Cost of Studying and Living in Japan
Japan uses the Yen (¥) as its currency.
Compared to the UK and USA, tuition fees at universities in Japan are very affordable. The private institutions are able to set their own fees, but the top universities do not necessarily charge the highest fees. On average, you should expect to pay between ¥500,000 and ¥1,000,000 per academic year. Along with your standard tuition fees, you will probably required to pay an admission fee and examination fees. The admission fee is usually around ¥280,000, and the examination fees are usually between ¥17,000 and ¥30,000. Because of the Japanese government’s aim to gain more international students, there are more scholarships available than ever, for example the Monbukagakusho scholarship. Contact your institution to see if you are eligible for any funding.
Living costs will depend on where you choose to stay in Japan. If you choose to live in a bigger city, you will pay more than a smaller city or a town. On average, you should budget for around ¥90,000 per month. This accounts for accommodation, groceries and travel. All international students are required to enrol in the National Health Insurance system. The cost of this is around ¥23,500 per year.
International students who wish to study in Japan will need a student visa. In order to obtain a visa, you will first need a Certificate of Eligibility. This will be applied for on your behalf by the Japanese university you are accepted at. After this has been issued, you can apply for your visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country. To get a visa, you will need to provide the certificate of eligibility, a photocopy of the certificate, a valid passport, a completed application form and a recent passport sized photograph.
You will be able to work whilst you study, but you will need to get a ‘Permission to Engage in Activity Other than that Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted’. This can be applied for at an immigration bureau after you arrive in Japan. Generally, this allows you to work up to 28 hours per week during term-time and eight hours a day during official holiday periods.
Japan does not have any official languages, but the national language is Japanese.
Due to the aim of increasing international students, there are many courses being offered in English. If you choose to study in a non-native language, you may be required to provide evidence of proficiency. If you do not meet the required standards, it is common for you to be able to take a language course to help you improve.
Even if you do study in English, you should make an effort to learn as much of the Japanese language as possible. Communicating with the locals and other students is a perfect way to practice. Having knowledge of another language is a skill that looks great on your CV/resume!
Officially Tokyo Metropolis, Tokyo has been the capital city of Japan since 1869. Home to 13.9 million people, Tokyo was called Edo until 1868. If Tokyo was a country, it would have the 8th largest economy in the world. Tokyo is due to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Summer Olympics and Summer Paralympics.
Located in the city you will find many universities, junior colleges and vocational schools. Included in these are the University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology and Keio University. As well as this, the United Nations University is located in Tokyo, which is the academic and research department of the UN.