We have already covered the UK, New Zealand, and Israel as a part of the initiative to help students assess international education destinations around the world. After going through the last few articles in this series, you will probably want to learn about more study abroad destinations. This time, we will take you to another part of the world, a replica of urbanisation and innovation. You guessed it right- we will cover Japan as a study abroad destination!

The island country located in East Asia offers a unique blend of cultural tradition and technological innovation, making it one of the best places to live, study, and work. It comes as no surprise that the number of international students in Japan continues to increase, and it is emerging as stiff competition to popular destinations like the US, Australia, Canada, and more. Let us share some inspiring reasons to study abroad in Japan.


Japan is home to some of the top universities in the world, with some of them ranked among the top 100 by the QS World University Rankings. The country is acclaimed for scientific and technological modernisation, making it one of the best destinations for studying STEM programmes. If you are looking to pursue courses in innovative fields like artificial intelligence, robotics, and nanotechnology, this is the destination of choice. You can also pursue liberal arts majors at the Toyo University, as it specialises in the Japanese language and culture. The best part is that many courses are taught in English, so language is not a major barrier for international students. Here are some leading universities to consider.


When compared with the popular study abroad destinations like the US or the UK, Japan is quite reasonable when it comes to tuition fees for Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate degrees. The course fees may vary according to the chosen programme and university, and it makes sense to study the individual website of the university before applying. Tokyo is expensive from the living cost perspective, but you can save a lot by choosing to reside in a suburb. The cost of living in smaller cities is far more affordable. The averages per annum costs that international students have to bear here are as follows.

  • Undergraduate – $7,000- $14,000 (USD)
  • Post Graduate – $6,000- $12,000 (USD)

Approximate cost of living: $8,000 (USD) per annum


The process to secure admission to a course of choice is pretty straightforward, and the best way to start is by accessing the university website to seek information on the requirements. Most universities will require you to appear for the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) if applying for a Bachelor’s degree. Those seeking admission to a Master’s degree have to take the TOEFL or IELTS examinations to validate the proof of English language proficiency. You will require common paperwork such as a completed application form with the signature of the embassy authorities, certificates and diplomas, proof of payment of university application fee, and letters of recommendation.


Higher education in the country is provided by private or public universities. The education system is governed by the Japanese Ministry of Education and Culture (MEXT). Equality, quality, and performance are the pillars of the Japanese university system, so you can expect to get only the best here. The scoring system followed the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), making Japan one of the best in terms of students’ ability and skills. Apart from getting access to quality education here, you study Japanese, a highly-valued language globally.


Another inspiring reason to choose Japan as your international education destination is that the government offers additional financial assistance to international students through grants and scholarships. The objective of the initiative is to popularise the country as a global study abroad destination by making studying here cheaper and easier. Apart from MEXT, the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) also offers numerous grant and scholarship opportunities to students to get into universities all over the country.


Like any other study abroad destination, Japan too requires you to have a student visa to stay and study here legitimately. Your admission university has to be the sponsor for taking the visa process ahead. While international students are not allowed to work here while pursuing their programme, you can seek special permission from your university or immigration office to do it. You can expect them to permit you to work for a specific number of hours per week.  


As a part of the drive to get international students to the country, Japanese companies are keen to hire them after graduation. The opportunities are abundant across diverse business domains, including information technology, engineering, investment banking, research, healthcare, education, and more. Japan eased the restrictions on the post-study work visa recently. It now allows graduates to work in any role, other than within their field of study, provided that they fulfil the income threshold of 3 million yen. You can apply for a work visa that is valid for a period between 3 months to 1-5 years, depending on the field of your work. The maximum period of a work visa is five years. You can also explore the option of a Highly-Skilled Foreign Professional visa. The visa is meant for professionals in advanced fields such as engineers, scientists, lawyers, and business executives.

Beyond the academic advantages it offers, Japan is acclaimed to be among the safest countries in the world. Since it imposes strict rules on alcohol, drugs, and firearms, international students can expect to live in a safe and secure environment here. You also get the opportunity to enjoy excellent living standards and bright career prospects. There are definitely plenty of valid reasons to choose Japan to study abroad.

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

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