy. I don't know of any drug use and Japan polices drugs quite seriously."
"The parties tend to be quite large as well so it's not like, exlusive to one small group of people, unless it's like a club party or something. So yeah, you can pretty much party if you want to, I doubt you have to work your way up the social ladder before you get to do that."
Credits to G-Crew Entertainment
"There's not a lot of on-campus housing but there are dormitories, just pretty far from campus that is. That means that there's actually a lot of housing options, a lot of dorms to choose from, it's just that most of them aren't that near school."
Tanashi student dorm
"WISH is a new dorm at Nakano, about three train stops away from Waseda. It's really new, just opened this year and it's quite nice, I would say. But there aren't a lot of activities in the dorm to socialize with others so if you want to make friends with people in the dorm you have to be the one who makes effort. But anyway, you can't stay in WISH for too long, they try to make space in it for freshmen."
"The Residence Life Center has a lot of resources on housing, it's how I got to familarize myself with the different housing options before entering Waseda."
"Most people who don't live with their families rent a place in Tokyo, if I'm not wrong. It's nearer to campus this way, you can deisgn it however you want and you can hunt for places with lower rent if you want to or even splurge on more expensive housing if you can afford it. You can get your own roommate too if you move out."
For more information on housing visit: http://www.waseda.jp/rlc/eng/
"Tokyo is a place where you simply can't run out of things to do. There's something for everything, honestly. It's exciting, it's vibrant and just incredibly fun to explore! I mean, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, Akihabara, Nakameguro, Odaiba, I could go on and on about all the known and less known places worth seeking out in Tokyo."
View of Tokyo Bay from Odaiba
"My favourite would be Shimokitazawa. I have a weakness for vintage, second-hand clothes and the place is known for that! And there's really good food around there, there's a great curry place and a plethora of cafes and restaurants to choose from! It's a really young, hip area and it's cheap as well so it's really great for students who might be struggling to save some money, at least, every month."
"The nature, the scenery is simply breathtaking. The seasons in Japan are really beautiful so there's always something to see every season and there are so many parks and gardens which allows you to do just that. And the best thing is that these parks are just nestled within the busy, bustling city so it's not only accessible, it also kind of feels like a little piece of paradise which you can just escape to as and when you wanna. I've gone to Yoyogi, Ueno, Shinjuku Gyoen, the Imperial Garden and Inokashira and they are all just so very very pretty in their own unqiue ways."
The different parks of Tokyo through the seasons
"Shopping here is awesome! The amount of choices you have, it's so fun! There are the big European brands, so you've got Zara, Topshop, H&M and Bershka and then you have the really sweet Japanese brands that caters to all the different styles you've always wanted to try! The Japanese are really bold with their fashion and very immaculate in their preferred styles, they really perfect it down to the details so the fashion here is tailored as such. It's very distinct, there's a real sense of identity to the brands and the way their clothes look; they know exactly who they're targeting. The subsets of style is quite overwhelming as well, from the visual-kei type to the cosplay type, the lolita type, it's all really cool!"
"Cafes, farmer markets, vintage stores, hole-in-the-wall-type eateries, there are a lot of surprises. It's hard to say where exactly they are because they truly are everywhere. I was just strolling along in Kichijoji with a friend on an autumn night and we found this raved-about popsicle place with real fruits in its popsicle, so we had it and it was really nice. You know, it's just these little things that add up Tokyo, the idea that you can just walk around and find something different and awesome. That's the charm of it."
HC's Complete College Guide: Waseda University
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