Japan is an island nation that sits in the Pacific Ocean on the east coast of Asia. It shares borders with several bodies of water including the Seas of Japan, Okhotsk and East China. Its closest neighbors are Taiwan, North and South Korea, China and Russia. It consists of four large islands and 6,852 (yes, 6,852!) total islands. The greatest appeal of studying in Japan is its academic environment where one can study state-of-the-art technology and acquire the knowledge that enabled Japan’s phenomenal postwar economic growth. Whether it is electronics, Japanese literature, medicine or international business administration, Japanese universities and other institutes of higher education can offer course studies or research programs of virtually any field. Around 300000 international Students are currently studying at universities, junior colleges, professional schools and other educational institution in Japan. Their number has been increasing rapidly science the 1980s with a majority of the students coming from China and Vietnam.
The ratio of students who go on to universities (undergraduate level) and junior colleges (regular courses) is also very high in Japan at 56.2%. This figure is indicative of the high standard of education in Japan. Many institutions of higher education, such as universities and junior colleges, are well equipped with fine research, computer, and library facilities and enable students to carry out their research in an excellent environment.
If you are a citizen of one of the over 50 countries, with which Japan has a “general visa exemption arrangement”, you need only a valid passport to study at a Japanese language school for short periods of time (generally up to 90 days). All other foreign students in Japan need a student visa in order to study in Japan. Visa applicants require an educational institution as their sponsor in order to obtain a student visa.
Student visa holders are not allowed to engage in any paid activities, unless they get the permission of the school and the immigration office. Even then, students may work only a set maximum number of hours per week. Working on a tourist visa is prohibited.
The Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) is a standard examination that simplifies the process of admission to Japanese universities for international students.
The examination covers the Japanese language, science, mathematics, Japan and the World and is held biannually in Japan and selected cities outside of Japan. The examination can be written in Japanese or English (except the section on Japanese language).
Almost all national universities and many public and private universities use the EJU as admission criteria for international students, while the others apply their own entrance exams.
Naturally, most university courses in Japan are only available in Japanese. However, a small number of universities offer four-year undergraduate degrees with courses taught entirely in English. Furthermore, several universities offer one or more English courses at a master’s and/or doctoral level.
Scholarship programs for international students are provided by the Japanese government, local governments, the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) and private organizations, foundations and companies in Japan and abroad.
Likewise, there are various governmental bodies, organizations and educational institutions inside and outside of Japan that offer short term exchange programs for secondary and post secondary students to study in Japan and experience life in Japan.
For students wondering why study in Japan, tuition fees can be a major deciding factor. Especially in comparison to the US, tuition fees in Japan are comparatively cheap. In the US, “in-state” students generally pay at least $10,000 a year on tuition and “out of state” and international students pay several times more. Tuition fees at Japanese public universities are 535,800 yen, or $6,500. Academic fees for the first year generally consist of admission fee, tuition fee, and facility and equipment usage fee, but in Tsukuba, the regular entrance fees and first year tuition fees have been waived.
Another deciding factor for students wondering why study in Japan is the tuition fee exemption system and the scholarship system, which are better in Japan than many other countries. Partial and full tuition fee waivers are granted to high-achieving students from poorer backgrounds and a wide range of scholarships are available to students. These scholarships are provided both by the universities and by public and private organizations. Some scholarships provide a monthly living allowance, and either a travel allowance in the first year or paying fees in later years.
Student apartment managed by institutions
Most of schools own their student apartment close to their campuses, and they are usually fairly cheap as the room is shared by 2 or 3 people. There are single rooms available for students need own space that obviously is more expensive than shared room.
Dorms : JPY35,000~ / month Single: JPY 55,000~/ month
Shared House / Guest House
One of most popular choice by western people. Some of shared houses have the 50% rule that 50% of residents are local Japanese and other 50% are foreigners. It makes much easier for foreigners to make local friends and put you in Japanese-speaking environment all the time. There also are many common events at the house to let residents have fun.
Stay with a local family and discover the soul of Japan. A host is welcome you and introduce the local culture. Home stay is used by foreigners who wish to improve Japanese language skills and put them in a great study environment.
Usually a host will be picked from a location in 40 – 50 min away from the school by public transport, and hard to find in Tokyo metropolitan area.
JPY 130,000 ~ / month
Self-catering Apartment, Student Apartment
A student also can rent an apartment in Japan. Facilities include Kitchen, bathroom, toilet, air conditioning and laundry area. You will need to have your own furniture’s, but this option will give you more freedom.
At the student apartment, like the student apartment managed by institutions, these are managed by different private companies. You will find rooms shared by a couple of students and there are common shared facilities. These dorms are usually cheaper than you rent a single apartment by yourself.
Single room JPY 55,000~ / month Dorms JPY 30,000~ / month