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Can You Study Abroad in Japan?

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When you think of studying abroad, countries like Italy, Spain and England come to mind. Europe is the premiere spot for study abroad students, but Asia poses a unique opportunity to experience new cultures and unforgettable experiences as well. Japan boasts one of the most influential cultures in the world, and though millions of tourists flock to the country each year, it is often seen more as a short-term vacation destination for Westerners than somewhere with long term residential potential. If you’ve always been intrigued by Japanese culture and have the chance to study abroad, this country could be the perfect place for you to spend your next semester, or an entire academic year.

How Do You Study in Japan?

If you’re an American student, you have to file for a visa to attend school in any foreign country for a prolonged period of time. In this case, prolonged refers to any duration that extends beyond your passport tourist visa. In Japan, that’s 90 days. If you want to attend school for a full semester, half a year or even several years, you’ll need to meet the requirements for a visa and apply before you leave.

You can look for internship opportunities and semester-based courses in Japanese art or cuisine that allow you to immerse yourself in the country’s culture while earning college credit. If your current financing doesn’t cover the cost of your program, then you can look into private student loans. With a student loan from a private lender, you can apply for the money you need to cover the cost of travel and tuition and spend it how you see fit. This gives you greater freedom over your finances while still allowing you to easily pay for the expense of your education.

Is Japan a Good Place for International Studies?

Because there are so many stark cultural differences between Japanese and Western culture, many foreign students are hesitant to relocate for education. However, although there are many customs you’ll have to learn and adapt to, they serve an advantage. Many universities throughout the country are eager to have more foreign students on campus as they love being able to enrich their national students’ lives with the chance to meet more foreigners. Being an American, Australian or European student in Japan can feel strange at first, but you’ll find that it presents an incredible chance for you to receive an amazing education while experiencing an ancient, rich and vibrant Asian culture.

What Work Opportunities Are There as a Foreigner?

You will have restrictions on how many hours you can work if you enter the country on a student visa, but there are still ways for you to earn some money as a foreigner in Japan. The most popular way students earn money is by teaching English. You can do this in a school or offer lessons to adults. Teaching English can also be a great way to get to know real Japanese people and their lives instead of being cloistered in the tourist bubble so many study abroad students fall into.

If you do work online, you can continue to provide freelance services in areas like writing, graphic design and social media management while you’re completing classes overseas. For someone who wants to live outside of the country for a while, it is a good idea to start building a portfolio and securing clients months before your departure. Remote work is perfect for study abroad students because your office is wherever you are.

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