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    Planning studies in Japan

    Professional Training Colleges
    (specialized training colleges postsecondary course)

    Specialized training colleges offering postsecondary courses are called professional training colleges and are one of the institution types classified as higher-education institutions. These colleges provide the know-how, technology and skills useful in one’s future job and life as well as an improved education. In addition to diploma courses that require two or more years of study, there are advanced diploma courses that require four years or more.

    1. Characteristics of education at a professional training college

    Professional training colleges can be broadly divided in eight fields: 1) medical care, 2) technology, 3) culture and general education, 4) business, 5) hygiene, 6) education and social welfare, 7) fashion and home economics, and 8) agriculture.
    Examples of occupations that you can acquire the necessary education for at a professional training college include: interior designer, architect, system engineer, automobile mechanic, nurse, nutritionist, chef, pâtissier, beautician, certified public accountant, interpreter/translator, flight attendant, hotel staff, nursery school teacher, home helper, fashion designer, animator, movie director, producer, game creator, jewelry designer, etc.

    2. Japanese proficiency requirements

    Classes in professional training colleges are conducted in Japanese, so international students must be proficient in Japanese.
    Any one of the following qualifications must be met.

    • 1) Students who have undergone Japanese language education for more than six months at institutions designated through official notification by the Minister of Justice
    • 2) Students who have passed Level N1 or Level N2 of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) conducted by Japan Educational Exchanges and Services and the Japan Foundation
    • 3) Students who have undergone Japanese elementary school, lower secondary school or upper secondary school education for one year or more
    • 4) Students who have scored 200 points or more in the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) (Japanese as a Foreign Language subject [the total of reading comprehension, and listening and listening-reading comprehension])
    • 5) Students who have scored 400 points or more in their BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test conducted by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation

    3. Admission eligibility

    Students must satisfy any one of the following eligibility criteria.

    • 1) Students who have completed 12 years of schooling in countries other than Japan
    • 2) Students who are 18 years of age or older and have successfully passed an academic qualification examination that is equivalent to the completion of 12 years of schooling in countries other than Japan
    • 3) Students who have completed studies at international schools in Japan that are officially recognized as equivalent to high schools in countries other than Japan
    • 4) Students who have completed 11 years or longer of education courses designated by the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in countries other than Japan
    • 5) Students who hold an International Baccalaureate, German Abitur or French Baccalauréat diploma, or who meet the GCE A level course requirements specified by each professional training college
    • 6) Students who have completed 12 years of curriculum at international schools in Japan that are accredited by any of the following international accreditation organizations: WASC, CIS or ACSI
    • 7) Students who are 18 years of age or older and have successfully passed the Upper Secondary School Equivalency Examination in Japan
    • 8) Students who are 18 years of age or older and are recognized by the educational institutions to which they apply for admission, through their individual admission qualification examinations, as having an academic ability that is equivalent to a high-school diploma or above
    • 9) A student who satisfies any one of the admission qualifications specified in the School Education Act, other than those outlined above

    Note: With regard to 1) through 3) above, if the period of schooling the student has completed is less than 12 years, he/she must also complete an authorized university preparatory courses or an authorized course at a training facility, among other things.

    4. Find a school

    Key points for choosing a school
    1) Officially accredited institute-Are they authorized by the relevant prefectural governor? You will not be awarded the title of diploma if the professional training college is unauthorized. 2) Content of education and number of teachers-Is it a curriculum where I can obtain the knowledge and skills I want? What about the ratio of the number of teachers to the number of students? 3) Facilities and equipment-Do they have adequate facilities and equipment that allow you to acquire the skills you are looking for? Be sure to check photos and school brochures.4) Career guidance program and graduates’ career paths-What is the  chool’s career guidance policy? What about graduates’ employment track record? Can I gain employment in the career of my choice? 5) School expenses-How much are school expenses for the first year? What about the total amount of school expenses to be incurred before graduation? When is the payment due date? 6) School reputation-Take advantage of a network of graduates, international students, etc. to learn about the school’s reputation.
    Check graduation requirements Be sure to check with the school where the course-grants diplomas.

    5. Application materials required

    • 1) Application form (school-specific form)
    • 2) Certificate of upper secondary school graduation
    • 3) Transcript of the last school attended
    • 4) Certificate of attendance at a Japanese language institute and the transcript (if applicant is residing in Japan)
    • 5) Japanese language proficiency certificate (if applicant is residing outside Japan)
    • 6) Others

    Documents for submission may vary according to the school, and some schools require them to be translated into Japanese or English. It is best that you inquire directly with the relevant school for details.

    6. Entrance exam

    The exam includes some or all of the following tests: 1) Document screening, 2) subject test, 3) interview, 4) short essay, 5) aptitude test, 6) practical test, 7) Japanese language proficiency test, etc.
    The entrance exam mainly examines whether students are focused on their objective in the field they have chosen, whether they have the Japanese language proficiency and academic skills required to cope with the classes after their admission, and whether the students have the desire to study.

    7. Difference between a diploma and an advanced diploma

    1) Course term- Diploma:2 years or more Advanced diploma:4 years or more 2) Total class hours-Diploma:1,700 hours or more Advanced diploma:3,400 hours or more 3) Qualification for completion-Diploma:Exam results and other factors are evaluated for the qualification of course completion 4) Course structure-Advanced diploma:The curriculum is systematically structured 5) After graduation-Diploma:If you obtain a diploma, you can transfer to a university Advanced diploma:If you obtain an advanced diploma, you are qualified to enter a graduate school