After careful consideration and extensive planning, Temple Japan welcomed study abroad students back to Japan following the onset of the pandemic for the spring 2021 semester. Since that time, the Japanese government has restricted the entry of most international travelers, including students. We remain hopeful that the restrictions will lift in time to offer the study abroad program in spring 2022 and in all subsequent semesters, and will keep students, their families, and our partners updated. Applicants should not purchase flight tickets until instructed by Education Abroad to do so.
Temple Japan is open and currently offering a mix of in-person, hybrid and online classes for Temple Japan degree-seeking students. The course schedule site indicates which courses are in-person for the current term. To read more about Temple Japan operations, visit the TUJ homepage.
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:
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government COVID-19 Information
- 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
Temple University requires all international travelers, including study abroad students, to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before traveling.
If you do not anticipate being fully vaccinated before your intended semester at Temple Japan, please consult our staff regarding your eligibility for the program.
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
When study abroad student travel to Japan resumes, we assume that Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to have specific entry and quarantine requirements in place for international travelers. Below is an overview of the requirements that were in place when spring 2021 students entered Japan so you have an idea of what to expect. More specific and up-to-date details will be provided to program participants.
Pre-Travel and Entry Requirements
- Monitor and report your health status daily for the 14 days prior to departure.
- Obtain a certificate confirming a negative COVID-19 test.
- Download specific apps to your smartphone for the quarantine period, with locations services turned on.
Arrival and Quarantine Requirements
- Undergo testing for COVID-19 upon arrival in Japan by immigration/quarantine authorities at the airport.
- Quarantine for 14 days in single room dorm accommodations (details below).
- Sign a pledge to TUJ that you will follow all rules of quarantine.
- Take private transportation upon arrival (coordinated by Temple Japan).
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 and laundry facilities, go in small, monitored groups to get food at the local convenience or grocery store, and order food delivery, but must limit time out of your rooms. 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. In most instances, self-isolation will 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 daily 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 participations when confirmed for their semester. Spring 2021 study abroad participants were required to stay in university-arranged dorms throughout the program.
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. 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.
Academic Continuity and Program Interruption
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.