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!

  • Mandatory Pre-Departure Preparation
  • Minimum GPA of 4.0
  • 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

  • One class on Japanese culture, history or society (see tab below for courses)



Begin your Launchpad application at and schedule a meeting with Japan's program director via the Calendly link on Launchpad.


For summer internships:

  • Nov 1: Deadline to complete MISTI Launchpad Application for early placement.
  • Dec 1: Deadline to interview with MIT-Japan Managing Director AND complete MIT-Japan Application by specifying and ranking up to 3 internship hosts of interest and submitting cover letters for each; this also includes having your letters of recommendations submitted.
  • Dec – Feb: Internship hosts review interested students and interview select applicants.*
  • Feb 28: Most hosts send internship offers to students before the end of February.
  • Mar – early May: Mandatory training and preparation sessions.
  • Most internships take place in summer for 10-12 weeks, starting in early/mid-June and ending in mid/late-August.
*Some companies (like consulting firms and financial institutions) have early offers in November so please complete Launchpad Application by October 15 and schedule a meeting with MIT-Japan Managing Director to discuss strategies.
Longer internships of 3-12 months with flexible start/end dates outside summer are also available. Contact MIT-Japan Managing Director at least five months before anticipated internship start date to apply.
How to Apply




International Relations of East Asia (UG)  - Spring


Gender and Japanese Popular Culture (UG) - Fall


Anime: Transnational Media and Culture (U) HASS-H - Spring

21G.064 meets with 21G.592

Introduction to Japanese Culture (UG) HASS-H, CI-H - Fall


Japanese Literature and Cinema - Fall


Project-Based Japanese Learning with Multimedia - Spring


Inventing the Samurai - Spring


World War II in Asia - Spring


17.53 (Not offered during 2022-2023 academic year)

The Rise of Asia (UG) HASS-S

21G.095 (NOT offered during 2022-2023 academic year)

Cultures of Music in East Asia: Japan, Korea, China

21H.155 (NOT offered during 2022-2023 academic year)

Modern Japan: 1600 to Present (UG) HASS-H - Spring


Digital Media in Japan and Korea - Spring


Cinema in Japan and Korea -Spring

Study Abroad at the University of Tokyo & Tokyo Tech

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. Learn more here!

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. Learn more about the Study Abroad Program at Tokyo Tech for Course 22 and how to apply here!

  • 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. Are you interested in a program outside of the the University of Tokyo and Tokyo Tech Exchanges? Talk to MISTI about your interest!
  2. Apply directly to the host university/program provider by their program deadline. (Their deadline may be earlier than the MISTI deadline.) 
  3. Apply to MISTI for MIT approval to study abroad before the deadline for the term you wish to study. Apply through the Direct Enroll General Application.
  4. 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.

Innovation Discovery Japan (IDJ) 2023 will take place during IAP!

The application for IDJ'23 has closed. Please check back again for next year's program.


Hurrah! Japan will be lifting their visa requirements on October 11, 2022, which means that Innovation Discovery Japan (IDJ) trip to Japan will take place during IAP 2023.

MISTI / MIT Japan Program will sponsor a limited number of scholarships that will cover airfare and program participation fee (hotel, program designated meals and participation costs, but NOT incidentals and non-program funded meals) for MIT students exhibiting genuine interest in learning Japanese and going to Japan on an internship or work experience. Preference will be given to students who are considering or have taken at least one semester of Japanese at MIT.

MIT students who wish to be considered for the MIT-Japan Program scholarship will need to complete the MIT-Japan Program 2023 IDJ Funding application on the MISTI - MIT-Japan Program website. You will also need to request a letter of recommendation from your Faculty Resident or another faculty at MIT (an electronic request for letter of recommendation will be available from the online MISTI MIT-Japan Program application, but you should ask your faculty before sending the electronic link.)  The deadline for the application is October 28, 2022, but the Letter of Recommendation deadline is a week later on November 4, 2022. Incomplete applications will not be considered for a MISTI Japan funding.

PLEASE NOTE the deadline for the letter of recommendation is written incorrectly on the MISTI Japan application site. Please note the deadline is 11/4/2022. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has recently announced that visa exemption arrangements will be resumed on October 11, 2022.  This New Border Measure (34) will waive the visa requirements for ordinary passport holders of 68 countries/regions including the United States, Canada, and Singapore as shown in Exception of Visa (short-Term Stay) . Those who will be traveling to Japan prior to October 11 and those who are from outside the listed  68 countries/regions, please continue to apply for a visa as instructed by the Consulates of your jurisdiction.


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.

Follow Us on Social Media

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.