Temple Japan welcomed study abroad students back to Japan in Spring 2021 following the onset of the pandemic. Japan subsequently implemented border restrictions but as of March 2022, is once again permitting select travelers, including international students, to enter Japan. We are so pleased about this development and to be moving forward with preparations for our study abroad program for Fall 2022, and all future semesters.
Temple Japan has remained open throughout the pandemic offering a mix of in-person, hybrid and online classes for Temple Japan degree-seeking students.
Current Conditions in Japan
The number of COVID-19 cases in Japan fluctuates but overall has been low in comparison with many countries around the world. The government issues periodic state of emergency measures in response to rising case numbers. These measures provide guidance to how businesses may operate, including open hours and remote work requirements. The government may also ask people to refrain from non-essential excursions during a state of emergency.
- Up-to-date COVID-19 data for Tokyo can be accessed through the Tokyo Metropolitan Government website.
- Up-to-date COVID-19 data for all of Japan can be accessed through the World Health Organization website.
Additional COVID-19 information in English can be found on the following sites:
- U.S. Embassy in Japan COVID-19 Information
- The Japan Times COVID-19 News Updates
- The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) continues to closely monitor the situation in the country and provide updates on trends and governmental measures.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also include guidance on traveling to Japan.
Vaccination Policy for Study Abroad Students & Arrival Quarantine
Temple University requires all international travelers, including study abroad students, to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before traveling, and strongly recommends the COVID-19 booster.
If any of the following criteria apply to you, please consult our staff regarding your situation, as it may affect your eligibility for the program and/or quarantine requirements:
- You do not anticipate being fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19 before your intended semester at Temple Japan.
- Your COVID-19 vaccinations/booster are not approved by Japan (see below).
- You expect to travel to Japan from a country other than the U.S.
Vaccination and quarantine requirements are subject to change at any time. Temple regularly monitors requirements and updates accepted students who may be affected by any requirements, or changes, as necessary. We also encourage you to monitor Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for the most current information.
As of early June 2022, travelers entering Japan directly from the United States do not need to quarantine upon arrival, regardless of vaccination status. This is subject to change, and we will monitor requirements closely.
Requirements for travelers coming from or transiting through countries other than the U.S. vary; please visit the Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare website to check the requirements that apply to you. If you are entering from a country other than the U.S. and your vaccination status affects your entry requirements, note that Japan only approves specific COVID-19 vaccines. If you are subject to a quarantine period upon arrival, please contact Education Abroad and see the Quarantine and Isolation section further below for details.
All accepted students must ensure their COVID-19 vaccination information is up-to-date in Temple’s Student Health Services portal.
The Japan campus of Temple University strongly encourages but does not require COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty, and staff permanently based in Japan at this time.
COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Temple Japan follows public health guidance and regulations from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and consults with local health officials to promote a safe, healthy environment. Our staff have developed COVID-19-specific protocols to mitigate the risk of transmission in program facilities and to respond to possible and actual COVID-19 cases. The list below includes measures that may be in place during your program; details are provided to students closer to departure as protocols are dictated by the local conditions and regulations in place at the time the program is operating.
- Extensive pre-departure programming to prepare students for the semester
- Mandatory use of masks at all times on campus
- Limited capacity classes with physical distancing measures
- Hand sanitizing stations installed throughout campus
- Contact tracing procedures in place
- Access to English-speaking medical support, including mental health support, available 24/7
- Academic continuity plans for each course in the event a student or group must quarantine or isolate
- Study abroad student travel limited to Japan
It is important to note that almost everyone in Japan wears masks, and other COVID-19 related countermeasures are carefully followed across the country.
Based on local circumstances and vaccine availability, universities in Japan are not mandating vaccines at this time. Accordingly, the Japan campus of Temple University is strongly encouraging but not requiring COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty, and staff permanently based in Japan at this time. Read Dean Matt Wilson's recent updates to learn about Temple Japan's efforts to encourage and support vaccination within the Temple Japan community.
Passport and Visa Information
See the Temple Japan Passport and Visa page for information about obtaining a passport and study visa in time for your program. If you plan to travel internationally prior to your program start date, please contact your Program Manager immediately, as your plans may impact your ability to obtain a visa, or pandemic-related entry requirements may vary.
Note: Summer program students will likely be required to obtain visas as well due to pandemic-related entry rules.
Quarantine and Isolation
We assume that Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to have certain entry requirements in place for international travelers for some time. Below is a general overview of some of the requirements that Japan has implemented during the pandemic so you have an idea of what you might expect. More specific and up-to-date details will be provided to program participants.
