The UBC Ritsumeikan Academic Exchange Program (AEP) is UBC’s longest standing and largest academic exchange program, and since 1991 it has welcomed almost 2900 students from Ritsumeikan University, Japan, for a full year of undergraduate study.

The AEP began in the fall of 1991 and it sent 100 Japanese students to UBC every year to live and study in an integrated academic and residential environment. It also provides UBC students with an opportunity to gain international and intercultural experience and insight by living with Rits students in Rits House or other UBC dormitories and/or by taking specially-designed, integrated courses with Ritsumeikan students.

In September 2012 a second program option was launched called the Global Citizenship Program. Participants of this program from Ritsumeikan University had to meet the regular UBC admissions criteria and be interested in the focus of the program . The highly innovative curriculum was developed keeping in mind the increasingly diverse student population of our campus, as well as the need to provide students with opportunities to reflect on current global/local issues, and make connections between theoretical knowledge and hands on practices by means of a community-based experiential learning model. Check out testimonials from students in our first GCP cohort!

In September 2017 a new re-envisioned Academic Exchange Program (AEP),  launched with fresh curricular options designed to enhance student recruitment opportunities for a smaller cohort of 75 students for the academic year.  Building on the knowledge and experience of the twenty-five year partnership of running academically intensive programs we have assembled two exciting program streams – Program A & Program B.

In July of 2021 the Program moved from the U.B.C. Office of the Provost International to the Faculty of Education.