Foreign students looking to study in Japan would probably want to ask a million questions before taking the plunge.
Choosing the right university to pursue your dreams is one of the most important decisions any of us can ever make.
If you fancy studying in Japan, the homeland of the bullet train, instant noodles in a pot and of course karaoke, you’ll be pleased to know Japan wants you too.
The government is keen to attract more international students, and has set a target of having 300,000 foreign students in the country by 2020.
As a result, universities are focusing on making life easier for foreign students, from the application process all the way through to finding a job after graduation.
Each university has specific requirements, so it is best to start by visiting their respective websites, which should spell out exactly what documents you will need to submit and also follow up with the University International Student Center in Japan.
Qualifications For Admission
The qualifications for admission differ according to the type of higher educational institution you would like to enroll in. Most Japanese universities offer a special entrance examination for privately financed foreign students.
General eligibility for an undergraduate degree program for international students are:
- Have completed or will have completed 12 years of school education outside of Japan. You will need to submit an academic transcript.
- You should not have any Immigration Issues, which may interfere with your entry into Japan or with your study in the university.
- You will take the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students "EJU", which is administered by Japanese Student Services Organization.
The Examination for EJU is the standardized test for foreign students, designed to test basic academic skill in areas of science, mathematics and ‘Japan and the world’. Some 95% of national universities, 65% of public universities and 44% of private institutions require the EJU for entrance. Fees for the tests range between ¥6,960 and ¥12,920, and test-takers have just one chance to pass each academic year.
As for the application, some universities require a personal statement, the result of your Japanese language proficiency test and/or the result of your TOEFL Score. Letters of recommendations are needed based on the university you will be applying to.
Visa Requirements For Japan
International students intending to study for more than three months in Japan will need to apply for a student visa.
Once you get accepted into a Japanese university, in addition to the entrance examinations, you will be asked to provide a completed certificate of eligibility form, academic transcripts, proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees, academic references, a valid passport and a couple of passport-sized photographs.
Then the international student center at the Japanese university (which you have been accepted by), will submit your certificate of eligibility to the immigration authorities in Japan on your behalf.
After you receive a certificate of eligibility from the Japanese university, you will need to apply for your visa through your Local Japanese Embassy or Consulate, and submit the following documents:
- Valid Passport
- Student Visa Application Form
- A Recent Passport-sized Photograph
- Original Certificate of Eligibility "and an additional photocopy"
You’d better keep couple of copies of all the documents. They might come handy.
For more information about the student visa, visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan website.
If you want to work in Japan while studying, you’ll need to obtain ‘Permission to Engage in Activity Other than that Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted’, which you can apply for at an Immigration Bureau Office once you arrive in Japan.
As a general rule, this permission will entitle you to work up to 28 hours a week during term-time and eight hours a day during official holiday periods.
The application process may seem tedious but the better prepared you are the faster it will go.
13 Universities participated by creating and offering English-only undergraduate programs. It was felt that English-only programs would encourage foreign students to come. Studying Japanese was an option, but not a requirement. The program was concluded in 2014 and replaced with the Top Global Universities program.
The Top Global Universities program is administrated by the University of Tokyo and slated to run from 2014 to 2023 with the total budget of 7.7 billion Yen. The funds will be used to hire faculty who are either foreigners or Japanese nationals who have graduated from foreign universities.
Aware that living and studying in Japan is expensive compared to many countries, the government has also introduced additional financial support for foreign students.
Various university scholarships and grants are available through the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology "MEXT" and the Japan Student Services Organization "JASSO".
A variety of scholarships are available for students who wish to study in Japan. These are divided into four main categories according to sponsors.
- Offered By MEXT
- Offered By JASSO
- Offered By Universities
- Offered By Private Foundations And Local Governments
Some scholarships must be applied prior to arrival in Japan or entering the school in Japan while others are to be applied for after enrollment.
On Study In Japan Comprehensive Guide Website, you will find all the necessary information you need to know about studying in Japan.
For information on application procedures for a Japanese Government Scholarship "Monbukagakusho", contact the institution of higher education in which you wish to enroll, or the Japanese Embassy or Consulates General in your country.
No application fees are charged. Be aware that organizations or individuals who charge application fees or deposits have no relation with the Japanese Government.
To learn more about how to apply to a Japanese University, check out the information provided by the websites links below.