A country that effortlessly blends ancient traditions with ultra-modern infrastructure, Japan is an enduringly popular choice for international students. Over 200,000 international students decided to study in Japan in 2021, no doubt attracted by the amazing geography, world-famous culture, and high-quality education. Although Tokyo houses the majority of students, the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, and Yokohama are all equally popular student cities. Japan is undoubtedly one of the more expensive places to study in the world, but in return, you’ll receive a world-class education while being able to immerse yourself in one of the world’s most fascinating countries.
The country’s top-ranked universities are dotted throughout the country, including the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, and Osaka University. They all featured in the top 100 of the QS World University Rankings 2021 and are all part of the prestigious National Seven Universities – a group of Japanese universities comparable to the Russell Group in the UK or the Ivy League in the USA. The typical language of instruction is Japanese, but a growing number of institutions now offer programs taught entirely in English.
Japan is one of the most prestigious study destinations in the world yet its tuition fees are typically more affordable than in places such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. The cost of an MBA in Japan can range anywhere between EUR€15,000 and €40,000 depending on the institution. In terms of living costs, the average monthly expenses of an international student in Japan is JP¥93,000 (US$731).
All international students must apply for a student visa to study in Japan. You will first need to apply for an authorized Certificate of Eligibility (COE) at the nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate with required documents such as a letter of admission and proof of sufficient funds. Some Japanese universities will apply for a COE on your behalf. Once your COE is issued, you can then submit a visa application form by submitting documents including your passport, the visa application form, passport photos, and your COE, among others.
Japan’s universities are some of the best in the world and several feature prominently in global rankings. The University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, and Osaka University are three of the most prestigious universities, while GLOBIS, NUCB, and SANNO Institute of Management are some of the most prominent business schools in Japan.
Japan has the third-largest economy in the world and is home to world-leading automotive, electronic, and IT industries. English-speaking jobs will predominantly be available at multinational companies located in Tokyo, but if you’re proficient in Japanese then it will be possible to search for jobs beyond the capital. It should be noted that the Japanese work culture is markedly different from many Western cultures, and you should research the differences accordingly before applying for jobs.
There are over 200,000 international students studying in Japan, and the government’s target is to reach 300,000. It is the eighth-most popular international study destination in the world. In 2021, students from China and Vietnam made up more than 67% of all international students in Japan.
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