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FAQs

Regarding the special characteristics of our School of Medicine

Q. What kind of doctors do you train?
A. We provide medical education that accords with global standards and that is characterized by its highly global outlook. We foster doctors with advanced and integrated medical treatment capabilities who are capable of performing on both the domestic and international stages and also able to become play core roles in regional medicine. By fostering doctors with advanced communication skills in Japanese and English and who have world-standard medical treatment skills we ensure that they have strong practical skills appropriate for a wide variety of clinical environments and situations such as providing care for foreign patients visiting Japan for treatment, and providing on-the-scene treatment to disaster victims around Japan and the world. Although it is our hope that graduates of the IUHW School of Medicine gain the capabilities to allow them to one day play active roles around the world, we believe it is this very kind of professional who is suited to playing important roles in domestic community healthcare by taking advantage of their advanced medical treatment skills.

Questions concerning entrance examinations

Q. Is it possible to apply simultaneously for general entrance examinations and entrance examinations based on the National Center Test for University Admissions?
A.Yes. When submitting documents please be sure to refer to the 2018 guidelines for School of Medicine applicants.
Q. Is the written general entrance examination for the primary screening stage entirely in multiple choice format?
A. Apart from the essay section, the written general entrance examination for primary screening stage is in multiple choice format. Please be aware, however, that the written National Center Test for University Admissions (scholastic ability test (English)) in the secondary screening stage is in short answer format.
Q. Are past examination questions available?
A. Past general entrance examination questions are compiled in the “Entrance Examination Question Sample Answer Compilation" (published by the International University of Health and Welfare) and Sekaishishosha-Kyogakusha Co., Ltd.'s “University Entrance Examination Series" (the so-called “Akahon"). Both are scheduled to be published in early July, 2018.
Q. Are there any advantages or disadvantages inherent in the science subjects one selects?
A. There is no advantage or disadvantage since evaluation of science subject scores is carried out after adjusting them in accordance with the overall average scores for each subject.
Q. Are the results for general entrance examination and National Center Test for University Admissions examinations in the primary screening stage carried over and utilized in the secondary screening?
A. Final decisions on whether a student has passed or failed are based on a comprehensive evaluation of the results of the primary screening, secondary screening, and document screening stages.
Q. Do you hold separate admission examinations based on high school recommendations and AO entrance examinations? And are there special entrance examinations and special admission conditions for adult students?
A. No.
Q. Do you hold entrance examinations for students returning from overseas?
A. We hold special selection entrance exams for students returning from overseas and foreign graduates based on which we admit a certain limited number of people. Be sure to see the application guidelines for more details.
Q. Are people who have tried and failed multiple times to enter universities at a disadvantage? And are female students at a disadvantage compared with male students?
A. We spend time on carrying out careful evaluations of all applicants sitting every category of entrance examination, and we do not, of course, change the standards with which we evaluate people simply based on their gender or whether or not they have failed to enter a university in the past.

Regarding entrance examination essays

Q. What format is used for the essay question and what kinds of questions is asked?
A. For the essay question for 2017 in both the general entrance examination and the National Center Test for University Admissions the so-called thematic format was used and students were given 60 minutes to write a 600-word essay on a current affairs-based theme.
Q. Can the essay only be written in Japanese?
A. The essay question in the general entrance examination and the entrance exam based on the National Center Test for University Admissions is to be answered in Japanese. Those sitting the entrance exams for international students and entrance exams for students returning from overseas and foreign graduates, however, are able to select essay questions in Japanese or English.

