Sophia University

News University Policy Regarding the Study Aboard (Overseas Travels after August)

University Policy Regarding the Study Aboard (Overseas Travels after August)

Sophia University is currently suspending all overseas study abroad programs, and for upcoming overseas programs, the University decided cancelling the Short-term Study Aboard program during the summer and the overseas student exchange programs for the Autumn Semester 2020.

These decisions were made following the policy of the Government of Japan, and the University set the study aboard implementation standard as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) Overseas Travel/infection alert Level 1 or below, and the global alert remains Level 2 or above.

In addition to the current strict border controls and travel restrictions, Japan and other countries continue to enforce incoming travel restrictions and limit visa issuance. The international travel itself is physically difficult, and it is uncertain when the students will be able to travel freely for the purpose of studying abroad.

For the policy regarding the study aboard programs after Spring 2021, the University will make the announcement again in early October.

The University urged the students to suspend all travels until July 31 for the study abroad programs (General Study Abroad Program, Study Abroad during the Leave of Absence, etc.) in the announcement on June 10, and the University continues to prohibit international travels after August to the countries/regions categorized as the MOFA Overseas Travel/infection alert Level 2 or above.

If the MOFA Overseas Travel/infection alert level is changed to Level 1 or below in your planned study abroad destination on one of the earlier dates of, either one month prior to your scheduled departure date, or the deadline to submit the Request of Study Abroad / Leave of Absence, a student may choose to conduct the General Study Abroad Program or Study Abroad during the Leave of Absence. However, this is only possible if all of the following requirements are fulfilled along with the permission from your Faculty or Graduate School.

  1. The MOFA Overseas Travel/infection alert level of the destination countries/regions is Level 1 or below.
  2. There are no restrictions (visa issuance and other related restrictions) on entering from Japan and staying in the destination countries/regions.
  3. You have trusted hosts at the destination institution and the institution has fully accepted you for the participation in its program.
  4. You have purchased overseas travel insurance and crisis management support designated by the University.
  5. You agree to update contact information, destination information, and travel itinerary during travel aboard through the website or application designated by the University.
  6. You agree to follow the University's requests to return to Japan, whenever necessary.

In the case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the spread of infections could also be observed in the areas where restrictions on activity have been lifted. Depending on the upcoming situation, the countries/regions with travel/infection alert Level 1 or below might be raised to the alert Level 2 or above again, and in that case, the University might request you to return home.

There is also a possibility that the University changes the policy and prohibits travels to the countries/regions even categorized as the MOFA Overseas Travel/infection alert as Level 1 or below.

Therefore, the University strongly advises you to cancel non-urgent overseas travels, even to to the countries/regions categorized as the MOFA Overseas Travel/infection alert as Level 1 or below for now.