Study Abroad Programs in Japan
Guide to studying abroad in Japan
Japan’s bustling economy ranks third in the world, but this country is much more than advanced technology or fancy electronics. From the postcard-perfect sights of Mt. Fuji to your first cup of sake to the dizzying speeds of the bullet train, Japan is a student's dream study destination!
If you're looking for the best study and travel programs in Japan, we've got you covered! Keep reading to discover popular universities, the costs associated with studying abroad in Japan, and how to get started.
Popular universities in Japan
Higher education in Japan is world-renowned and there are universities all over the island that welcome international students for short-term or long-term study.
The University of Tokyo
Ranked 23rd in the world, The University of Tokyo is a top-notch university to spend a semester or full year. Only around 12% of undergraduates are international students, making it a great opportunity to practice your Japanese and get to know local students.
📚Top programs: physics, natural and marine sciences, and arts and humanities
Waseda University is known as one of the most diverse universities in Japan. It’s also ranked as the number 1 study abroad university in Japan and hosted 8,350 study abroad students in 2022. Waseda University partners with 94 universities in the US, so be sure to check if yours is one of them!
📚Top programs: history, social sciences, law, and math
Located in exciting Tokyo, 55% of Sophia University undergraduates are international students. With many classes taught in English, you can study abroad in Japan without having previously studied the language.
📚Top programs: modern languages and linguistics and humanities
How to study abroad in Japan
While requirements may differ depending on the university or program, these are generally the steps you’ll need to follow to study abroad in Japan.
- Research programs and universities. You can study abroad in Japan through direct enrollment, a program provider, or through your university. They all have their pros and cons, so research is key to finding the best fit for your academic goals and budget.
- Ensure you meet the eligibility requirements. To study in Japan, you need to be at least 18 years old. Some study abroad programs in Japan require a minimum GPA of at least a 3.0 to participate. Although Japanese language abilities are helpful, they may not be necessary if the program is in English.
- Prepare your application materials. You’ll need to gather several important documents, usually your transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement or statement of purpose.
- Apply for a visa. Once you’ve been accepted and received your Certificate of Eligibility, you can apply for a student visa. In Japan, you’ll need a student visa for programs lasting longer than 90 days. Consult your local Japanese consulate for details regarding the required documents and fees.
- Start budgeting & exploring scholarships. Whether you plan to study abroad using financial aid or are self-funding, working out a budget will help keep your expenses to a minimum. Make sure you factor in costs like flights, housing, food, transport, entertainment, and books and materials in addition to tuition & fees. Scholarships can help defray study abroad costs.
- Prepare for your adventure overseas! Now it’s getting real! Buy your plane tickets, secure university or off-campus housing, and get to packing!
Cost and funding
Studying abroad in Japan can be affordable if you know the best ways to reduce costs. Check out the average tuition and living costs and learn about how scholarships and grants can help make study abroad attainable.
Average costs of tuition
The cost of study abroad programs in Japan can vary depending on if you enroll through a program provider or directly through a university. Generally, direct enrollment tuition fees range between $3,000 to $20,000 USD, while third-party program provider fees range between $8,000 to $25,000 USD. Enrolling directly at a Japanese university is typically the cheapest way to study in Japan.
There is a range of great study abroad scholarships to help fund your academic adventure in Japan. Scholarships specifically for BIPOC students and those eligible for needs-based grants are also available.
Cost of living
Japan has the reputation for having a higher-than-average cost of living for the region but with proper budgeting, students can live comfortably during their time abroad.
Here are some of the monthly costs you can expect:
- Rent for one-bedroom apartment: $450-$750
- Food: $300-$400
- Transport: $40-$100
- Entertainment and excursions: $200-$600
Program providers and university-led programs usually include housing and sometimes meals in their plans which can save money.
What is the most popular major in Japan?
Social sciences, engineering, and humanities are among the top majors to study in Japan. Of course, it is also the number one destination for Japanese language students!Related Content
Can an American study abroad in Japan?
US citizens along with many other nationalities can study abroad in Japan. American students can enroll directly in Japanese universities, sign up with a program provider, or participate in an exchange through their home university.Related Content
Can I study in Japan without knowing Japanese?
You can absolutely study abroad in Japan even if you aren’t a student of the language. There are many study abroad programs that offer a variety of courses in English.Related Content
Is Japan a good study abroad destination?
Japan is a great destination to study abroad in Japanese or English. Aside from being affordable, past international students also reported feeling very safe during their time in Japan.Related Content
Where should I study abroad in Japan?
The most popular cities to study abroad in Japan are Tokyo and Kyoto. However, there are other great cities to explore and learn in like Hiroshima, Sapporo, and Osaka.Related Content
How much does it cost to study abroad in Japan?
If you enroll directly in a university, tuition fees can range between $3,000 to $20,000. If you enroll through a third-party provider, it may cost a little more with fees generally landing between $8,000 to $25,000. You'll also have to think about living costs like rent, utilities, groceries, and going out.Related Content