Regarding the personal interviews

Q. Do I need to be at the venue all day for the secondary screening personal interviews?
A. You will not be required to be at the venue all day. We will stipulate the time you need to arrive at the venue based on the scheduled start time of your interview (you can check the date of your interview and the time you need to arrive by together with your primary screening pass/fail results online). You will be able to leave immediately after your interview ends.
Q. I see that there are two separate secondary screening personal interviews. How do they differ?
A. The secondary screening personal interviews for the general entrance examination and the entrance exam based on the National Center Test for University Admissions are carried out in two 30-minute segments using different interviewers. During the interview, applicants will not only be asked about their reasons for applying based on what they have written in their application documents but will also be asked for their opinions and thoughts on a number of general current societal issues.
Q. Are the two segments of the interview carried out continuously without a break between?
A. There is a break of roughly five minutes between the two segments allowing interviewees to go to the toilet etc. if they wish. Please note that due to scheduling considerations, there may be as much as a two-hour wait from the appointed time you are asked to arrive and the start of your interview. The use within campus buildings of any electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, and mobile phones is prohibited, but the reading of reference books etc. while you wait is perfectly acceptable.
Q. I read that interviewees who wish to can elect to have their interviews partially conducted in English. Is there any advantage in doing so?
A. Interviewees will not be advantaged simply by electing to have their interviews conducted partially in English. If an interviewee is unable to communicate adequately in English they will be unable to adequately communicate their answers to the interviewer and there may be cases in which this could conversely adversely affect how they are evaluated. Note that interviews cannot be conducted partially in English if such a request is not made when the students concerned submit their applications.
Q. What proportion of the 60-minute interview time would the section in English account for? And would I be right in thinking that the questions asked in English are the same as those asked in Japanese?
A. “Interviews conducted partially in English" simply means that one part of an ordinary interview conducted in Japanese is conducted in English. Since interviews will presumably develop in different ways for each interviewee depending on factors such as the particular answers provided and the English ability of the interviewee, the proportion of the interview taken up by the English section and the kinds of questions asked will also presumably vary depending on the individual interviewee.

Regarding pass/fail notifications and waitlist admissions

Q. If a School of Medicine scholarship student decides to opt out after being offered admission, does their place go to someone else on the waiting list?
A. Even if a School of Medicine scholarship student decides to opt out, their place does not go to someone else on the waiting list.
Q. I understand that those who are added to the waiting list are notified by post. Are those notifications sent out at the same time as the pass/fail notifications?
A. Yes, they are sent out at the same time.
Q. How late can people on the waiting list be contacted with an admission offer?
A. Although it depends on whether any successful applicants decide to opt out after receiving an admission offer, people on the waiting list could potentially be contacted at any time up until the IUHW School of Medicine's entrance ceremony.

Regarding tuition fees

Q. What expenses are there besides student fees?
A. In addition to student fees (18.5 million JPY) the following annual fees are required: 70,000 JPY deposits toward overseas clinical training, and 3 million JPY toward an education support group consisting of guardians of students that works to supports education activities. In addition to this, there is the cost of textbooks and reference books for compulsory and elective courses, transportation and accommodation costs when travelling to engage in clinical training, and costs relating to vaccinations and preparatory study for national examinations, and so on. Since the IUHW School of Medicine also distributes a significant amount of its study materials online it is necessary to purchase a computer that has adequate specifications to access this material (if you do not already own one at the time of your admission). Note that the cost of the textbooks and study materials for students admitted in 2017 was 97,000 JPY (this is the cost for one year only).
Q. Is there a scholarship program for students with outstanding grades?
A. Every year, the top three most outstanding students (in each grade) receive an Annual IUHW School of Medicine Award for Outstanding Grades. The recipients of these awards receive the following scholarships: Students who place first receive the equivalent of one year's tuition fees, and students who place second and third receive the equivalent of half a year's tuition fees (the scholarship money is paid directly toward covering tuition fees). Note that no annual awards for outstanding grades are given to students from their fourth year onward as their classes are focused on off-campus clinical training.

