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Japan University Guide

Japan University offers hundreds of private, public, national, and International universities, as well as one of the world’s most competitive admissions processes. How competitive would it be for international students, though? Do they have to take the same tests as Japanese kids do?

Continue reading to learn how to apply to study at a Japanese university.

"Japan University for International Students

Japan Universities  – with English programs

Universities in Japan provide four-year undergraduate programs, two-year graduate programs, and three- or four-year Ph.D. programs. Summer vacation runs from mid-July to the beginning of September, and winter vacation runs from the end of December to the beginning of January, with the academic year commencing in April and ending in March. there are many universities providing English courses.

Tohoku University, Kyoto University, and the University of Tokyo are the top three universities in the country. On our Japan page, you’ll discover a list of the top 100 universities in the country. It will be helpful for International Students at Japan University

The majority of programs are taught in Japanese, but universities increasingly frequently offer some in English as well. However, at the undergraduate level, there are typically only a few degrees focusing on International Studies or Social Science. We can assist you in applying to Yamanashi Gakuin University’s undergraduate programs in English (Global Business, Political Science, Arts, Japan Studies) and Kyoto University of Advanced Science’s Bachelor and Master degrees in Engineering (mechatronics, robotics, mechanics, electronics, and IT).



Vocational college – Senmon Gakko

Vocational schools, also known as junior colleges/Senmon Gakko in Japan, are another popular school type that focuses on practical instruction in specific vocations. International students frequently enroll in these schools to study practical subjects like game design, anime, manga, music, dance, and drawing, among other things. Sermon Gakkos, on the other hand, teaches courses including industry, agriculture, nursing, education, and social welfare, as well as business and homemaking.

The majority of Senmon Gakko programs are two years long and result in a diploma that allows you to transfer to a university. Three-year programs result in an Advanced Diploma, which qualifies you for graduate school.

International students who want to stay and work in Japan after finishing their university must obtain either a Senmon Gakko diploma or a university undergraduate degree (in Japan or abroad). To work in a Japanese company or attend a Senmon Gakko, you must first learn Japanese, as described above.


Types of Degrees in Japanese Universities

  • University Bachelor’s degree = 4 years
  • Graduate School Master’s degree = 2 years
  • Doctor’s degree = 5 years
  • Professional degree = 2 years
  • Junior College Associate’s degree = 2 or 3 years
  • College of Technology Associate’s degree = 5 years
  • Specialized School Specialist’s degree = 2 or 3 years
  • High-level Specialist’s degree = 4 years
  • Medicine, Dental Surgery, Pharmacy degree = 6 years



Japan University for International Students


When and How to Apply

Japan University application

Most Japanese colleges hire twice a year, for the spring semester, which begins in April, and the autumn semester, which begins in September. There is no centralized application platform for students to use. Because each university has its calendar, the application date varies from school to school, however, it is normally 6 months before the semester begins. Many institutions now accept applications online, and their application dates can be found on their websites.


Here’s an example of a Japanese university’s application timeline and procedures:


Schedule Spring Semester Autumn Semester
Submit the initial application online and pay the application fee November March
Post additional application documents to the school December April
Notice of admission February June
Tuition payment and visa application February-March July-August
School start April September


The documents that will be needed with your application are usually:

  • Application form
  • Personal statement
  • Official transcript from high school and/or university
  • Graduation certificate
  • Valid standardized test scores (SAT/ACT/TOEFL/IELTS/EJU)
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Passport photocopy

Japanese language school application

The quarter method is used in Japanese language schools, with each quarter lasting ten weeks. The most common start dates are April and October, however many language schools also offer January and July start dates. Short-term courses begin every month at some schools, whereas more Westernized schools, such as GenkiJacs, have Monday start dates for non-beginner students.

Without a student visa, short-term courses can last anywhere from a few weeks to three months. Due to the visa application that is done through the school, most language schools require you to start your application 6 months in advance for long-term courses.

Here’s an example of a Japanese Language School application timetable and procedures:

Course Start April July October January
Application document preparation August-October December-February February-April June-August
Deadline for submission and application fee payment End of November Middle of March Beginning of June Middle of September
Notice of Result  February End  May End  August End  November End
Tuition fee payment and final visa application March June September December


Example of application documents needed:

  • Application form ( School prescribed )
  • Personal record ( School prescribed )
  • Letter of financial support ( School prescribed )
  • Diploma/degree copy of the highest level education
  • Passport copy ( Photo page and all Japan entry stamp pages if applicable )
  • Photos <6 – 8 photos> Size : 4cm X 3cm (Passport photo size)
  • Guarantor’s bank balance certificate (Amount should be enough for your total cost).
  • Guarantor’s employment and income certificate.
  • Relationship certificate between you and your guarantor.


