Global Engagement

Sophia University’s Internationality

Sophia University was founded in 1913 as a Catholic Jesuit university based on Christian humanism and the educational spirit of “For Others, With Others” and focused on nurturing individuals with a heart to serve others and society. Inheriting the thoughts of our founders, Sophia University conducts educational and research activities with a strong awareness of international compatibility in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, in order to serve as a bridge for cultural exchange between the East and the West. Since its founding, the University has produced, on our global campus respectful of diversity, graduates who connect the world beyond cultural, linguistic, and generational barriers.

The origins of Sophia University can be traced back to 1549, when St. Francis Xavier, a missionary of the Catholic Order of Jesuits, came to Japan. Impressed by the excellence and intellectual curiosity of the Japanese people, Xavier was inspired to establish a university in the Japanese capital like the University of Paris, where he had studied. Xavier’s desire was to create a university that would promote cultural, ideological, and religious exchange between Europe and Japan. It was this dream that Xavier had in the 16th century that led to the later establishment of Sophia University some 350 years later, in 1908 when three Jesuits arrived in Japan after receiving an order to establish a university from Pope Pius X. The three Jesuits were from Germany, France, and England and well versed not only in Western studies but also in Eastern culture and thought, devoting themselves to the establishment of the university while learning the Japanese language and culture. Country to country, study to study, language to language. The spirit of Sophia University, conceived as a university open to the world, transcending the invisible boundaries drawn between each, and its international character, were established and rooted from the very beginning of the University’s establishment.

Study Abroad and Academic Exchange Partners Institutions

Sophia University has exchange agreements with approximately 400 universities and educational institutions in countries and regions around the world, mainly located in Europe and North America. Sophia University not only sends students to its overseas partner institutions but also accepts more than 600 exchange students from these partner institutions every year allowing for active mutual exchange, even among researchers.

Visits from Global Intellectuals


Sophia University welcomes visitors from around the world who are at the forefront of the global stage. The lineup includes heads of international organizations and states, world-leading researchers, athletes, musicians, and artists, providing high school students, university students, and the general public with opportunities to listen to and interact directly with the philosophies and messages of these individuals.

Initiatives for International and Social Issues

United Nations Weeks・Africa Weeks

国連Weeks イベントの様子

Since 2014, Sophia University has held “UN Weeks” twice a year in June and October, and “Africa Weeks” in May every year since 2017. “UN Weeks” are based “thinking about the world and our future through the activities of the United Nations,” and brings together a diverse range of speakers to hold lectures and symposiums.
The “Africa Weeks” are designed to promote understanding of the African region and to deepen exchanges and partnerships with local youth through a variety of programs, including lectures and symposiums.

Sophia University’s Contribution to SDG’s

How Students and Faculty are Creating Sustainability at Sophia University

Sustainability at Sophia is the goal of student and faculty collaboration. In July 2021, Sophia University established the Sustainability Promotion Division in order to promote the fulfillment of this social responsibility. Students participate as “student employees,” with the goal to create new value for Sophia’s sustainability promotion activities through the exchange of ideas between students and faculty members. “Student employees” are actively involved in public relations, information gathering, and institutional design; planning to project management also benefit from the students’ perspectives, ideas, and creativity.

Sophia University SDGs & Sustainability Report 2021-2022

Sophia University has prepared an activity report focusing on our SDG efforts in fiscal 2021 and the first half of fiscal 2022.
“Student employees” from the Sustainability Promotion Division were involved in editing the entire report.

Initiatives to Promote Diversity

Sophia University aims to “play a proactive role in realizing a society in which each person can fully demonstrate their individuality and abilities.” The University engages in various activities to form a symbiotic society, including support for minorities and life/work balance.

Sophia University

For Others, With Others