East Asian island country Japan is located in the Pacific Ocean. The “land of the rising sun” is famous for its standard educational system and unique culture. Every year a large number of international students come to study in Japan. Many talented students from Bangladesh dream of going to Japan for higher education too. This article will provide detailed information on how to get higher education in Japan.
Is Japan a Good Destination for Higher Studies?
Students from middle-class families prefer higher education in Japan due to the low tuition and vast opportunity to access the latest technology and knowledge.
The advanced sciences and economic prosperities of the country are incomparable. As one of the most powerful countries in Asia, Japan’s educational system is unique compared to other countries.
Here, students can study a variety of subjects ranging from electrical to medicine, literature, business administration, and more.
Japan is one of the safest nations in the world. Japan has a very low crime rate and an extremely low drug use rate.
Higher Study in Japan, Academic Year and Course Duration
All the first-world countries offer opportunities in various educational institutions for higher education. Likewise, there are five types of higher education institutions in Japan. These are Graduate University, Under Graduate University, College of Technology, Japanese Studies, and Professional Training School. Japan’s education system is running on them.
The academic year for higher education in Japan begins in April and ends the following March. Generally, an academic year is divided into two semesters, one April-September and the other October-March. But there are more opportunities for international students in the fall semester, which starts on October 1 and ends on March 31.
Most courses at the undergraduate level are of four years duration. Besides, Medicine, Dentistry, and Veterinary Science’s duration are six years. However, the duration for Master’s courses is two years, and the course duration for a doctoral degree or PHD is five years. Japan also offers 2-3 years of professional degrees in Master of Education, Juris Doctor, and professional Master’s degree.
Minimum Educational Qualifications to Study Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD
For undergraduate admission in Japan, a student must have completed at least 12 years of schooling, i.e., an upper secondary certificate from an upper secondary school.
For admission to the Master, there should be at least 16 years of schooling.
For Ph.D. admission, you will need a Master’s degree with relevant research and job experience.
However, most higher education institutions in Japan teach in Japanese, while you can find some courses taught in English too.
Therefore, if foreign students want to go for higher education in Japan, a student must have to be proficient in the Japanese language. So Bangladeshi students who want to go for higher education in Japan can contact the embassy in Dhaka and learn the Japanese language. Besides, Dhaka University has Japanese language courses of different durations.
In addition to that, you will also need English language proficiency. When you go for higher education in Japan, you need to find out which institutions require IELTS. Because some educational institutions want TOEFL CBT to score above 150 or TOEFL iBT scores above 52. And IELTS 6.5/ 7.0 is acceptable to supplement this score.
Since the university authorities want TOEFL (CBT/ iBT) directly, it is better for you to take the TOEFL (CBT/ iBT) test in Japan. However, these tests are not required in all courses and universities. So you need to visit the university websites and see what qualifications the university authorities actually expect from students.
Subjects Taught for Higher Education in Japan
Here are some of the subjects you can study in Japan:
Physics, Chemistry, Ecology, Biology, Material Science, Biology and Neuroscience, Geoscience, Educational Science, Environmental Life Science, Astronomy, Bioscience and Biotechnology, Biomolecular Engineering, Medical Science, MBBS, and more.
Accountancy, Management, Area Studies, and more.
Human Studies, Anthropology, Public Law and Policy, Applied Informatics, Human-Social Information Science, Geophysics, Architecture, and Building Science.
Law and Society, Transnational Law and Policy, and more.
In addition, there are linguistics, history, economics, mathematics, mechanical systems and design, nanomechanics, educational informatics, intercultural relations, and engineering, including computer and mathematical science.
There are about 800 universities for higher education in Japan. “The University of Tokyo” and “Kyoto University” are among the top 70 universities in the world ranking.
Tuition Fees in Japan
Tuition fees in Japan depend on which university you study at. If you study at National Universities, tuition fees will be Approx. 820,000 yen or around $5,500 per year (around TK 6 lacs) for an undergraduate degree. If you attend a private university in Japan, the annual tuition fee will be Approximately 1,100,000 yen or around $7,300 (or around TK 8 lacs).
For medical, dental, and pharmaceutical studies in private universities, the approximate tuition fee is Approximately 3,200,000 yen or $21,500 (or around TK 23 lacs) per year.
The approximate tuition fee for graduate studies such as a Master’s or Ph.D. is 820,000 yen or $5,500 (around TK 6 lacs) each year. For private graduate school, you will need to pay around 1,000,000 yen or $6,700 (around TK 7 lacs) a year. Graduate medical, dental, and pharmaceutical programs will cost around 800,000 yen or $5,500 (around TK 6 lacs) per year.
