UTokyo Global Unit Courses (UTokyo GUC) (English)

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Hosted by UTokyo


A short-term inbound program for UTokyo and overseas students offered by the Global Campus Division.

Table of Contents

    Basic Information

    Official Name

    UTokyo Global Unit Courses (UTokyo GUC)

    Official Website





    University Program


    UTokyo students, overseas students ※Registration with Go Global Gateway is required ※Be sure to check the application guidelines for each program


    Each course starts between the third week of June and the first week of August 2022

    Year of the Etablishment




    How to Apply

    Apply online (deadline 4:00 p.m., Friday, April 15) Submit the statement including reasons for application, the transcript of academic record, and consent form. (Check the website for application details) *Note that the application will not be posted on UTAS. https://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/prospective-students/guc.html


    Screening will be conducted for each course


    5,000 yen per unit / 2,500 yen per 0.5 unit

    UTokyo Global Unit Courses (UTokyo GUC) is a short-term inbound program for overseas students offered by the Global Campus Division, consisting of eight main courses and four courses for overseas university students. Each course has approximately 10 to 20 participants. Students from UTokyo can also participate in the program. With the completion of the course, participants will be granted a "Global Unit" issued by the Global Campus Promotion Office.

    ※What is a Global Unit?
    ・It is an activity that can be used as part of the International Comprehensive Competence Certification System.
    ・1 unit: 1 session of 90 minutes x 10 sessions = 15 hours, 0.5 unit: 1 session of 90 minutes x 5 sessions = 7.5 hours
    ・Certificate of completion is issued (no regular credits are issued by your faculty).

    The following 8 courses are offered.
    ■Media in Japan and the World / Professor Kaori Hayashi (online, synchronous)
    ■Law in Transnational East Asia/ Professor Kentaro Matsubara (online, synchronous)
    ■Writings About Japan: Analyzing Cultural Representations, From Orientalism to Artificial Intelligence / Professor Yujin Yaguchi (on-demand, nonsynchronous)
    ■Group Theory and Its Applications: Introduction to Beautiful Modern Mathematics / Professor Yukari Ito (online, synchronous)
    ■Nanoscience / Professor Satoshi Iwamoto (online, synchronous)
    ■Sustainable Urban Management/ Associate Professor Kiyo Kurisu (online, synchronous)
    ■Early Language Acquisition: How Human Infants Learn Language Within Their Social Environment /Assistant Professor Sho Tsuji (online, synchronous)
    ■AI and Social Justice/ Professor Yuko ITATSU (online, synchronous)

    Differences between GUC and Other Programs
    What is the difference between PEAK and UTokyo GUC?
    PEAK is a regular course with credits and evaluations at the College of Arts and Science, whereas GUC is outside of regular courses and is awarded with units, not credits. Also, UTokyo GUC charges a fee. (However, UTokyo students can take courses for 1/10 of the cost of overseas students.) Students are expected to take the course as an extracurricular activity after giving priority to regular courses.

    Advantages of UTokyo GUC
    ・Familiarity: Students can take courses online from Japan. It is a "familiar" international experience that offers learning that is different from traditional study abroad programs.
    ・Diversity of students: Students come from all over the world, not just UTokyo students; PEAK students have many commonalities because sometimes they would participate in the same circle, but UTokyo GUC is interesting because students come from all over the world. Although most of the participants are undergraduates, there are some doctoral students as well. Due to the time difference, most of the students were from China and other Asian countries, but there were participants from all over the world, including Europe.

