Japan is a country of contrasts, preserving old traditions related to the unique Japanese culture, like the Buddhist heritage, and, at the same time, the nation is a leader in scientific research, mostly technology, famous for manufacturing robots. More than 100,000 international students from every corner in the world enrol in Japanese universities and colleges every year. Higher educational institutions here focus on academic performance based on innovative and creative ideas, but they also set much value in developing human quality.
Since 1949, there have been twenty-two Japanese (or Japanese born) winners of the Nobel Prize, especially in the fields of medicine, biology, chemistry and physics. All these are great reasons to consider studying in Japan. Want more?
The literacy rate in Japan is almost 100%. And that's not all! It has the largest number of Nobel prize winners in Asia, and Japanese students are among the best when it comes to Mathematics and Sciences.
These examples highlight the high emphasis on education and why studying in Japan will be an intense and enriching experience.
Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, with low crime rates and levels of violence. This is beautifully complemented by a well-established medical system, with affordable costs and modern practices — all playing an essential role in the high life expectancy of Japanese citizens.
Various scholarships and grants help international students cover their tuition or living costs at Japanese universities. Some partly waive the tuition fees (30% or 50%), others waive the entire fees (100%).
You can apply for scholarships both before and after arriving in Japan, so take the time to explore your options.
It doesn't matter whether you're simply passionate about the Japanese language or you want to use it as a key asset on your CV — studying in Japan will provide all the opportunities you need to learn the basics and then slowly master this unique language.
Being inhabited for thousands of years, it's hardly surprising that the Japanese culture is so old, rich, and captivating. From its history to its temples, from modern habits to century-old traditions, from summer festivals to local ceremonies — everything is there, waiting to be discovered, understood and appreciated.
We recommend visiting top attractions like Kinkaku-ji, the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine, Mount Fuji, Sensō-ji — a historic Buddhist temple, the Tokyo Skytree, the Imperial Palace, the Osaka Castle, etc.
Within Japanese universities, you will have to respect a tight class schedule and attend several courses and seminars each day. Most Japanese professors are friendly with foreign students; but during courses, you are advised to pay attention and ask questions at the end of the lecture.
Apart from the final exam, most courses will also require passing a mid-term exam as well and you should expect assignments, projects or research work every week.
In Japan, universities cover numerous courses that include a variety of fields including Medicine, Business studies, Information and Communication Technology, Engineering and more.
Here are some of the most popular study options in Japan:
Big Japanese cities perfectly blend a unique urban culture along with famous and emblematic Buddhist temples or gardens. You can literally engage in tons of enjoyable social and cultural activities.
Check out some of these cities and learn more about what it is like to study there:
Japan has over 700 universities and higher education colleges. You can enrol at:
Examples of top universities in Japan:
For most universities in Japan, you can simply apply online by submitting the application form along with all requested application documents. Additionally, you can check an official website dedicated to higher education studies in Japan that offers detailed information about courses provided by all universities in Japan.
Carefully check all the required application documents and make sure they are all translated into English. For instance, an internationally recognised Bachelor's degree or equivalent is the main requirement when enrolling for a Master’s degree at a university in Japan.
These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes. Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.
If you’re attending a degree programme in Japan, you will sometimes need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.
There are over 250 English-taught programmes in Japan.
Universities in Japan will want to see proof that you have good English-language skills, so that you can easily succeed in their courses. Almost all Japanese universities accept these official English exams:
Let's take a closer look at tuition and living expenses in Japan:
Tuition fees depend on the type of Japanese university and the field of study. To give you a general idea, international students usually pay:
The total tuition (includes all years of study) for Bachelor's programmes is around:
The total tuition (includes all years of study) for Master's programmes is around:
Many universities in Japan offer accommodation for international students. There are rooms and apartments with low rents but availability is usually limited. A single room in a university dormitory is around 270 USD/month and a double room costs 180 USD/month.
Another option for affordable housing is sharing an apartment; a room in a shared apartment costs between 200 and 500 USD/month.
Foreign students who plan to live in Japan for more than 3 months need a health insurance plan. Once you arrive, register for the National Health Insurance at the nearest local office and pay the insurance premium.
You will have to pay the insurance premium (around 190 USD) monthly once registration is completed.
Local supermarkets in Japan have affordable prices, and on average you only spend around 240 USD on your monthly groceries. Most restaurants have high prices; a three- courses meal costs on average 40 USD. However, you can find plenty of street food at lower prices.
Overall, international students should set aside between 600 and 900 USD for monthly living costs in Japan.
Japan is an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, divided into four main islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Honshu is home to Tokyo and many of Japan’s other largest cities, including Yokahama, Osaka, and Nagoya.
The meaning of the name Japan is "sun-origin", the reason why the nation is known as the "Land of the Rising Sun". Although the country’s territory is smaller than California, Japan is presently the 10 the most populous country in the world, with 127.3 million people.
From 1970’s to 2010, Japan was the world’s second largest economy. Today, Japan is famous for scientific and technology advance and innovations, especially in the fields of electronics, automobiles, machinery, earthquake engineering, industrial robotics, and biomedical research.
Most locals don’t speak English, so you will have to learn basic Japanese to adjust easier during your stay in Japan.
In Japan, you would experience four distinct seasons, with mild winters and rare snowfalls, humid springs, and very warm summers. In some regions, winters are cold with frequent snowfalls.
Japan is a unique place that offers memorable experiences to any visitor. You’ll be surrounded by skyscrapers and modern restaurants, but you can also take trips to see Buddhist temples that each showcase Japanese history and culture. Additionally, Japan has fantastic natural landscapes so there are plenty of things you can enjoy, both indoor and outdoor.
Some of Japan’s iconic places are:
If you've decided to study a Master's degree at a university in Japan, you will have to gather the right documents to prove that you fit the university requirements. Provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.
To apply to a university in Japan you will likely be asked to provide some of the following documents:
Depending on the subject or specialization of your chosen Master's, you might also be asked to provide scores for additional tests like the GRE, GMAT or LSAT. Check if your programme requires any of these, or others.
The list of documents depends on the specific requirements of universities in Japan so you might be asked to include additional documents. It’s also likely you’ll have to provide official English translations of your documents, or translations in the local language.
Because you’ll study an international degree in English, you'll have to present a language certificate. Some popular options for international students are IELTS, TOEFL or C1 Advanced language certificates. You’ll have to meet a minimum language score set by the university, and your test scores shouldn’t be older than 1-2 years. If you don’t meet the minimum language requirements, you will have to improve your skills and scores by taking an English preparation course.
The deadlines for applying to a Master's in Japan are usually during summer (June-July), or in winter (January-February). Keep in mind that some universities don’t have application deadlines, which means you can apply whenever you are ready.
To avoid delays or missed deadlines send your required documents with plenty of time in advance.