Q. What is the mission of the Faculty of International Social Sciences?
Our aim is to cultivate individuals with the ability to function in international business contexts. To take action in international society, we believe the most important requirement is an understanding of the relevant underlying structures.
The social sciences are a group of academic disciplines that investigate society in a scientific manner. They share the same approach of analyzing issues logically and establishing and testing hypotheses.
Our faculty aims to foster the ability to identify and resolve problems through interdisciplinary study in those areas of social sciences most closely related to business: law, economics, business management, area studies, and sociology.
Q. Why did you choose the name Faculty of International Social Sciences?
Whereas the international studies faculties of other universities emphasize cultural aspects, our faculty aims to provide education based on a fusion of international studies and social sciences. To underline this differentiation, the faculty includes both ‘international’ and ‘social sciences’ in its title. Our English-language title Faculty of International Social Sciences can be abbreviated to ISS.
Q. What are the basic details of the Faculty of International Social Sciences?
1. Faculty name: Faculty of International Social Sciences
2. Degree awarded/number of credits required for graduation: Bachelor of Social Sciences/124 credits
3. Annual admissions capacity: 200 students (total student capacity: 800)
4. Tuition fees (including other expenses): 5,187,200 yen for four years (first year 1,446,800 yen, second to fourth years 1,246,000 yen per year)
5. Study abroad fees (approximate estimate covering travel costs, tuition fees, board and accommodation fees, etc.)
・Short stay (4-6 weeks) 300,000 yen to 1,000,000 yen
・Medium stay (one semester) 800,000 yen to 3,000,000 yen
*Where tuition fees are incurred during medium- to long-stay study abroad, students will receive a reduction on tuition fees and facility fees at the home university.
Where study abroad is based on an inter-university agreement with a partner institution, students may be exempted from tuition fees at the overseas facility.
6. Full-time faculty members: 18 (English language 5, social sciences 13)
Q. What is the structure of the four-year degree program?
At the beginning of the program, social science courses are taught in Japanese while English is taught exclusively in English-language classes. Gradually instruction in English is extended to include classes in the social sciences.
Students are also required to spend a period of at least four weeks studying overseas before graduation.
Q. What are the distinctive features of your curriculum?
１．Developing the ability to identify and resolve problems
The abilities required in an international business enterprise are the capability to identify and resolve problems and an ability to understand the international economy and international society. The faculty will develop these skills through courses conducted in classes of around 15-20 students.
In the first-year Basic Seminar course, students will gain direct experience of gathering materials, establishing hypotheses, and providing empirical proofs, which are the prerequisite analytical techniques for problem-solving. Students will also participate in repeated presentation and discussion sessions. In the first to third years, students will accumulate knowledge of their major (social sciences) in lectures. In the third and fourth years, the Advanced Seminar and Graduation Thesis courses will develop the ability to not only independently frame issues in contemporary international society, but also to set out logical and well-grounded solutions in reports and essays as well as presentations and discussions.
２．Gradual introduction of English-language instruction in social science courses
The best way of acquiring English-language ability is to actually use the language.
Students will study English in English-language classes to start with, before the use of English is extended to the social science courses in incremental stages.
１） What is the CLIL approach?
CLIL stands for Content and Language Integrated Learning.
It refers to a technique for improving the four skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) by using knowledge of the core subjects (social sciences) in English-language education.
Many universities treat English-language education as a general subject and do not link it to the student’s major. In our faculty, however, students receive an advanced education based on a fusion of English-language education with their major in the social sciences.
２） What are bridge courses?
This is a term created to describe courses taught in English whose contents are linked with courses from the student’s major. Bridge courses are offered mainly from the first semester of the second year.
For instance, the social science course International Economics is offered from the first semester of the second year in lecture classes of 100 students or more. In the same week, however, the English-language course Economics in the World is offered in classes of around 20 students, where related content is presented in a targeted fashion. By offering courses of this kind in pairs, the curriculum gradually develops students’ ability to understand social science subjects in English.
３．Inclusion of a wide range of overseas study options of at least 4 weeks in length
Completion of a period of overseas study of at least 4 weeks is a graduation requirement.
Students have a wide range of options to choose from in line with their individual goals and abilities: short stay (around 1 month), medium stay (one semester), or long stay (one year); students may also select their own overseas study location outside the locations offered by the university as long as certain conditions are met.
To ensure that the overseas study period develops the ability to ‘think and act independently’, the faculty has established the following two compulsory courses: Study AbroadⅠ, in which students draw up a plan to confirm their goals in advance of the overseas study; and Study AbroadⅡ, in which students returning from overseas study evaluate their experience and consider their future career path.
(1) Short-stay overseas study (approximately one month during the summer or spring vacation) / 300,000 yen to 1,000,000 yen / credit transfer not possible
(2) Medium-stay overseas study (approximately one semester) / 800,000 yen to 3,000,000 yen / transfer of up to 24 credit units possible
(3) Long-stay overseas study (approximately one year) / approximately twice the cost of medium-stay overseas study / transfer of up to 48 credit units possible
*The costs quoted above are approximate estimates of the cost of privately funded overseas study including travel costs, tuition fees, board and accommodation fees, insurance, etc.
Where tuition fees are incurred for medium- and long-stay overseas study, students will receive a reduction on tuition and facility fees at the home university.
In the case of overseas study at a partner institution, students may be exempted from tuition fees at the overseas facility.
Ｑ．What kind of courses are taught?
The courses are divided into four categories: English-language courses, study abroad courses,social science courses , and general courses. To graduate, students need to collect 124 credits (including at least 22 credits in required courses and at least 74 in credits in required electives), and to complete at least 4 weeks of overseas study.
Courses taught in Japanese have Japanese course names, while those taught in English have English titles.
Ｑ．What is the typical graduate path in terms of career or further study?
Connections with overseas exist not only for people who work in trading companies and foreign-owned enterprises. They are relevant, for example, in the manufacturing industry when factories have been relocated overseas, or in the retail or service industries who respond to shrinking domestic markets by expanding overseas. Even people who are employed in Japan have increasing opportunities to work with people around the world through telephone and e-mail contact.
Ｑ．Can you tell us about the faculty's buildings?
The faculty uses South Building No. 2, which was completed in 1957 and refurbished at the end of 2014.
Until the refurbishment, the building served as the laboratories of the Faculty of Science, but from now on it will house the ISS Communication Room, where students of this faculty continue their learning by discussing issues from their lessons; the ISS English Self-Study Room, where students improve their English-language ability using Skype and other tools; and additionally the offices of the faculty members, the faculty office, and other facilities.
The whole of South Building No. 2 is covered by wireless LAN, providing an environment in which students can use laptops and other devices for learning.