1. Contents
  2. The education system in Japan
  3. After graduation for international students

Reminders when considering studying abroad

The purpose of studying abroad

The purpose of studying abroad varies from person to person: for example, it may be to learn a new language, to earn bachelor's credits, to research, or to achieve a broader perspective through foreign cultural experiences. The choice of school type depends on your purpose: junior college, university (graduate school), vocational school, university or junior college exchange program or Japanese language school, etc. Also it depends on the type of visa. So, make sure you are clear about your purpose and duration of stay. Now let's start the process of preparing to study abroad.

The entrance exams

Admission requirements
The following qualifications (entrance exam qualifications) are required in order to enter a Japanese university (graduate school), junior college, or vocational school.
①Applicants must have completed at least 12 years of schooling* in their home country (for graduate school, at least 16 years of schooling). In addition, applicants must be at least 18 years old and have passed an accreditation examination in their countries equivalent to Japan's University Entrance Qualification Examination, or have an International Baccalaureate degree.
※If it takes only 10 or 11 years to complete a course of study at a school equivalent to a Japanese high school, the student must complete a course of study at a Japanese language institution designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as a "preparatory course for university entrance" and reach the age of 18 to be eligible for university entrance.
②〔University (Graduate school) and Junior college〕In many cases, you will be required to take the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU), and in some cases, you may be required to obtain the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1.
〔Vocational School〕People who satisfies any of the following

  • Those who have received at least six months of education at a Japanese language institution accredited by the Association for the Promotion of Japanese Language Education.
  • Those who hold Japanese Language Proficiency Test N2 or higher
  • Those who have received at least one year of education at elementary, junior high, or senior high school in Japan.
  • Those who have scores of 200 or higher on Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (total of Japanese reading comprehension, listening comprehension and listening-reading comprehension).

Student visa
If you wish to study at a Japanese university (graduate school), junior college, or vocational school, you will need to complete the following procedures.
①Obtain admission from your study institution in Japan.
②Obtain a passport in your own country.
③Obtain a visa at a Japanese diplomatic mission abroad.
Application for Certificate of Eligibility "College Student" status is required when applying for a visa or entering Japan. There are two ways to obtain this certification.
①Application by applicant: The applicant applies for a visa at a Japanese diplomatic mission (embassy or consulate) in his/her own country.
②Application by proxy: A related person (proxy) residing at a Japanese diplomatic mission applies for a Certificate of Eligibility on behalf of the applicant at a regional immigration office.
② is the most common pre-entry screening. ① is also possible, but it takes longer to apply from diplomatic missions abroad.
Those who have already entered a Japanese language school, etc. with the status of residence of ""Pre-college student"" can apply for change to the status of residence of ""College Student"" by undergoing certain procedures in Japan. In this case, you do not need to submit a ""guarantor"" when entering or staying in Japan, however, you may be required to have a guarantor or contact person when applying for admission to a university, junior college, or vocational school. ★Due to a partial amendment to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (here in after referred to as the Immigration Control Act), the ""College Student"" and ""Pre-college Student"" residency categories have been eliminated and integrated into the ""College Student"" category as of July 1, 2010.

Application
People qualified to take the examinations will proceed to applying to the school, but to do so, you would need to submit the application forms. You will need to obtain the application form for the school you wish to apply to, prepare the necessary documents, and submit them to the school along with the examination fee. Naturally, the period for submitting the application form differs from school to school. Also, if you are applying to a vocational school that closes as soon as it fills up, be sure to apply early or your application may be closed by the time you try to apply.

Selection method
After application, you will be directed to take the exam, however, the content (selection method) differs from school to school. You need to check the method and prepare for it.
The basic selection methods are ① applicant screening, ② interviews, ③ Japanese comprehension tests, ④ subject tests, ⑤ essays, and ⑥ practical exams. These are usually conducted in a combination of several types.

When thinking about entering a university, junior college, or vocational school, keep the following points in mind.
(1)Choosing the school of your choice
(2)Qualifications for Admission
・Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students・Japanese Language Proficiency Test (N1 / N2)
(3)Examination methods and contents (Differs among schools)
・Contents・Date of examination・Location
(4)Application Forms and Applying
・Obtaining the application forms・Documents needed during application・Application Period・Examination Fees
(5)Initial Annual Inclusion
・Costs during entrance period・Payment method

School Fees and Living Costs

Entering a college, junior college, or vocational school requires a lot of money in terms of school fees and living costs. Figure out how much money you need and how you can get it. When applying to schools in Japan, you will often need to submit documentation that clarifies your ability to pay for your expenses while studying in Japan.

School Fees
School fees vary depending on the type of school and the category/field of study. However, even schools of the same category and field of study have different amounts depending on their facilities and educational content, so verify the differences if they differ greatly. In addition to tuition, you will also need to pay a large sum of money (first-year payment) for entrance fees and facility fees. It is important to check the amount and the method of payment (lump-sum or installment).

