Study in Japan for Indian Students

Why Study in Japan for Indian Students? Would you like to study in the land that gave us karaoke, instant noodles and camera phones? Then you will be glad to know that Japan is implementing many strategies and projects to receive more international students.

This small Asian country tops the charts for education, security, and employment, making it a very promising destination to start a career.

Visa NameLong-stay Visa for StudiesSchengen Visa (short-term visa C)
Validity:4 months – 1 year90 days
Can You work?NoNo
Cost:US$60 / $119US$96
Duration Of The Procedure:Depends on the consular officeMinimum 2 weeks
ConditionsVisa addressed to international students of any nationality who want to study in France for more than 3 months. This visa allows you to work up to 20 hours a week.Visa for foreigners of certain nationalities who wish to visit and study in France for a maximum of 3 months. This visa does not allow you to work.

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Japan is a well-known country in India, thanks to its important contribution to science and technology. His legacy in the animation and video game industry was and continues to be one of the most dominant in the market.

In some way, we Indians have come closer to this Eastern culture with which we share few things but to which we feel deeply attracted. In addition to its exotic cuisine and characteristic manga, Japan has much more than sushi and comics to offer the international community.

If we talk about education, it turns out that this small Asian country is one of the most advanced and avant-garde. In 2015, the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) revealed that the Japanese school system is the most proficient in mathematics, science and reading.

With an academic level of 94.6% according to OECD indicators, it is clear that studying in Japan is an alternative that can turn your future 180°. More than 100,000 international students are currently enrolled in Japanese higher education institutions.

Among its modern cities and ancient imperial palaces are 5 of the best 100 universities on the planet. It is also one of the safest countries in the world, with a homicide rate of 0.2.

Now that we’ve touched on compelling reasons to study in this East Asian nation let’s look at visasIf you live in India, these are the visas you can apply for to study in Japan :

  • Student visa. It is the main visa that all foreigners must process if they want to study in Japan for more than 3 months. Before starting the process, you must have a “Certificate of Eligibility” issued by the university or institution to which you have been accepted.
  • Visitor visa ( short-term stay ). Visa is aimed at foreigners of some nationalities who wish to enter and stay in Japan for a maximum of 90 days.

Another reason thousands of international students are drawn to Japan is that they want to learn its official language. Studying Japanese in Japan is the dream of many people who become interested in this language through anime,  music, art and general culture.

Without further ado, we invite you to discover everything this country has to offer you as an international student in this complete and updated guide.

How Much Is It to Study Abroad In Japan?

Shared room in the capital $860
Shared room in another city$400
2 bedroom apartment in the capital$1200
2 bedroom apartment in another city$800
Bus or Metro ticket$2
Ticket to the Cinema$6
A beer in a bar$5
A beer at the supermarket$1
Typical Street Food$9
Food in a restaurant$12
Medical consultation$69
Average Life per Month$1500

If the first thing you think about when evaluating the idea of ​​studying in Japan is how much money you need, we will help you clear up some of your doubts. Understanding that each student’s budget is subject to variations, it is estimated that a person needs $2,803 to live in Japan for a month.

Some claim that you can cover basic expenses with about $850 a month, but this sum is a little far from reality. As for accommodation, there are indeed very varied offers for students.

Very small rooms can cost as little as $250 a month, but they probably won’t be very comfortable. The city where you live also has a direct impact on the budget. 

The official currency of Japan is the Yen (monetary symbol: ¥, ISO: JPY), and it is the most used in the country to make any transaction or purchase. According to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, tuition fees range from $4,782 to $14,400, excluding medical, dental and pharmaceutical studies.

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Compared to countries like the United States or the United Kingdom, the price of higher education in Japan is affordable. We recommend you visit this page to learn more about the costs of studying in Japan.

Is Studying in Japan Worth it? Is it studying free?

Fortunately, many initiatives and support programs for foreigners who want to study in Japan. The Council for International Educational Exchange (CIEE), a non-profit organization, aims to fuel international students’ interest in Japan through scholarships, grants, and loans.

