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Student Life

San Diego often is called “America’s Finest City,” and UC San Diego is located in one of the finest spots on the Pacific Coast. Graduate students with families will find that San Diego is the perfect setting for children and partners, offering wonderful parks, zoos, amusement parks and outdoors activities. Visit the Japanese student website to learn more.

Campus itself offers state-of-the-art recreational facilities, a University Center with an array of dining and shopping options, as well as a plethora of graduate-specific programs, events and resources. GPS is proud of its balanced mix of domestic and international students from around the globe. Discover more about student life and groups at GPS.


Asameshikai is the student-run organization at GPS pertaining to all things Japan. Events include movie nights, celebrating Japanese holidays and visiting institutions or attending events in the community. Not only does the group offer opportunities for leadership and cultural exchange, it also offers a community for students interested in Japanese culture as well as a fun reprieve from a vigorous academic life. Learn more about Asameshikai and like the Asameshikai Facebook page for updates.

Student Scholars

GPS is internationally recognized for its excellence. A key reason for its growing distinction is its ability to attract the best graduate students from across the globe. Here is a sampling of recent Japan-focused student scholars and why they selected GPS:

  • Erim Gulum, MIA ’21

    Erim Gulum, MIA ’21

    "GPS holds students to a high standard of excellence and at times will push you to the limit. But life here provides a great counterbalance to the all the hard work we do."

  • Elissa Levy, MIA ’21

    Elissa Levy, MIA ’21

    “Studying at GPS has been one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences of my life. As a nature-lover, seeing hummingbirds daily and experiencing breathtaking sunset views on campus has been amazing.”

  • Seiya Uchinami, MPP ’21

    Seiya Uchinami, MPP ’21

    "We can study hard and play hard in San Diego! I love talking with my GPS friends on campus and spending time outdoors with my family!”

  • Yuichi Sakai, MIA ‘21

    Yuichi Sakai, MIA ‘21

    "We can learn about the Asian region, including Japan, from a Western perspective at GPS. My family and I are really enjoying living in San Diego!"
  • M. Chiba, MPP '21  

    M. Chiba, MPP '21  

    "It is a terrific opportunity for me to study at GPS. Not only am I learning a lot, especially practical knowledge. I also love living in San Diego – the wonderful weather, the setting and the people are all contributing to a deep experience."

GPS Japan Alumni

Alumni and Careers

With each passing year, the success and impact of UC San Diego and GPS alumni are increasing the value and the strength of our global network. Discover the GPS Tokyo Alumni Club and the programming happening today.

Read our latest story "From West to East" where GPS alumni share their experiences living and working in Japan and the lasting impact that their time at the school has had on their lives.