Niigata University emblem with the university name
(Click the above to show a Google map.)

Title: USCO Special Student Exchange Program (Program C)

page title: Summer Course at Niigata University: Lessons from Contemporary Japan

The 2018 summer program at Niigata University has been cancelled.
(15 May 2018)
If you want to check the planned 2018 summer program at Niigata University, please check this page.

The UMAP summer proram at Niigata University will be substantially re-structured in 2019
Information of the future UMAP summer program at Niigata University will be posted in a different site.
In the meantime, please check the Admissions page.

Photo archive

Visits in the 2017 program

Outlet of the waste water from
the chemical plant
that discharged waste water into
a river without any treatment

Niigata Minamata Disease Museum
(before the lecture started)

Tsubame Industrial Museum

Lecture on her internatinoal development cooperation
in Tanzania in 1970-72
as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV)
and currently in Rwanda as an NGO member.
Special in 2017

Opening ceremony in Niigata
(Welcome statement by Prof. Sato,
Director, Global Educaiton Center,
Niigata University)

Welcome statement by Prof. Takahashi,
President of Niigata University and
Chair, UMAP Japan Committee
Visits in the 2016 program

Hydropower plant that provided
electric power to the chemical
plant that caused Minamata

Outlet of the waste water from
the chemical plant
that discharged waste water into
a river without any treatment

Yamakoshi village hit by an earthquake

Tsubame Industrial Museum

Lecture on her internatinoal development cooperation in Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV) and also as a JICA Expert
Visits in the 2015 Program

Visit to the former chemical plant
that discharged waste water into
a river without any treatment from
this outlet.

Lecture by a volunteer Witness
of Niigata Minamata Disease

A bus of Niigata University used for site visits.

Visit to Yamakoshi village which
seriously suffered from an earthquake
in 2004

Visit to the Economic Research Institute
for Northeast Asia (ERINA)
(The left photos with courtesy of a student)
Feedbacks by some of the 2015 participants
Text message by Lee Sheng-Fang
Video report by the same student (Fourth (last) in the video)
Visits in the 2014 Program

Visit to the former chemical plant that released mercury into a river,
which caused Minamata Disease in Niigata

Before listening to a lecture
by a Witness of Minamata Disease

Presentations by students in Prof. Sakikawa's class

Visit to an industrial museum
of the crafts unique to the region,
such as cutlery or tableware.
Students had a hands-on experience
of manufacturing spoons
by themselves.
Visits in the 2013 Program

Visit to the place from which waste water containing organic mercury
released into the river without treatment, a lecture by a volunteer Witness
of Minamata Disease, and a group picture there.

A brief stop at the Yahiko
Shinto Shrine on the way back
from a visit to the Tsubame
industrial materials museum

A small evening party
Visits in the 2012 Program

Visit to the place where
organic mercury which caused
Minamata Disease was
released into a river 
After a lecture by a Witness
of Niigata Minamata Disease
Visit to an Earthquake Museum
Visit to a village which suffered
from an earthquake in 2004

Transportation to Niigata and Niigata University

Arrival at Niigata Airport
Express bus between Niigata Airport
and Niigata train station

Arrival at Niigata train station

Train to Niigata University
The 50-year old model is being replaced by this newly manufactured model since December 2014.
You may experience both 50 years old Japan and latest Japan on the trains.
Because the Niigata train station is under reconstruction to elevate tracks,
it may take time for transfer from a train to another. Trains going to Niigata University on Echigo Line
now start from the elevated tracks (nos. 2-5). (Two temporary tracks (nos. 8-9) remain on the ground
but these are not used by the trains for Echigo Line to Niigata University.)

Because this is a program under the USCO (UMAP Student Connection On-line) of the UMAP (University Mobility for Asia and the Pacific), students from those universities participating in the USCO and the students of Niigata University (including those studying at Niigata University as exchange students) are eligible for this program.

This is a program for undergraduate students. Graduate students are not eligible. (The participants must be formal undergraduate students (The participants must pay tuition for August 2018 to their home universities.) until the Program ends.)

Language Proficiency requirement: TOEFL 500 (iBT 61) or equivalent (No need for a certificate. Student's declaration or his/her English language professor's declaration of his/her capability equivalent to TOEFL 500 is accepted.)

Medical Insurance: Students are required to purchase in advance an international travel insurance or another medical insurance valid for medical expenses in Japan (Students should expect up to 10,000 Yen for simple treatment at a clinic for a simple cold or stomach problem. There is no medical institution in Niigata to which payment is made directly by any travel insurance company. Therefore students must pay to the medical institution and request later for reimbursement to the insurance company. Most medical institutions do not accept credit cards or debit cards. Payment must be made by cash at most places.
(Medical institutions in Niigata City that accept credit cards (in Japanese) - The information of this web site is not verified.)

