Student Travel Policy

Note for the 2022-2023 Academic Year: For Fall 2022 and Full Year 2022-23 students, there have been changes to AKP’s student travel policy. Committed students will receive information on this travel policy on the AKP application portal. The policy for Spring 2023 will be available in September. In the interim, please contact the AKP US Office at [email protected] for more information.

In addition to policy changes regarding travel to and from AKP, the following changes are in effect for personal travel during the program due to the pandemic. For additional pandemic-related policy changes, please refer to our COVID-19 page.

AKP will strongly encourage students to avoid overnight travel within Japan, particularly to any prefecture or area that is under a State of Emergency or other restrictions due to COVID-19. Students who choose to forgo this policy assume all associated risks.

Travel outside of Japan (except for personal and family emergencies) during the semester will be strictly prohibited. Any student who chooses to travel outside of Japan during the semester without approval from the AKP Kyoto Center risks severe disruption to their program, including possible dismissal from the program without refund.

Travel to Japan

Students will arrange their own transportation to the orientation site in Kyoto in August or January for the fall and spring semesters respectively. AKP will provide a travel subsidy of up to $850 for each semester the student is resident on the program. AKP will only reimburse in US dollars for one flight to Japan and one flight from Japan. A flight “to Japan” is defined as a flight that lands in an airport in Japan, and a flight “from Japan” is defined as a flight that takes off from an airport in Japan; flights may include stopovers, but stopovers may not exceed 24 hours. Tickets purchased with airline miles cannot be reimbursed. In order to process reimbursement requests, students must forward their travel receipt and submit the appropriate forms to the US Office Program Administrator.

For All Students

  1. Any fees, penalties or costs resulting from a decision to change either the itinerary or route will be the student’s responsibility. This includes the cost of airfare back to their home country or campus following a voluntary withdrawal or disciplinary separation from the program.
  2. Emergency situations (often those of a medical nature) that affect student travel to/from Japan for the program or following the program’s conclusion will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Upon arrival in Japan, students will be asked to ship their luggage from the airport to their host families, except for one piece of carry-on luggage and one piece of smaller personal luggage (such as a backpack, laptop bag, or purse) with items needed during orientation.
  4. AKP will not cover ground transportation prior to arrival in Japan or ground transportation from an airport in Japan to Kyoto.
  5. AKP will not cover excess baggage fees charged by airlines.

Packing and Preparing

It is important that you be able to manage your luggage on your own, so keep this in mind when packing. Airlines have different policies for the weight and dimensions of luggage they allow, so be sure to check the luggage policy of your airline. 

We suggest bringing three luggage items:

  1. One large checked suitcase (sent to homestay upon arrival at Japanese airport)
  2. One piece of carry-on luggage that can fit in an airplane’s overhead bin
  3. One smaller piece of personal luggage (such as a backpack, laptop bag, or purse) that can  fit under an airplane seat

At your arrival airport in Japan, you will ship your large suitcase(s) from the airport to your  homestay. After you pass through Customs, find the service desk of Yamato Transport (Yamato Un’yu ヤマト運輸). You can recognize it by the black cat logo. At the service desk, fill out the form with the information you will have received from AKP. Be sure to keep your receipt for reimbursement (up to 5,000 yen) from AKP.

You will only have access to your carry-on and small personal luggage during orientation. Therefore, make absolutely certain that these contain the following:

  1. Passport
  2. Doshisha Acceptance Letter
  3. Application for “permission to engage in activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted” (part-time work permit)
  4. Student Handbook
  5. Clothes for 3-day orientation
  6. Formal dress for Welcome Party

Post-Program Travel

Students will stay with their host families through the end of the program, but students who decide to remain in Japan MUST inform AKP of their plans and know that they will be responsible for their own accommodations after the program end date.