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Best Courses to Study in Japan for International Students

Apr 05, 2023Date Published
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Japan is a brilliant option for an international student because it is a diverse nation with an excellent educational system. Japan is renowned as a leading center of education alongside being a technology leader. The superb Japanese institutions that offer world-class opportunities for education, training, and research deserve praise for this. In this guideline, we run through a list of some of the best courses to study in Japan for international students along with some useful details on why these are the nation's strong suits and the benefits studying these courses bring you. We’re also listing the leading universities in Japan offering the best courses in each subject so you have everything you need to keep off your academic journey!

Why is Japan Excellent for International Students?

When it comes to academic opportunities and job chances, Japan offers you the best of everything. Japan offers everything—technology, a creative mindset, and career prospects. For many overseas students, living in Japan has been an enriching and life-changing experience. In a nutshell, here are some reasons to study in Japan for international students:

1. Quality of Education

Japan is a high-tech nation with some of the greatest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs in the world. International students can pick from a wide variety of programs and courses in Japan. Each course is created to give students the highest possible academic advantage in their field. With a renowned educational system, Japan has several top-ranked universities due to their outstanding contributions to the academic world.

Below are a couple of Japanese institutions in the top 200 of the world’s best universities:

University Name
QS World University Rankings
The University of Tokyo
Kyoto University
Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech)
Tohoku University
Nagoya University
Kyushu University
Hokkaido University
Keio University

2.  Unique Culture

Japan has its own culture and way of life. Simple living, healthy habits, hospitality, and delicious Japanese food are all wonderful qualities to enjoy during your stay.

Young people from all around the world are drawn to Japanese pop culture. Many students first saw the Hiragana alphabet while reading Japanese manga, and many first encountered spoken Japanese while watching anime.

With one foot firmly planted in East Asian culture, Japan also has a significant Western and American cultural impact. But on top of that, Japan has a distinctive culture that is unlike anything you will experience anywhere else. As well as the more traditional culture of samurais, temples, hot springs, and old tales, Japanese fashion in general is also appealing and cosplay is a great modern iteration of it.

3. Naturally Diverse Country

Japan is a Pacific Ocean island nation that is part of East Asia. Japan, nicknamed the "Land of the Rising Sun," has over 126.7 million people. With approximately 7,000 distinct islands, Japan is an archipelago.

With majestic landscapes like Mount Fuji, the nation is renowned for its elegance and beauty. The varied terrain of Japan causes regional variations in the climate. Warm summers and chilly winters are trademarks of its four different seasons

4. Closer for Students in Other Asian Countries

Japan has grown to be one of the best countries for international students from other Asian countries. For students who are dreaming of studying abroad, but are not comfortable going too far, Japan brings the best of both worlds. Its excellent, world-class learning institutions are a couple of hours away from destinations like Bangladesh and India, compared to the other side of the world like North America.

Alongside the proximity, Japan has diverse traditions, culture, and a unique quality of living. Among the other Asian countries Japan has the best ranked universities and technological advancement attracting many international students.

5. Stable Economy

Because of its strong economy, Japan offers a wide range of work prospects to overseas students. It is a location where your career may flourish. Tokyo, Yokohama, and Osaka are the most technologically advanced and finest places to find great jobs.

Many corporate giants are Japanese, including Sony, Mitsubishi, Capcom, Hitachi, and Toyota. And several more huge corporations have headquarters in Japan too! As one of the world’s leading economies, Japan creates innumerable opportunities you can take advantage of, both professionally and for a high quality of life.

6. Safe & Peaceful

Japan has an extremely low crime rate and the majority of its citizens are very courteous. Japan ranks as the ninth-safest nation in the world by 2022 according to the World Population Review, and it has spent 13 years in the top 10 of the Global Peace Index. Maintaining peace and harmony are important values in Japanese culture, and you’ll find living here a pleasant experience.

7. Affordability Compared to Other Destinations

The cost of attending a university in Japan is quite reasonable when compared to that in the UK and the USA. Private universities may determine their own tuition, although the best universities may not always charge the most.

Besides, the living cost depends on the state that you’re living in. So the popularity of courses depends on their location as well. Take a look at the section below covering a breakdown of Japan’s best student cities and the costs of living in each!

8. Scholarships for International Students

The great news is that there are numerous scholarships open to applications for overseas students. You may be eligible for a scholarship to help with the expense of your degree program at a Japanese university. Additionally, a number of collaborative scholarships are on offer. For example:

  • Scholarships by MEXT
  • Jasso
  • Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship
  • Scholarships by private foundations and many more.

A good place to start looking is to the university’s website itself for international student scholarships. You can also look into whether the Japanese government or your home government offers relevant scholarships. For example, the Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh highlights its MEXT scholarship opportunities for local students.

