Japan is considered to be one of the largest economies in the world. It is a country of wise, healthy and educated people. Japan is a desirable place to live for many people from all across the world. It attracts a lot of international students, providing them an ability to get a higher education in its best universities.

Though it is believed that the best and easiest time for Japanese students starts when they enter university, foreign students can face some problems. The thing is that Japanese people are known as the nations who study hard from the early childhood. They start to learn Japanese syllabic script when they reach 3 years old. So if you are looking for one of the most educated people in the world, you will probably find them in Japan. Japanese study and work hard during their lives, so for some international students, such approach can seem too intense. Still, higher education in Japan is quite popular among international students and there are some weighty reasons why it is so.

Why Study in Japan?

Japan is known as a country of high educational standards. It also takes a leading position in the state-of-the-art technology and research. Furthermore, higher education in Japan is highly regarded in some of the academic disciplines, such as political science.

Japan is extremely open to welcome international students from all across the globe. A lot of them, about 130, 000 people each year,  come to this beautiful country to get closer to the deep culture, to share international experience and to get one of the most valued educations in the world. By 2020 it is planned to double the number of students by offering more welcoming opportunities to learn subjects in English. Nowadays, there are about thirteen universities in Japan that offer students programs taught in English.

The University System

There are 86 national universities in Japan, about 95 local public universities, as well as some private colleges. The study usually takes 4 years. The academic year in Japan starts in April and lasts until March. The process of study is divided into two semesters: from April through September and from October through March.

Though the beginning of the academic year starts in spring period, some universities accept foreign students in September. There are three breaks during the academic year: summer break from July to late August, winter break from late December through early January and spring break from late February through early April.

In Japan, there are some higher educational institutions where students can learn in English. The proportion of such institutions is increasing rapidly because of a plans to increase the number of international students in the county.

The Best Universities in Japan

Some Universities in Japan are taking notable positions in the QS World University Rankings. They are the University of Tokyo that takes the 31st position, Kyoto University that takes the 36th position, Osaka University that takes the 55th position, the Tokyo Institute of Technology that takes the 68th position and Tohoku University that takes the 71st position in the top 100 list.

Exam Requirements for International Applicants

International students who want to get a higher education, in the most cases are required to pass the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU). It is not necessary to come to Japan to pass this test. It is held in 17 cities in 14 countries in the world. You can pass EJU in such countries as China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Korea, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The examination is taken in the following subjects: Japanese as a foreign language, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Japan and the World.

The last subject, Japan and the World, was introduced not so long ago and for many people, it is completely new. The subject covers such issues as civics, geography, and history. It is aimed to measure your knowledge of each area mentioned before.

In accordance with the selected Japanese university, applicants will have to pass all the needed tests in required subjects. There is an ability to pass the exam both in Japan and English, but an applicant will have to specify the selected language in advance.

Also, in some cases, to enter university in Japan, you will have to submit scores from an English proficiency test. One of the most popular ones is TOEFL test. Still, there is an option that you will have to travel to Japan to pass entrance examinations in this or that university.

Also, all those who are going to apply for university in Japan may have to provide the following: application form, curriculum vitae, school transcript, graduation certificate, proofs of financial means, screening fee, certificate of Japanese language proficiency and medical certificate.

Types of International Students

There are three main types of students who come to get an education in Japan: privately financed foreign students, students studying under the Japanese government Scholarship program and own government sponsored students.

The first type of students is those who can apply to an educational institution after the obtaining of sufficient language skills.

The second type of students has to face quite severe requirements and quite long application process.

The third type of students are people who come to study in Japan under the agreement with several countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Uzbekistan and some others.

Tuition and Program Duration

An average cost of higher education in Japan is from $9000 to $15000 per year. Still, the Japanese government and universities can provide some students with scholarships and loans. It is worth to mention that those students, who apply for Master’s degree that takes 2 years, can spend an additional year or two to study the Japanese language. Today, there are about 66 universities and colleges in Japan that provide international students with preparatory language courses.

Post-Graduate Opportunities

Japan provides numerous opportunities for international students. Graduates can work in industry or conduct some researches. It is interesting to know that quite lot (about 8000) students found employment in Japan. Those who have a specific job offer can change their status to employment.

Language Requirements

Though there are some universities in japan that provide courses in English, generally, all subjects are taught in Japanese. That is why it is so important to learn the language before applying to this or that university. Still, as we mentioned before, there is an option of learning Japanese by attending preparatory language courses.

Furthermore, to apply both for Japanese and English study, students have to prove their language proficiency.

Visa Requirements

If you want to get a higher education in Japan, you must have a visa. It is possible to apply for a visa directly through the Japanese embassy or consulate. Still, there is also an option that the educational institution chosen by the student can make application to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility.

Still, foreign students have to register in Japan as aliens within 90 days after the arrival. It is possible to make at a local municipal office.

Health Insurance

If a university you want to apply to do not provide special health insurance plans for international students, there is always an option to subscribe To National Health insurance. It covers about 70% of the cost of medical treatment. To obtain, you will need an alien registration card.


The cost of accommodation in Japan is quite high. Still, it varies depending on a city you will study. It is worth to note that the most expensive place to live in Japan is Tokyo, especially if you are planning to rent apartments close to the center of the city.

International students who come to study in Japan generally have two accommodation options available: university accommodation on campus dorms and private accommodation.

It is worth to note that about 77% of foreign students in Japan have to rent private houses as university accommodation option in some cases is not available.