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Study Master in Japan 2024

Study in Japan

An archipelago in the Pacific, Japan is separated from the east coast of Asia by the Sea of Japan. Japan's four main islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku.

Japan is located in East Asia in the Pacific Ocean. Japan’s nearest neighbors include China, North Korea, South Korea, and Russia. Japan is actually an archipelago made up of nearly 7,000 separate islands; however, the four largest islands make up nearly all of the country’s land mass.

The capital, Tokyo, is one of the world’s largest cities and the surrounding metropolitan area is the largest in the world, with 30 million residents. Japan is a highly industrialized country where one finds a rich history, diverse cultural festivals, outstanding cuisine, beautiful gardens, majestic landscapes, and breathtaking mountains, including Mount Fuji, one of the world’s most recognizable peaks.

The country is also known for industries that make some of the highest-quality products in the world such as automobiles and electronics.


Due to Japan’s diverse geography, the climate varies widely across locations; however, the country generally experiences four seasons. Average temperatures in Tokyo are about 27 degrees Celsius in August and about 5 degrees Celsius in January.


Japanese culture is a diverse blend of ancient Eastern traditions and modern Western society. Japan boasts a wide range of cultural expressions, from Buddhist temples dating back more than 15 centuries to fine Japanese porcelain and beautiful wood prints. In addition, the qualities of Japanese animation, poetry, dance, and music are recognized throughout the world.

Cost of Living

The average monthly cost for an international student to live in Japan is about ¥87,000 (about $925 US), excluding tuition. Smaller cities cost about ¥60,000 per month and larger cities cost about ¥100,000 yen per month.

Change currency

Basic monthly living cost

  • Rent in a shared flat

  • Share of utilities

  • Internet subscription

  • Local transportation


Sample lifestyle cost

  • Fast food combo

  • Cinema ticket

  • Pint of local beer


About Japan

Higher Education in Japan

Japanese higher education institutions include universities, junior colleges, and colleges of technology; however, only universities award bachelor’s, master’s, doctor’s, and professional degrees. More than 70 percent of high school graduates obtain some form of higher education.

Why Study in Japan?

Japanese schools have extremely high educational standards and are among the world leaders in state-of-the-art technology and research. In addition to technical acumen, Japanese universities are also highly regarded in other academic disciplines such as political science. Thirteen universities currently offer programs taught in English.

Japan is extremely open to international students; more than 130,000 foreign students study in the country every year. Japan plans to more than double the number of international students by 2020 in part by offering more programs in English.

Universities in Japan

Japan has 618 universities with graduate programs. These universities fall into three categories:

- 86 national universities

- 75 public universities establish by local entities

- 457 private universities

Japanese universities are among the best in the world with 13 schools in the top 400 in the world, according to the 2012-2013 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Tuition and Program Duration

Tuition for master’s programs runs from about $9,000 (US) to about $15,000 (US) per year. The Japanese government and Japanese universities both provide many options for scholarships and loans. Master’s programs generally last for two years; however, students who are not proficient in Japanese may need to spend 1-2 years studying the language before admission to a master’s program taught in Japanese. Preparatory language classes are available at 66 private universities and junior colleges.

There are several types of international students in Japan:

  • Privately financed foreign students, who may apply directly to a Japanese school once they have obtained sufficient language skills.
  • Students studying under the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship program; this program has very exacting requirements and a lengthy application process.
  • Own-government sponsored students. Japan has agreements with several countries to assist students with a Japanese education, including Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Uzbekistan.

Academic Year

The Japanese academic year usually runs from April through March. There are typically two semesters, with the first semester running from April through September and the second semester running from October through March. Summer break is usually late July to late August, winter break is late December through early January and spring break is late February through early April.

Post-Graduate Opportunities

There are many opportunities for students with master’s degrees to work in industry or conduct research after graduating. In 2012, nearly 8,000 foreign students in Japan found employment in Japan after they graduated. International students must have a specific job offer before they can apply for a change in residency status from student to employment.

Visa Requirements

International students must have a visa. Students enrolled in a master’s degree program are eligible for a College Student residence status. The student can apply directly for the visa through the Japanese embassy or consulate in the student’s home country or the educational institution where the student plans to study can make an application to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility. Once the student has the Certificate of Eligibility, they will still need to obtain the visa from their home country, Japanese embassy, or consulate.

