Study in Japan
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 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.
Find the best information about what it’s like to study in Tokyo, including degree course offers, career opportunities, student life, living costs, and more.
University applicants can select between five major types of institutions: Colleges of Technology, Specialized Training Colleges, Professional Training Colleges, Junior Colleges, Universities and Graduate Schools.
One unique aspect about Japan education system is that most universities start their academic year in April. However, there are a few institutions which start the academic year in autumn, mostly universities with degree programmes taught in English.
There are numerous courses that include a variety of fields including medicine, business studies, information and communication technology and engineering and more. Students can join different student organisations that will help them enrich cultural literacy and make international friends.
General Application Requirements
Most undergraduate and graduate programmes are taught in Japanese and universities require Japanese language ability, level N1 or level N2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). These levels are equivalent to between 600 and 900 or more hours of Japanese language study.
EJU (examination for Japanese university) is an exam used for testing international students who plan to study in Japan. The test includes Japanese language, science, mathematics, Japan and the World and takes place biannually in Japan and in selected cities outside of Japan. The examination can be written in Japanese or English (except the section on Japanese language).
These are the documents necessary for university submission:
- Application form
- Curriculum vitae
- School transcript
- Graduation certificate
- Proofs of financial means (including the documents on a guarantor providing means to support the applicant)
- Screening fee (about 145 to 215 EUR)
- Certificate of Japanese language proficiency
- Medical certificate
Some institutions may require different sets of documents for submission, so it is best to check the policy for document submission of the university you are interested in.
Find more information about how to apply for a university in Japan.
The number of international students who apply for Japanese universities is on the rise. Students find the warmly welcome offered by educational institutions and the fact that Japan is a leading nation in terms of futuristic technology, engineering or biomedical research, as very appealing and consider Japan an interesting study abroad option.
Language of instruction
Higher educational institutions in Japan teach their courses in Japanese with a few exceptions. A few universities offer one or more English courses for masters and PhD level and even fewer universities offer English courses at bachelor level. Especially on graduate level, number of courses related to science continue to rise every year.
English language preparation for studying in Japan
Develop your academic English language skills in order to meet the English language requirements at Japanese universities offering degree studies for international students. Choose an English language school anywhere in the world and pick your preferred English exam preparation course from diverse language course options.
Students interested in short time studies at Japanese language schools are allowed to register with a tourist visa. Applicants willing to study full time for more than three months need to apply for a student visa, which can be provided by the Japanese consulate available in any country.
The following documents are required for student visa application:
- A valid passport
- Passport size picture
- Statement of financial support (younger students who don’t have a job need to provide a document stating that a member of their family or another person, will guarantee they will support them financially during his/hers stay in Japan as a student)
- Documents to prove financial sponsor's income
- Certificate of Eligibility (issued before a visa by a regional immigration authority under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice as evidence that the applicant fulfils various conditions of the Immigration Control Act)
Some universities may submit visa application documents to the Japanese Immigration Bureau on your behalf.
Find more information about the immigration procedures for student visa in Japan.
Check the Immigration Bureau of Japan official website.