The MIT-Japan Program empowers MIT students and faculty to advance knowledge and solve the world’s great challenges by connecting them with leading researchers, companies, and other partners in Japan. Founded in 1981 by Professor Richard Samuels, the MIT-Japan Program prepares MIT students to be global citizens by training and giving them a first-hand look at knowledge creation in Japan. The Program offers students opportunities to work and conduct research at leading Japanese universities, companies, and institutions. MIT students can also study abroad and earn transfer credit at University of Tokyo (Course 2, 3) and Tokyo Tech (Course 22) in Japan. The ULVAC-Hayashi Seed Fund facilitates dozens of research collaborations between MIT faculty and their Japanese counterparts.

Our approach to collaboration is grounded in delivering bi-directional value: contribute to the research, education, and innovation while providing opportunities for MIT students to gain fluency in navigating different cultural contexts.



Program Opportunities


MISTI’s award-winning international internship program provides a one-of-a-kind, world-class experience for MIT students: the opportunity to gain real-life work experience in leading companies and labs around the world. Best of all, all expenses are paid, including airfare.

MIT-Japan provides students with internships and research at leading companies, research labs and universities in Japan. Internships last from 10 weeks to 12 months and are fully-funded. This means that, if you are selected as a MIT-Japan Program intern, there are no program costs to participate!


Undergrads: Japanese IV (21G.504) or equivalent proficiency (for proficiency you must be tested by a Japanese teacher at MIT)


Graduate students: Japanese II (21G.502) or equivalent proficiency

  • Informational meetings are available year-round. Contact program manager to schedule an interview.
  • Complete the MISTI Launchpad Application – November 1st
  • Interview with Country Program Manager – before December 1: Set up an interview as soon as MISTI Launchpad Application is complete. You will discuss your academic and career trajectory, why you want to go to Japan, explore potential hosts and will be required to rank your host preferences. 
  • Select MIT-Japan Program – By January 15th
  • Once approved, complete the County-Specific Application – December 1. Country Program Manager begins to reach out to potential host once complete.
  • Internship matching process – December to February
  • Mandatory Pre-Departure Sessions – Early March to Early May
  • September  – Complete evaluation within a week of completing your internship

How to Apply

Study Abroad at the University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo is the top Japanese university. It produces socially impactful research to find solutions for the world’s most pressing issues and has the top scholars in their faculty. MIT has formal exchange program agreements with Course 2 and 3 departments. 

Tokyo Institute of Technology, affectionately know at Tokyo Tech is one of the best universities in Japan. MIT has a special relationship with their Nuclear Engineering department. 

  • Study Abroad Application
  • Interview
  • Minimum GPA of 4.5
  • Mandatory Pre-departure Preparation


  1. Apply for MIT exchange for the term you wish to study. Go to the MISTI Portal, find your program, and apply before the deadline.
  2. MISTI will be in touch regarding an interview with the applicable MISTI Program Manager and major department.

Direct Enroll:

  1. Apply directly to the host university/program provider by their program deadline. (Their deadline may be earlier than the MISTI deadline.) 
  2. Apply to MISTI for MIT approval to study abroad before the deadline for the term you wish to study. Go to the MISTI Portal, find your program or use the Direct Enroll General Application to apply.
  3. MISTI will be in touch regarding an interview with the applicable Program Manager.

How to Apply

Financial Aid:

Financial aid can be used to study abroad during academic terms. Awards will be adjusted based on expenses such as airfare, living expenses, and local tuition costs. Students should meet with their financial aid counselor and a MISTI Program Manager at least one term before they go abroad to start planning how aid will be affected. MISTI and Student Financial Services will work together to gather and verify cost information . Based on this information, financial aid counselors will advise students on their adjusted financial aid packages and process any refunds accordingly.


Click here to learn more about external study abroad scholarships.

Global Seed Funds for MIT-Japan

MISTI's Global Seed Funds program supports MIT's global engagement by promoting collaborations between MIT faculty and researchers and their counterparts in Japan.

Joe's and Ulvac 2016
Winslow Tohoku group photo sHayashi eed

ULVAC-Hayashi MISTI Seed Fund

Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Chikara Hayashi and the ULVAC Inc., the Hayashi-ULVAC MISTI Seed Fund supports MIT's global engagement by promoting new collaborations between MIT faculty and researchers and their counterparts in Japan.

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Watch MIT-Japan in action


Take a 60-second journey of exploration to Japan with Qiaochu Li, PhD '17 Course 3


Take a different journey with Mina Bloom, '17 Course 3 to her internship at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Meet Your Program Manager

Christine Pilcavage headshot

Get in touch with Chris Pilcavage, Managing Director for MIT-Japan, to get your questions answered.