*(J) Written in Japanese
The Latest Guide to Studying Abroad in Japan
Fifty Thousand International Students Study at Professional Training Colleges
According to the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), there are around 239,000 foreign international students studying at professional training colleges, universities, graduate schools and other Japanese higher education institutes, an increase of around thirty thousand compared to last year. The number of international students at professional training colleges has also increased by nearly 30 percent compared to last year, with about fifty thousand currently enrolled.
Students from China make up about 41 percent of this number. In second place are Vietnamese students, whose numbers have grown number greatly in the last few years, and now make up over 20 percent of the total. The number of international students from Nepal, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and other Asian countries/regions has increased across the board. In addition, the current worldwide interest in Japan has led to students coming to Japan from various countries and regions.
Percentage of International Students by Country/Region
Change in the Number of International Students
The number of international students noted does not include the 68,165 students enrolled in Japanese-language educational facilities. The total including these students reached 239,287 in 2016, an increase of 30,908 (14.8 percent) compared to 2015.
From Admission to Professional Training Colleges to Graduation and Employment
Financial Aid Programs for International Students
A Monthly ¥48,000 Scholarship Available for Self-Financed Students
The Japanese government (MEXT) provides scholarships for nationally funded international students, while JASSO offers a scholarship for privately funded international students. Other scholarships offered by local municipalities and private organizations are also available.
- Japanese Government
Amount: ¥117,000 per month (AY2018)
Scholarship Provider: Student Affairs Section, Student Support and Exchange Division, Higher Education Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
Scholarship Provider: http://www.mext.go.jp/
- Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for
Privately Financed International Students
Amount: ¥48,000 per month (AY2018)
Scholarship Provider: Office for Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship, International Scholarship Division, Student Exchange Department, Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
Scholarship Provider: http://www.jasso.go.jp/
Like Japanese citizens, international students in Japan must enroll in the National Health Insurance program.
Regardless of how long the student will be staying, anyone with a visa must enroll in Japan’s National Health Insurance program. Please enroll in the program at the municipal office of the municipality where you registered as a resident. The monthly insurance premiums you pay will depend on your municipality and whether you have any income. Once you enroll in the health insurance program, you will only have to pay 30 percent of any medical expenses.
- What is a student visa?
Activities related to studying at a Japanese university or in a specialized course of specialized training college, college of technology, or equivalent institute.
Length of Visa:
Four years and three months, four years, three years and three months, three years, two years and three months, two years, one year and three months, one year, six months, or three months
International students want to work in Japan, and the number of companies wanting to hire foreigners is increasing
In March 2016, 27.9 percent of the graduates of professional training colleges found employment in Japan (compared to 24.5 percent in 2015), 16.9 percent went on to universities or professional training colleges for further education, 16.5 percent returned to their home countries, and 8.7 percent were still looking for work in Japan (compared to 10.0 percent in 2015)
(Source: Graph, “Career Paths of Professional Training College Graduates [Excluding Graduates of Japanese Language Courses]”) If you include students still looking for work, we see that roughly half of international students choose to work in Japan after graduation, and that these numbers are trending upward across the board.
On the other hand, if you look at data on companies in Japan hiring foreign students (see the graph “Companies That Hired International Students in the Last Year”), 52.3 percent of companies responded that they had hired one in the last year, higher than last year’s result of 46.0 percent.
In addition, if you include the 28.2 percent of companies that tried to recruit foreign students but did not hire any, we see that around 80 percent of companies are interested in hiring foreign students.
Factors like the growing number of companies looking to develop businesses overseas mean that the demand for foreign talent is certain to continue to grow.
In particular, companies expect international students who studied in Japan to have strong Japanese skills and a deep understanding of Japanese customs and culture.
Companies That Hired International Students in the Last Year
Career Paths of Professional Training College Graduates (Excluding Graduates of Japanese-Language Courses)
Example(s) of Visas That Allow International Students to Work in Japan
Note: These visas last five years, three years, one year, or three months.
- “Designated Activities” Visa for Seeking Employment in Japan
After graduating from a Japanese professional training college or university, a student may apply for a “designated activities” visa, which allows them to remain in Japan to look for employment. This visa is valid for six months after graduation, but may be extended up to one year after graduation.