Why is Japan a great destination to study?
The number of students studying abroad is constantly growing, and there are now more than 1.5 million foreign students studying around the world. As of May 2012, 138,075 are international students in Japan. Students considering studying in Japan are drawn by its high standard of education and affordable tuition.
International students in Japan will receive the benefits of some of the highest educational standards in the world. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, has ranked Japanese high school students number one in the world for mathematics, and number two for scientific literacy. In addition, Japan has the highest number of Nobel prize winners of any other Asian country. 49% or Japanese high school students go on to enter one of Japan's 700 universities. Ten of those universities rank in the top 200 worldwide.
Students considering studying in Japan should familiarize themselves with the many educational options available to them, in order to best choose the school that's right for them. International students in Japan have five options from which to choose: graduate schools, universities, junior colleges, technical colleges, and vocational schools.
Graduate schools are an option for university graduates who wish to continue their education in a specialized subject while studying in Japan. A masters course takes two years to complete, while a professional graduate course takes one to three years, and a doctorate takes more than five years.
Universities are the most common form of higher education in Japan. 49% of Japanese high school graduates go on to universities. An undergraduate degree at a university generally takes four years to complete, but degrees in medicine, dentistry, and occasionally pharmacy and veterinary science take six years.
Another option for students studying in Japan is junior college. The standard term of study in junior college is two years, three in the case of nursing courses and some others. Half of the course subjects at junior colleges are art, home economics, education, or social studies-related, and about one third of junior colleges are women-only.
Technical colleges are meant for junior high graduates to acquire practical and specialized knowledge and skills required for a specific vocation. Many of these colleges specialize in engineering, but maritime colleges are also an option. A degree at a technical college takes five years to complete.
Vocational schools aim to teach the skills required for a specific vocation. A course is generally two years, but there are also three and four-year courses.
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.
Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with dense cities, imperial palaces, mountainous national parks and thousands of shrines and temples. Shinkansen bullet trains connect the main islands of Kyushu (with Okinawa's subtropical beaches), Honshu (home to Tokyo and Hiroshima’s atomic-bomb memorial) and Hokkaido (famous for skiing). Tokyo, the capital, is known for skyscrapers, shopping and pop culture.
Japan is a fascinating country of economic and business prowess, rich culture, technical wizardry, spatial conundrums and contradictions. Japan held onto the title of the world’s second largest economy for more than 40 years from 1968 to 2010. Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, is the world’s largest metropolitan area, with a population of 32.5 million people. Despite having an area slightly bigger than Germany and smaller than California, Japan is the world’s tenth largest country by population, with 127.3 million people.
Population: 127 million people (2010, 10th largest country in the world by population)
Total area: 145,920 sq. miles (377,930 sq. km, 61st largest country by total land area, one ahead of Germany (137,882 sq. miles) and slightly smaller than California (163,696 sq. miles))
Capital city: Tokyo (population: 13 million (city), 32.5 million people (metro area); The Tokyo metropolitan area is roughly 50 percent larger than Seoul, South Korea, the world’s second largest metropolitan area with a population of 20.5 million people.)
Largest Japanese cities (by population, from most to fewest people): Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Kobe, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Kawasaki, Saitama, Hiroshima, Sendai, Kitakyushu, Chiba
Ethnic groups: Japanese (approx. 98.5% of population), Koreans (0.5%), Chinese (0.4%), Other (0.6%)
Language: Japanese (prominent dialects include Kansai, Osaka, Kyoto, Tohoku, other)
Climate and weather: Japan’s climate ranges from humid continental on the northern island of Hokkaido to humid subtropical on parts of Honshu south to Okinawa Prefecture on the Ryukyu islands.
UNDP Human Development Index (HDI): 0.884 (2010, 11th in the world)
GDP per capita (International $, PPP): $32,554 (2009)
Life expectancy at birth: 83.2 years (world’s longest life expectancy)
Japan is an archipelago of some 6,852 islands located in a volcanic zone on the Pacific Ring of Fire. A nearly continuous series of ocean trenches, volcanic arcs and shifting tectonic plates, the Pacific Ring of Fire accounts for more than 75 percent of the world’s active volcanoes and 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes.
Japan’s four main islands, Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, make up 97 percent of the country’s total land area. Honshu is home to Tokyo and many of Japan’s other largest cities, including Yokahama, Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe, Kyoto, Kawasaki, Saitama, Hiroshima and Sendai.