One of the most popular scholarships funded by the Japanese Government is the MEXT ( Monbukagakusho ). To apply for this program, all applicants must have a letter of recommendation issued by the university where they have been accepted or by the consular office in their country of residence.

Another engaging initiative, the Global 30 Project, seeks to promote a more international and multicultural Japanese academic environment. 

The project comprises 13 universities that want to admit more international students into their programs, as well as the opening of more courses in English.

Is Studying in Japan Worth it? Is it studying free?

Fortunately, many initiatives and support programs for foreigners who want to study in Japan. The Council for International Educational Exchange (CIEE), a non-profit organization, aims to fuel international students’ interest in Japan through scholarships, grants, and loans.

One of the most popular scholarships funded by the Japanese Government is the MEXT ( Monbukagakusho ). To apply for this program, all applicants must have a letter of recommendation issued by the university where they have been accepted or by the consular office in their country of residence.

Another engaging initiative, the Global 30 Project, seeks to promote a more international and multicultural Japanese academic environment. 

The project comprises 13 universities that want to admit more international students into their programs, as well as the opening of more courses in English.

University /Colleges In Japan For International Students

Knowing that the university environment provided by the country you plan to travel to is comfortable for you is vital when deciding. 

To help you know what it is like to study at University in Japan without having to find out on the spot, here are some interesting facts:

  • More than 700 universities in Japan are divided into national, local public and private.
  • Bachelor-level programs last between 4 and 6 years.
  • Most universities in Japan opt for the semester format.
  • The academic year usually begins in April and ends in March of the following year.
  • Holiday seasons in Japan are usually summer (late July, early September), winter (December/January), and spring (February/March).
  • As a strategy to attract more international students, many Japanese universities have programs entirely in English.
  • The offer of undergraduate courses in English includes everything from literature, history, law, psychology and communication to political science, chemistry, engineering, architecture and biotechnology.

As you can see, the idea of ​​studying at a Japanese university nowadays is quite tempting. Also, many universities are recently accepting more exchange students and signing agreements with institutions abroad.

According to the 2021 QS World University Rankings, Japan has some of the best universities in Asia and the world. In 24th place are the University of Tokyo, the most prestigious country and the one that receives the most international students.

Other prominent universities in the country include Kyoto University, Osaka University, and Tohoku University. All these institutions are part of the “Imperial Universities” group of Japan, which, as the title suggests, were founded at the time of the Japanese Empire (1868-1947).

What will universities ask of you?

If there is one thing that stands out about Japanese higher education, it is that, unlike other countries, they try to make the path as easy for international students as possible. This nation has taken the initiative to attract more foreigners very seriously, so universities ask for “simple requirements”.

Although admission conditions may change from one institution to another, we have found some common requirements to be admitted to a university in Japan :

  • Take the “Japanese University Admission Test for International Students (EJU)”. It is a standardized test that most universities and other higher education institutions require of international students. Its objective is to demonstrate, through the qualification obtained, that you are prepared to take the program of your interest. The test assesses several basic criteria and can be taken in schools throughout Asia. 
  • Submit an additional admission exam. Sometimes the EJU is not enough to get into a university in Japan. Some colleges require an additional exam, usually offered twice a year. The cost of this test is between $67 and $125.
  • Have an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma or its equivalent. The International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)  is a degree accepted by hundreds of universities worldwide. The program is aimed at students between the ages of 16 and 19 and is taught in several languages. 
  • Write an essay ( Essay ). Your university may ask you to write an essay to learn more about yourself, such as your character, ease of expressing your ideas, ability to think critically, etc. Normally, this essay does not exceed 600 words.
  • Demonstrate your command of English. Any foreigner from a non-English speaking country who wants to qualify for a course in English to study in Japan must prove their language proficiency. The most used exams for this purpose are the TOEFL, IELTS and the Cambridge English Qualifications (C1 Advanced/C2 Proficiency).
  • A recommendation letter. This document must be issued by the director or teacher of the secondary school where you completed your baccalaureate.
  • Certificate of your high school grades. 
  • Proof that you have sufficient financial funds to pay tuition. Some institutions may ask you for bank statements or similar documents to prove that you can pay for your studies in Japan. The income you must have depended on the cost of the program you will study and the university.
  • Application form. You can find it on the website of the university where you are going to study in Japan. In general, you must put your personal information, the program you are interested in, educational background, language skills, and work experience.
  • Pay the application fee.