Accommodation Facilities and Costs
Foreign students studying in Japan can live in four types of accommodation. These four types of accommodation are student dormitories, public housing allocated by local government agencies, staff dormitories of various Japanese organizations, and private rental housing.
The average accommodation cost for a student in Tokyo is about 44,000 yen or $300 (around TK 31,000) per month. Overall, the living cost per month will be around 100,000 yen (around TK 71,000), including rent, food, utility, insurance, medical, and others.
Scholarship Scopes for International Students in Japan
The Japanese study environment is competitive and creative. Japanese universities offer admission for two semesters a year with various scholarships and fellowships. Master’s and Ph.D. students have more opportunities for scholarships.
Among the popular scholarships, the MEXT scholarship is notable. This scholarship is given to developing Japan’s friendships with other countries through research. Scholarship recipients under this program do not have to pay any tuition fee or admission fees. Accommodation, food, and round-trip airfare are also included in the scholarship.
Apart from this, students get the opportunity to study without tuition fees in Japan’s ‘ADB-Japan Scholarship Program.’ Living expenses, incidental expenses including rent, purchase of books and other essentials, medical insurance, and travel expenses—all are covered by this scholarship.
Another popular scholarship is the Japan-World Bank Scholarship. Through this, there are various training opportunities, including Master's and Ph.D. degrees. Students from various universities get various scholarships and financial incentives for good results and work. These scholarships and fellowship opportunities can be known by e-mailing the university’s international office.
To get a scholarship, one should have good academic results and be interested in research and higher education. Apart from the various required documents for the scholarship, a ‘Statement of Purpose, why you are interested in doing research should be written. Apart from this, previous research experience and certificates of participation in various social activities are also considered important.
Application Process for Higher Education in Japan
First of all, you will need to find universities according to your background and interest. You can search the universities at https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/.
Next, you will need to apply. The required documents for application are academic certificates, an academic mark sheet or transcript, a TOEFL or IELTS score, a CV or motivation letter and recommendation letter, a certificate from the last educational institution, and a copy of the passport.
However, make sure you follow the academic year and application deadlines. Each university might have a different application process. Information regarding the application process and minimum qualifications are available from the university website.
In order to start the classes on time, the application process should be started at least 2-3 months before the start of the course. Bangladeshi students should apply for a study permit by contacting the relevant branch of the Japanese Embassy in Dhaka.
Visa Application Process and Required Documents
After you have received confirmation of admission from the university, you must submit all required documents to the Japan Immigration Office. They will accept all your documents and issue Pre-Visa (COE) through the Ministry of Justice in Japan. With this Pre-Visa (COE), you will later apply for a visa at the Japanese Embassy in Bangladesh.
Documents you will need at the embassy are, Pre-Visa (COE), all documents, mark sheets, and all certificates; the passport should be valid for at least six months; two copies of photo size 3.5 x 4.5, recommendation or reference letter, bank statements and financial solvency documents, medical report, TOEFL/ JLPT 5 (if applicable), scholarship papers (if any) and a cover letter describing the reason for higher education in Japan.
Besides, you need to know from the Japanese embassy whether you need any other documents.
Part-time Job Opportunities for Students in Japan
International students typically can work 28 hours a week. Knowing Japanese makes it easier to work in different organizations. There are job opportunities in various research laboratories and related projects of the university.
The work environment in Japan is very professional. Punctuality and professional behavior are always important. In addition, you will get the opportunity to work full-time during the semester breaks.
Job Opportunities in Japan After Completion of Study
Bangladeshi students or researchers have many job opportunities in Japan. Chances are more if you know Japanese. You can work in various technology companies. Many people also work in financial institutions, laboratories, and commercial institutions. Bangladeshis are joining various Japanese educational institutions and laboratories.
Many students also work in famous companies such as Sony, Toyota, and Hitachi. Many students are taking jobs directly from Japan in various corporate organizations in Europe and America. Hence, you will have permanent resident opportunities too.
Japan is a great destination for science and technology students. The study system is the same in all universities in Japan. But it is better to select public universities and national universities for a scholarship. Because the number of scholarships in these universities is usually high.
So far, we have discussed how Bangladeshi students can apply for bachelor, master's, or Ph.D. admission in Japan. We also gave an idea about tuition fees, living costs, and part-time job opportunities for students in Japan. Hope it helps!