Regarding teaching staff

Q. What kind of people teach at IUHW?
A. Approximately 750 medical doctors were already tenured with the IUHW group, but with the opening of the School of Medicine we have selected approximately 300 outstanding new teaching staff members from a pool of more than 500 applicants. Professor Kiyoshi Kitamura, who was the administrator of medical education at the School of Medicine until September last year, has now assumed the role of dean of the School of Medicine. Professor Motofumi Yoshida, who played a central role in establishing the common achievement test OSCE (objective structured clinical examinations) system during his time at Kyushu University has assumed the roles of vice-dean of the School of Medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine. Professor Haruko Akatsu, who, for many long years was involved in medical care and medical education at the University of Pittsburgh and Stanford University in the United States, will be overseeing education at IUHW as Dean of Medical Education .
Q. What are main strengths of IUHW as an educational organization?
A. One of the strengths could be said to be the fact that we have a large number of teaching staff members from overseas in addition to Japanese teaching staff members with extensive overseas experience in medical care and education. We have approximately 150 Japanese teaching staff members with at least one year of overseas medical care or educational experience (of these, more than 50 have at least three years of such experience), and some studied at Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of Oxford. We have also employed a large number of full-time instructors from Western and Asian countries and elsewhere. We have also established a “Office of Medical Education" with approximately 25 full-time staff, a number that is unparalleled by any other university. The center will work to ensure that students receive high-quality education, including clinical training, from the time they enter the university right up until their graduation.

Regarding classes, the curriculum, etc.

Q. What are the special characteristics of the curriculum?
A. The main features are:
1. A focus on fostering in students the high ethical standards demanded of doctors through practical education on the nature of medical professionalism.
2. The majority of subjects feature classes conducted in English in order to foster doctors able to perform both domestically and overseas.
3. The provision of more than 90 weeks of clinical clerkship.
4. Classes that make use of the world's largest medical education simulation center to foster advanced general clinical capabilities, etc.
Q. How many classes are conducted in English?
A. Classes in the first and second years of study are primarily conducted in English. Not all classes are conducted in English however. The specialized terminology and so on required for national examinations are taught in Japanese and classes dealing with matters such as ethics and law are taught in Japanese as it would otherwise be difficult to adequately communicate to students all the nuances involved.
Q. What kinds of measures are in place for students who lack confidence in their English capabilities, and what kinds of supplementary study etc. is provided?
A. First- and second-year classes in many subjects are conducted in English. Therefore immediately after entering university students attend intensive classes aimed at enhancing their English abilities. We assemble language instructors to conduct English classes tailored to students' English abilities every afternoon. We also utilize non-Japanese English-language teachers to help enhance students' English skills. Japanese-language education is also provided to international students.
Q. Do you take a thorough approach to helping students prepare for the National Medical Practitioners Qualifying Examination?
A. Classes are primarily conducted in English until the end of the second year, but from the third year, there are classes conducted in Japanese aimed at enhancing students' clinical capabilities with the objective of preparing them for the National Medical Practitioners Qualifying Examination. In their sixth year, following clinical training, students receive lectures providing a general overview of what they have studied thus far. We also have a dedicated 24-hour student study room located next to the library.

