Frequently asked questions about our services
What are the documents I will need to apply study in Japan?
Documents that you may need to prepare along with a general timeline of when you need to submit them can be found in the following article:
What kind of information can I get at a Japanese embassy of consulate abroad regarding study in Japan?
- It is possible to find teneral information pertaining to preparations necessary for studying in Japan, Japanese schools, immigration procedures, scholarships, and accommodations at your local Japanese embassy or consulate.
- Particularly in countries where there are a high number of students bound for studies in Japan such as China (Beijing and Shanghai), Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, there are Study in Japan information corners where school guides, scholarship information, and even study abroad advisors are available. Some embassies even hold regular study fairs and seminars throughout the year. For more information, please refer to your local embassy or consulate's website.
Do I need a guarantor to enter Japan?
- A guarantor is not necessary to enter Japan for the purpose of studying. However, a guarantor may be requestedfor apartment rentals, university admissions, scholarhips, tuition waivers, and other procedures.
- Some language schools may provide guarantor services for students during the time they are enrolled. In some cases, local multicultural or international associations might provide gurantor services to students.
- If you are considering studying in Japan, be sure to consult MOTTO JAPAN about guarantor services.
How much does it cost to live and study in Japan?
The cost for living and studying in Japan varies by area. On average, it costs about 136,000 JPY for 1 month in Tokyo, 125,000 JPY for 1 month in Sapporo, 136,000 JPY for one month in Kyoto or Osaka, and 116,000 JPY for 1 months in Fukuoka. More details can be found here.
What is the visa application process like?
- Long-term Studies (6 months to 2 years or more)
MOTTO Japan will help you (the student) prepare the documents required for the visa application process and submit them to your school. After that, your school will report to their local immigration bureau office and apply for a certificate of eligibility of status of residence (COE). When the COE is issued, you will include in your application for a student visa at your local Japanese embassy or consulate.
- Short-term Studies (1 week to 3 months) ※Up to 6 months for some countries
You (the student) will apply for a short-term stay visa at your local Japanese embassy or consulate.
- The process for applying for a student visa can take about 6 months. Please inquire about these procedures with MOTTO JAPAN as soon as possible.
What do I need to do to take care of admission procedures in Japan?
- If you are going to take an entrance exam, take your examination voucher to your local Japanese embassy, consulate or other diplomatic mission to apply for a short-term stay visa. This will be required to enter Japan to take the exam.
- Permitted lengths of stay vary between 15, 30, and 90 days.
What types of student classifications are there and how does the school application process differ for each?
Largely, there are 3 types of students: Japanese Government-Sponsored Students, Privately Financed Students, and Short-term Student Exchange Program Students. More details can be found here.
What is the Japanese education system like?
- Japanese people enter higher education after completing 12 years of lower education (6 years of elementary school) and middle education (3 years of junior high school, 3 years of senior high school).
- Study abroad and exchange programs are possible in senior high schools, colleges, universities, graduate schools, and vocational schools. Furthermore, there are three types of schools as a whole: national, public, and private.
What kinds of degrees and certifications are available in Japan?
- Bachelor's Degrees - Gakushi (Degrees Awarded to Graduates of University Programs)
As a general rule, students must complete 4 years (6 years for students of medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine) and 124 credits (188 credits for students of medicine and dentistry, 182 for students of veterinary medicine) of study before they can be awared the a degree.
- Master's Degree - Shūshi (Degrees Awarded to Graduate Students Completing Graduate Programs)
To complete a master's program, students are generally required to complete 2 years of graduate studies (for programs and major programs that designate the standard length as two years), 30 or more credits, appropriate research, and complete a master's thesis, and pass an exit exam.
- Doctoral Degree - Hakushi (Degrees Awarded to Graduate Students Completing Doctoral Programs)
General requirements for the completion of doctoral programs include successful completion of at least 5 years of graduate school (3 years for master's degree recipients), 30 or more credits, required research, and successful completion of a doctoral thesis and exit exam.
- Associate's Degree - Jungakushi (Degrees awarded to graduate from short-term colleges or vocational schools)
Short-term colleges: Schools offering 2-year study programs. Graduation requirements generally include the succesful completion of at least 2 years of study and 62 credits. In the case of a 3-year college, requirements include the successful completeion of at least 3 years of study and 93 credits.