Please feel free to send inquiries to for administrative issues including application forms, visas etc.

Archives of the program contents

Information of the planned 2018 program for reference

Information of the 2017 program for reference (pdf, 2.4 MB)

Information of the 2016 program for reference

Information of the 2015 program for reference

Information of the 2014 program for reference

Information of the 2013 program for reference

Information of the 2012 program for reference

How to come to Niigata

It is recommended that students arrive at Niigata Airport. Because this airport is small with only one international exit, only one domestic exit and only one bus stop, passengers do not get lost. Also, they do not have to wait for a long time for immigration procedures. Take a bus (either express or local) from the Airport to Niigata train station. Arrival at this Airport may be either by an international flight from Seoul (Inchon) by Korean Airlines (The number of flights per week is chaning, but, with many international connections to many places from Inchon, Korean Air is convenient.), Shanghai by China Eastern Airways (Wednesday and Saturday only), Taipei by Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) (Monday and Friday only), or by a domestic flight from a major airport. However, it should be noted that Tokyo area has two airports (three if Ibaraki Airport is included.) with only Narita having flights to Niigata (by ANA) (one flight each day in late afternoon from Terminal 1), that Nagoya area has two airports with only Centair having international flights, and that Osaka area has three airports with only domestic Itami Airport having flights to Niigata. Passengers may easily get lost in moving from the an airport to another on land.

If you arrive at Narita Airport and want to take a train to Niigata, firstly take a JR train (either expensive Narita Express or reasonable but infrequent rapid) to Tokyo train station and then take a Jo-Etsu Shinkansen train to Niigata unless you take a domestic flight to Niigata moving from an international section in either Terminal 1 or 2 after immigration procedures to the domestic departure area in Terminal 1. From Narita Airport, taking a JR train is the least complicated way to come. If you use a regular train ticket, going to Tokyo by Keisei Railways via Nippori or to Ueno slightly saves money. However, changing trains in Tokyo may not be easy.

If you arrive at Haneda Airport near downtown Tokyo, take either Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsu-cho or Keikyu train to Shinagawa and then take JR Yama-no-te Line or Keihin Tohoku Line to Tokyo station to take Jo-Etsu Shinkansen train.

From Narita or Haneda Airports, a "JR East Pass (Nagano, Niigata area)"is reasonable at the price of 18,000 Yen (purchase within Japan) or 17,000 Yen (advance purchase in your country). This pass allows the holder to ride on all trains of JR East in the Tokyo, Niigata and Nagano areas on any five days within a 14-day period after it has been issued at a train station. As it costs 11,000 - 14,000 Yen one way between Narita Airport to Niigata by a regular ticket, you can save money with the JR East (Niigata, Nagano) Pass. Please check whether this Pass is available when you come to Niigata at the following page:

Changing money

Changing money into Japanese Yen may be done in your country at a better exchange rate. Currencies other than US dollar and Euro may not be exchanged or will be exchanged at a substantially weaker exchange rate because the demand for such currencies is quite small in other countries.

However, if you want to exchange your money in Japan, please change money on arrival at an airport in Japan. In case you have failed to do so, please do so at a bank near Niigata train station open between 9:00 and 15:00 on week days only.

It is also possible to change money at the Travel Service Cener in the JR Tokyo train station near the Marunouchi North Exit from 7:30 to 20:30 if you pass through Tokyo station (Tokyo train station map).

You many not have sufficient time to go to a bank to change money during the class period and banks are closed on weekends except at major airports (The bank/money exchange in the Niigata Airport is open on weekdays only and between 9:00 and 15:00 only. Credit cards are accepted only at major business establishments. Foreign debit cards are not accepted for purchase at almost all places in Japan. But foreign ATM/debit cards are accepted for withdrawal by ATMs of the Seven Bank located at many of the Seven-Eleven shops.

The Niigata University Post Office may change money from US dollar or Euro to Japanese Yen.

Preparations to stay in Niigata

Questions and answers on the basis of the questions received in 2012

Costs, what to wear, and many other questions
(But the time table there is too old. There is no UMAP Scholarship in 2018.)

新潟大学の学生のためのUMAP C情報

The classes given in this program are G classes of Niigata University. Therefore students of Niigata University, including exchange students studying there, are eligible for these classes.



UMAP ウェブサイト

UMAPフェースブック (このUMAPフェースブックに新潟大学のフェースブックへのリンクがありますが、その内容は、UMAPや交換留学とは)関係ありません。)