How to Study in Japan: Tips and Advice for International Students

Are you considering studying in Japan? As an international student, the prospect of studying in a foreign country can be both exciting and intimidating. However, with the right tips and advice, you can make your transition to studying in Japan a smoother one. In this article, we will provide you with valuable insights on how to study in Japan as an international student.

Choosing the Right University

One of the first steps in studying abroad is choosing the right university. Japan has a wide variety of universities to choose from, but not all of them may suit your needs. Consider factors such as the language of instruction, location, available courses, and tuition fees when selecting a university.

Language of Instruction

Most universities in Japan offer courses in Japanese, but some universities also offer courses in English. If you do not speak Japanese, choosing a university that offers courses in English is the best option for you. However, if you are interested in studying Japanese, you may want to choose a university that offers Japanese language classes.


Japan is a small country, but the cultural differences between regions can be significant. Consider the location of the university you are interested in, and think about whether you would prefer to study in a big city, a rural area, or a smaller town.

Available Courses

Different universities in Japan specialize in different fields. Research the universities you are interested in and consider the courses they offer. Make sure that the courses offered align with your academic goals.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees in Japan can vary greatly depending on the university and program. Make sure you research the tuition fees and available scholarships before selecting a university. Keep in mind that living expenses in Japan can also be high, so factor that into your budget.

Visa Requirements

Once you have selected a university, the next step is to apply for a student visa. International students are required to obtain a student visa to study in Japan. You can apply for a student visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country.

To apply for a student visa, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • A valid passport
  • A certificate of admission from the university you will be attending
  • Proof of financial support
  • A completed visa application form

It is important to apply for your student visa well in advance of your departure date, as the process can take several weeks.

Preparing for Life in Japan

Moving to a new country can be daunting, but with proper preparation and research, you can make the transition smoother. Here are some tips for preparing for life in Japan as an international student:

Learn the Language

While it is possible to get by in Japan without speaking Japanese, learning the language can make your life easier. Consider taking Japanese language classes before you leave home, or enroll in a language school in Japan.

Research Accommodation Options

Japan has a range of accommodation options for international students, including dormitories, share houses, and apartments. Research the different options available and choose one that suits your needs and budget.

Understand Cultural Differences

Japan has a unique culture, and it is important to understand and respect cultural differences. Research Japanese culture and etiquette before you arrive in Japan. Learning basic Japanese customs and phrases can also help you navigate daily life in Japan.

Budget Accordingly

Living expenses in Japan can be high, so it is important to budget accordingly. Consider costs such as rent, food, transportation, and entertainment. Look for ways to save money, such as cooking at home instead of eating out.

Make Friends

Making friends with other international students and local Japanese students can help you adjust to life in Japan. Join clubs and extracurricular activities to meet new people and make friends.

Studying in Japan

Now that you have prepared for life in Japan, it is time to focus on your studies. Here are some tips for studying in Japan:

Attend Orientation

Most universities in Japan offer orientation programs for international students. Attend the orientation to learn more about the university and meet other international students.

Take Advantage of Support Services

Most universities in Japan offer support services for international students, including language classes, counseling services, and academic support. Take advantage of these services to help you with your studies.

Participate in Extracurricular Activities

Participating in extracurricular activities can help you meet new people and improve your Japanese language skills. Join clubs and activities that interest you and make the most of your study abroad experience.

Travel and Explore

Japan has a rich culture and history, and there is much to explore. Take advantage of your time in Japan to travel and explore the country. Visit famous landmarks, try local foods, and learn more about Japanese culture.

Final Thoughts

Studying in Japan as an international student can be a rewarding experience, but it requires preparation and research. Choose the right university, understand visa requirements, and prepare for life in Japan. Once you arrive in Japan, take advantage of support services, make friends, and explore the country. With the right mindset and preparation, you can make your study abroad experience in Japan a memorable one.

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