Life in Japan
Although student dormitories operated by local governments and universities are available, approximately 75% of international students are living in private houses or apartments. Once you receive your letter of acceptance, you should start gathering information about housing immediately. Some ways to get this information include 1) your school’s international student office, 2) the Internet and informational magazines, and 3) real estate agents in areas you are interested in living in.
- Lower expenses compared to apartments (no need for shiki-kin [security deposit], rei-kin [gratuity money] or renewal fees)
- Student dormitory rooms may come equipped with electric appliances and/or other furniture
- Due to limited numbers of rooms available, not all students can stay in dormitories.
- Rules such as curfew and wake-up time
- Shared kitchen, toilet and bathroom
- Your own life rhythm
- Development of sense of the value of money
- In many cases, you will have to pay shiki-kin (security deposit equal to a few months’ rent), rei-kin (gratuity money), real estate agent’s commissions, or other fees in advance.
- RComplicated rental agreements
- Need to purchase all furniture and electrical appliances
A joint guarantor is required when renting an apartment in Japan. If you do not pay the rent in time or cause damage without paying for repairs, the landlord can demand that the joint guarantor pay for the overdue rent or repairs. There is a system in which school-related persons (student office or teaching staff) can serve as joint guarantors for international students with limited Japanese connections. A joint guarantor may not be needed if you conclude a contract that requires the payment of a guarantee charge.
Comprehensive Renters’ Insurance for Foreign Students Studying in Japan
This insurance program, which is managed by the Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (JEES), is designed to cover unexpected emergencies, such as fire, and to help an international student avoid unnecessarily inconveniencing his/her joint guarantor. To find out if you are eligible for this insurance program, please contact the school in which you are currently enrolled or will be enrolled.