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FAQ

FAQ For Prospective Students

FAQ For Prospective Students

What procedures do I need to take before I come to Japan and study?
What kinds of information related to study in Japan are available at Japanese diplomatic establishments abroad?

1. Informative materials regarding study in Japan for reading

Japanese diplomatic establishments overseas provide documents related to studying in Japan that you may read at the establishment. They include the following:

  • General information related to studying in Japan (i.e. necessary preparations, educational facilities, immigration procedures, living in Japan)
  • Documents concerning the Japanese system for international students
  • Documents related to scholarships
  • Information related to Japanese universities (university and undergraduate department guide), graduate schools, professional training colleges and Japanese-language institutes)
  • Information regarding accommodations in Japan
  • Sample of entrance examinations for international students

2. Consultation by International Student Advisors

Japanese diplomatic establishments in countries where there are large numbers of students interested in studying in Japan have former international students and other people who are knowledgeable about Japan on hand to serve as international student advisors (please note, however, that they are not full-time staff). They provide assistance as well as consultation. Local explanatory meetings are held once to several times a year in areas that are located at a distance from such diplomatic establishments, so if this applies to you, we suggest that you attend such a meeting.
Six Japanese embassies and consulates (located in Beijing and Shanghai, China; the Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Indonesia; Thailand) have special space set aside to provide information about studying in Japan. Full-time international student advisors are on hand at these embassies and consulates to provide information as well as consultation.

Do I need a guarantor for entry into Japan?

The regulation that made a guarantor necessary to acquire entry and status of residence in Japan was abolished in December 1996. Therefore, you no longer need a guarantor to enter Japan as an international student. However, please note that even if you are Japanese, guarantors are often required in many aspects of life in Japan. For example, you need a guarantor when you are renting an apartment, taking an entrance examination or gaining admission to a Japanese university or professional training college. After admission, you may also need a guarantor when you are applying for a scholarship or tuition subsidies. Guarantors are needed for both Japanese and international students alike in such cases. Therefore, although you no longer need a guarantor to gain entry into Japan, there will be many situations when they are needed after you arrive in Japan.
If you are considering studying in Japan, it is important that you inquire with the school you are planning to attend regarding the need for guarantors since policies differ depending on the school. For example, if you are enrolling in a Japanese-language institute, the school may become your guarantor while you are a student of the institute. In some areas, an association for international relations (run by local government) may become your guarantor while you stay in one of those areas.

How much tuition and living expenses do I need to study abroad?
I need information on how to apply for a student visa.
What qualifications do I need for admission to a school in Japan?

If a foreign student travels to Japan to take an exam, he/she must obtain a "Temporary Visitor" visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate in his/her country by presenting the exam voucher of his/her school of choice. With a "Temporary Visitor" visa, you may be able to stay in Japan for 15, 30, or 90 days. If a foreign student is a national of a country under the Visa Exemption Arrangements, he/she will not need to apply for a visa.
Note: If you are a national of a country/region under the Visa Exemption Arrangements, as a rule, you must return to your home country after passing the exam to obtain a "Student" status of residence.

What types and methods are available for studying in Japan?
I need information on the Japanese educational system.
What degrees can be obtained under the Japanese educational system?

Bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree is conferred upon those who have completed undergraduate studies. To graduate with a bachelor's degree, a student must study at a university for at least 4 years (at least 6 years in the cases of medicine, dentistry and veterinary science or 6-year education program in pharmacy) and acquire at least 124 credits (188 credits in the case of medicine or dentistry, 182 credits in the case of veterinary science and 186 credits in the case of pharmacy).

Master's degree

A master's degree is conferred upon those who have completed postgraduate studies in a master's course. To graduate with a master's degree, a student must study at a graduate school for 2 years in principle (or the required number of years for research courses or fields of specialty that have set a different standard), acquire at least 30 credits in his or her special field, as well as receive necessary research guidance and pass examinations conducted by the graduate school such as writing a master's thesis that is judged satisfactory.

