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Bachelor of Asia Pacific Affairs & Bachelor of Global Liberal Arts

"The world needs culturally competent, globaly engaged citizens who have the training, expertise, and the lived experience to work across cultures and appreciate the diversity of the Asia-Pacific region. This is exactly what students in the dual-degree program will be prepared for".

-Dr Christopher Hobson, Program Convenor



The Bachelor of Asia Pacific Affairs & Bachelor of Global Liberal Arts provide students with the unique opportunity to study in Australia and Japan and graduate with two degrees - from the Australian National University (ANU) and Ritsumeikan University (RU).

The program brings together leading expertise at both universities. As part of the ANU program, students will be provided with an in-depth understanding of Asia-Pacific regional affairs including politics and government, international relations and security, conflict and peacebuilding, history and cultural identity.

As part of the RU program, students will further develop skills to identify and solve problems related to the region through an innovative curriculum of liberal arts, which includes cultural studies, historical studies, science and technology studies, and business administration. The dual approach will help to develop a competitive foundation for your career.

Students can enrol to start studying in either Australia or Japan. Over the course of their study, all students will spend time learning on-campus in both Australia and Japan. Students commencing at Ritsumeikan* will spend their third year of study at ANU, while students commencing at ANU will study at Ristumeikan in their second and third years. It will be taught in English and will take four years to complete as a full- time student.

The Bachelor of Asia Pacific Affairs will be taught by the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs within ANU College of Asia & the Pacific. The Bachelor of Global Liberal Arts will be taught by the College of Global Liberal Arts at Ritsumeikan University.

*International students are encouraged to start at Ritsumeikan University.


For students commencing at ANU

Year Location Dates
Year 1 ANU, Australia Feb to Nov
Year 2 RU, Japan April to Feb
Year 3 RU, Japan April to Feb
Year 4 ANU, Australia Feb to Nov

This program has no mid-year entry for students commencing at ANU and will admit up to 10 students per year.

Career pathways

This dual-degree program will equip students with critical thinking skills, regional expertise and cross-cultural competence. The degree will draw on the collective strengths of both institutions to prepare students for a wide range of careers across public and private sectors in the region and across the world in:

  • Government agencies
  • Consultancy firms
  • Business and trade organisations
  • Development and aid organisations
  • Media agencies
  • Universities
  • Research organisations

Learn more about the program structure and courses.

This FAQ pdf contains answers to many of the frequently asked questions asked by students commencing their dual degree program at the Australian National University.

For students commencing their dual degree program at Ritsumeikan University, please see the RU website.

How to apply

If you are a domestic applicant, please apply here or email ANU at bapa.bell@anu.edu.au for further information.

If you are an international applicant, you will need to start the dual program from Ritsumeikan University and apply through RU directly. Please visit the website or email RU at hello@st.ritsumei.ac.jp for further information.

Useful Information

We would like to encourage students to enrol for this program, and have put together some useful information available to students that can help with your decision.


You may find that you are eligible to apply for scholarships such as the George Alexander Foundation Scholarship.

We encourage you to look around at what scholarships may be available. The ANU Scholarships website would be a good starting point.

OS-HELP Loan [Overseas Study Loan] *Students need to be eligible to apply*

The amount you may apply to borrow is indexed annually by the Australian Government on 1 January. In 2021, the maximum amount is:

  • $7,037 (if you will not be studying in Asia); or
  • $8,444 if you will be studying in Asia; and
  • an additional $1,123 if you will be undertaking Asian language study in preparation for study in Asia

As part of your OS-HELP application, you can nominate the amount you wish to borrow, but it cannot exceed the above detailed maximum for their program destination. The total amount of OS-HELP assistance approved for each applicant is dependent on the total OS-HELP funding made available to the University. In the event of limited availability of funds, the selection basis for the provision of OS-HELP loans will be based on merit.

For further information visit OS-HELP.

Centrelink Allowance

Students who receive a Centrelink allowance (e.g. Youth Allowance) are usually eligible to continue receiving this allowance when studying overseas. In all cases, please refer to Centrelink for the most current information and advice. 


ANU (Canberra)

You will need to apply for accommodation through an online application. For more information on how to apply click Accommodation

Ritsumeikan University (Japan)

RU recommends students stay at the OIC G House during their studies at RU. The G House is designed for one person per room. If you bring your partner or family, you must look for your own accommodation near the campus.

Details about the G House can be found Osaka Ibaraki Campus (OIC). Cohort B students have a guarantee of accommodation in the G House. To be eligible for the guarantee students must meet the application deadline. The dormitory application documentation will be emailed to you two months before your arrival (around early January).

Students who are going to live in the RU dormitory must enrol in Fire Insurance (JPY2,000 one time, regardless of the study period).

Students may also choose to source their own accommodation.

Living expenses in Japan

Living expenses will vary significantly depending on each student’s lifestyle. Estimated expenses for the average student can be found in RU website: http://en.ritsumei.ac.jp/lifecareer/cost-of-living/.

NOTE: An estimated annual living cost in Australia is AUD25,793.

*Cost of living in Canberra:https://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/fees-payments/cost-of-living .


Programs of study

Graduate profile

Rosalind Moran

Meet Rosalind Moran

Growing up bilingual, Diploma of Languages student Rosalind Moran was always able to appreciate the world around her from different cultural perspectives.

» read more

Peter Gravestock

Meet Peter Gravestock

“I moved down to Canberra to study Asian Studies together with Engineering at ANU. The Flexible Double Degree program has allowed me to combine two of my passions.

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Aditi Razdan

Meet Aditi Razdan

“ANU is one of the only universities in Australia that teaches Hindi.

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Oliver Friedmann

Meet Oliver Friedmann

"My study path has been tumultuous to say the least. I have changed my degree four times and been to two different universities.

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Harriet Roberts

Meet Harriet Roberts

"I was always interested in the law, and having studied Indonesian language throughout high school I was looking for a way to combine these two interests.

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Meet Joshua Griffiths

Meet Joshua Griffiths

For Josh Griffiths, the Year in Asia program was always an attractive drawcard for studying at ANU.

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Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team