Regarding practical training

Q. Where is the clinical training conducted?
A. Clinical training is conducted both in Japan and overseas. In Japan, clinical training is conducted in coordination with our four affiliated hospitals such as IUHW Mita Hospital (the four hospitals have a total capacity of 1,153 beds) and other related educational hospitals. The IUHW Narita Hospital (Narita City, Chiba Prefecture) is scheduled to open in 2020 and we intend to make this our primary clinical training institution. We intend to have all year six students engage in at least four months of clinical training overseas. To this end we have concluded international exchange agreements with universities and medical institutions in countries and regions around the world.
Q. I have heard that clinical training is primarily conducted at two affiliated hospitals. Could you please provide specific information about where clinical training is conducted and from what year?
A. According to our current plan, of the 140 first-batch students who entered IUHW in April 2017, roughly half will, from 2020 when they will be in their fourth year, will engage in clinical training from April to July at IUHW Hospital (Shiobara City, Tochigi Prefecture) and IUHW Shioya Hospital (Yaita City, Tochigi Prefecture), and the other half will engage in clinical training in IUHW Mita Hospital (Minato Ward, Tokyo), IUHW Hospital (Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture), and Kaken Hospital (Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture). The students who train at IUHW Hospital and IUHW Shioya Hospital and the students who train at IUHW Mita Hospital, IUHW Hospital, and Kaken Hospital will switch venues following the summer holidays. IUHW Narita Hospital, which is scheduled to open in April 2020 when the first batch of students will be commencing their fourth year at IUHW, will not be ready to provide clinical training immediately after opening. It is expected that the students will be able to commence clinical training at IUHW Narita Hospital from their fifth or sixth years. The hospital will be 8km as the crow flies from Narita campus, but we plan to provide a shuttle bus service. In preparation for the provision of clinical training to medical students, IUHW Hospital is also constructing a five-story accommodation building along with a five-story research building and a new hospital building providing an additional 55 beds. The accommodation building is expected to be completed during the 2018 academic year, and will have 116 rooms, a large communal bath, seminar rooms, and so on.
Q. At what kinds of places will clinical training be provided overseas and what expenses are involved?
A. In the first semester of their sixth year, students will engage in clinical training overseas for four to ten months (the length of the training is up to the student). International students will engage in training for 10 weeks in their home country. Clinical training will be carried out in facilities in approximately 20 countries/regions such as Vietnam, Mongolia, and Malaysia (see pages 7 and 8 of the School of Medicine pamphlet). The cost of clinical training in Asian countries should be largely covered by the 70,000 JPY deposits paid annually for this purpose. Since living costs will be higher for students engaging in clinical training in Western countries, they will likely have to cover the additional expenses out of their own pocket.

Campus life

Q. Are there student dormitories for Japanese students?
A. There is an all-private-room dormitory called Narita International House located 15 minutes by bus (and one minute's walk from the bus stop) or 20 minutes by bicycle from Narita campus. Currently, in addition to international students, there are approximately 20 Japanese students residing in the dormitory. Considering the limitations on the total number of people of who can stay at the dormitory it is expected that about 20 Japanese students from each grade will be able to reside at the dormitory. The dormitory fee is 22,000 JPY per month, plus 3,000 JPY for utilities and common service charges, and the meal fee (breakfast and dinner) is 30,000 JPY (this fee is reduced in increments in accordance with the actual number of meals eaten).

Regarding international students

Q. Are there any scholarship programs for international students?
A. There is a scholarship program for international School of Medicine students who have received exceedingly good grades in their home country or region (in the top 1% of grades in their home country for their particular level), who are able to submit objective materials that provide evidence of this, and whose income is below a certain level. Please see the Application Guidelines for more details.
Q. What level of language ability is required of international students at the time they enter IUHW?
A. They require sufficient English ability to take classes conducted in English. In the application guidelines it is stated that, as a rough indication, “it is preferable that students have a TOEFL iBT score of 80 or more, or an IELTS score of 6.0 or more". In October 2016, we established a comprehensive preparatory Japanese language course for internationals students to help those hoping to gain admission to the School of Medicine. After entering the university, international students will continue to be provided with sufficient Japanese-language education to help them engage in medical care in Japan and to enable them to sit the National Medical Practitioners Qualifying Examination.
Q. Is there a dormitory for international students?
A. There is an all-private-room dormitory called Narita International House located 15 minutes by bus (and one minute's walk from the bus stop) and 20 minutes by bicycle from Narita campus. Although, as a general principle, the dormitory is operated with the objective of providing accommodation for all international students, there are currently also roughly 20 Japanese students residing in the dormitory. Breakfast and dinner meals are provided.

Other Questions

Q. Is it possible to visit the School of Medicine campus in advance to inspect it?
A. Of the School of Medicine's two buildings, the six-story WB building (the first building on the site) is already completed and can therefore be visited during events such as open-campus days and during the university festival in October. The 11-story WA building (the second building on the site) is scheduled to be completed at the end of December, 2017. It is possible to view the construction site from the outside but it is not yet possible to visit the interior of the building.