Hokkaido, the second largest Japanese island and northernmost prefecture, accounts for nearly a quarter of Japan’s arable land. Hokkaido leads Japan’s other 46 prefectures in the production of seafood and a host of agricultural products, including soybeans (the key ingredient for tofu and all things miso), wheat, corn, beef and raw milk. Sapporo, Hokkaido’s capital and largest city, hosts the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, which regularly draws more than 2 million visitors to the spectacular exhibition of some 400 snow and ice sculptures.
Kyushu, the third largest and most southern of Japan’s four main islands, is the site of Japan’s most active volcano, Mt. Aso, and several cities with important historical, political and commercial significance, including Nagasaki, Kagoshima and Fukuoka.
Few are likely to ever forget the shocking images of the massive wall of Pacific Ocean water that engulfed embankments and effortlessly swept away everything in its path in Japan’s Tohoku region in March, 2011. The most powerful earthquake to ever hit Japan, and the world’s fifth most powerful quake in modern history, unleashed waves that reached heights up to 40.5 meters or 133 feet in the city of Miyako. The devastation wrought by Japan’s Tohoku earthquake and tsunami accounted for 57 percent of total economic damages from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2011.
Japan is the world’s third largest economy, having ceded the second spot to China in 2010. Since the collapse of the property bubble in 1989, Japan has faced extended periods of economic stagnation, deflation and relatively high unemployment, at least compared to the nearly full employment Japanese companies managed to sustain for much of the post-WWII era. Among other issues, Japan’s economic performance has been constrained by weak domestic demand and a rigid labor market that has limited risk taking and entrepreneurial activity.
Despite Japan’s challenging domestic economic environment, many Japanese companies have continued to perform well on the world stage. As of 2011, Japan counted 68 companies in the Fortune/CNN Money Global 500 ranking of the world’s largest corporations. Japanese companies in the top 100 of the Fortune ranking include: Toyota Motor, Hitachi, Honda Motor, Nissan Motor, Panasonic, Sony and Toshiba. Japan’s corporate sector has continued to push the technology envelope in fields such as robotics, medical devices, clean energy, satellite communications and spacecraft, water processing and other high tech industries.
Toyota became the world’s largest car company in 2009, before losing a bit of ground to unprecedented product recalls. Nintendo’s innovative Wii marked a virtual revolution in the large, global market for gaming and family entertainment products.
Japanese society is strikingly homogenous. Ethnic Japanese account for 98.5 percent of the country’s sizeable population. While different areas of Japan, particularly the central Kansai region encompassing Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe, are known for having distinctive, colorful local dialects, the whole country essentially speaks the same language.
Traditional Japanese society and culture stress the values of harmony, consensus decision-making and social conformity. “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down” is a common Japanese saying and guideline of social behavior.
Japan’s population has been aging and shrinking at an alarming rate due to the combination of a disproportionately large elderly population, one of the lowest fertility rates of any developed, OECD country and minimal net immigration. Japan’s fertility rate of roughly 1.2 children born for every Japanese woman is well below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman that is needed to maintain the existing population level. By 2050, the population of Japan has been forecasted to contract by more than 25 percent to about 95 million people.
Japan has deliberately elected to take a largely passive stance toward involvement in international conflicts and disputes for most of its post-WWII history. Article 9 of The Constitution of Japan, adopted on November 3, 1946, renounces going to war or “the use of force as a means of settling international disputes.” In lieu of a conventional military, Japan established the Japan Self-Defense Forces (also known as the SDF, JSDF or Jietai) as an extension of the Japanese police force and a strictly defensive mechanism to provide for the country’s national security and assist with national emergencies.
Japan first deployed the SDF abroad in 1991 when it dispatched minesweepers to the Persian Gulf after fighting ceased in the 1991 Gulf War. Since Japan enacted the International Peace Cooperation Law in 1992, the Japanese government has deployed the SDF on certain overseas missions to support the U.N.’s international peacekeeping operations.
Japan largely relies on the U.S. for protection against external threats. Under the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the U.S., the U.S. has agreed to defend Japan if the country or any of its territories come under attack. Roughly 40,000 U.S. military personnel and civilians in defense roles are stationed or employed on U.S. military bases located across Japan.
The majority of U.S. military personnel in Japan are stationed on the main island of Okinawa Prefecture in Japan’s Ryukyu Islands, where U.S. military bases occupy about 18 percent of the territory. Japan pays roughly $2 billion as annual host-nation support to cover the costs and defense services of the U.S. military presence in Japan.
