Founded in 1965 as the International College of Commerce, TIU is a private institution focused on business and commerce based on two campuses in the Kawagoe City district of the Saitama Prefecture, Greater Tokyo, which its website calls "a quietly healthy atmosphere to study in". It lives up to its name by having roughly one in six students from abroad, high by Japanese standards.
Raised to university status as TIU in 1986, its motto is "nurturing truly international-minded people". A new Central Tokyo campus at Ikebukuro, a 35-minute rail or metro journey from Kawagoe, begins construction in 2020 and should be fully operational by 2023.
Classes are offered in Japanese and English, a range recognised on the Kawagoe campus by the creation of distinct E- and J-Plazas as dedicated learning centres for studies in the two languages. Among the activities to be transferred to Ikebukuro will be the English-Track programme which since 2014 has offered four-year undergraduate degrees, also including mandatory Japanese language classes, in international relations and business economics.
A master's in digital marketing and business was introduced in 2018 while new courses offered in 2019 include information technology and entrepreneurial business. There are plans for a Global Sports Programme.
Since its foundation TIU has enjoyed a close relationship with Willamette University, Oregon and since 1989 has run TIUA, offering a one-year American studies programme from a facility next door to the Willamette campus. The 30th class graduated in 2018, its 117 members completing 4,700 hours – more than 40 hours apiece – of volunteer activity between them during the year.