Located in East Asia, Japan is an amalgamation of more than 6800 islands. Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku are the four largest islands comprising more than 97% of the total area of Japan.With Tokyo as the capital, Japan’s surface area exceeds37700 square kilometres. In addition to this, Japanis also one of the developed economies in the world thanks to its ‘manufacturing friendly’ economic policy.
The climate of Japan is predominantly temperate, but varies greatly from the north to the south.The average winter temperature in Japan is 5.1 °C and the average summer temperature is 25.2 °C. Japan is a leading nation in scientific research, particularly technology, machinery and biomedical research.Japan is the world’s largest exporter of Electronic goods.
Japanis home to a human population of 127.1 million. Almost 98.5per cent of the Japanesesociety consists of ethnic Japanese. The most dominant native ethnic group is the Yamato people; primary minority groups include the indigenous Ainuand Ryukyuan people, as well as social minority groups like the Burakumin.
With influences from Chinese culture, Japanese formal education began in the 6th century. In the post-World WarII era, the Japanese government set education reform as its primary goal: the policies and continuous efforts centred on developing the educational infrastructure helped Japan to achieve a staggering literacy rate of 99% . The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has ranked Japanese students number one in the world in mathematics .
The average tuition fee of around $5500 (depending upon the course) is among the lowest worldwide. Japanese government is keen to attract more than 300,000 foreign students by 2020 ; as a result, Japanese universities have simplified the immigration rules and adopted English as the medium of instruction to make education more accessible for international students . The Japanese government has invested more than $25 billion in last three decades to improve the collegiate infrastructure and education programs in Japanese institutions; for example, the average broadband speeds in Japan rank third after South Korea and Hong Kong. The University of Tokyo and Kyoto have been ranked among the top 50 universities of the world by QS World University Rankings.
Japan ranks last in the number of victims of crime per capita, making it one of the safest places for international students. A long and fascinating history filled with war and intrigue, peaceful temples and shrines form an integral part of Japanese cultural heritage.
Japan, with its high quality educational environment and availability of state of the art technology, has emerged as a popular destination for international students. The high investments made by the Japanese government have brought dividends, such as a staggering 99% literacy rate, and almost 65% students go on to complete their college degrees.
The education system of Japan follows a 6-3-3-4 system; with six years of elementary schooling, three years of middle school, three years of high school and 4 years of university . Japanese universities have started offering programs in English to attract international students. Universities have opened specific vocational schools to teach the skills required for specific vocations. Keio University, the University of Tokyo, and Kyoto University are some of the best universities of Japan offering programs in arts, business, engineering, and medicine research. Japanese universities have collaborated with various international universities offering exchange programs and dual degrees. The degrees offered by the Japanese universities are recognized by almost all countries, enabling students to seek job outside.
Japan Student Services Organisation (JSSO) offers various scholarships and tuition fee waivers – such as the Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship and the Student Exchange Support Program, among others – to international students . These scholarships provide monthly stipends and plural grants to students.
After a prospective student’s application has been successfully accepted, the university can apply on the student’s behalf for a CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY FOR A STATUS OF RESIDENCE issued by Immigration Bureau of Japan. Every student has to subscribe to a health insurance plan before moving to Japan. International students are allowed to work for a maximum of 28 hours per week on the student visa.
1) A student has to fill a visa form and submit it to the Japanese consulate.
2) A photocopy of passport with minimum validity of 6 months.
3) Two passport size photographs.
4) A proof of Financial Viability of around $25000.
5) A copy of the financial aid or scholarship letter, if applicable.
6) A sponsorship letter from the concerned university.
The student visa fee is around $178 which can vary, depending on different nationalities.
The average visa processing time is around 4-6 weeks.
Japan is made up thousands of islands, of which four largest islands; Honhu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku, make up about 97% of the total land area. Japan is world’s third largest economy after the US and China. Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is the world’s largest metropolis. Although adapting to a new culture and society can be very difficult but decades old tradition of warmth and friendliness towards guests makes Japan a very welcoming nation.
ACCOMMODATION: The cost of housing can be high in suburbs of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, where the average cost is approximately $600 per month, but in other cities, this becomes very affordable with average costs around $335 per month . The accommodation offered at universities is quite cheap, with average cost varying from $210 to $420 per month, depending upon the university .
FOOD: The world-renowned Japanese cuisine is as rich and diverse as its history; and one of the healthiest overall. Although the dairy products can be very expensive, basic Japanese foodstuffs like noodles, rice, and soup are inexpensive. In recent years, Japanese cuisine and restaurants have faced competition from many international fast food chains like KFC and McDonald’s opening their franchises in Japan. The average monthly cost of food is around $150 to $200 .
TRANSPORTATION: Urban cities like Tokyo and Kyoto have very efficient and cheap metro systems with an average monthly cost around $40. Other cities have a cheap on-road transport system with modern buses. The students can also apply for a driving license after passing a driving test and paying a license fee of around $50.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH: It is mandatory for an international student to subscribe to a health insurance scheme, which subsidizes the health treatment cost by 70%.
NOTE: Japan is frequently affected by earthquakes, so it is very important for a prospective student to register with the meteorological agency (JMA) to get seismic activity updates and warning.