Japan, a landmark located in the Pacific Ocean, in the Eastern Asia is a sovereign island nation. Being a home to dense cities, imperial palaces, and many shrines aging back to its amazing history, Japan has also proved itself as one of the nations with a very rapid growth in the economy and technology after the devastating war. Proving itself to be the fastest and foremost in technology which is an apparent result of very dedicated research and a lot of hard work; and undoubtedly a very systematic and quality education system out there.
With the globalization in different sectors, it has reached education sector too. Many youngsters choose abroad studies as an option. Every year this trend is supposed to increase in large number. US still being the first choice of the students willing to apply abroad, Japan is gaining much more popularity in the prevailing context. Ever wondered what it would be like to study in the land of the first bullet trains, manga and the robotics of all kind? Here lies the opportunity for you. Now you can apply for Reputed Japanese Colleges and Universities with the best rankings and in the very city you want.
Huge choices of institutions:
With 800 universities and countless numbers of language and vocational schools you have a large number of choices to make as per your feasibility. Having to choose a suitable university, is a very hard phase to endure. Since Japan has so much alternatives, any student would not have to undergo any kind hardship. As the Japanese government has pledged that it wants to double the number of international students by 2020 (to reach 300,000), institutions have a wide range of study programs for the international students. With these alternatives you can do anything of your interest and achieve any skill you want along with learning Japanese language fluently.
Huge expanse of courses:
Being indisputably a land of innovation, it provides students with a wide range of opportunities. With a diverse, alluring and a high digital touch the place is evolving with various possibilities in multiple expanse. Courses in Japan have a wide range of topics, such as communication, business, healthcare, literature, technology, and many more. Courses are usually combined with degree programs, certificate programs or professional development series. You can meet your goals with abundant course options if you are interested in gaining new skills, a change of career, or professional development.
Low Tuition Cost:
Tuition fees are comparatively cheap in Japan. While an international student pays about 20,000$ in other countries like US and Australia, tuition fees at Japanese public universities is merely 535,800 yen (approx $5,500) a year. Besides, a wide range of scholarship is provided by the universities and even the private schools and institutions. Partial and full tuition fees waivers are also possible for students achieving high academic results, from needy background. A wide range of other scholarships are also available, with some directed towards specific nationalities, women, minorities, or those with high level Japanese language proficiency at a few universities out there.
More working hours:
With the low tuition fees, there are ways you can make your studies a lot less expensive. As a international student anyone would want to work after they reach their desired nation. And in Japan you have a privilege of working for 28 hours a week. With this you can cover your daily expenses, travelling and living expenses. You would get to go out more and travel some of the famous places out there, with the extra pay you get. With an easy work culture many of the students even manage to pay their tuition fees with their income, so the choice is really yours.
Better Job Prospects after Graduating:
So you will obviously love Japan and will love to work in their work culture too. There is a high chance that you will want to stay there after getting your degree. Well known for having an extremely fluid job market, Japan will treat your decision in a very well manner. With knowledge of their culture and having a strong command their language, it will get very easy for you to get job in the big companies. Since the demand for personnel with a strong Japanese language base and international-oriented people is high everywhere, even Japan will not fail your expectation in any way. With big multinationals companies and brands like such as Nissan, Toyota, Panasonic, Canon and Sony, you could achieve your dream jobs in these companies as well. Japanese companies known to be seeking international graduates from Japanese schools, it would be a plus point for you. Taking everything to consideration, the nation is also known for paying a high amount of wages for qualified jobs.
One of Safest Place to Live in:
With Japan ranking last in the number of victims of crime per capita, it has a very low crime rate and has proved itself one of the safest places to be in. Japan is also known for having the advanced healthcare system in the modern world, showing its results in its high life expectancy. With a proper health care insurance, any student can cut off their health care expenses in about 25% to 30%.
Studying abroad provides you with a rare combination and opportunity to work, live and study in a different culture. With a varied community you get to learn the culture, history, language and people’s behavior from all around the world, with international students showering all at one place. Living in a different country than yours, helps you develop as a person, as you learn to live independently and start taking responsibility. It will help you develop a new perspective towards things and observe the differences in culture and also keep the decent similarities between them. As learning is not just bound in a classroom or any institution, you will get to learn valuable life lessons and get adventurous culture trip in Japan.
