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Study Abroad - Japan


How does the idea of studying abroad sound to you? Exploring a new culture, different than yours, opens new paths in life you have never imagined. Studying abroad in Japan is an option you should seriously consider. 

Japan or ‘’Nippon’’ ‘’Nihon’’ or as more widely called ‘’The Land of the Rising Sun’’ is an island country located in East Asia in the northwest of the Pacific Ocean. It consists of five main islands and spans in an around 7,000 island archipelago. Did you know that human habitation of the Japanese archipelago was traced back to prehistoric times, around 30,000 years ago?

Why study abroad in Japan? You will find yourself living in one of the most urbanized and densely populated countries in the world. In fact, the Greater Tokyo area is the most populous area in the world, with more than 37 million residents! In Japan, you will have the option to live in one of the main five islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu or Okinawa. The country is rather mountainous, but the coastal life will also give you the opportunity to explore the numerous islands as you study abroad in Japan. Imagine visiting Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan, located in the island of Honshu. The famous Mount Fuji is actually the second highest volcano located in an island in Asia and has the seventh highest island mountain peak on earth. 

Why Study in Japan?

There are many good reasons to study in Japan. Some students are attracted by Japan’s high educational standards, while for others the attraction is Japan’s rich cultural heritage. Nearly 5 million students study abroad annually, with that number projected to continue increasing. With over 150,000 international students, Japan is one of the most popular destinations for international students. 


The OECD ranks Japanese high school students number one in the world for maths, and number 2 for scientific literacy. Japan has the highest number of Nobel prize winners of any Asian country, and the second highest of any country since 2000.. 49% of Japanese High School graduates enter university. Japan has over 700 universities, with 10 ranked in the top 200 worldwide..


Studying abroad gives you an unparalleled opportunity to live, work and explore a different culture. You will be able to learn about the people, the culture, the history and language of one of thew world’s most unique cultures. Living overseas will help you develop as a person, becoming independent and taking responsibility. It will help you to see things from new perspectives, and appreciate the differences between cultures, while also seeing the deep similarities between people. Learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom; meeting people from different cultures and making friends from all over the world are also important parts of growing up.

Eligibility Criteria for study in Japan

Your application will typically include the following:

  • 1) Recommendation letters from past teachers and professors.
  • 2) Proof that you have sufficient finances to support your studies and living costs in Japan.
  • 3) Statement of high school grades or an accredited high school diploma.
  • 4) Original copy of your valid passport.
  • 5) 6 passport photos.
  • 6) Health certificate.
  • 7) A letter of good standing from the Ministry of Internal Affairs in your home country.
  • 8) Pass the university entrance exam. The exam will include basic academic questions in addition to language-related questions.
  • 9) Pass a TOEFL exam.

What after Study?

Employers select applicants primarily based on their educational credentials, namely the rank of the college they graduated from. Therefore, graduates from prestigious colleges are more likely to be matched with prestigious large corporations, while graduates from less selective colleges are more likely to obtain employment in smaller companies. Employers regard educational credentials, along with age, sex, and social origin as the most effective means of measuring and evaluating job applicants. Employers seek potential rather than specific skills because most corporations have in-house training for new hires. According to the 1998 Recruit Co. survey, corporations hire an employee based on personality (81 percent); future potential (71.6 percent); enthusiasm (71.1 percent); aptitude test scores (41.1 percent); personality test scores (35.9 percent); language skills (24.9 percent); academic major (24.5 percent); and GPA (23.5 percent)


Most universities in Japan recruit twice a year, for the spring semester starting in April, and the autumn semester in September. There is not a unified admission platform for students to apply centrally. Each university sets its own schedule, so the application deadline can be different from school to school, usually 6 months before the start of the semester. Nowadays many universities open their applications online and you can find their application deadlines on their website.

The documents you need to submit with your application are usually:

  • 1) Application form
  • 2) Personal statement
  • 3) Official transcript from high school and/or university
  • 4) Graduation certificate
  • 5) Valid standardized test scores (SAT/ACT/TOEFL/IELTS/EJU)
  • 6) Letters of Recommendation
  • 7) Passport photocopy

Japanese language school application

Japanese Language Schools have a quarter system where each quarter is ten weeks long. The main start dates are April and October, but many language schools also have start dates in January and July. Some schools have short term courses start every month and more Westernized schools like GenkiJacs have start dates every Monday for non-beginner students.

Short term courses can be a couple of weeks up to 3 months long, without a student visa. For long term courses (20+ weeks) you need to start your application 6 months in advance to most language schools due to the visa application that is done through the school.

Facts about Japan

Japan is renowned for its excellent education system and is the top-performing OECD country in reading literacy, math and sciences with the average student scoring 529, well above the OECD average 486. 94.6% of Japanese adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, higher than the OECD average of 78%.

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    Top Universities in Japan

    Tohoku University
    Osaka University
    Kyoto University
    Hokkaido University

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