Important. The documents required to study at the university in Japan must be in English (if applying for a course in English). 

If your documents are not in English, you must submit a translated copy of each along with the original. An official body or authorized person must carry out translations.

Remember that these requirements are indicative and that they may vary according to the program and the university. 

Contact the university where you want to study in Japan to find out precisely what documents you need to submit.

What will they ask of you in a Professional Training College?

In Japan, there are several higher education institutions apart from universities. Among them, we have Professional Training Colleges or professional training schools. These schools are characterized by offering post-secondary courses in a specific field.

Some characteristics of the Professional Training Colleges are:

  • You can earn a diploma by studying for 2 or more years, or an advanced diploma by studying for 4 or more years.
  • Most vocational schools focus on technology, health care, fashion, economics, education, agriculture, and commerce.
  • Typically, programs at these institutions are taught in Japanese.
  • A diploma allows you to transfer to a university, while an advanced diploma gives you access to a “graduate school ”.
  • Some professions studied at a Professional Training College are architect, interior designer, car mechanic, nutritionist, nurse, chef, interpreter/translator, flight attendant, film director, video game creator, etc.
  • The vast majority are private.
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General Requirements to enter a Professional Training College:

  1. Have completed 12 years of schooling in your country of residence or have an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. Other options may be accepted if you do not meet these 2 requirements, but you must seek information directly from the institution of interest.
  2. Prove your command of Japanese. You must take the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) and pass level N1 or N2. Other exams, such as the Business Japanese Aptitude Test (BJT), can be accepted.
  3. Certificate of qualifications of your last level of study. 
  4. Submit an admission exam.
  5. Application form. 

What is the process to be accepted?

In both universities and Professional Training Colleges, the admission process can vary. The Japanese Government recommends that international students start the process at least 6 months before the date they plan to study in Japan.

After attaching the necessary documents and paying the application fee, you must attend an interview and take the entrance exam. If everything goes well, you will receive your acceptance letter, and you can start preparing to apply for your Student Visa.

Visas to Study in Japan

Without a doubt, do you want to study in this first-world country? Below we tell you about the types of visas, their requirements and the process you must carry out to fulfil your objective and study in this academic powerhouse.

Student Visa

The Student Visa is the main visa that all foreigners need to apply for if they want to study in Japan for more than 3 months. To apply, you must have a specific requirement: a Certificate of Eligibility.

Although a Japanese student visa can indeed be applied for without this certificate, the process would be more extensive and complex. By not having a Certificate of Eligibility, you will have to accept that they will ask you for more documents than those mentioned below.

In addition, the waiting time will be much longer than usual because the request would have to be studied directly by the Ministry of Justice through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan. Similarly, having this certificate does not guarantee the granting of the visa.

What I need

  • Certificate of Eligibility (original and copy). In most cases, the procedures to request this certificate are carried out by the university or institution where you will study. For more details, we recommend contacting your educational provider in Japan to find out if they are in charge of starting the process.
  • Valid passport. The original document is required, + a copy of the page where your data is displayed. Although there is no minimum validity for this travel document, it is recommended that it be valid for at least 1 year from your arrival in Japan.
  • A good quality colour photograph with a white background. The dimensions of the photo must be 45mm x 45mm. You must also appear without glasses, cap, hat or any accessory covering your face.
  • Reservation of a flight to Japan in your name.
  • Visa application form. You can see it by clicking here.
  • Pay the visa fee. The price depends on the country from where you make the request and the consular office.

Important. Please note that this list of requirements may vary depending on your country of residence.

