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System of Education in Japan

Undertaking education in Japan is definitely an investment in your career and a brilliant opportunity to gain industry contacts, experience and, not least, learn the Japanese language. If you are considering studying in Japan, there are many different ways to go about it. Regardless of the course you choose, from Japanese-language training to postgraduate studies, you will come in touch with Japanese culture and lifestyles that will prove to be an invaluable experience. Foreign students can enroll in one of five types of institutions of higher education in Japan:

  • Universities - undergraduate courses (generally four years of study)
  • Graduate schools - offer both master (2 years) and doctorate/PhD programs (5 years)
  • Junior colleges - most related to home economics, humanities and education (2-3 years)
  • Special training colleges - post-secondary vocational courses (1+ years)
  • Colleges of technology - courses in engineering, merchant shipping etc (5 years)

Requirements For Undertaking Education in Japan

Besides a secondary school diploma equivalent to Japanese requirements, studying higher education in Japan generally also requires a good grasp of the Japanese language.  This is why many foreign students in Japan, start their academic career with one to two years of study at a Japanese language institute. Entry requirements for education in Japan will differ depending on the university so make sure to contact them directly to see which specific requirements they have.

Cost of Education in Japan

Typically, you can expect to pay between ¥500,000 (USD$4,140) and ¥1,000,000 (USD$8,280) a year for tuition fees in Japan. While this is one of the more expensive places to study in Asia, the cost is still lower in comparison to education in the US or UK. Other fees to consider with education in Japan include application fees or entrance examination fees and maintenance fees. Contact the university directly to learn about costs involved in undertaking education in Japan.

Accommodation in Japan

The average monthly living expenses for international students is around ¥138,000 (USD$1,200), but will depend on the region. There a wide variety of accommodation options for international students undertaking education in Japan, ranging from government- and university-operated accommodation to private housing. Around 77% of international students studying abroad in Japan stay in private housing, which can be organized via the university's international student office, the internet, magazines or real estate agents.

To learn more about undertaking education in Japan, make sure to check out our Japan Study Guide.

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