Japan is known to be rich in culture and heritage. The country is a landmine for many temples and vast beautiful scenery such as mountains and rivers. You will find yourself immersed deeply in nature as you go to different prefectures of Japan. Even living in the city, you will find different areas with temples and parks where you can enjoy nature in the middle of a bustling city.

If you want to study nursing in Japan, you can benefit yourself with the diverse people you meet, exquisite local food, and most importantly their top-notch universities and colleges that are internationally recognized. The nursing curriculum in Japan is on par with international schools.

They offer undergraduate and graduate courses in nursing and have vast opportunities in developing your career in different specializations. If you want to learn more about becoming a nurse in Japan, read on below to find the most updated requirements and step-by-step process.

1. Know the Qualifications of Being a Nurse in Japan

To become a nurse in Japan, you have to finish high school and complete a nursing degree. There are three ways to study nursing in Japan and get a degree: four-year university/college of nursing; three-year junior college of nursing; and three-year nursing school diploma program. Afterwhich, you have to pass the national examination to practice the profession in the country.

If you wish to further your career, you can enroll in specialized courses to have the opportunity to become a public health nurse, licensed school nurse, certified nurse specialist, and many more. For instance, the school of nursing at Chiba University and Tokai University offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing. To enter the program, they require you to take an entrance examination based on your qualifications and aptitude.

2. Get to Know Some Japanese Nursing Schools

Choosing a nursing school or any school per se will require you to have a list of criteria. To help you filter out which school is the most desirable, you have to have a list of priorities. First, list down your considerations in location. Do you want to study in the city or the countryside? Which prefecture in Japan would you like to live in? – These are some of the questions you may want to ask yourself to pick the right school. If you want to study in a more budget-friendly city, try searching for schools in Gifu, Hokkaido, or Nagano.

In connection with the location, the cost of tuition highly matters when studying nursing in Japan. Knowing the location and the possible costs will help you determine if you are financially capable of the said situation. The type of school matters a lot for the cost of tuition varies for private and public universities. Another thing to add to the list is your chances of admission. If you believe you qualify for the program, then it is safe to say you can choose to add that nursing school to your list of choices.

Lastly, the school’s size and nursing curriculum is something to think about. It highly depends on your preferences whether you like a big university or a small college. What matter’s down the road is the nursing curriculum offered. You have to make sure the curriculum is at par with international standards that will help you get a better career and experience.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

3. Pass their English and Japanese Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in nursing is commonly offered in Japanese, whereas some nursing graduate degrees can be in the English curriculum. For you to successfully study nursing in Japanese, you have to have familiarization with the Japanese language. Although most people can speak English in Japan, you will find yourself in some places where English is not a common language, especially in the countryside. Thus, it is best to learn the language to help you with your everyday use.

If you do not have sufficient Japanese proficiency, you are required to take Japanese language courses. For instance, at Tokai University, all undergraduate courses are taught in Japanese. Thus, it is advisable to study in their Japanese Language Course for International Students before applying for the program.

4. Make Sure that You Are Prepared Financially

Fulfilling education requirements is only the beginning. A bigger and more important preparation goes to meeting the total costs. If you are on a budget, consider studying at a public university in a less popular prefecture or the countryside. The cost of living in these areas is known to be less expensive than living in popular cities such as Tokyo.

As mentioned, the type of school would determine the cost of tuition. If you want to study in Japanese national universities, the cost of tuition is the same for all. If you prefer a private university, expect the costs to be much higher and vary per school. For example, the cost of tuition at Osaka City University for undergraduate degrees is JPY 535,800 per semester. This does not include the application fee of JPY 30,000 and the admission fee of JPY 382,000.

To help you meet the costs of studying nursing in Japan, most nursing schools have scholarship programs and financial aid. If you meet the qualifications, you can apply for these programs to help you with the budget. If time and visa permit, most international students in Japan can also have a part-time job to help pay off the expenses.

5. Get Ready Your Application

When you are done choosing a school and setting a budget, start preparing your documents as soon as possible. For more complete details of studying nursing in Japan, head on to the nursing school’s website to see the list of requirements. You will find some websites in English or Japanese. However, if you choose the English versions of the website, it may not show the complete information. It is best to use a translation tool instead.

For example, Tokai University considers applicants who have completed 12 years of high school education and is 18 years of age. You will also be asked to take an examination for Japanese University Admission (EJU). If you live in a country where EJU is not available, you can also submit an N1 certificate of JLPT or certificate of J. TEST with Pre B or higher. Moreover, you need to submit three recommendation letters from your school.

6. Submit Your Application to Nursing Schools

Upon completion of the requirements of studying nursing in Japan, start sending out your application form to your desired nursing schools. The application process is pretty simple. You send out your documents and have them reviewed, have an interview, take an examination, and get accepted. Here is an example of a step-by-step application process from Osaka City University.

Step one involves taking an examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) in June or November. Next, step two requires you to submit an application form from October to December. Lastly, you will have to take the Osaka City University entrance examination in February next year. If you passed their screening, you can start school in April.

7. Submit Your Japanese Student Visa Application

It is best to apply for a student visa at least three months before your expected date of arrival. Depending on your nationality, the Japanese embassy may require different documents for submission. To give you an idea, here is an example from the Embassy of Japan in the United States of America.

If you plan to stay more than 90 days in Japan, you are required to submit your valid passport, filled application form with signature, one 2×2 photograph, copy of acceptance letter from the nursing school, proof of financial capacity such as your bank statement, or maybe a scholarship grant. Keep in mind these documents are to be photocopied as you will send the original and photocopies as well.

If you have a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or a sponsor for your visa, most of the above requirements will not be needed. You will only need your valid passport, completed application form, one 2×2 photograph, and the original Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the Ministry of Justice in Japan. Again, all of these should be photocopied as you will submit the original and the photocopies.


I hope that this article on how to study nursing in Japan was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students to know more information on studying abroad!