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Study In Japan - International Students

Study in Japan, and find the best universities in Japan.

This study guide will give you all the info you need to find universities and study in Japan.

Mitsubishi, the bullet train, robots - Japan is a country that seems to be moving faster than the rest of the world, and it is this pioneering level of technology and innovation that attracts so many international students every year.

As the centre of economy and industry in Asia the country has a large number of world class universities, and the government are aiming to attract 300,000 international students per year by 2020 to study a degree in Japan.

Culture, technology, great quality of life and an envied education system to boot – with all these things considered, could Japan be the right study abroad destination for you?

Bachelor Degree In Japan

Find the right Bachelor Degree in Japan with our comprehensive guide.

Universities in Japan

Japan has around 780 universities, which offer four year bachelors and six year professional degrees.

A professional degree is one that leads to a specific career, for example in the legal sector, whilst a bachelors degrees are in more general areas such as business studies, arts, humanities and social studies, sciences and management.

Approximately 80% of Japan’s universities are private, meaning they share such things as resources and research.

These universities are in most cases part of the Japan Association of Private Universities and Colleges organisation, which was established in 1951 “with the purpose of contributing to the mission of higher learning, through the mutual cooperation of all members in protecting the freedom and authority of private institutions of higher education, promoting and improving the seats of higher learning, and serving the progress of science and culture.”

All of these universities rank in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings, with two – Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo - in the top 40.

The approximately 20% of universities in Japan that are not private are classed as “national universities”. There are 85 universities, which are overseen by the government-run National University Corporation System.

A number of Japanese universities – both private and national - are internationally recognised. The most prominent of these include:

• The University of Tokyo
• Kyoto University
• Tokyo Institute of Technology
• Osaka University
• Tohoku University

Tuition Fees in Japan

Explore tuition fees in Japan for bachelor's degrees and find the right bachelors degree at the right tuition cost for you.

Many undergraduate courses are taught in English. However, you will be required to take the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students, which measures basic language skill, knowledge of Japan and academic ability, in order to ensure your suitability for study in the country.

As mentioned above, undergraduate degrees in Japan offer both four year bachelors and six year professional degrees.

As is the case across most of the world, students majoring in arts subjects in Japan study for a bachelors of arts (BA) degree, whilst students studying science subjects will acquire a bachelor of science (BSc) degree.

After completion of their bachelors degree, students will have the option to continue their education with a masters of arts (MA) or masters of science (MSc) degree.

Those studying for a professional degree will learn practical skills with the assumption that they will go on to work in the field that their degree is in later.

Unlike British or American university systems, which often work on a modular basis or include a Grade Pont Average (GPA) at the end, the Japanese education system grades its students using just one or two tests. This means Japanese universities may appear a lot more intense than those in other countries.

Immigration & Visa in Japan

Advice on Immigration & Visa in Japan, where you can make sure you get the right documents to make a successful application to your ideal university.

Foreign students intending to study a degree in Japan should obtain College Student Resident status, as well as a visa, which should be applied for directly from the Japanese embassy in their home country.

If you want to study in Japan you first need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility.

The Certificate of Eligibility is issued by the Ministry of Justice in Japan. To obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, the applicant must ask a sponsor in Japan (an employer, spouse, school, etc.) to contact the local immigration office and make an application on their behalf. The application must be made by a sponsor in Japan.

Applicants will need the following:

• The Application for Certificate of Eligibility
• Two photographs
• Letter of acceptance from university

It is advised that you apply for your Japanese visa within plenty of time in order than it can be sufficiently processed.

Advice on Accommodation & Living Costs in Japan

Advice on Accommodation & Living Costs in Japan.

The cost of accommodation in Japan varies depending on where you decide to study – whether you are in the centre of a city, for example. Tokyo is by far the most expensive place to live in Japan, and is also one of the most expensive cities in the world overall.

There are two main types of accommodation for students:

• University accommodation – on campus dorms
• Private accommodation – house and flat rentals

The overwhelming majority (around 77%) of international students in Japan live in private houses rather than university halls, and these can be found through estate agents, local government or the international student office of your university.

University accommodation, when available, is organised through the individual university.

Living costs/rent: The cost of living in Japan is extremely high – although less so outside of the cities. Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world, and even tiny one-room apartments can cost up to £500 per month. The city’s suburbs and surrounding prefectures are much cheaper.

Average rent costs per month in Japan:

1 bedroom apartment (city centre) – 93,792¥ ($865)
1 bedroom apartment (outside city centre) – 58,550 ¥ ($540)
3 bedroom apartment (city centre) – 212,525 ¥ ($1,960)
3 bedroom apartment (outside city centre) – 123,222 ¥ ($1,140)

(Rates are intended as a guide only).

Advice For Parents

Advice For Parents whose children may be looking to study in Japan. You can find complete information on costs, safety, security and tips on keeping in touch during their time away.

How safe is Japan?

Travelling abroad to study would be daunting for anyone. Japan however is one of the safest countries in the world, with one of the lowest crime rates globally – and some of the most hospitable people.

The most common crime in Japan is bicycle theft and the homicide rate is almost six times lower than that of the USA. Japan also has the lowest percentage of people becoming victims of any given crime (21%) in the whole of the G20.

In terms of living, on campus accommodation in dorms means a high level of security and peace of mind, and all universities that accept international students have dedicated support services for them.

Students should always take care to protect their own personal safety in order to avoid becoming victims of crime. They can do this by:

• Avoiding carrying around large amounts of money.
• Staying in groups, especially at night, and never walking alone.
• Not making valuables obvious.
• Always having a route home planned and never getting into unlicensed taxis.
• Being wary of strangers.
• Being careful of traffic.

Staying in touch

Staying in touch when your child is studying on the other side of the world might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month.

Here are a few tips:

• Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection

• Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other families members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date

• Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill

Apply to Study in Japan

Apply to Study in Japan and get free online and telephone support with your application. The advice here will help you find the right bachelors at the right university in Japan.

If you would like to study overseas but are not certain as to where is the best fit in terms of country, course and funding you can register for free with the International Student Admissions Service (ISAS) where a dedicated admissions team will be able to help you every step of the way.

You can find out about studying in other countries with our country guides.

Cities in Japan



Kobe's vibrancy, cosmopolitan nature and small size means it is still a great place for undergraduate students to come and study.

Kyoto is at the heart of academic Japan and is a great place to study a degree in Japan. Ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world, Kyoto is a student hub with more than 6,000 international students choosing to live here.

Tokyo is the largest metropolitan area in the world, a hub of entertainment and excitement for any student. Choosing to study a degree in Tokyo is something you will not regret.