To apply for a student permit in Japan, you must provide your authentic academic reports and previous records of attendance to show that you satisfied the course requirements. A list of general requirements is stated below:
Documents of your academic history till date are required, including high school results/certificates or equivalent academic result/certificate and school leaving certificate (SLC) certificate. You need to provide your academic transcripts of subjects studied, provisional and character certificates. And if you are undergoing any educational program recently you are suggested to forward that as well.
Academic certificates required
Education gap less then
High School certificate(+2) OR equivalent certificate
Pass stander(40% above)
Needed, If you have education gap
In order to gain entry to an academic program in Japan, you will have to demonstrate that you have the appropriate level of Japanese language skills. To meet Japanese language proficiency requirements, you must demonstrate that you have attended at least 150 hours of Japanese Language classes or should have N5(NAT) level passed certificate. Along with that Japanese language classes has its own importance. It helps you to gain knowledge about Japanese culture, lifestyle, economic, geographical, educational system and many more things which will help you with easy settlement during your study in Japan. People who know the language properly also tend to get more job opportunities in comparison to those who do not know the language.
The good news for students applying for Japan, it is one of the easiest visa to acquire. The visa procedure is stated below:
1st step: Choosing your Language School/College
Carefully research schools/colleges and their locations and choose which will best suit your intended career path and requirements. Once the decision is taken, make a fine research on their fee structure, scholarships and facilities for international students by the school. Japan takes international students four times a year, however it has got certain criteria’s that varies with the institutes. Intakes available are listed below:
- 1. April – 2 year course
- 2. October – 1.6 years course
- 3. July – 1.9 years course
- 4. January – 15 months course
2nd step: Take an interview
In the beginning of the application process, the applicant must pass eligibility test that is calculated by our expertise. After that you will have to face an interview that will be taken by the educational Institute. Interview may be conducted through Skype, telephone or face to face. You will get a Letter of Acceptance after successful interview.
3rd step: Collect required documents
After a successful interview, you need to collect all the documents required for your admission.
Documents certifying applicant
Documents authorizing sponsor
The applicant must provide all the academic documents to the consultancy, those documents are reviewed by the experts and verified. Additional certificates will be asked for if necessary.
4th step: Translate document
In Nepal most of documents are either in Nepali or English language. All the students applying for student visa in Japan need to translate their document in Japanese language. Please note that the original language version must always accompany the translation. You can translate these documents with KTM Immigration or you can translate with the help of Japanese Language translator.
5th step: Lodge your document
Once all the documents are collected, you must submit all documents school or college along with translated document through courier. After sending the application, you will have to wait for Certificate of Entitlement (COE) . Your copy of the COE letter will arrive only before one and half month of your departure (i.e. if you have applied for the July session, your COE must arrive on last of March or first of April).
6th step: Get your Certificate Of Eligibility (COE) letter
The COE letter is a certificate of eligibility that will be provided to you by Japanese immigration office. If your application is accepted, CONGRATULATIONS! You will receive a COE letter. You should carefully read the COE letter and check any conditions that may apply. Now, you can make necessary assessment for your visa application.
7th step: Apply for No Objection letter
Once you get the copy of COE, you need to go to the Ministry of education (MOE) to get your No Objection letter. In order to send your tuition fees to the school/college you need to have a No Objection letter. You have to take the COE letter provided by the educational institute along with your original or notarized academic documents.
8Th step: Pay your fees
After receiving the No Objection Letter, you can deposit the tuition fees as per your school/college requirements. This amount is generally the amount of one year tuition fees and your accommodation fee. The amount can be deposited from any ‘A’ level bank which is recognized by Nepal Rastra Bank. After transferring the money you will receive the original COE letter which should be taken while applying visa.
9th step: Prepare for visa application
After you acquire the hard copy of your COE, you can now go to Japanese Embassy for applying your visa. To apply for the visa, you have to take the original valid passport and hard copy of the COE letter along with other documents. You will face an interview in the embassy during your visa application. For your visa to be granted, it might take 3-6 working days.
10th step: Pay Visa fee
Student Visa application fee for Japan is NPR 2,580 per passport and should be paid in Nepalese Currency at the time of submission of Student Visa Application.
11th step: Prepare for departure
Once obtain your visa, you have to prepare for . The preparation includes booking air ticket, shopping, etc.
In order to take your family (spouse) to Japan, they are required to undertake necessary legal procedures before entering Japan. According to Japanese Law, in order to integrate in high educational institutes, foreign students must study at a Japanese language school first and complete their course. Thus, after the completion of the course, one is allowed to call their spouse to Japan in a dependent visa.