YOUC Program – Year at Otaru University of Commerce

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YOUC Program Overview

One-year study program in economics, management and Japanese language in English (and optional courses in Japanese) at Otaru, Japan.

The YOUC Program is a one-year program (optionally one semester is possible) taught in English, based on an agreement for credit transfer between Otaru University of Commerce and foreign academic institutions on four continents.

The program offers an opportunity to study business and economics subjects related to Japan and Asia-Pacific. We also provide three levels of Japanese language instruction as well as other liberal art subjects.

Most of the classes in the YOUC Program are small, typically numbering 20 or fewer students. Our high professor to student ratio in this undergraduate program provides MBA-like opportunities for classroom interaction.

Besides the courses under the YOUCV program, the most coureses at Otaru University of Commerce classes are taught in Japanese: Any student with sufficient ability in Japanese has the option to attend classes taught in Japanese with approval from each professor.

otaru city


Academic Period

The YOUC Program school year begins in the late September and extends to the beginning of August the following year.

Fall Semester: Late September – Mid-February

  • Optional elementary Japanese language head-starter course begins in the mid-September)
  • The Fall semester also includes a break beginning just before Christmas until about the first week of January(Beginning date changes every year).

Spring Semester: April1 – End of the First Week in August

  • Elementary Japanese language class is not offered in the spring semester.
  • Students who elect to participate in an internship may remain until the end of August or the beginning of September.


Fields of Study

The YOUC Program is designed for economics majors, management majors, and business majors in their junior year, although sophomore and senior year students may also enroll. Subject List  

Registration Requirements

Completion of the YOUC program is based on successfully completing 30 credits, including 10 credits from core subjects. A certificate of completion will be issued to students who fulfill the YOUC program requirements. Japanese language classes can be counted as core subjects up to four credits. Students are expected to register for at least 10 hours of classes per week in each semester.  


Proficiency in English, elementary knowledge of economics, business, and calculus are required to enroll in the YOUC Program.  

Language Requirements

With the exception of intermediate and advanced level Japanese language classes, all lectures are conducted in English and require English language proficiency (TOEFL PBT score 550 or equivalent is recommended). No prior knowledge of Japanese is required. Nevertheless, although the YOUC Program is not a program for language training, it provides a wonderful opportunity to learn Japanese.  

Credit Transfer

Credits for YOUC Program classes are transferable to partner universities based on the university to university agreement. Credits can also be transferred via the UCTS (University Credit Transfer Scheme) as agreed by UMAP (University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific). Please consult the Study Abroad Program office in your university for details. The UCTS points of credits obtained at Otaru University of Commerce are as follows:

Otaru University of Commerce UCTS
  • 1 credit 1 UTCS point
  • 2 credits 2 UCTS points
  • 4 credits 4 UCTS points
  • 6 credits 6 UCTS points


New YOUC students are expected to arrive in Otaru in one week prior to the first day of the class. The Orientation for students is usually held on September 29. Placement tests for Japanese courses and other necessary procedures will be conducted in late September.