Studying Abroad in Japan: 10 Reasons to Join a Japanese University in 2023
Whether you love Japanese culture or are not yet familiar with it, Japan is a great country for students wishing to study abroad. Along with being able to immerse yourself in Japan’s rich culture, cuisine, and entertainment, you’ll have access to world-class educational facilities and a safe and clean environment. If you’re on the fence about where to study abroad, here are 10 reasons why studying abroad in Japan is a great choice!
*This article was sponsored by Keio University.
1. You can receive a world-class education.
There are many universities in Japan where you can receive world-class education in different fields, and Japan turns out internationally known experts in great numbers. For example, Japan has produced the most non-Western winners of the Nobel Prize, 22 people. 17 of those are in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine.
Also, it isn't just universities, but there are also many junior colleges and vocational schools available, so you can choose among a wide variety of institutions that carry the subject and/or field that you're interested in.
For people who want to learn Japanese, studying at a Japanese university is probably one of the best choices you could make.
2. Surprisingly, the study abroad fees are relatively low
For students in Asian countries, studying abroad in Japan is much cheaper than going to the Americas or Europe. Also, if you study in Japan, you're allowed to do part-time work, so you don't have to suffer in order to pay your tuition and living expenses. Because there's no limit to what kind of part-time job you can do, if you work in the field that you're interested in, it may be useful experience that you can use in your future career.
3. You can make Japanese friends.
Many Japanese students are very friendly towards international students. Also, universities want international students to become acclimatized to the Japanese student lifestyle, so they often hold events where Japanese and international students can meet and become friends.
At Keio University, international students are not separated into their own department or school, but instead they take the same courses as Japanese students. It's said that at Keio you get more chances to interact with Japanese students, so it's a very suitable school for people who want to actively become friends with Japanese students.
4．Experience the Japanese culture of extracurriculars called “circles”
Japanese schools have a culture of extracurriculars called “circles”. These are students groups that do activities based on similar interests, but it’s said that circles value bonds and communication more than just regular club activities.
There are sports circles such as tennis, soccer, and karate, as well as cultural interests such as music, photography, languages, etc. Cultural circles also include interests unique to Japan, such as anime, kabuki, and trainspotting. For example, at Keio University, there are around 474 official circles and clubs recognized by the universities. You’ll definitely be able to find one that fits your interests.
Also, at urban schools, there are many intercollegiate circles that you can participate in and meet people from other universities.
If you join a circle, you’ll definitely be able to enjoy having fun with Japanese people while deepening your interest and/or knowledge of a topic you like.
5 School cafeterias offer cheap meals that are filling and nutritionally balanced.
Japanese universities have cafeterias for the students. There is, of course, delicious Japanese food, but also Western food, Chinese food, and occasionally meals from other parts of the world. These are all available at extremely reasonable prices, and there are university cafeterias where you can eat breakfast for just 100 yen. Also, the meals are prepared for maximum nutritional balance, so it's definitely a healthy place for international students, who tend to eat an unbalanced diet.
Lately, universities have completely planned out the meals on offer, and some have incorporated famous restaurant chains into their cafeterias. There are cafeterias that offer course meals and halal food as well.
6 The network between classmates is strong and keeps people connected even after graduation.
Since the alumni network is very strong, students are connected even after graduation and it’s very easy for students to continue being friends as well as colleagues.
When students are looking for full-time jobs for post-graduation, in Japan there is an unique occurrence called “OB houmon,” or “alumni visit.” This is when an alum from the same university (acquaintance or not) visits and gives kind advice to current students about their workplace. Depending on the situation, that alum might also introduce people to their company’s HR department for future consideration.
Among other things, Keio University ranks number 9 in the world for the number of Fortune500 CEOs that have passed through its halls. It's number 1 in Japan for high-ranking executives at stock-listed companies, and has a full network of alumni that are very active in the business world.
7 Japan is very safe and the streets are clean, so your environment is very well-ordered.
Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. Also, because the streets are clean, it’s very easy to travel through.
Even in the center of the city, if you live more than 10 minutes away from the train station, your rent won’t be that high.
Also, in many cases, there will be convenience stores within walking distance as well as vending machines pretty much everywhere. If you need to do just a little shopping, then you won’t be inconvenienced.
8 Medical treatment is very accessible and relatively inexpensive.
It’s very easy to access medical care in Japan, and international students are usually required to enroll in the national health insurance program. If you enroll in the national health insurance, you are only obligated to pay 30% of the full medical costs as the rest will be covered by the insurance. It’s very cheap, especially in comparison to private healthcare systems like the United States’.
At Keio University, there are health clinics on campus, so you can easily undergo simple treatments, consultations, and medical tests for free. It gives international students peace of mind.
9 You can enjoy Japanese culture, food, and the four seasons.
Most people who study abroad in Japan have interest in and want to enjoy Japanese culture, the delicious food, and the beautiful seasons. If you study here, then you’ll be able to experience all of this in your everyday life.
Naturally, because you’re in Japan, you’ll also be able to easily travel all over the country when you have the time.
10 You can experience internationally renowned cultural properties.
Tokyo especially is full of the leaders of gourmet, fashion, art, and subculture, so if you study here you can experience the very best that these worlds have to offer. On top of it being a city full of leading businesses, it’s also full of nature such as Yoyogi Park, historical sites such as temples and shrines, as well as sightseeing spots like Skytree and Tokyo Tower.
For example, Keio University’s Mita campus is right in the heart of Tokyo and is the closest university to Tokyo Tower. On your days off or even just when you have a few free hours, you can easily enjoy one of Japan’s best-known sightseeing areas.
If you study abroad in Japan, of course you’ll be able to receive a full education, but also it's a perfect choice for people who want to experience life in Japan as well as people who may be thinking of working in a Japanese company.
Keio University has 2 four year programs where you can take all your classes in English - the economics program, PEARL, and GIGA, the global information and governance program.
In order to better understand Japanese society and culture as well as increase your chances of working in Japan, there are also Japanese-language classes available. If you’re interested, please see the following websites.
Official Site: http://pearl.keio.ac.jp/
Official Site: http://ic.sfc.keio.ac.jp/the-giga-program/giga-courses/
Top Image: Osugi / Shutterstock.com
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.