    Past Examples

    Writings About Japan: Analyzing Cultural Representations, From Orientalism to Artificial Intelligence / Professor Yujin Yaguchi
    ○About the theme
    The theme of the seminar is how Japan has been portrayed and represented in texts abroad, especially in English, i.e., Orientalism. This theme has implications for both Japanese studies and the study of texts in English-speaking countries.
    ○Participation Method
    Online. In consideration of the time difference, 10 sessions were lectured on demand. In order to ensure opportunities for interaction, two additional sessions were held in a format that allowed participants to talk directly with the lecturer. Other opportunities for interaction were provided by the submission of reaction papers after viewing the lectures and by the use of UTeLF, which allows for online text-based discussions, making the class interactive. Preparation materials included resumes and videos.
    ○Number of students
    21 students (19 from overseas and 2 Japanese)
    The class will deal with specific cases and discuss them from the viewpoints of race, nationalism, and so on. An example of an in-class discussion topic is the debate over criticism received for an exhibition of Claude Monet's work in Boston. Students from diverse backgrounds discussed the criticisms raised by Asian Americans of Monet's work "La Japonaise" as being sexist and racist, and whether this really constituted sexism and racism. The students' regional and cultural backgrounds gave rise to a variety of opinions and an enlightening discussion.
    ∙ Submit the final report
    ∙ Granted with one unit (10 sessions=1unit, which is common to all other courses)
    ○Recommendations for Japanese students:
    ∙ No need for specialized knowledge as a prerequisite.
    ∙ It is a good opportunity to learn not only the content but also to be able to freely say what you want to say.
    ∙ In discussions, there are many things to learn from the difference between opinions which students from overseas universities have. It is also an opportunity to think about the historical background of why such differences in opinion arise.
    ○Areas of interest of participating students
    ∙ Students who are originally interested in Japan but do not have that much knowledge (e.g., not familiar with the Orientalism theory).
    Other Lectures
    ・Media in Japan and the World/ Professor Kaori Hayashi
    ○Content: What is journalism?
    What is journalism, what is the truth in journalism, representation of women in media, etc.
    ・It was interesting to hear different perspectives on what the press is from other students.
    ・It was good to discuss themes such as "freedom" in the media in a multicultural environment.

    What you can learn

    What you can learn from the program as a whole?
    ・I can learn together with students from all over the world using English.
    ・I can have explorations because I don't need any prerequisite knowledge.
    ・You can study with students from all over the world without worrying about your grades.
    ・The whole class is interactive, so I gradually became less and less afraid to express my opinions clearly.

    Voices of Participants

    ・Participant of GUC in 2021
    Sophomore, the University of Tokyo, College of Arts and Sciences, Literature II

    “As a UTokyo student who participated in GUC, what impressed me most was that all students were participating so actively. It was sometimes hard to keep up with them and to state my opinions in the class, but I was inspired so much by such attitude of other students. Also, as the atmosphere of the class was so welcoming, I was able to try my best without being afraid of making mistakes. I listened to various opinions and feelings from the international students, and I think these circumstances made the class more meaningful and fun.”

    Comments from TAs (Excerpts)
    ・It was a very meaningful experience for me to take the class, deepen my learning, and talk with the professor.
    ・I was able to gain international experiences and deepen my knowledge by listening to the lectures.
    ・It was a good experience for me because of the large amount of group work and discussions.

    Recommended for those

    ・You don’t need to worry if you're not good at English
    ・Students who have a desire to discuss with students from all over the world

    Other Info


    We received a message from Professor Yuto Yaguchi, whom we interviewed for this article.
    Professor Yaguchi is the director of the Internationalization Education Support Office, Global Campus Promotion Division, and has been working at the forefront of the globalization of UTokyo, including the establishment of the PEAK system. He has been appointed as Vice President of UTokyo this academic year.

    "There are few international students studying at UTokyo, and there are also few classes offered in English. It is possible to graduate from the university by spending all of your time studying only in Japanese, but it’s no longer the same era. I want UTokyo students to spread their wings to the world. For that purpose, I want them to make full use of UTokyo's resources. UTokyo has many resources for global learning, and UTokyo GUC is one of them. I would like to encourage those who are not comfortable using English or speaking up actively in class to give it a try. I would like to see UTokyo become more and more globalized."







    主題科目の「学術フロンティア講義」にて開講される、 2022年度から開始予定の新入生向けアントレプレナーシップ講座。 東大の新入生3000人全員をターゲットとした講座で、2022年度は4〜6月にかけてオンラインで開講される。



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    Supporting the participation of the University of Tokyo team and others in the “South by southwest” trade show held in the United States.





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