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Study in Japan: A Guide For International Students

How does the idea of studying abroad sound to you? Exploring a new culture, different than yours, opens new paths in life you have never imagined. Studying abroad in Japan is an option you should seriously consider. 

Japan or ‘’Nippon’’ ‘’Nihon’’ or as more widely called ‘’The Land of the Rising Sun’’ is an island country located in East Asia in the northwest of the Pacific Ocean. It consists of five main islands and spans in an around 7,000 island archipelago. Did you know that human habitation of the Japanese archipelago was traced back to prehistoric times, around 30,000 years ago?

Why study abroad in Japan? You will find yourself living in one of the most urbanized and densely populated countries in the world. In fact, the Greater Tokyo area is the most populous area in the world, with more than 37 million residents! In Japan, you will have the option to live in one of the main five islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu or Okinawa.

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The country is rather mountainous, but the coastal life will also give you the opportunity to explore the numerous islands as you study abroad in Japan. Imagine visiting Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan, located in the island of Honshu. The famous Mount Fuji is actually the second highest volcano located in an island in Asia and has the seventh highest island mountain peak on earth. 

More than 300,000 international students over the years have chosen Japan so far as their study destination, for multiple reasons. No matter which major you are interested in studying, if you study abroad in Japan, you will get experience of living in the world’s third largest economy, since Japan is a great financial power.

The country is a member of numerous international organizations like the United Nations (UN), the Organization for Economic Co-operations and Development (OECD) and the Group of Seven (G7). In addition, the country is ranked fourth in relation to military power, is a pioneer with contributions in science and technology and maintains one of the world’s highest life expectancies! 

First of all, Japanese universities have excellent reputation and facilities. Their global reputation in terms of innovation and research is reflected in the fact that almost 40 of their institutions are ranked among the World’s Top 200 universities. Secondly, Japan is ranked first in the Top 10 Places to Study Abroad in Asia for experiencing a new culture and second overall in Asia.  

Japan has everything an ambitious student needs, in order to experience a life-changing academic experience with promising career prospects. Read through our Study in Japan Guide to find out why Japan is a great place to live and study as an international student.

Japan - Quick facts & figures







Area Size

377,975 km²


312,000 international students

Academic Year

April - March


Japanese Yen (¥)

Calling Code


Time Zone


Sakura in Japan

More about studying abroad in Japan

But why study in Japan and not another Asian country? Deciding to apply for university education in Japan will give you the opportunity to choose among 783 universities (daigaku) and  junior colleges (tanki daigaku). Both universities and junior colleges provide a four-year training which leads to a Bachelor's degree, while some offer six-year programs for a professional degree. Only universities and junior colleges are considered as higher education institutions in Japan. 

The Japanese government has made a big effort to attract international students in the last decades, by offering financial support to students through scholarships, a variety of English-taught programs and also by hiring teaching staff from all over the globe with the aim to make the academic environment more diverse and welcoming to international students. The university of Tokyo, Kyoto university and Tokyo Institute of Technology are considered the top universities in the country, ranked very high in the world university rankings. 

Still wondering why to study in Japan? Studying abroad in Japan will open you the doors to an exciting student life with high quality degrees. In Japan you can choose among numerous Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate programs. You can study either in English or even Japanese if you are able to prove your language proficiency. The most popular majors to study in Japan include economics and business, science and technology, education or humanities. 

Education System

Want to learn about how the higher education system works in Japan? Japan is among the top study destinations for students, given its diverse programs, affordable education and its culture and history. Take a minute to find out more about the structure of the education system in Japan!

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Student Visas

As an international student, you need a visa when studying in Japan. Learn more about the student visa process, and what you need to enter the country, depending on your citizen status. You will also be required to bring certain documents with you to passport control at the airport, which we cover as well.

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Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in Japan.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in Japan may vary. Both international and domestic students are expected to pay tuition fees in Japan. To cover the rest of the costs, there’s plenty of scholarship opportunities available.

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Language & Culture

Japan is a country rich in history and culture. Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, and more!

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Application Process

All countries have specific admissions requirements for students to gain acceptance into a university. Learn more about the ins and outs of admission to programs in Japan, and what you need to apply, depending on your citizenship.

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Ready to look at education in Japan? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Japan today!

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Last update: 28 Jun 2021

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