Best Cities in Japan for Students

There are a lot of alternatives accessible to you in terms of where to study if you wish to do so in Japan. Some of Japan's top cities for students are listed below, as well as the costs of living in each:

Living Costs Per Month
¥130,000 - ¥135,000
¥110,000 - ¥120,000
¥115,000 - ¥120,000
¥120,000 - ¥130,000
¥125,000 - ¥130,000

Best Courses to Study in Japan

The nation excels in cutting-edge commercial ventures, technology, and research, and has high rates of literacy and numeracy. Japan's emphasis on education not only enables the nation to prosper internationally but also provides wonderful chances for individuals who desire to study there.

Universities in Japan provide a vast variety of courses in several academic fields. They are all current and emphasize general progress. The following are some of the best courses to study in Japan for international students, as well as the most popular:

1. Engineering

Attending engineering courses in Japan is one of the quickest pathways to find a high-paying profession. This is particularly true for educated graduates who have the knowledge and skills required to work in the engineering industry. Because Japan is a technical powerhouse, businesses like Toyota, Nintendo, Sony, and others provide graduates the chance to join well-respected organizations right after graduation.

Japan is the global leader in earthquake engineering, and there are numerous chances for engineers that specialize in robotics engineering and computer science.

2. Business

Japan is the third-largest economy in the world and its consumers have high expectations for the quality of all goods and services. It provides good chances for students to continue their postgraduate business studies.

Because the great majority of renowned Japanese organizations interested in internationalization are amenable to recruiting foreign students if they have a knowledge of Japanese culture, many students use an MBA degree in Japan to get employment.

Through a variety of industry projects, internships, group presentations, and other activities that would help hone their creativity, communication, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills, business degrees in Japan are practice-oriented and introduce their students to real-world experiences in the professional setting.

You should pick an institution with a renowned business school if you're thinking about studying for a business degree in Japan. Consider looking at Keio University, renowned for its excellence in the business degrees!

3. Data Science

In terms of creativity and technology, Japan has been a worldwide giant. It is one of the nations that invests the most in technical research and advancement to solve the most important problems facing the nation to improve the lives of its citizens. Without the existence and appropriate management of data, these breakthroughs would not be feasible.

Data is the fuel that powers the globe, yet the majority of businesses have difficulty making sense of all the different types of data. Every organization's development and productivity may be significantly impacted by the capacity to turn and evaluate data into useful insights.

One of the top academic fields in Japan is data science. Here, you get to learn about sifting through unstructured data, doing analysis, and coming up with pertinent insights. Numerous colleges in Japan offer outstanding programs in the subject.

The Japanese government is taking several steps to improve data science research and education in its universities in order to give its students the necessary skills and knowledge to make them industry-ready and globally competitive. This is due to the exponential growth of data that is available in various industries.

4. Pharmaceutical Sciences

One of the largest markets for medicine in the world, experts expect Japan to expand even further in the years to come. One of the greatest fields to study in Japan is pharmaceutical sciences because of this.

These programs aim to develop a solid understanding of the various systems, mechanisms, and processes in the human body as well as the bodily reactions and potential side effects after drug ingestion. As a result, Japanese degrees in pharmaceutical sciences integrate expertise in chemistry, physics, biology, and information technology.

Through foreign training and exchange programs, students also get exposure to other cultures in order to develop the professional skills necessary to compete on the world pharmaceutical labor market.

5. Education & Training

Private schools and colleges in Japan pay the best wages to instructors, especially those who can teach English, making them some of the best-paid educators in the whole world. With this remuneration and one of the largest employment markets in the world for English instructors, Japan (and Tokyo in particular) are among the most popular destinations for foreign teachers.

There are several advantages to studying an education degree abroad in Japan.A degree in education and training may lead to rewarding work prospects as well as a satisfying career. The choice to delve further into several specialties and subject areas of instruction is also available.

6. Architecture

Functionality, simplicity, and elegant designs are hallmarks of Japanese architecture. The use of woods and natural light as a symbol of a strong relationship with nature is a prevalent element in traditional Japanese architecture.

When you study architecture in Japan, you will be able to observe and admire the lovely cohabitation of traditional and modern architecture, from wooden houses and temples to contemporary buildings and huge skyscrapers.

In Japan, architecture degrees seek to teach not just a solid understanding of the theory and methods of the field but also an awareness of many urban and environmental concerns so that students may study, discuss, and develop original and sustainable solutions.