Vocational high schools: Graduation requirements include the completion of at least 5 years of study and 167 credits.
- Technical Associate's Degree - Senmonshi
For the completion of a vocational program, students must complete at least two years of study and a minimum of 1,700 class hours. If a student can meet these requirements they will be recognized as an expert by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
How should I choose a school?
- When choosing school, it is important to first consider what you would like to study. Also, consider your own language ability and other skills. When researching schools, think about what they offer in terms of programs and resources and think about whether or not they can help you reach your personal goals. Pick a few schools while keeping all of this in mind.
- There are many schools in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka as well as in other regions in Japan. Gather information about different regions, think about what it would be like to live in each one, and choose the area that best fits your personal needs.
What are vocational schools?
- Vocational schools are institutions in which students focus on learning about technologies and skills necessary for work in a particular trade. Medicine, engineering, hygenics, education, social welfare, and agriculture are a few examples of the areas in which schools specialize. Study period are generally 2 to 4 years.
What are vocational high schools?
- Vocational High Schools
Vocational high schools are institutions which offer specialized training in specific industries and trades in addition to standard high school education. Schools are open to junior high school graduates and prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in specific fields.
What are language schools?
- Language schools generally offer 1 or 2 year language programs to prepare students for entry into a university or the Japanese workforce. Many student come to Japan to study at these institutions and they are an invaluable resource for personal growth, academic, and professional advancement.
- Institutions are generally classified as Japanese langauge schools within a private university and independent Japanese language institutions.
How do I apply to a school?
- Requirements differ for those requiringa student visa and those who do not.
- If you wish to study in Japan, please inquire with MOTTO JAPAN. We offer assistance in preparing required visa documents.
How much Japanese do I need to know?
- Admission requirements vary from school to school but when applying for the purpose of language acquisition, many schools offer programs for complete beginners and will start with the basics.
- When attending school at an institute of higher education in Japan, all classes will be taught in Japanese. In order to understand the lessons, Japanese proviciency equivalent to that necessary for successful completion of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) levels N1 or N2 is necessary.
- Some colleges and universities require the successful completion of a particular level of the JLPT or submission of The Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) test scores. There are also instances where students may be required to take the school's entrance exam and complete interviews and essays in japanese. The same is true for many graduate schools, but recently, there has been an increase in graduate programs offering courses in English.
Can I take the EJU outside of Japan?
The EJU is currently accepted by more than 600 colleges and universities in Japan for determining admission eligibility of foreign students. It is possible to take the test in 14 countries (17 cities) around the world.
What should I do if I have not completed 12 years of school?
For those who completed 10 or 11 years of education, there are two ways to satisfy this requirement for admission to a Japanese institution of higher education.
1) Attend an institute of higher education in your home country for 1 or 2 years until you have completed a cumulutive 12 years of overall education.
2) Complete the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) prescribed "preliminary education curriculum for entering university."
About Curriculum Requirements for Entering University in Japan
Will my International Baccalaureate or Abitur certificate be recognized?
For applicants 18 and older, International Baccaleaureate (IB) and Abitur certificates are recognized by Japanese insitutions of higher education.
Are there any scholarships available to me?
There are a wide variety of scholarships available to international students. However, many scholarships only cover a portion of the expenses necessary to live and study in Japan. For this reason it is very important to know your assets, plan, and keep a strict personal budget. There are also schools that offer scholarships to their students.
Can I make a mobile phone or internet contract?
- Holders of student visas will be issued a residence card which can be used ot open a bank account which is necessary for signing a contact with mobile phone companies. However, plans and fee systems can be confusing and expensive. Visitors on short-term stay visas will not be able to sign a mobile phone contract and will need to purchase prepaid options or rent mobile devices.
- Internet will usually be available at schools and in dormitories but is is also useful to have a portable wi-fi router (pocket wi-fi) for use outside of these facilities.
- If you are considering signing a mobile phone or internet contract, consult MOTTO JAPAN.
How much cash should I take with me?
- In most cases, you must reside in Japan for 6 months before being allowed to open a bank account.
- It is possible to withdraw cash from ATMs, but is is recommended to bring about 200 thousand JPY to use for transportation, a weeks worth of daily necessities, and food.