- Monitor and report your health status daily for up to two weeks prior to travel to Japan.
- Obtain a certificate confirming a negative COVID-19 test prior to travel.
- Undergo testing for COVID-19 upon arrival at the airport in Japan by immigration/quarantine authorities.
- If required to quarantine upon arrival (see Vaccination Policy section above for more information):
- Download specific apps to your smartphone, with location services turned on.
- Quarantine in single room dorm accommodations.
- Sign a pledge to TUJ that you will follow all rules of quarantine.
Students quarantine in a small, single room with a private bathroom in a program-arranged dormitory. In some cases, you may have to quarantine in one dormitory and then move to the second dormitory for the remainder of the semester. During quarantine, you are permitted to use the common area kitchens for cooking and laundry facilities, and order food delivery, but you must limit time out of your room and you will not be permitted to leave the dormitory for any reason other than to take a COVID-19 tests on a specified day. Meals must be eaten in your room. Spaces on other floors of the dorms (e.g. multipurpose rooms, fitness gym, cafeteria, etc.) are off-limits during quarantine. The Office of Student Services staff, which includes a live-in dorm manager at each housing facility, provide support during quarantine. In addition, tele-counseling services are available.
If you test positive for COVID-19 while in Japan, including upon arrival at the airport, you are required to follow instructions of Japanese authorities. Public health authorities determine where and for how long COVID-positive individuals will self-isolate. Self-isolation could take place at a government-run facility, where you will be monitored for up to ten days; if deemed necessary, you will go to a hospital. English may not be spoken at these facilities, but privately-run medical interpretation services are available via phone for a fee. TUJ staff will check in with any students via email or phone but are not permitted to visit.
All courses at TUJ have online continuity plans in the event a student must quarantine or self-isolate.
Details regarding housing for future semesters will be shared with program participants when confirmed for their semester.
The relative commuting distance from University-arranged dormitories to the campus in Sangen-jaya is approximately 50-60 minutes by public transportation. Compliance with mask wearing in Japan is extremely high, but you should not expect to be able to physically distance on trains. Trains in Tokyo are typically very crowded, especially during commuting hours.
Temple Japan strictly prohibits travel outside of Japan for all study abroad program participants during the program due to the complications related to inter-country travel during the pandemic, especially within East Asia.
We hope you view this as an opportunity to embrace Japanese culture and complete the program feeling more like a local than a visitor. Temple Japan faculty and staff are always eager to share the countless ways you can explore Tokyo and Japan to make the most out of your experience.
Travel outside of Japan is a violation of Temple Japan study abroad policy and will result in disciplinary sanctions, including possible dismissal from the program.
If you choose to travel after the program concludes, you do so at your own personal and financial risk. The international travel medical insurance provided by Temple University ends at the completion of the program and will not be available to students who decide to travel independently.
Student Conduct and Community Standards
As members of the Temple Japan community, students, faculty and staff share the responsibility for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Temple Japan's policies and protocols, as well as those of the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare, have been enacted to protect the health and safety of our communities. Noncompliance with these rules is a violation of Temple University’s Student Conduct Code. If you are found responsible for a violation of the Student Conduct Code, you could face serious sanctions, including dismissal from the program. Students dismissed from the program are responsible for the costs of their departure and will not receive any refunds for the costs of the program.
As the sponsor of student visas, Temple Japan must pledge to take responsibility for students’ actions and could face severe consequences imposed by the Japanese government if any of its students fail to abide by the rules, especially rules related to entry or quarantine. Therefore, we want to emphasize how important it is for all students on the program to follow the instructions and rules prior to departure and while in Japan.
Contingency Planning, Academic Continuity and Program Interruption
While we expect Japan to continue allowing international students to enter through fall 2022 and beyond, we acknowledge that the pandemic is still ongoing, and it remains possible that Japan could change its entry policies at any time. We advise having a contingency plan in the event a change outside of our control affects our ability to offer the program. Accepted students should refrain from purchasing flight tickets until Education Abroad provides detailed instructions.
After the start of the program, Temple Japan courses are able to transition to remote learning if required due to the local COVID-19 situation during the semester.
Our decision to run the program considers how the COVID-19 situation may evolve during the semester. While we do not anticipate asking students to depart the program early, Temple Japan has emergency plans in place to respond if the unexpected occurs. We advise all students to carefully review the change/cancellation policies before booking a flight so they are prepared if a change does occur. Temple University is unable to assist with costs of departing a program early.