In addition to the visa, foreign students must register as aliens within 90 days of arriving in Japan at a municipal office in the area where they reside. Students should carry their alien registration card with them at all times once they obtain it.

Health Insurance

International students are eligible to subscribe to National Health Insurance, which covers about 70 percent of the cost of medical treatment. In addition, some universities have special health insurance plans for international students. To obtain National Health Insurance, students will first need their alien registration card. Fees for National Health Insurance vary by locality; the monthly fee in Tokyo is about ¥3,500.


Bowing is commonly used as both a greeting and an indication of respect. Bows range from casual bows of about 15 degrees to deep bows of about 45 degrees used to express deep gratitude or an apology. Business bows are in the middle, about 30 degrees.

The Japanese lifestyle includes plenty of exercise and a healthy diet with lots of fresh vegetables and seafood.

Visa Requirements

Which visa you need depends on how long you are going to study in Japan:

  1. Short-term courses up to 90 days: many nationalities can visit Japan for up to 90 days on a visa waiver. When you arrive in Japan you will get a sticker in your passport, which shows that you can stay in Japan for 90 days. If you travel on a visa waiver you must have a return ticket within 90 days.
  2. Long-term courses longer than 90 days: For courses that are 20 weeks (two quarters) or longer you should apply for a student visa. The Japanese college student visa is also known as Ryugaku."

What type of Visa do you need?

Visa name

Student Visa

Price and currency

JPY 3000

The visa application fee is about 3,000 yen for single entry, and 6,000 yen for a double-entry or multiple-entry.

Please note that the visa application fee is not fixed, and depends on the nationality of the student and course being pursued. The best way is to contact the Consular Section of the Embassy or Consulate General of Japan that is closest to you.

Who can apply for the visa?

All foreign students coming to study full time in Japan for more than 3 months must have a visa.

Where can you make the application?

Japanese Embassy

The first part of the application process is done through your university. You will get your visa from the Japanese Embassy in your home country.


How to make the application?

Applying for a student visa to Japan is a multiple-step process.

1. First, you fill in different visa application documents and submit them to your school. Once you apply to a school they will send you the following documents that you need to fill in and submit to the school:

  • An application form where you fill in data about yourself and the course.
  • A personal history form where you fill in your educational and occupational history.
  • Application essay - motivate why you want to study in Japan.
  • Diploma and transcript from the last school you have graduated from, translated into English or Japanese.
  • Certificate of previous Japanese studies if applicable.
  • A copy of your passport
  • Passport photos
  • Medical history - some schools ask for your medical history or tuberculosis check-up but many schools don’t.
  • You also need to prove that you can pay for your course and support yourself in Japan.

2. The school checks that your application is complete before they rewrite it and submit it to the immigration authorities in Japan. About one month before your course starts they will issue a Certificate of Enrollment (CoE). The school will send you the CoE as soon as it has been issued and you have paid for your first semesters.

3. The final step to get a student visa to Japan is to make the visa application at the Japanese Embassy in your home country. To do this you need to submit:

  • Your CoE
  • Your passport
  • A passport photo
  • A visa application form filled in digitally or by hand using block letters.

When should you apply?

University deadline for visa applications is often about five months before the course starts, so make sure to apply earlier. High-ranking language schools and universities sometimes can take later applications too.

It takes a minimum of 5 working days to process the visa including the date of submission. You should also not apply before 90 days from intended date of travel.

Processing time

5 Days

Work opportunities

The Japanese student visa allows part-time work for up to 28 hours per week.

Anyone with a student visa staying longer than 6 months and wishing to work must submit an application for “Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted.” This can be done immediately upon arrival at the airport or later on at a local immigration bureau. There is no fee, so make sure to do so if you plan on working.

Hours per week


Why do you need this type of visa?

If you submit a complete application you will almost always get your visa from the Japanese Embassy. However, they can deny you if the information is incomplete or if you, for example, have some serious criminal record.

Here are some things to keep in mind to avoid a denial of a Japanese student visa:

  • Perhaps the biggest risk of rejection is due to insufficient sponsorship requirements.
  • Only one school can apply on your behalf for a student visa! If you try to hedge your bets by applying through multiple schools, you will probably get rejected.
  • Please remember not to staple your documents.
  • An incomplete file will be refused, remember to thoroughly check your application.