What procedures are necessary to reside in Japan?
Information about immigration and residence procedures can be found here.
What should I do to find an accommodation?
- Many schools offer accommodations, but MOTTO JAPAN also has partnerships in various accommodation providers around Japan, so feel feel to inquire with us anytime. Accommodation options for students include: apartments, share-houses (guest houses), homestays, and student dormitories.
- After arriving in Japan and establishing a residence, you will need to complete procedures to register your address and presence in your municipality.
What kinds of equipment and furniture are common in an accommodation?
- Accommodations prepared by schools often have equipment and furniture included, but in the event that you rent an apartment, furnitrure and appliances are generally not included.
- If you will be in Japan for only a short time and are unsure of what to do about furniture and appliances, MOTTO JAPAN also assists with rental services. Feel free to contact us today.
What should I do if I change schools or move?
In the event that you move into a new residence, certain moving procedures are necessary.
When is it necessary to change my residencey status?
- The required qualifications and procedures for students seeling to change their status of residency vary by the type of residency status that they wish to change to.Changes in residency type are required in the following situations.
1）Students who have found employment in Japan to begin after their graduation.
2）Students who intend to continue looking for employment after they graduate.
3）Students who will start their own company after graduating.
Is it possible to extend my period of stay?
If you intend to start your company after graduating, you will need to come obtain for permission for change of residency status and complte the required procedures to change from "student" to "designated activities" residency.
Can I have a part-time job?
- Student visa and school regulations generally limit the amount of time and type of work which students may engage in.
- People coming to Japan on a "student" may apply for "Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted by the Status of Residency Previously Granted" when they first enter the country. With this permit, students may work up to 28 hours per week.
- People visiting Japan on short-term stay visas may not engage in part-time work for pay.
Can I have an internship or look for a full-time job?
- Internships are opportuniteis for students to gain valuable first-hand work experience and there have been an increasing number of students coming to Japan for this purpose in recent years.
- Job-hunting is also possible. People wishing to get information pertaining to job-hunting in Japan should contact MOTTO JAPAN.
Is it possible to travel abroad while on a student visa?
- It is possible to exit and re-enter the country with a re-entry permit.
- There are some countries for which it is impossible to obtain a tourist visa for while in Japan. This being the case, be sure to gather all required visa information when making your travel plans.
Is it necessary to buy health or liability insurance?
- All people posessing a visa permitting stay in Japan for 3 months or longer are required to enroll in national health insurance for the duration of their stay. Visitors on short-term stay visas are not eligible to enroll and are therefore highly encouraged to purchase international traverller's insurance ahead of time.
- With national health insurance, patients are only required to pay 30% of their medical costs.
- You may register for national health insurance at insurance window of your local municipal office.
Is possible to extend scholarship periods or apply for additional scholarships while studying?
- For inquiries regarding extensions of sholarship periods, please consult your school or the organization that sponsport the sholarship.
- It is possible to apply for other scholarships. However, application deadlines, scholarship amounts, and dispension dates vary from award to award. To learn more about scholarships and applications, contact MOTTO JAPAN at your earliest convenience.
If I run into troubles while I'm in Japan, may I consult you?
Regional organizations, offices, and MOTTO LOUNGES are available for consulations. There are also many local Japanese langauge courses and events where it is possible to interact with local Japanese people. For more information please ask at your nearest municipal office or MOTTO JAPAN.
What do I need to do to work in Japan?
The number of students looking to find work in Japan has increased in recent years. If you are thinking about working in Japan, contact MOTTO JAPAN.
I found a job in Japan! What do I need to do to change my student visa to a working visa?
- To begin working after graduation you will need to chage your residency status. Work will generally start in April and it will be possible to apply for a chage in residency status starting in January. For more details, please inquire with the immigration bureau.
- MOTTO JAPAN also provides job-hunting and application support.
Is there an international student community that I can join after returning to my country?
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) hosts various events and seminars through it's foreign diplomatic missions. For more information, ask your local embassy or consulate about events with the local alumni association.
Japan Embassy and Consulate Information
- There are many alumni on our MOTTO JAPAN Community Page. Join today and beginning making friends and exchanging all kinds of information.