Scholarship
In an effort to reduce the burden of tuition and living expenses, some schools, in addition to national, local, and private institutions, have their own scholarship programs. However, in most cases, scholarships alone are not enough, and the students finance themselves by financial supplies, part-time jobs, or saving.
It must also be noted that not all foreign students are qualified for a scholarship and therefore will need to be prepared financially in case you do not receive a scholarship.

【JASSO Scholarship for Self- Supporting Foreign Students】
This is a scholarship program of the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), which you apply for through your school after you come to Japan. There is also a reservation system for students with high scores in EJU.
Educational Institutions Covered : Graduate schools, Under graduate courses, Junior colleges, Advanced vocational schools, Vocational schools, Foreign students’ program at universities or Junior colleges, Preparatory institutions for Japanese universities, etc.

Besides scholarship, many schools provide their own financial aids for foreign students. It is advised that you look into these aids and the actual deductible amount in prior.

Medical Insurance
Those who are considered to be staying in Japan for more than one year are covered by the National Health Insurance. (You are required by law to enroll in this insurance.) Once enrolled, you will be required to pay a monthly premium. The premium varies depending on the municipality, income, etc., but in most cases it is about 20,000 yen per year.
If you present your insurance card at the reception when you receive treatment for an injury or illness, you only need to pay 30% of the medical expenses covered by insurance.

Accommodation
The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has been promoting various measures to secure accommodation for international students, however, currently 78.3% of international students are living in private housing or apartments. For more information on accommodation for international students, please contact schools' international student affairs office, local government, or the Japan Student Services OrganizatThere are many students who have part-time jobs between or after classes in order to help pay for school or to make ends meet. With the "College Student" or "Pre-college Student" status of residence, permission from the Immigration Bureau (permission to engage in an activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted) is required in order to have part-time jobs.
※excluding those conducted in a place of business where adult entertainment businesses or store-type adult entertainment special businesses are operated, or those engaged in non-store sex-related special businesses, video transmission-type sex-related special businesses, store-type telephonic dating agency businesses, or non-store telephonic dating agency businesses

SchoolStatusThe maximum working time
Graduate schools, Universities, Junior Colleges, Preparatory Japanese language courses for international students in universities Full-time student Within 28 hours a week★
Research student, auditor student Within 28 hours a week★
Vocational Schools, Advanced Vocational Schools Within 28 hours a week★
Japanese language schools University preparatory courses Within 28 hours a week★
Japanese language schools Within 28 hours a week★

★Up to 8 hours per day during long holidays

Government Agencies and Organizations in Japan regarding “Study in Japan”

Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Higher Education Bureau, Student Support and Exchange Division
URL : https://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/koutou/ryugaku
Address : 2-2-1, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8959
TEL : +81-3-5253-4111 (Reception)
Japan Student Services Organization
URL : https://www.jasso.go.jp/
Address : 4259 S-3, Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 226-8503 / 4-5-29 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8503 (Headquarters) / 2-2-1 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8630 (International Student Exchange Programs Planning Division, International Scholorship Division, Student Exchange Support Division and Information Services Division)
<Student Exchange Department>
Testing Division TEL: +81-3-6407-7457
Student Exchange Programs Planning Division / International Scholorship Division TEL : +81-3-5520-6030
Student Exchange Support Division TEL : +81-3-5520-6033
<Information Services Center>
Information Services Division TEL : +81-3-5520-6111
Kobe satellite TEL : +81-78-242-1745

Immigration Services Bureaus

URL : https://www.moj.go.jp/isa/
Immigration Services Agency of Japan, The Ministry of Justice
Address : 1-1-1, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8977
TEL : +81-3-3580-4111 (Reception)
Sapporo Regional Immigration Services Bureau
Address : Odori-nishi 12 Chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo City, Hokkaido 060-0042
TEL : +81-11-261-7502 (Reception)
Sendai Regional Immigration Services Bureau
Address : Gorin, Miyagino-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi 983-0842
TEL : +81-22-256-6076 (Reception)
Tokyo Regional Immigration Services Bureau
Address : 5-5-30 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8255
TEL : +81-3-5796-7111 (Reception)
Nagoya Regional Immigration Services Bureau
Address : 5-18, Shoho-cho, Minato-ku, Nagoya City, Aichi 455-8601
TEL : +81-52-559-2150 (Reception)
Osaka Regional Immigration Services Bureau
Address : 1-29-53 Nankou Kita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka City, Osaka 559-0034
TEL : +81-6-4703-2100 (Reception)
Hiroshima Regional Immigration Services Bureau
Address : 2-31 Kami-hacchobori, Naka-ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima 730-0012
TEL : +81-82-221-4411 (Reception)
Takamatsu Regional Immigration Services Bureau
Address : 1-1 Marunouchi, Takamatsu City, Kagawa 760-0033
TEL : +81-87-822-5852 (Reception)
Fukuoka Regional Immigration Services Bureau
Address : 3-5-25, Maizuru, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka 810-0073
TEL : +81-92-717-5420 (Reception)
  1. Contents
  2. The education system in Japan
  3. After graduation for international students
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