International Ties

A logo that says Doshisha University

A black and white photo of Niijima Jo, a Japanese man with short hair and a mustache. He is wearing a suit and bowtie.

Doshisha University was founded in 1875 by Niijima Jo (Joseph Hardy Neesima), the first Japanese student to graduate from a Western institution of higher learning, who graduated from Amherst College in 1870. A portrait of Niijima now hangs in Johnson Chapel, and is a popular stop for visitors from Doshisha.

Today, Doshisha is a complex of educational institutions on nine campuses, ranging from kindergarten to graduate school. Amherst College maintains close ties with Doshisha University to this day, and offers the following programs to connect students and faculty between the two institutions.

The Amherst-Doshisha Fellowship

The Amherst-Doshisha Fellowship offers a unique opportunity for a graduating senior or Amherst alum (who graduated the year before the fellowship is awarded) to participate in the cultural life of the University in Kyoto, Japan—the center of traditional Japanese culture.

The environs of Kyoto are among the finest in Japan for the study of classical art and architecture. The Fellow resides at the university, but is not enrolled as a student. Instead, the Fellow meets with English language-learners one-on-one through office hours, and serves as an ambassador of present-day Amherst College to the community of Doshisha University.

Learn more about the Fellowship and apply

A clack and white video still of a Japanese man with short hair and a mustache

Niijima Jo: Learning and Passion

This 44-minute long film, produced by Hideo Iso on the life of Doshisha founder Niijima Jo, serves as a historical introduction to Niijima's life and to Amherst’s ties with Doshisha. Note: Amherst login is required to view the video.

For Faculty

Amherst-Doshisha Faculty Semester Exchange Program

Amherst 's partnership with Doshisha University in Kyoto now includes a teaching exchange program. Amherst faculty members will teach in the spring semester, and host a Doshisha faculty member in the fall. Faculty need not have prior experience in Asia to participate in the exchange. Learn more by contacting Janna Behrens (