Process

  1. Identify the Embassy or Consulate of Japan in your country. The first step to processing the visa that will allow you to study in Japan is to find the consular office that corresponds to you. If you live in India, you can search for your office on the following page. Consider starting the process at least 2 months before the scheduled date of your trip.
  2. Bring the documents. When you know where to process your visa application, it will be time to bring the requested documents. Remember: requirements vary from country to country.
  3. Wait for the decision of the authorities. Finished with the paperwork, it’s time to wait for the answer. Depending on your particular case, this decision may take a few weeks or more than a month.
  4. Study in Japan! Did they approve your Student Visa? Cool! Now you are ready to study in Japan and become part of one of the best educational systems in the world.

Can you Study and work?

No, the Student Visa does not allow you to work while you study in Japan. To have a job as a foreigner, you must apply for a “Permit to carry out an activity other than that permitted by the previously granted residence status”.

Visitor Visa ( short-term stay )

This may be the right visa for you if you want to do a short course in Japan that lasts less than 90 days. Citizens of some countries who wish to visit and stay in Japan for short stays (less than 3 months) do not always need to apply for this visa.

 If so, you can enter this Asian country without a visa, as long as it is not for more than 90 days.

What I need

  • Valid passport for at least the entire period you plan to be in Japan. If you have expired passports, you must also present a copy of them.
  • A recent colour photo with a white background (4.5cm x 4.5cm). 
  • Copy of your identity document, such as a citizenship card.
  • Airline reservation for the entire trip. This document must specify everything related to the flight, such as the date of departure, return, and stopovers. It is not recommended to buy a plane ticket until the visa has been approved.
  • Reservation of hotel or establishment where you will stay in Japan.
  • Activities program. It is a document where you indicate the date and the type of activities you will carry out in Japan. 
  • Certificate of your last level of studies. 
  • A letter of invitation from the institution that teaches the course is signed and stamped. If you are going to study in Japan for less than 90 days, you must provide proof of the reason for your visit. This letter will demonstrate to the authorities that you plan to take a course during your short stay in the country.
  • Proof of economic funds to support you during your visit. You may need to present a bank statement from the last 3 months or a bank certificate to prove that you have enough money to pay for your travel expenses. The amount you must have depends on your country of residence.
  • Pay the consular fee. The price varies from country to country.

Important. The requirements mentioned in the list above are general. They may change depending on your country of residence and your profile as an applicant.

Process

  1. Go to the Japanese Consular Office website in your country and request more information. To find out which embassy or consulate is in charge of issuing entry visas to Japan in your country, open the following link. Enter the official portal that corresponds to you and verify the requirements you must meet for your visa application.
  2. Deliver the documents. The next step is to gather and deliver all the documents requested by the representative authorities of Japan in your country. In some cases, you may need to make an appointment for this.
  3. Wait for the response to the request. Now you must wait for a decision to be made regarding your visa application. If you have submitted all the documents and do not have an immigration history that could harm you, you should receive a positive response in a few weeks.
  4. Approved visa? Prepare for your trip! With your Visitor Visa in your passport, you are ready to study in Japan for up to 90 days. Take advantage of it!
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Can you study and work?

No, a Visitor Visa ( short-term stay ) does not allow you to work in Japan or engage in any paid activity.

In which Universities can I study in Japan?

Since there are many universities to choose from in Japan, we recommend you take some time to evaluate the academic offer of each one. 

The university ecosystem in this country is very diverse, so international students have many options.

Some of the universities where you can study in Japan are:

  • Waseda University
  • University of Tokyo
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology (Meguro)
  • Osaka university
  • Keio University
  • Tokyo University of Science
  • University of Kyushu
  • Tohoku University
  • Kyoto University of Advanced Science
  • Kyoto University
  • University of Hokkaidō
  • Kobe University
  • University of Tsukuba
  • Hiroshima University
  • Rikkyo University
  • Hosei University
  • Meiji University

Private Universities with the best international agreements

 Meiji University

Visa to study Japanese

Although, in recent years, the Japanese Government has shown a clear interest in promoting Japanese culture through educational exchange, there is still no visa to study Japanese. We also do not know if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan plans to create a visa.

Currently, the visas you can process to study the official language of Japan are the ones described above. Depending on the duration of the course, you will need a Student Visa or a Visitor Visa (in case your nationality requires it).

Where can I study Japanese in Japan?

