Mar 18, 2023
Land of the Haiku and Cherry Blossoms.
What makes Japan a great place to study in? Starting from the top-tier education system of the country, its top-ranked universities, its world-class science and technology, and the numerous opportunities that come from studying in one of the most developed countries in the world.
For many years now, Japan has received many praises not only for its higher education system, but also for the growth in the economy, its innovative technology, and most importantly for welcoming around 140,000 international students from different countries around the world.
Normally when studying abroad students also want to choose a place which they can explore or roam in their free time. As the country is a combination of both ancient and modern, has places that have an ultramodern architecture, yet at the same time has places where people can escape the modern world, international students will definitely have many options to choose from.
Japanese universities offer a wide variety of study programs, starting from Liberal Arts, Humanities, Business, Law, Economics to Medicine programs. Courses in most of these programs are delivered in English in top universities such as the Kyoto University which is one of the oldest universities in Japan, the University of Tokyo, Tohoku University, and Kyushu University.
Studying abroad enables students to experience and adapt to a totally new culture, learn a new language, which in the longer-term have a big impact on the student’s future career prospects. With the booming economy, English speakers can find themselves with many job opportunities in Japan as well. If these people have managed to learn Japanese too, their chances to get a job increase even more.
Japanese higher education institutions are a great deal not only for the quality of education and the dynamic student experience but also for the scholarship opportunities. The Japanese Government offers a list of scholarships that will be a magical door to everyone who is seeking undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The Monbukagakusho (MEXT) Scholarship is a program that offers six types of Japanese government-sponsored scholarships, for different ranges of academic aspirations, such as research students, undergraduate students, and college of technology students, to name a few. The Young Leaders' Program (YLP) is yet another program of the Japanese Government (MEXT) that aims to contribute to the future national leaders in Asia and other countries.
It is said that if you are in Japan and ask for directions from any of the locals, you will not get swift directions but you will be given detailed explanations to show you which path to follow. Whether you are an international or Japanese it does not matter, you can expect to be treated with the same respect and politeness that a Japanese person would have.
Japan is considered to be quite a safe country. It scored 1 (very low) in the Global Peace Index for indicators such as organized conflict, access to weapons, political instability, etc. The country has a low crime rate and it has been ranked in the top 10 safest places in the world. Of course, there are areas in the country where people should be more careful and use common sense, however, in general Japan is a safe country.
Some delicious foods that many people all over the world enjoy have come from the rich menu of the Japanese people. Rice, sushi, udon noodles, tofu, tempura, all belong to the Japanese dishes. Japanese have always had a high life expectancy and this most probably happens because of the healthy diet and lifestyle that the Japanese maintain.
International students have many options for traveling while in Japan such as visiting the castle in Kumamoto, the large train museum in Kyoto, the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the Rinnoji Temple in Sendai, and the Botanic Garden in Sapporo. Whether international students like the green outdoors, or the vibrant city life they can find it all in Japan.
The higher education system in Japan consists of institutions such as Universities that award bachelor’s, master’s, doctor’s and professional degrees, Junior Colleges which award associate’s degrees, Colleges of Technology where students receive practical education which lasts up to five years and Specialized Training Colleges whose purpose is to offer specialized courses with the aim of developing students’ professional and practical abilities.
Depending on the founding body of the above-mentioned institutions, they can be divided into national, public, and private institutions. International students can choose to study in either of the institutions and have no doubt that they will receive high-quality education especially since some of the Japanese universities rank in the top of QS World University Rankings.
In Japan, admission requirements usually differ from one university to another. One general requirement that every international student has to meet in order to pursue higher education in Japan is the completion of 12 years of school education. Students whose education has lasted less than 12 years can attend a college preparatory course and then continue their education.
Another requirement is that students should be 17 or older in order to apply to a higher education institution. Among the requirements is also the issue of the language. For students whose language of instruction is not their native language, they will have to submit proof of language proficiency. For Japanese courses, students must take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), whereas for English courses an IELTS or TOEFL test.
Tuition fees in Japan are not considered as high when you compare them with the ones in the US or the UK. Usually when enrolling in a Japanese university students are expected to pay an admission fee of around ¥282,000 ($2,300), and tuition fees that start from ¥501,964 ($4,700) to ¥1,866,815 ($17,638) excluding medical, pharmaceutical, and dental schools).
Even though Japan has one of the largest economies in the world, living costs in the country are not always expensive. They mainly depend on the location that international students choose to live in, their lifestyle, and also their spending habits. These expenses range between ¥64,373 ($608) to ¥93,967 ($887) excluding tuition fees.
Every application process has the same first step and that is choosing a program that you want to study. After deciding which program you would like to study and what university you want to apply to, you can check the university website for information about the application process.
Universities in Japan usually require that students apply online. The application procedure usually involves filling out the application form, paying the application fee, and attaching the necessary documents such as your high school or university diploma(depending on the level of study you are applying to), school transcripts, letters of recommendation, letter of motivation and proof of language proficiency.
International students who plan to study in Norway have two accommodation options. First is student housing. This type of accommodation is offered through student organizations, with options like housing for singles, couples, families, and people with disabilities. If you are aiming for this type of accommodation make sure to check for deadlines, since most housing organizations have annual deadlines for applications. International students can expect to pay from NOK 2,972 ($351) to NOK 4,920 ($581) for student housing. Usually, this is the cheapest option.
The second type of accommodation includes renting through the private market. Students can either choose to rent a room in an apartment or to rent an apartment on their own. Prices for private accommodation vary depending on the city you decide to locate.