JLPT and EJU Exams

JLPT – Japanese Language Proficiency Test

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is the most representative Japanese language test (JLPT). The test is divided into five stages, starting with N5 and ending with N1. These levels generally correspond to CEFR levels A1 to C1 on the CEFR scale.

The test is held twice a year for non-native Japanese speakers who want to use Japanese in academic and professional settings. The July test is solely for advanced N1 and N2 levels, while the December test is for all levels. In certain nations, however, the test is only given once a year in July, and at that time, all levels can be taken.

It is estimated that approximately 700-1000 study hours, or about a one-year course in a Japanese language school, are required to pass the N3 intermediate level, and approximately 1200 – 1600 study hours, or 1,5 – 2 years of study, are required to pass the N2 level of academic and professional sufficiency.

For vocational schools, the JLPT N2 is necessary (Senmon Gakko).

EJU – the Japanese University Exam

The EJU is a section of the entrance test for overseas students who intend to study at universities or other higher educational institutions in Japan. It was established in 2002 by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).

This examination is held twice a year in Japan, in June and November, and is slated to take place in roughly 17 places throughout the world, mostly in Asia. Japanese as a Foreign Language, Science, Japan, and the World, and Mathematics are the examination subjects.

There are questions in both Japanese and English. Applicants will take the exam on the subjects and in the language that the schools or universities have chosen.

Some Japan universities take the result into account, as well as marks from senior high school, without needing students to take the university’s entrance exam.

If you apply to such a university, you may be granted permission to attend without having to leave your native country.


How much will it cost to study at a Japanese Universities

Tuition fees in Japan

In Japan, schools charge an entry fee the first year, as well as tuition and other modest costs each semester. Domestic and international students pay the same tuition at all Japanese schools, according to the legislation.

A one-year term at a Japanese language school costs around 700,000 Yen, plus a 50, 000 Yen first-semester enrollment fee. In total, about 750000 Yen (about USD 7000) were spent.

For the first year of undergraduate programs, public institutions have unified prices: annual tuition of 535800 Yen, admittance fee of 28200 Yen, and various minor expenses, totaling roughly 850000 Yen (about USD 8000). Private universities charge up to twice as much as public universities in tuition fees, about 1600000 Yen (about USD 15000) per year, however, costs vary by school.

For the first year, Senmon Gakko (vocational college) costs on average 1240000 Yen (about USD 11700). Medicine, health, and art programs are roughly 10% more expensive, whereas humanity programs are about 10-15% less expensive.

Japan University for International Students
Japan University for International Students

Living costs

In addition to school fees, you will likely require around 100000-150000 Yen per month to cover living expenditures such as housing, food, and travel, among other things. You might be able to get by less if you study in a smaller city with cheap accommodation and travel costs, but it is simple to spend much more in Tokyo, especially if you live in your apartment.

Many people believe Japan is prohibitively costly, although this is not accurate. Shopping and eating out are frequently less expensive than in Europe, especially when compared to the quality. In Tokyo, on the other hand, student housing can be quite expensive depending on the size and standard of the room.


Student visa to study in Japan

Many nationalities are eligible to take a 90-day visa-free language course in Japan. Some nationalities have the option to extend their stay by another 90 days.

You will need to apply for a student visa if you intend to study in Japan for a longer amount of time. This process begins with applying to and being accepted by a Japanese school, which includes delivering several visa-related paperwork to the school. Approximately 6 months before the start of the course, you must apply to your institution. Then, about a month before your course begins, they will mail you a Certificate of Eligibility. You can apply for a visa at the Japanese Embassy in your home country using this paper.


Scholarships for studying in Japanese Universities

To support your studies in Japan, you will need to raise your funds. The good news is that international students can apply for a variety of scholarships. It is possible to receive a scholarship to cover a portion of your degree program expenditures at a Japan University for International students. Scholarships for Japanese language classes and exchange semesters, on the other hand, are significantly more difficult to come by.

Some scholarships are for a year and are paid monthly, while others are for a one-time payment covering 25-100 percent of your semester tuition charge. Most scholarships are only open to enrolled students with a student visa, so you’ll have a greater chance of receiving one after you’ve begun your studies in Japan. Scholarships are typically given out based on a combination of academic achievement, extracurricular activity, and financial need.

Here are some scholarships that international students can apply for to study at Japan University:

  •  Next: for degree students only
  •  Jasso: for degree students, Japanese language students, and exchange students
  •  Local governments
  •  International associations
  •  Private foundations
  •  Language schools and universities



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