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.

Check out our Study Abroad Guide for an indepth overview of studying in Japan.

Study Abroad Guide (Pages) Study Abroad Guide (Spread)

Choosing a Program

Before starting your journey, it is 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.

High School Programs

These programs are typically paired with a homestay where students are able to live with a Japanese family in order to gain a better understanding of life in Japan.

Through Sister Cities International , there are over 400 sister cities between the US and Japan, some of which offer exchange programs for their citizens.

University Programs

Program lengths range from summer and semester to academic year and may have credit and tuition exchange, especially if done through the students home university.

You can use College Board to search for U.S. universities with study abroad opportunities and majors in Japanese Language and other Japan-related fields.

Japanese Language Institutes

The institutes are specifically designed to improve a student's Japanese language proficiency through either a short-term or long-term program.

Direct Enrollment Programs

U.S. students may apply directly to Japanese undergraduate universities and colleges. The majority of universities are offering bilingual Japanese-English programs and programs in English.

Graduate Programs

Many universities offer one- or two-year graduate and post-graduate programs in various disciplines. You must obtain a Master's degree before applying for a Doctoral program.

Scholarships

Typically, students will be responsible for airfare to and from Japan, housing costs, and daily expenses. However, there are many scholarships available for U.S. students interested in studying in Japan. Below, we will provide information on Japanese- and U.S.-government sponsored scholarships. For more information on other scholarships available to U.S. students, visit the Financial Aid page created by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese and JASSO’s list of Japanese government, local governments, and private organization sponsored scholarships.

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.