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Finding an Internship in Japan

Are you planning to pursue an internship in Japan? Consider it as a great opportunity to experience the rich culture of the country while gaining relevant work history for career advancement.

Going abroad for an internship will not only increase your skills and knowledge, but it will also expand your professional network to help you in the future. This experience allows you to be trained as a global leader; capable of working in Japan, your home country, and anywhere in the world.

Fortunately, there is a growing demand for foreign interns across Japan. If you are interested in pursuing this opportunity— you may just be the next one to add to the number.

Some employers also use the internship program as a trial period to test if a candidate will make for a good employee in the long run. If it goes smoothly, chances are there might be a full-time job offer waiting for you at the end of your program.

Finding an Internship in Japan: A Beginner’s Guide

In recent years, Japan has become an increasingly popular destination for young people who are seeking internships abroad.
Being the world’s 3rd largest economy, students and professionals from various industries choose Japan because of its global economic, social, and political powers.

The country is renowned in the field of technology and innovation, and it has one of the best public transportation systems in the world. From 2000-2010, Japan’s GDP per capita growth also surpassed the United States and Europe— attracting more foreign talent to look for opportunities in the country.

The growing demand for foreign talent has prompted many Japanese companies to open their doors to international candidates. More than just learning the intricacies of Japanese etiquette and work culture, Japan provides foreign interns the opportunity to connect with large-scale businesses and learn skills from various industries.

Establish Your Personal and Professional Goals

The first step in your internship process is to establish personal and professional goals before contacting possible companies. This is a very important part of your journey to the land of the rising sun, Japan.

Aside from knowing which skills you would like to learn and how you can apply it to future personal goals, have a clear idea of which industry you would like to enter. There are dozens of opportunities you can apply for; hence, it might take you a while to decide which one is the best for your situation.

Refining your goals can narrow down your options for an easier internship search. Doing so also helps companies assess whether they can provide you with relevant experience close or similar to what you are seeking for – saving you from the frustration of wasted time, effort, and money.

Search Online

Another important part of the application process is conducting an online search about companies you would like to intern for.
Having a proper research about their work culture, activities, and future projects will give you an advantage over other candidates who have not done their background checks. Accordingly, you may also find great information about what is available to you in Japan should you be selected for the program.

Your research gives you the edge in the screening process, as chances are, you can give these companies a concrete reason why they should select you for the position if you align your personal goals and plans with the company’s visions.

Contact Companies

Reaching out to contact companies is another way to learn about internship programs and the positions available.
Large companies usually have existing internship programs that take place during designated periods, but these positions tend to fill up quickly. Thus, it is also worthwhile to consider applying for smaller companies and startups. These companies may provide a more hands-on experience compared to others.

Similar to an apprentice system, most internships in Japan place you under the guidance of a mentor who will both supervise your journey and teach you the ropes of the company and your industry as well.

Use an Internship Agency

Internship agencies can make the process a lot easier, as they help you in looking and applying for several positions where you are most qualified.

Many internship agencies have partnerships with companies in various parts of Japan. They can provide you valuable insight and assistance throughout the application process. However, keep in mind that these services often come at a cost.

If you want to avoid the hassle of additional paperwork, service charges, and spending too much time researching your options— you may want to seek the help of an internship agency to jumpstart your journey to Japan.

Things to Consider

If you are looking and applying for an internship in the country, there are many things to consider first before you book that ticket bound to Japan.

Know what’s expected of you as a foreign talent and familiarize with important details before your departure. For instance, most internships are unpaid. Be prepared to cover the bulk of your expenses during your stay. This may include your round-trip tickets, housing, meals, and transportation expenses.

Another thing to consider is your visa as a foreign intern. The length of your internship and the types of activities you engage in may require a specific type of visa: such as student visa, cultural activities visa, or working holiday visa. The rules and regulations for the application may vary based on your nationality, educational background, and personal internship requirement.


As of 2019, the demand for foreign interns in Japan is continuously growing. The “closed Japanese company” mindset is becoming a thing of the past, as more firms now intend to hire foreign talents or express the desire to do so for the next few years. Fortunately, internships in Japan are not only limited to those who know the language or have visited the country before— thus giving you the opportunity of a lifetime.

Internships in a foreign country can provide valuable experience that can be applied to your future career. More than polishing your skills and adding new experience on your resume, this is also a great way to discover a side of Japan for yourself. Its rich history, culture, and tradition can give you a new perspective on life. Additionally, you can also experience living abroad and learning a new language.

Whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate student or someone who wants to shift careers, an internship abroad helps you gain knowledge of a particular professional field and foreign culture. This is one great way to experience a little more of what the world has to offer.

An internship in Japan is truly an unforgettable adventure. Explore the many wonders of Japan while gaining valuable work experience, so sign up for an internship today!

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