international student counseling office

Supporting international students’ growth

The International Student Counseling Office supports international students’ personal development and mental health. Our counselors are certified clinical psychologists who have studied abroad and are fluent in Japanese, English and/or Chinese.

For international students, we focus on providing individual counseling, group work, seminars, and workshops. We also provide consultations and training to faculty members. Please feel free to contact us anytime to find out more about our support and services.

User’s Voices

Are you having any of these experiences?

  • I can’t concentrate. I can’t sleep.
  • I can’t adjust to Japanese culture or lifestyle.
  • I can’t keep up with my studies.
  • I’m feeling down. I am tired all the time.
  • I want to know myself better.
  • I can’t get along with my teacher/advisor.
  • I want to improve my relationships with others.
  • I get too nervous when I have to speak in front of others.
  • I want to talk to someone about my future.
  • I’m homesick.
  • I want to talk to someone about my sexuality or/and gender.
  • I have a traumatic experience in my past.
  • I want to like myself more.
  • I feel like I’m different from other people.
  • I lost someone close to me. My pet died.
  • I want to learn how to control my feelings.
  • It’s difficult for me to understand what other people are feeling or thinking.
  • I feel I’m too sensitive.

We would like to think with you about coping strategies for the many different problems international students may encounter.

Our professional counselors can help you with problems. Please contact us anytime.

User’s Voices

To All International Students

The iInternational Student Counseling Office has Japanese/English bilingual counselors who have lived and studied in other countries so we have the experience to deal with many different kinds of issues.

Many international students who may be living outside of their own country or away from their families and friends for the first time become homesick. You may feel stress and anxiety as you begin your studies and research in this new environment, and you may also find it difficult to adjust to a different culture and climate. Some of you may also have past experiences that are troubling you, but you are not sure who to talk to. Consulting us will ultimately be a big step to helping yourself. In order to make a more comfortable life for yourself here, please come and talk to us.

We also provide cultural and psychological support to students who are studying abroad. We can talk to you about culture shock before, during, and after your study abroad because we have also had those experiences.

At the Student Advice and Counseling Center, we are obligated to protect your privacy and keep confidentiality. Our services are free, so please consult us anytime.

Click here to find out more about services of the International Student Counseling Office including counseling, group work, workshops, and seminars.

services for international students

To faculty/staff

For faculty/staff

Studies, career options, human relations, personality issues, and cultural adjustment problems are just some of the problems that international students face, so if a student seems to be having trouble, please tell them about our Center and ask them to consult us as soon as possible. When you recommend our Center, please tell that students that our counselors, with their professional clinical knowledge, will listen to the them and work together with them to think of strategies to solve their problems. Please also let them know that seeing a counselor is natural (it is not something to be embarrassed about), and most importantly, that their privacy will be respected and that the counselors are obligated to keep all sessions confidential. If necessary and if the student consents, then advisors may also come with the student to sessions.

Click here to find information about warning signs that can help you identify students who might need help. If you have a student you are concerned about, please click here to read.

helping international students

Requesting faculty consultations

The mission of the Student Advice and Counseling Center is to promote the personal growth of all Hokkaido University students. We recognize that faculty/staff members have a great deal of influence on students’ development, so we can support students indirectly by providing consultations or faculty development (FD) or staff development (SD). Please regard us as an easily accessible resource and consult us anytime.

Depending on the complexity of the issue, we can also provide phone consultations. If you wish to have a phone consultation, please mention this when you make an appointment.

Examples of Consultations
  • I am not sure how to deal with a student who seems to have a problem.
  • Recently one of my international students seems unwell, but I don’t know how to approach them about it.
  • I don’t know how to talk to my student.
  • I am having trouble getting my student to understand my academic advice or instructional style.
  • I can’t communicate effectively with my international student.
  • I want to know how to advise my student more effectively.
  • I would like you to do a faculty development event or workshop.

Requesting training sessions

The International Student Counseling Office can send a counselor to provide customized faculty/staff development events designed specifically for problems that you may encounter with international students. You can talk directly with our counselors about specific topics for the FD/SD events, so please let us know what you are interested in.

Examples of training topics
  • What can you do about international students’ psychological problems?
  • When professors shame international students
  • Adjustment problems of international students: When your international student can’t connect with others
  • Advising international students: Avoiding mismatches and pointers for dealing with common problems
  • Advising international students: Effective communication with personal or cultural aspects

Useful resources

We have created a list of various organizations and resources that may be useful for international students in their daily lives so that they can have a more comfortable and satisfying life during their stay. This information may also be useful for students who are thinking about studying abroad.

Useful Resources by International Student Counseling Office

About the peer support unit

The International Student Support Desk staff, experienced fellow international and Japanese students, provide assistance, give information, and answer questions about daily life in Japan and at the university.

Peer Support Unit

Become a peer supporter

Hokkaido University takes applications for peer supporters at designated times throughout the year. Peer supporters are paid part-time staff (administrative assistant) of the university. Check out the peer support unit web site or come to the Center for more information.

Thinking about visiting us?

If you would like to make a counseling appointment, please call us, email us, or even just drop by in person. Students with appointments are given priority, so we recommend making an appointment.