How to study in Japan as a foreigner
Would you like to know how to study in Japan as a foreigner? You have come to the right place! Living a season in Japan and soaking up its culture is the dream that many young people around the world have to fulfill.
One of the best ways to enjoy this experience is to study in Japan, training or acquiring the language through the different agreements with schools, universities and academies in the country.
Through this comprehensive guide for students in Japan we analyze what are the different possibilities to live a complete experience and not from a distance.
What are the studies for foreigners, scholarships, visas and basic information, what you need to know to travel to Japan as a student.
Whether you are thinking of study at a Japanese universityLike if you want to do an exchange for a season, complement your studies, or learn the Japanese language at any age, you have many possibilities. Choose yours!
In this article you will find ...
Why study in Japan?
Japan is one of the foreign countries that most attracts young students from all over the world. Thousands of boys and girls from around the world, including Spanish-speaking students, choose Japan as their favorite destination for complete your studies during one or more school years.
If studying abroad already has multiple advantages for young people, doing it surrounded by such a different culture as it is the Japanese one, it expands even more the horizons at all levels.
It is proven that students who have been trained for a few months or years in a country like Japan have a greater personal, academic and work growth, in addition to a Curriculum vitae richer.
One of the advantages of training in Japan for students is the acquisition of the Japanese language during your studies.
While it is not required know Japanese to study in Japan being a foreigner, every student will eventually acquire a certain level of understanding and use of the Japanese language at the end of his Japanese studies.
It is not surprising that children from countries such as Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Uruguay, Cuba or the United States wish to do an exchange for a year or more in the best universities in Japan or in a Japanese academy. Let's see how to do it step by step!
What is the Japanese education system like?
Studying in Japan has its advantages and disadvantages, just like in any other country. It is not so easy for a foreign student access the best University of Tokyo with a scholarship compared to a Japanese student.
However, there are many other possibilities to enroll in the different study centers of the country, and even studying for free in Japan with a little help.
Japan is one of the countries with the highest job training. Japanese schools prepare young people with a good study program so that they enter the labor market as the best professionals in the different fields.
For everyone it is possible to access a good public school in Japan, with a similar level, and even higher, than private schools and universities.
However, the places in the most prestigious schools are very close, and reserved only to the students with better grades.
In addition to college, there are many other options for live and study in Japan as a foreigner, getting the best training, and of course also the language.
Vocational schools, private academies, and even universities in Japan for foreigners, where it is possible study any degree without knowing Japanese.
Types of studies in Japan
If your goal is to live a season in the Japanese country and you are not sure how to go to study in Japan, there are several options you can turn to.
The easier options for young foreigners are the following:
- Study Japanese at an academy
- Study a career at a Japanese university
- Do a year of exchange or university internships
- Study in a training school
We'll see how to go to study in Japan with each of these options. Take note!
Study Japanese in Japan
The easiest way to study in Japan is to enroll in a Japanese academy. The vast majority are private schools, and tuition is rarely cheap.
But thanks to this you can request a visa that allows you study a maximum of 2 years in the Japanese country. Click here to see the types of visa in Japan.
Many students who are not clear about what to study in Japan, and start studying the language, take the opportunity to request the work permit for students that allows work up to 28h / week.
Thus better strengthen the language at the same time that they earn a small salary for expenses.
Study at a university in Japan
In general, in order to study a career in Japan it is necessary to have a minimum Japanese level, and keep improving it throughout the course.
Although there are universities in Japan that They teach classes in English, the vast majority of studies are in the local language.
To enroll in a university in Japan it is necessary to take an admission test called 'Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Student'. Some universities ask to take a Japanese test as well.
Nevertheless, each university has its own requirements or requirements to accept foreign students, which are available in the guides of the corresponding university websites.
Study Japanese at a university in Japan
Another option to study in Japan is to go directly to the university to study the language of the country. In these cases it is necessary have a good level of Japanese, so not just any foreigner can easily apply for a place.
Many students who want to specialize in the foreign language combine studies in one Japanese academy for 2 years (the maximum time allowed by the student visa), to later enroll in the university and continue improving the language.
The vast majority of Japanese language studies for foreigners combine Japanese language classes with Japanese culture studies, for a more complete specialization.
The Japanese language exchange programs they can last a semester or a whole year.
Between the foreigners' favorite universities To specialize in the Japanese language, these stand out:
- Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS)
- Kyoto University of Foreign Studies (KUFS)
- Kansai University (in Osaka)
- Osaka International University
- Kobe International University (KIU)
- SOKA University (in Tokyo)
- Mejiro University (in Tokyo)
- Nagoya Gakuin University
- Kanda University of International Studies (in Chiba)
Study in a training school
Calls senmon-gakko in Japanese, training schools teach students to learn a specific trade.