If you are interested in studying Japanese in Japan, the good news is that many academies, schools and universities offer courses to international students. In private universities and “junior colleges“, there is never a lack of a Japanese program for foreigners.

This is because many programs are still taught entirely in Japanese (or English and Japanese). Also, almost 100% of the population speaks Japanese as their first language.

That is why, even if you study in Japan and your university offers you a program in English, it is best to take some Japanese classes so that you integrate more easily into the society around you. Some academies where you can study are:

  • Yoshida InstituteAcademy located in Tokyo with a wide variety of intensive and short courses. Classes are typically 10-18 students and are taught entirely in Japanese to speed up the learning process.
  • Akamonkai Japanese Language SchoolThe school, founded in 1985, has taught the Japanese language to more than 20,000 international students. It is located in central Tokyo and offers courses of different lengths, including one of only 3 weeks.
  • Hiroshima YMCA. One of the oldest language schools in Japan was created in 1938. It offers Japanese courses to foreigners of different durations and is designed to meet the objectives of each Student.

What are the language institutes or academies going to ask you for?

The general requirements to be admitted to a Japanese course in Japan are:

  • Copy of your passport.
  • A passport-type photograph.
  • Graduation certificate of your last level of study.
  • Application form.
  • Payment of the application fee or the full course.
  • Student or Visitor Visa (as applicable).
  • Take a Japanese test to find out which class is more convenient.
  • Learn to read and write hiragana and katakana before starting the course.

What is the process to be accepted?

Each academy or language centre may have a specific process for admitting international students to their courses. After starting your online application and attaching the requested documents, you must wait for the institution’s response.

If you are doing a course that lasts more than 3 months, remember that you will need a Student Visa and a Certificate of Eligibility to study in Japan. The academy of your choice will likely advise you regarding the Visa, but it is best to do your research before starting the process.

Scholarships and Grants to study in Japan

Although university fees in Japan are cheap compared to other countries, it is possible to receive financial support from the Government or another institution. Financial aid to study in Japan is based on two types of programs: scholarships and tuition reduction.

You can apply for most of the scholarships available after you arrive in Japan when you have already taken the entrance exam and are ready to start your career. Some of the scholarships for the period 2020/2021 are:

  • Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarships. Scholarships funded by the Government of Japan are aimed at a wide range of international students, from research students to undergraduates and Japanese language students.
  • Scholarships by JASSOScholarships are sponsored by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO). The organization offers honours scholarships and fellowships for qualified international students who have been accepted to an educational institution under an exchange agreement.
  • Global 30 Project by Osaka UniversityOsaka University is part of the Global 30 Project and offers credits to international students in courses and degree programs in different areas.

Many other scholarships are available to study in Japan, so we recommend you open this page to see the full offer for the 2020/2021 academic period.

Study and Work in Japan

To work in Japan while studying, it is necessary to have additional permission in addition to the Student Visa. This document is “Permission to exercise an activity other than that permitted by the previously granted residence status“.

In other words, when processing your Student Visa, you only have permission to study the program at the affiliated institution. That is why, if you want to work, you must go to the immigration office closest to your home and start the process.

Here are some aspects that you should consider to work in Japan as an international student:

  • You can only work part-time jobs that do not affect your studies.
  • Your employment cannot be related to an adult entertainment business, as it is punishable by law.
  • You can work as long as you continue to fulfil your student status at a Japanese institution.
  • You can work 28 hours a week and up to 8 hours a day (full-time) during academic holidays.

Have you finished your studies and want to stay and work in Japan?

With more and more international students enrolling in its universities, it is no wonder that Japan also makes things a little easier for those who decide to stay in the country to work. If you belong to a group of foreigners who want to stay in Japan and look for a job, you should know a couple of things.

The first, and perhaps most important, is that you must change your residency status to one that suits your new purpose of staying in Japan. If you are interested in working in a company, you should probably change your status to “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services”.

On the other hand, if you work as a researcher in a university or institution, the most appropriate status would be “Researcher” or “Professor”.

To succeed in your job search in Japan, you must remember that Japanese society is quite competitive in this regard. Most companies feel comfortable hiring foreigners give a more international impression.

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