Introductory Seminar

This course is an introduction to the basics of international relations that students will take in their first year over the span of two semesters. Students will learn in small classes of approximately 20 students.

While acquiring the academic skills of reading, writing, presenting, and group work, students will also discuss with one another various themes within the field of international relations and learn to examine and think from various perspectives.

Goals to Be Achieved in the Introductory Seminar

  • Through the presentation preparation process...

    The ability to precisely comprehend and reconstruct related text, literature, and other materials will be improved through accurate summarization and presentation (including critical analysis) of text content.
  • Through synopsis composition...

    The ability to convey opinions as well as ideas learned through text and literature in a simple manner via words and diagrams will be improved.
  • Through class reports (presentations) and group discussions...

    The ability to accurately define the difference between one’s own opinion and that of others and then orally express that opinion in a clear manner will be improved.
  • Through written reports...

    The ability to deeply examine and investigate specific themes and write accurate compositions will be improved.

Learning Tools

Textbook "Craft of Research"

The introductory Seminar utilizes this textbook to learn the research methods and writing skills necessary to write the reports required to study International Relations.

Booth WC, Colomb GG, Williams JM,
Bizup J, Fitzgerald WT (2016).
The Craft of Research, 4th Edition.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Library / Peace Museum Visit

The campus library is an extremely important facility for housing literature and data. In the Introductory Seminar class, students will visit the library and learn how to collect data.

Ritsumeikan University Library
Kyoto Museum for World Peace, Ritsumeikan University

Academic Support

First Year Retreat

Recent alumni will be invited to participate in discussions where students will learn how the four years spent in the College of International Relations (Advanced Seminar class selection, graduation thesis, etc.) connect to future career paths.

First Year Retreat


The student association’s Oritor peer support group takes the lead in projects and provides support for new students.

Mixer events, suggestions on how to use tools provided by the university, and other advice will be provided as a way to address the concerns that many new students have regarding making friends and connections.

Academic Advising

Students will meet individually with their academic advisor once each semester to discuss their education within the college as well as work on concrete plans and goals.

Students will complete a career chart where they fill in things such as a possible desire to study abroad and aspirations for the future. Based on this, professors will provide advice to students.

Writing Tutorial Program

Students can receive advice on academic writing, which is necessary for writing reports and papers in both Japanese and English. Graduate students in the Graduate School of International Relations and upperclassmen in the College of International Relations serve as tutors and provide one-on-one academic writing support in order to help students become better report/paper writers.

Writing Tutorial Program