It would correspond to the Middle Grade Vocational Training courses, with a total duration of 2 to 3 years depending on the studies chosen.
As in universities, in senmon-gakko schools it is essential to have a good level of Japanese, since the classes are always given in this language.
They also do the corresponding Admission Test, and sometimes a Japanese interview or test for foreign students.
In Japan there are schools of science, humanities, technology, health and art of all kinds. Clicking here you can see a list with many recommended public centers.
You can study degrees and specialties such as medicine, nursing, gastronomy and cooking, astronomy, animation, architecture, music, art, photography, illustration, robotics ...
Also computing, fashion design, psychology, physics, illustration, nutrition, tourism, neurosurgery, translation and languages, and even engineering, among many other professionals.
Depending on the specialty chosen, they have a cost of between 900,000 and 1,800,000 yen year.
Requirements to study in Japan
How can I go to study in Japan? As a general rule, if you want to study in Japan you need a student visa.
Tourist visas only have one duration between 3 and 6 months depending on your country of origin, and these are usually not enough to complete the studies.
If your intention is to stay more than 90 days in Japan, it is necessary apply for a student visa. But ... how to obtain a student visa for Japan?
To achieve this you will have to have the following documents and reservations according to the indications of the Embassy of Japan in Spain:
- Valid passport valid during the entire stay in Japan, with a free sheet to place the visa.
- Recent passport photographs.
- Application form printed and filled.
- Curriculum vitae with academic information.
- Letter of admission to a Japanese university, language school or training school.
- Proof of economic means to study in Japan, such as a scholarship, savings, payroll, or family guarantee.
- Accommodation reservation in Japan.
- Air ticket.
Once all the information has been submitted, if the request is correct, the student visa It will be issued for a minimum duration of 2 years, extendable according to the needs of each applicant.
What is the difference between the student visa and the Working Holiday VISA?
The Working Holiday Visa (WHV) is a different permit than the Student Visa for Japan. This is issued for young people between 18 and 30 who want to work and study for up to 1 year.
The WHV is very useful for those students who want to combine your classes with a job of few hours a week, obtaining a minimum salary to cover their needs. However, the limit of hours of study and work is lower than that of other visas.
Unlike other visas, to apply for the WHV it is not necessary to present any proof of work or study registration. These can be search directly when arriving in Japan, leaving more flexibility.
In order to study or work full time it is necessary to make a formal application for the student visa or work visa in Japan.
With a student visa you can also work. Necessary apply for a work permit which gives the possibility of working part-time, up to 28h / week, and up to 40h / week during holidays.
Find more information on visa types through this comprehensive guide on how to work in Japan being Spanish.
When is registration to study in Japan done?
Since it is necessary to present an admission document at the school or university at the time of applying for the student visa, it is extremely important to know the enrollment period in Japan.
In the Japanese country there are some dates set throughout the year in which the different requests are made.
In the case of enrollment for university there are two dates in the year. Each university marks the exact days, which may or may not coincide in date, generally about 6 months before the start of the spring semester or the fall semester.
Enrollment in Japanese universities is done through the internet, and the deadlines can be checked on the website of each university. These start at November for the spring semester, and in March to fall semester.
Instead, Japanese schools They operate on a trimester system, lasting 10 weeks each trimester. Courses start in April and October, although some schools accept new students in January and July.
In the same way, the application for a place It is made with 6 months in advance, with the ease that many schools help students to apply for the VISA once they have been accepted and enrolled.
How much does it cost to study in Japan?
Study in Japan being Spanish, Mexican, Colombian, Argentine, Chilean, Peruvian or of any other Spanish-speaking nationality not complicated, but not cheap either.
If you have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to study in Japan do not waste it, since the budget of a student's life is quite high.
You should bear in mind that studying Japanese in a Japanese university or in a language school is not cheap and involves paying one admission fee and other tuition fees.
Are Rates are identical for Japanese and foreign students, regulated by law throughout the country. To give you an idea, the approximate prices of the different types of study are as follows:
|Admission fee||Price per course|
|Japanese school||50,000 yen / semester||70,000 yen|
|Public university||28,200 yen||54,000 yen|
|Private university||50,000 yen||110,000 yen|
|Senmon-gakko||Included in the total cost||1,250,000 yen|
To these expenses we must also add the cost of living of a student in Japan. Although it is possible to find accommodation and meals at low prices, the average expenses are between 100,000 and 150,000 yen / month, depending on the location.
For this reason it is very common that in Japan both national and foreign students work and study at the same time.
