As of September 1st, 2020

This page introduces information for student exchange programs with partner institutions which are based on academic exchange agreements.
*For partner institution study abroad coordinators: If students are nominated by your institution for student exchange with NAIST, please contact the Division for Global Education (dge[at] prior to students directly contacting NAIST professors, so that we can confirm their official status at your institution.

Program Outline

This program is for graduate school students outside of NAIST who wish to receive research guidance at a laboratory in NAIST. We offer to receive students who belong to partner institutions as Special Research Students (graduate school student level).

*Please note the following points:

    • Acceptance as a Special Research Student is dependent upon laboratory and professors' individual condition, etc.
    • Acceptance as Special Research Students only guarantees research guidance and experience in a laboratory at NAIST. Special Research Students are not permitted to take classes. However, upon separate application as special auditing students, the students may be permitted to take classes upon faculty approval.

Application Procedure

  1. Interested international students may choose up to 3 laboratories at NAIST in which they are interested. The students will need to prioritize their choices and contact them in order of interest. (Contacting multiple labs at the same time may complicate students coming to NAIST.)
  2. In order to secure a position at the chosen laboratory(ies), students contact a professor of that laboratory. When first making contact, the candidates should send the following documents to the professor.

    A) Cover letter summarizing the professional and/or academic background, their reason for applying, and a brief explanation of their research goals/plans at NAIST

    B) CV (The professors will use these to discuss more definite plans with the student and to make their decisions concerning acceptance. This may take about a month)

    ★★ If the professor agrees to acceptance, we can continue with procedure 3 - 8. ★★

  3. The candidate shall submit a Special Research Student Application via your institution to International Student Affairs Section (ryugaku[at]
    *This should be done at least 5 months before the planned entrance date at NAIST.
  4. We will put the application into the NAIST faculty meeting agenda to get approval.
  5. After receiving admission approval from the faculty meeting at NAIST, we will issue an acceptation letter to your institution and start preparing COE (Certificate of Eligibility for Regional Immigration Bureau, Japan) documents for getting a visa. *This takes about a month and a half.
  6. NAIST will send the COE to the student by express mail. (Usually about a week)
  7. The student applies for the visa with the COE at Japanese embassy in your country. (Receiving the visa takes up to 1 week.)
  8. Welcome to Japan! NAIST will offer a brief orientation upon your arrival.
    *Please note that while NAIST has had no serious problems concerning the visa process in the past, we cannot guarantee all applications will be approved or that they will be processed within a certain time frame, due to the Japanese Immigration Bureau's independent processing standards, etc.

Enrollment timing

There are two semesters for regular course students at NAIST, the spring semester starting in April and the fall semester starting in October, and most students are accepted according to these semesters, as of April 1st or October 1st. Students may be accepted at other times throughout the academic year, but registration at the beginning of the month may ensure smooth matriculation and use of facilities. Also, tuition is charged on a monthly basis, so please consider this when deciding your period of study at NAIST.

Nomination Deadlines

We do not have specific nomination deadlines, so please negotiate the starting date, keeping in mind the above procedures and enrollment timing, with host laboratory before submitting the application form.


While there are student dormitories on campus, they are for full-time, regular course students. (In some cases, entering the dormitories may be possible.)
We can introduce some local accommodations to Special Research Students. The average of the room fee is around 40,000yen - 50,000yen.

For issues concerning the following please contact the offices below

Accepting procedures for Special Research Students (procedures 3 -8 above)
International Student Affairs Section: ryugaku[at]

General information and communication issues
Division for Global Education, (DGE): dge[at]