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Finding an Internship in Japan as an International Student

You might think that it’s challenging to find an internship as an international student in Japan. Well, just as how welcoming Japan is to exchange students, you can also find career opportunities there! While some international students stay in Japan for a short time, they prefer to find part-time jobs to gain experience and to provide for themselves. If you’re a student aiming to land a job that will eventually secure your career, work as an intern in Japan!

Study and Work in Japan: Finding an Internship as an International Student

Photo by Kobby Dagan on Flickr

Having great Japanese language skills is indeed an edge when you’re planning to be an intern in Japan. You’ll be working in Japanese business, after all! But just like any other international student, you have enough opportunities to work in Japan. Identify the industry you want to work in, specify the career you want to pursue, and list down the experiences you’re going for. Knowing your own goals is always the first step.

There are around 300,000 international students in Japan. You might think that you’re competing with these hundreds of thousands, but rest assured that you’ll soon find your own place. You just have to know where to look! After establishing your goals, start searching for internships. The number of opportunities can be overwhelming, so here are three ways to narrow down your choices:

Consult Your University

There are universities in Japan that offer internships to students. You can start by consulting with the university you enrolled in! Working as an intern at a university you’re studying in can be convenient in many ways. You won’t have to spend more time searching for internships outside. You will only need to familiarize the same area and places in Japan, and you will have a more rounded experience as a student.

The University of Tokyo is one of the Japanese universities known for offering internships. You might have heard about their Summer Internship Program, and you can check it out yourself! Take note that the number of internships in Japan peaks in August every year, so you might want to secure yours by working on your applications in June and July.

Universities partner up with different Japanese companies, so a visit to your university’s career center can help. Career centers often organize job fairs and offer counseling. The internship opportunities you find in universities are usually unavailable elsewhere, which means it is exclusive to enrolled students. Your university can assist you throughout your application as well!

Find Internship Agencies

As the number of international students skyrockets every year, internship placement agencies find the opportunity to help. These placement agencies could be your most secured route to an internship! They specifically cater to international students in Japan, so you will find everything you need in English. Upon choosing an internship placement agency, all you have to do is send your information and tell them about your preferred options. They’ll sort out your internship opportunities for you!

You can say that internship placement agencies can save you the time looking for internships. Of course, they have connections with different universities and companies that need interns. You can be sure that they know their way around your concerns. You could look into popular internship placement agencies such as Meiji Internships and get started with your application!

Take note that getting an internship placement agency will be more costly compared to other options. Consider the application, registration, and other fees that your agency will require. It’d be practical to inquire about the payments to prepare your budget. Other than that, you’re good to go! Soon enough, you’ll be on your first day as an intern in Japan.

Search Online

Another way to find internships is to look for them online. Keywords such as “Internship in Japan” can already show you hundreds of opportunities. You will instantly find companies that you might want to work for! To increase your number of choices, check out both English and Japanese websites.

There are tons of job portals online, with large databases widely used in Japan. You can input your chosen industry, occupation, and preferred area, and you’ll immediately find various availabilities. リクナビ, for example, has featured companies and a list of popular internship jobs. You could also check out internship portals such as 01 Intern. This portal lists various companies that offer paid and long-term internships in Japan.

Checking out blogs also gives you additional knowledge on internships in Japan. International students who have had internship experiences in the land of the rising sun could be your best sources! You could use testimonials as your guide. Soon enough, you’ll be applying to a company for your own experience! Through online job and internship portals, you’re more likely to find both job opportunities and internships that could eventually be a job offer.


Japan’s excellent educational system could turn an internship into your advantage. Think about career growth and being competent globally! Pursue your internship plans in Japan and get started on your applications now. Already enrolled in Japan? Ask around for opportunities! If you’re looking for other ways, you can always go online and find internship agencies you can afford. Good luck on your first day!

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