Study in Japan
Located on an island in East Asia, Japan continues to be a hub for cultural exploration and technological innovation. Bordered by the Pacific to its north west, Sea of Japan to its east, East China Sea and Taiwan to its South and the Sea of Okhotsk to the North, Japan is part of the Ring of Fire and spans 6852 archipelago islands. As the 11th most populated country, Japan has been inhabited since the Upper Paleolithic period. Therefore, the country has witnessed many empires come and go until it decided to become a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarch in 1947. Due to its mountainous and tropical geography, the country experiences very different climatic conditions. While the North and East have warm summers and snowy winters, the West and South experience very hot summers and moderately cold winters. While many people would know about the beauties of Tokyo, Japan is also home to some of the most beautiful cities in the world such as Osaka, Sapporo, Yokohama, Nagoya and Kyoto. Japan has been one of the great powers since the dawn of post world war geopolitics, with great contributions to the United Nations, OECD and the G7. The country has one of the largest nominal GDPs and ranks very high on the Human Development Index. It has been a leader in many industries such as automobile, electronics, cuisine and pop culture.
HIGHER EDUCATION STRUCTURE
In Japan, higher education begins after the successful completion of a total of 12 years of primary education i.e. school. To these students with an ambition to change the world, the Japanese higher education system provides three different cycles of education. They are:
- Bachelors: For students graduating fresh out of school, Japan offers an undergraduate bachelor’s program in a variety of courses that generally takes up to four years to complete and six years for medical, dental, veterinary and some pharmaceutical programs.
Requirement to study Bachelor’s in Japan
For students to pursue Bachelor’s program in Japan, they must:
- Complete class 12 with 60% and above
- Masters: After students have successfully completed their Bachelor’s degree, Japanese universities offer a master’s program for them in any stream of their choice. With 7 of its universities in the top 50 Asian universities and two of in the top 100 of the world, studying a masters program in Japan holds a great deal of opportunity for students to pursue their ambitions. Such programs usually take upto 2 years for students with a variety of teaching methods such as lectures, tutorials, group work and research.
Requirement to study Master’s in Japan
For students to pursue a Master’s program in Japan, they require:
- Successful completion of class 12 with 60% and above
- Successful completion of a bachelor’s degree with 60% and above
- PhD: PhD programs in Japan usually take place in specialised graduate schools that are associated with a university. Such programs are often split in two different phases with the Master’s program and an independent research program. PhD programs in Japan usually take up to 3 years for a student who already hold a masters degree and 5 years for students who wish to directly pursue their PhD after their 4 year undergraduate course.
Requirement to study PhD in Japan
Some of the basic requirements that students must have pursue a PhD in Japan are:
- Successful completion of class 12 with 60% and above
- Successful completion of a bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree with 60% and above
- An independent research idea that they wish to pursue their PhD on.
Cost of studying in Japan
Students are likely to pay an average of 12,40,000 YEN to 28,30,000 YEN (around INR 8,50,000 – 20,00,000) per year for UG courses in Japan. For postgraduate courses such as a Master’s degree students can be expected to pay an average of 12,50,000 YEN to 44,00,000 YEN (around INR 9,00,000 – 31,00,000) per year.
Students are also given the option of availing on campus accommodation which are usually dormitories. Such an accommodation is likely to cost upto 12000 YEN per month (around INR 8300). For students willing to live outside campus, they must be ready to pay more than 60000 YEN/ per month for accommodation, food, travel and utilities.
WORK IN JAPAN
In order to contribute to their living expenses, students are allowed to work up to 28 hours per week and up to 40 hours during long holidays. However, students are first required to receive Shikakugai-katsudokyoka permission from the immigration office to work part time in the country. Students often find work in the service industry such as fast food, shops, restaurants, cafes and hotels. However, they are advised to have a basic understanding of native Japanese language to be able to successfully perform their work.
After the completion of their higher education, students are also given the opportunity to work full time in Japan. As one of the world’s economic powerhouse, the country eased post-study work visa restrictions in 2018 to allow international students to work in any role that they may desire as long as they meet an income threshold of 3 million yen annually and thus allow very different skill sets to contribute to the country’s economic activities. Since finding a job right after graduation is very tough, the Japanese student visas also allow a stay of upto 1 year after graduation in order to help students find their desired employment.
VISA TO JAPAN
To obtain a student visa to study in Japan, students are required to submit:
- Their passport which does not expire in 6 months
- A certificate of eligibility
- A letter of acceptance in any Japanese university
- A motivational letter describing their reasons to study in Japan
- A proof ascertaining their financial capabilities in order to study and sustain their lives in Japan
After receiving a student visa and landing in Japan, they will receive a Landing Permit and Residence Permit which will certify their stay in the country.
While universities have their own set of scholarship programs, the japanese government help meeting the tuition costs for students through a variety of funding opportunities such as the Japan Study Support Scholarships, the Monbukagakusho Honours Scholarship for Privately-Financed International Students and ADB-Japan Scholarship Program for Developing Countries in Asia Pacific which cater to students that specifically come from countries that may not have high income capacity.