Universities Offering the Best Courses to Study in Japan for International Students
Top University
Job Prospect

Civil Engineering, University of Tokyo

  • Civil Engineer
  • Metrology Engineer
  • Software Engineer

MBA, Keio University
  • Director of Operations
  • Marketing Manager
  • Financial Analyst
Data Science
Artificial Intelligence, Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Data Scientist
  • Machine learning & AI scientist
  • Data Science engineer
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Bachelor in Pharmacy, Hiroshima University
  • Paramedic
  • Health educator
  • Pharmacologist
Education & Training
Master’s Doctoral in Education, Kyoto University
  • English Instructor
  • Upper Elementary Teacher
  • University Instructors
Architectural Design Engineering, Kyushu University
  • Architect & Project Manager
  • CAD Architect
  • Construction Management

Requirements of Universities in Japan for International Students

You must know the following entrance standards if you find your ideal pick among the best courses to study in Japan as an international student:

  • Certificate of 12th grade/Secondary School-Leaving Qualification
  • TOEFL iBT - 85
  • IELTS - 6.5
  • Japanese Proficiency Test might be necessary
  • Motivation letter
  • Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • TOEFL iBT – 100
  • IELTS - 6.5
  • Japanese Proficiency Test might be necessary
  • Entrance exam may be required
  • Motivation letter
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Master’s degree in the related field
  • TOEFL iBT - 85
  • IELTS - 6.5
  • Expertise in research
  • Entrance exam may be required

The requirements for each degree may vary according to different institutions.

What is EJU?

The EJU is an assessment created for international students who want to enroll and study as an undergraduate at Japanese institutions, etc. It evaluates fundamental academic knowledge such as Science, Japan and the World, and Mathematics. There is no restriction on the number of times you can take the EJU or the examinee's age.

Student Visa in Japan

You will require a student visa if you intend to study in Japan for a period of time longer than three months. Obtaining a visa requires extensive form-filling, application processing, and visits to an intimidating-looking embassy complex, much like any immigration procedure. The great news is that getting a student visa for Japan is one of the simpler visa applications.

1. Decide Which Type of Visa You Need

  • Short-term course up to 90 days- Numerous nations are eligible for visa-free stays in Japan of up to 90 days. You will receive a label in your passport indicating your 90-day visa upon arrival in Japan. You need a return ticket that is valid for 90 days if you are traveling on a visa waiver.
  • More than 90 days- You should submit an application for a student visa if your course is 20 weeks or longer.

2. Cost

For a single entrance visa, the charge is around JPY 3,000; for a double entry or multiple admission visa, the fee is JPY 6,000. Please be aware that the cost of applying for a visa is variable and depends on the student's country and chosen degree.

3. Applying for the Visa

Applying for student visas in Japan is a multistep process. You fill out several visa application forms first, then provide them to the school. You must fulfill the following essentials-

  • Form that you will have to fill up with information about you and the course
  • A form for personal history that asks for information about your background in school and employment
  • Explain in your application essay why you wish to study in Japan
  • If required, a certificate from earlier Japanese study
  • Photocopy of your passport
  • Certified copy of your certificate and transcript from your most recent institution, translated into either English or Japanese
  • Medical history - while some schools need it and others do not
  • Proof of financial capability

Before rewriting and submitting your application to the Japanese immigration authorities, the school verifies that it is complete. A Certificate of Enrollment will be sent about a month before your course begins (CoE). When the CoE is ready and you have paid for the first semester, the school will send it to you.

What is CoE?

Students in Japan get this document from the Ministry of Justice. This is the reason you should apply for a visa through your program as you can obtain one of them through your university. Obtaining a visa will be significantly simpler and quicker with a Certificate of Eligibility.

Apply at the Japanese Embassy in Your Country

Making an application for a visa at the Japanese Embassy in your country is the last step to getting a student visa for Japan. To complete this, you must submit:

  • An application for a visa with a valid passport
  • One picture of you within the last three months
  • Original copy and one photocopy of the COE

After the visa has been granted, don't forget to collect your COE back; you'll need it when you arrive in Japan.

4. Work Opportunities

Under the terms of the Japanese student visa, students are allowed to work 28 hours per week. However, note that you won’t automatically get work rights on your student visa. You have to separately apply for a work permit after arriving in Japan.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Is it possible to extend the period of stay?

The Minister of Justice determines each person's length of stay, which cannot be longer than 4 years and 3 months.

Is applying for internships allowed while studying?

International students are now participating in internship programs at different companies, in greater numbers than ever before they graduate. Inquire with your institution about the possibility of an internship program and seek the necessary permissions to do so.

Will it be possible to apply for a new scholarship or a scholarship extension while studying in Japan?

Consult the institution or the scholarship organizer if you want to prolong your scholarship while you are studying in Japan. You can submit a new scholarship application. Each scholarship provider has a different scholarship deadline and eligibility term. Speak to your school for further details.

What do Bangladeshi students go to Japan to study?

Engineering, Business, Data Science, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Education & Training, and Architecture are among the popular courses international students travel to Japan to study. Language training is another popular program among international students.

Our Concluding Thoughts

The best courses to study in Japan for international students will be those that provide you with the chance to continue your study outside of the classroom. Having fun while studying abroad should be part of the learning process, as should meeting new people and making lifelong friends. Therefore, pick your path carefully! Ensure that any decision you make will benefit you in the long haul.