Doctor's degree

A doctorate is conferred upon those who have completed postgraduate studies in a doctor's course. To graduate with a doctor's degree, a student must, in principle, study at least 5 years in a graduate school (3 years for those who have completed a master's program), acquire at least 30 credits, receive necessary research guidance and write a doctoral thesis that is judged satisfactory and pass an examination.

Associate's degree

This is the degree conferred upon graduates of junior colleges and colleges of technology.
Junior colleges: To graduate from a junior college, students must, in principle, attend the junior college for at least 2 years and acquire at least 62 credits in the case of 2-year colleges, or, in the case of 3-year colleges, attend for at least 3 years and obtain at least 93 credits.
Colleges of technology: To graduate from a college of technology, the student must, in principle, attend for at least 5 years (international students start from the third year of the college of technology's program as a general rule) and acquire at least 167 credits.

Diploma

Graduates of post secondary courses of professional training colleges that have been accredited by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as those fulfilling necessary requirements, such as minimum course attendance of least 2 years and a total of at least 1,700 hours of instruction, can be awarded the title of diploma.

Advanced diploma

Graduates of post secondary courses of professional training colleges that have been accredited by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as those fulfilling necessary requirements, such as minimum course attendance of least 4 years and a total of at least 3,400 hours of instruction, can be awarded the title of advanced diploma.

How do I choose a university?
I need information on studying at a Japanese professional training college.
I need information on studying at a College of Technology.
I need information on Japanese language study courses.
I need information on how to request brochures from schools and make an application, as well as information on the admission selection.
How much Japanese language proficiency do I need?

Japanese institutions of higher education basically give all classes in Japanese. Students need Japanese language skills equivalent to those who pass the Level 1 or Level 2 Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JPLT).

University and junior college

There are universities and junior colleges that require a certain score on the JPLT or a certain score on the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) as an item of qualification for acceptance. In addition, some universities and colleges conduct entrance examinations in Japanese in the form of interviews, essay writing or Japanese composition.

Graduate school

There are graduate schools that require a certain score on the JLPT in the selection of examinees for the master's degree and PhD courses.
In recent years, universities and graduate schools have been offering an increasing number of programs making it possible for students to study in English and obtain a degree.

Professional Training College

A certain level of Japanese language proficiency is required from students who wish to study in a professional training college. For details, please refer to the following website.

Is it possible to take the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) outside of Japan?
What should I do if my primary and secondary education period is less than 12 years?

In principle, you must have completed 12 years of education to apply for admission to a university (undergraduate), junior college, or professional training college in Japan. You must have completed 11 years of education to apply for admission to a college of technology, and 16 years of education for admission to a graduate school (master's program).
Students who have completed 10 or 11 years of elementary and secondary school education and wish to apply for admission to higher education institutions, such as universities, in Japan must meet either of the eligibility criteria as follows:

  1. Have completed 12 years of formal school education by taking an additional one or two years of schooling at a university or other higher education institution or a university preparatory program in their home country.
  2. Have completed university preparatory courses (junbi kyouiku katei) authorized by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan*1.(provided, however, that they have completed a level of education equivalent to a Japanese high school).
    If you have completed elementary and secondary education courses in your home country that are 11 years long or more but less than 12 years, you are considered eligible for admission without completing the university preparatory courses if the said education courses are designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan*2.
What types of scholarships are available?
  1. Scholarships
  2. Tuition reduction/exemption systems (30%, 50% or 100% exemption, etc.)
Are there any scholarships that I can apply for from outside of Japan?
  1. Before coming to Japan: Financial aid you can apply for prior to coming to Japan (very few options)
  2. After coming to Japan: Financial aid you can apply for in Japan after coming to the country and enrolling in a school (many options)
Can I apply for a scholarship extension or new scholarship while I study in Japan?

If you wish to extend your scholarship while you study in Japan, consult with the school or the scholarship organizer.
You can apply for a new scholarship. The application deadline and eligibility period of a scholarship varies with each scholarship organizer. Consult your school as soon as possible.