Is it hard to study abroad in Japan?

Is it hard to study abroad in Japan?

It can be difficult to study in Japan, even though there are many different universities and colleges in Japan, In this article, we will show some of the common challenges you may experience while studying in Japan. 

Studying abroad as a foreigner is never simple, and Japan is no exception. As a result, it’s not surprising that students in Japan may battle with their studies. However, when opposed to other nations, studying in Japan as an immigrant is not particularly challenging.

There are various factors you have to consider before making a hasty decision to study abroad. However, irrespective of what you choose, it will be a pleasant experience as you’ll be able to indulge yourself in a foreign culture, and because of everything the country offers, Japan is at the top of many students’ choices.

This article will serve as a guide for you to make a well-informed decision, by exposing you to the perks and the challenges you are likely to face studying in Japan.

We will cover areas like their educational standards, cultural differences, and cost of living/ financial barriers, and as a plus, you will be given a few best practices you can employ to have a more productive stay abroad in Japan.

Educational Standard

There are a variety of English language classes available in Japan. As a result, independent of your comprehension of the Japanese language, if you understand English, you will have no trouble enjoying the classes.

However, before actually enrolling in a program in Japan, you should strive to verify that the program is made available in the English language. This guarantees that you do not enroll in a course for which you may have difficulty with the primary language.

Also, studying in Japan as an immigrant is not difficult because of the country’s high educational standard. The Japanese educational system is wonderful, from elementary school to higher institutional level, and it is focused on ensuring students’ success.

Furthermore, Japan is regarded as among the top ten countries with the best academic systems in the world.

Education in Japan is organized in a practical manner that facilitates students’ learning. This doesn’t mean that you will not put out considerable effort in class. However, you may rest assured that your efforts will be adequately rewarded.

The government of Japan has also shown a considerable amount of support for Japanese higher institutional learning. Their efforts have not been limited to the locals but to the

foreigners as well, they have instituted various programs that will help ease immigrants’ adventures into Japanese institutions.

The government facilitated the exchange program with students from other foreign institutions. They as well annually award international scholarships to qualified candidates through MEXT (the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology) to improve international competitiveness and promote active international student exchange at Japanese higher institutions.

Apart from the English courses available, some international candidates may also be interested in some professional courses that may require a certain level of proficiency in Japanese. Sequel to this, interested candidates are required to take the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test), which is always held twice annually.

However, it is very integral to know that success in this exam is what guarantees your admission and it is required that you put in a lot of work and your time to study and scale through the test.

In Japan, each semester comes with a stipulated pay, ranging from the entry fee to the tuition fee and other modest fees. Local and international students pay the same tuition at all Japanese institutions, according to the legislation.

It is considerably high, but it gets smaller in the second year and since you have a vision for studying abroad, the financial commitment should be a sacrifice worth making. Tuition prices at private institutions vary and can be up to twice as much as at public universities.

Cultural Differences

It will be difficult to study in a country if the people are not friendly, irrespective of how good the schooling system and facilities are. Fortunately, the Japanese are kind and friendly. So coping with them shouldn’t be too difficult.

Furthermore, the Japanese are always prepared to assist foreigners. As a result, if you require assistance, you should not be afraid to seek assistance from those in your immediate vicinity in Japan. And also, because a large majority of Japanese people speak English, communication should not be a problem. 

The number of Japanese speakers in Japan is around 121 million, these statistics show that Japanese is the major language people communicate in Japan. This will pose its challenge, because, it will be a lot harder to join conversations. However, with time, that will be sorted out, because you will certainly blend in.

Shintoism, a traditional Japanese religion centered on rituals and shrine worship, is practiced by  

the majority of Japanese. Shinto practices were practiced by roughly 69% of Japan’s populace in 2018. Buddhism is a close second, with more than 66 percent of the people following its teachings.

In terms of people who declare an explicit allegiance or faith to Christianity, it is one of Japan’s minority faiths. Christian belief or affiliation is claimed by between 1% and 1.5% percent of the population. Hence, stoic Christians should know they may have to hold on tight to their strong beliefs in other not to be derailed as a result of peer influence.

There are other cultural practices carried out in Japan that may not sit well with you, and that is why you have to stay informed and make up your mind to either proceed with your academic career in Japan.

Cost of Living/ Financial Barriers

Japan is known for its high costs of living, particularly in Tokyo, which is consistently ranked among the world’s top 10 most expensive places. In Japan, rent accounts for a major portion of living expenses, followed by automobile ownership and transportation.

However, residing in Japan mustn’t be costly, and prices may be controlled based on where you live, by purchasing local items, and living within your wage. An estimated monthly cost for an adult in Japan is provided below.

For accommodation, the typical rental value for a one-room apartment (20-40 sq m) in Japan is around 50,000 and 70,000 yen, not including utilities. Similar-sized flats in central Tokyo and adjacent popular neighborhoods often start at roughly 100,000 yen per month.

For connectivity, traditional subscription plans start at roughly 6000 yen per month, while discount operators provide options starting at around 2000 yen per month.

Household goods and services can as well be gotten at a reasonable price in any of the local groceries as less as 100 yen.

The fact is, the cost of living in Japan is commensurate with that in other prominent countries, and the lifestyle you chose to live is what determines the level of expenses you will make.

The rule of thumb is that every prospective international student should at least have a financial plan before moving abroad. This is what will save you from the terror of financial bankruptcy.

Best Practices you can Employ while Studying In Japan

  • Learn about etiquette. Remember that you’ll be a visitor in another nation, so be respectful to the natives. You would not like to offend anybody by accident. When greeting someone in Japan, it is customary to bow. Plus, did you know that being as quiet as possible on the train is good etiquette?
  • Be social. Don’t be too reserved, learn to mingle with your friends, and in so doing, you will learn their cultural preferences and may even be lucky to be invited to festive occasions.
  • There are various types of recreational activities in Japan, and It is necessary to be entertained from time to time when studying in Japan. This not only allows you to enjoy the countryside, but it also allows you to maintain your sanity. You will not face any difficulties in terms of entertainment while studying in Japan. 
  • Take your academics seriously. It is not difficult to study in Japan due to the efforts of the Japanese government and private organizations, as well as other considerations. Despite this, Japan has a program in place that rewards students for their achievements. As a result, you must be willing to go above and beyond to demonstrate that you are a deserving international student in Japan.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Japanese Language. learning how to speak Japanese is not going to be easy, but the more you stay around people who speak it, the more likely you are to learn.
  • Seeking counseling from the school is also a good way to get by. The school understands that you are new and are always welcoming to new or international students who need help.

Japan is well known for placing a high value and regard on academics and choosing to study there as an international student can yield great dividends. I believe this article is just one of those materials that will guide you.