The part-time jobs in stores, cafeterias and restaurants they are the favorites of the students to earn a small salary and to be able to cover a large part of their monthly and tuition expenses.
Scholarships to study in Japan
The best way to make a career, study a master's or postgraduate degree in Japan, specializing in the language, doing a master's or doctorate is undoubtedly with a scholarship, although you can also go without a scholarship.
Luckily there are many scholarships in Japan for Spaniards and Spanish-speaking students, thanks to the agreement between the universities and the governments.
The MEXT, or Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan has a program whose name is scholarships Monbukagakusho, intended for students under 35 years of age.
According to the type of studies There is a scholarship that is better suited to training international university students and graduates from different countries.
These scholarships include tuition, a monthly payment according to the duration of the program (between 18 and 24 months), a 6-month Japanese course if necessary, and round-trip ticket, among other expenses.
To learn more about scholarships Monbusho to study in Japan, check the conditions on the website of the Japanese embassy or consulate of your country:
Other very interesting scholarships for Spanish-speaking students or European students are the following, including scholarships to study high school or high school:
Experience in a Japanese university
Do not miss this Nekojitablog video in which Ernesto tells you what it was like to study at a Japanese university:
Work in Japan as a student
In the case of getting a scholarship or not having a large amount of savings to study in Japan, many young people take the opportunity to looking for a job, combining it with studies.
Studying and working in Japan is possible. The part-time jobs that students do are called baito, and it is something very common among Japanese and foreign boys and girls.
There is maximum hours per week that it is allowed to work in the case of having a Student VISA in Japan, always requesting the corresponding work permit.
The great advantage is that to work few hours no need to speak too much japanese. Many foreigners take the opportunity to work in a cafeteria, a supermarket, and even to teach Spanish, English, music or dance.
If you want look for a baito in Japan To have some extra income, do not go over the number of hours allowed. In this link you have a lot of part-time and full-time jobs to go looking for.
When you miss class you run the risk that they withdraw your visa and you have to return to your country immediately without finishing your studies.
To work longer hours you can directly apply for a working holiday visa, which allows work part time and study.
Student insurance in Japan
As a student, young foreigners can apply for the National Insurance Health Card (NHIC), which gives access to medical care by paying only 30% of medical expenses. The government of Japan would take care of 70% of the remaining expenses.
In addition to requesting the card through the JHI (Japanese Health Insurance), it is recommended for students take out health insurance. Taking into account that hospital expenses in Japan can be high, the insurance covers everything you need so you don't have to worry about a thing.
Requesting the NHIC is mandatory for all foreigners residing in Japan if it is going to be more than 90 days.
The price for students is only 1800 yen per month, and can be requested once the enrollment as a student is formalized in the corresponding health office according to the city or district of residence in Japan.
And remember, as a combination for your student NHIC, don't forget to hire good insurance for students like the one we mentioned above.
Student accommodation in Japan
Another very important step in studying in Japan is finding accommodation. Once the registration for your studies has been formalized, and the visa requested, it is time to search where will you live during the months of your stay.
Many universities and study centers offer the possibility of reserving a place in student residences with good prices. There is also the option of finding accommodation on your own, either in a private apartment or a shared flat with other young people.
Our recommendation if it is the first time you are going to study in Japan is that you take advantage of the bridge offered by your study center to find residences or shared apartments.
Without a doubt, this option is very good to find accommodation with There is a good quality price relation, coinciding with other young students like you.
Later you can change accommodation if you wish, once you are in the country and you already have enough confidence and experience to search on your own.
For rent flats in Japan you can find very good recommendations through our blog, at this complete guide where we tell you all the details.
Do you need to know Japanese to study in Japan?
If you are going to study in Japan, the most common is that you have to end up learning the language of the country. However, today there are major Japanese universities around the world that offer English programs for international students.
Top Universities in Japan for Foreign Students Teaching subjects exclusively in English are as follows:
However, studying in Japan is the best opportunity to get into Japanese culture, and of course, get basic or advanced notions of your language.
In all the universities and schools of the country they give the opportunity to learn japanese for foreign students, starting from all levels.
Keep in mind that if you are going to access a training school or to do an Erasmus course in Japan, you may be asked a minimum level of Japanese to be able to follow the classes from the beginning.
In most of the scholarships to study in Japan they carry out a language level test prior in order to ensure a good use of the course by each student.
Do you want to start learn japanese on your own or with a little help before studying in Japan? Do not miss these recommendations on our blog:
Although there are many steps and conditions that you need to meet in order to study in japan, with a little patience and perseverance you can achieve it. More and more Spanish-speaking students are completing their studies in the Japanese country, living the best experience of their lives and obtaining a unique training. Come on, too, to take the step!
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