Japan is a nation with extraordinary culture and history. Japan, while rich in tradition, is also a leading country in education. The universities in Japan are known for their excellence and have some of the most brilliant people as both students and professors. If you would like to attend as an international student, you need to first apply to universities in Japan. In this article, I will teach you the steps on how to apply to Japanese universities as international students.
So, I hope that this guide will be a help to you. I would just like to give you a heads up that this is a general guide, and not a specific guide. It would be impossible to list the admission procedure for every single university in Japan. Therefore, I just listed general things so that you know what to expect for admissions. So, to look at the specific admission guide, you will need to find the official university website and to read the admission procedure there.
Consider These Before Applying to Universities in Japan
To get started, you need to find a university that caters to your needs. This university may be in the city or region in Japan you want, or it may offer your degree/course specifically. You also may want to check if the course you want is offered in English. Whatever the criteria you have, make sure that the university meets your requirements. Check it twice so you do not regret making a very expensive change by switching universities.
If you already have a degree or course in mind, the next step is to check its availability on your preferred university or city. This can be quite a tricky as not every university in Japan offers English courses. If not, you will have to either learn Japanese for a year in a language school or try to find a university with English courses. In a perfect scenario, you can study your preferred major at a university in your preferred city. In most cases, however, you may have to settle for one or the other. This means limiting your choices in cities to go to, or changing your chosen course altogether.
I would advise you to look for universities with English courses first. If that doesn’t work out, attend language schools at your preferred university and then apply for admissions. I would never advise you to change your preferred major unless you really have to.
Components of Applying to Japanese Universities
Once you settle on the university and city you want, the next step is admission. Enrolling at a university as an International student can be difficult. You have a lot of competition, and a school can only have so many numbers of vacancies.
The university’s website is the go-to place to check class openings, course availability, and initial requirements. You will be needing to fill all the paperwork before you can even begin to think about attending You should check the university website also for scholarship information for international students.
Requirements often include the following:
- Educational background and the transcript of your records
- Proof of funding, to ensure you can support yourself while on another country
- Copies of your passport
- Photos and other forms of identification
- A certificate of eligibility
- Student visa
Other items they may ask include:
- Police records or clearances
- Proof of language proficiency (Japanese)
- Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) results
- Recommendation letters from your school
Of course, these requirements vary from each university. Some may even ask for more than stated, so make sure you read carefully the instructions on their websites.
Also, take note of the application deadline, so you can plan out your requirements.
Make Sure to Search for Scholarships before You Apply!
Gaining admission in your university is only the beginning. You still need to find lodging, as well as determine the travel routes between you and the school. If you do live in the dormitory, it will be cheaper, but still, this is where most of your funding will matter. School fees are one thing, but the daily expenses can drain your funds very quickly. Daily expenses include your rent, food, groceries, as well as travel costs to and from the university.
The smart thing to do in this phase is to search your university for scholarships, programs, or other offers directed at international students or all students. These often involve some sort of financial aid, which can help drastically in your daily living. Some programs even offer free lodging, which is the most expensive aspect to consider in your overseas travel. Others may offer minor aid, like groceries, a rent discount, free rides, or a stipend while studying. Many universities in Japan can offer these, as well as connections with the local area. Schools are never in short supply of these programs. All you have to do is find and apply to one that suits you.
I highly suggest taking a look at Japan Scholarships to look for scholarships.
A New Journey Awaits
The process can take a long time, and waiting for their response can take even longer. Studying in another country – or even another continent – can be a difficult and stressful process. But at the end of the tunnel, you get to experience an entirely new culture, meet new people, and create connections that can further your career. Not everyone can say they traveled the world to study. When you take your shot in this unique experience, make sure it counts.