Studying in Japan

About 180,000 international students from 170 countries and regions of the world currently study at institutions in Japan. Not only will studying in Japan expose you to a new languge, it will also help broaden our view about the diverse cultures of the world! Studying abroad is an extremely beneficial experience but advanced planning is a must. Before looking at the FAQ below, it may be important for you to decide what type of study abroad experience you would like to have in Japan. Would you like to enroll full-time in a regular Japanese college? Would you like to visit Japan on a short term exchange program to work only on the Japanese language? Would you like to pursue your major but still attend college in Japan? All options are available but it is important that you consider what you would like to do in order to find the program or option best for you. You need to consider the length and type of program, as well as your eligibility for programs you may be interested in.

General Questions

If you are a high school student looking to study abroad, please check with the Association of Teachers of Japanese or the CULCON Institute for ideas and programs.

If you are currently enrolled in a university, or are looking to study abroad in Japan through a university program, StudyJapan, provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has a pretty comprehensive guide. It also covers how to attend college in Japan for the full four years. The Japan Student Services Organization, affiliated with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, also has a great guide.

There are a variety of language school options available for those who are only interested in studying the language. Please see our Japan Resources page for a introductory list of language schools in Japan, and you can also use the Japanistry Japan Language School Database or the Japanese Language School Guide to search for more, although these sites is not affiliated with us.
Financial Aid

We are delighted that you are interested in applying for the Monbukagakusho Scholarship offered by the Government of Japan! Beginning with the 2016 MEXT cycle, the Embassy of Japan will offer two types of MEXT scholarships: Scholarship for Undergraduate Study and the Research Scholarship for Graduate/Post-Graduate Study. Please check here for eligibility criteria, application guidelines, and instructions.

You will be submitting your application to your local Embassy or the Consulate General of Japan which is responsible for your jurisdiction. Please not that all application materials must be sent to the Consulate General responsible for your jurisdiction. The Embassy of Japan ONLY accepts applications from residents of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Please refer to our Consulate Guide to see which Consulate General serves your area.

Japan can be expensive, but don't let that discourage you in the planning of your time abroad, as there are ample opportunities for financial aid. The American Association of Teachers of Japanese provides detailed information and links on several major scholarships and financial opportunities for study in Japan. The Embassy of Japan cannot fund individuals for study abroad, but there are many independent sources available. Many universities and programs in Japan also offer their own scholarship and financial aid opportunities to overseas students, so please check with the international office at your school or with your program for information.
Other Questions
To study abroad in Japan, you will need a student visa. Information about types of visas and applications can be found the Embassy's visa information page. If you live in the DMV area, you can contact the Visa Section of the Embassy of 202-238-6800 if you have questions. For those living outside the DMV, please contact the Consulate General of Japan closest to you, which you can find on our Consulate Guide page. Each respective Consulate General will process all visas for those who reside in their area of jurisdiction.

If you need to work in Japan, for work-study for example, you will also need a work visa.