Why Study in Japan
If you want a rewarding, challenging and memorable study abroad experience, why not study abroad in Japan? With its unique combination of cultural tradition and technological innovation, Japan is one of the most fascinating regions in the world.
There are many good reasons to study in Japan. Some students are attracted by Japan’s high educational standards, while for others the attraction is Japan’s rich cultural heritage. Nearly 5 million students study abroad annually, with that number projected to continue increasing. With over 150,000 international students, Japan is one of the most popular destinations for international students. Here are a few reasons why you should seriously consider making Japan your study abroad destination.
1. Receive a top-tier education
Japan has been at the forefront of scientific and technological modernization for the past several decades, so it’s no wonder that Japan boasts some of the finest STEM programs in the world. Students seeking to further their knowledge in robotics, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and other fields of computer engineering should seriously consider studying abroad in Japan.
While Japanese universities are world-renowned for their exceptional STEM programs, there is also an abundance of excellent choices for liberal arts majors. Toyo University is one of the most internationally respected liberal arts colleges, offering exceptional academic resources for students dedicated to the pursuit of languages, history, literature or the arts. Founded in the 19th century specifically to offer comprehensive study in the philosophical disciplines, Toyo University specializes in Japanese language and culture immersion.
2. High educational standards
The OECD ranks Japanese high school students number one in the world for maths, and number 2 for scientific literacy. Japan has the highest number of Nobel prize winners of any Asian country, and the second highest of any country since 2000. 49% of Japanese High School graduates enter university. Japan has over 700 universities, with 10 ranked in the top 200 worldwide.
3. Improving your employability
Study abroad is an impressive part of any resume. Employers value the skills you learn as an international student. As well as the personal growth you will undergo studying in Japan, interacting with your professors, classmates, tutors and friends, will help improve your international awareness and employment opportunities. Internationally aware employees are in strong demand, and many companies actively recruit students with overseas learning experience – especially if they are able to speak a second language. If you choose to return home after graduation, you can be confident that your experience in Japan will help you appeal to high-quality employers, particularly those involved in international business.
For this wishing to remain in Japan, there is a strong job market for highly qualified graduates. In a recent survey, around half of the major Japanese companies surveyed expressed a desire to hire foreigners graduating from Japanese institutions.
4. Low tuition fees and generous scholarships
Tuition fees are comparatively cheap in Japan. While an “in state” student in the US may spend $10,000 a year or more on tuition, with “out of state” and international fees being several times higher, tuition fees at Japanese public universities are a mere 535,800 yen (approx $5,500) a year.
Furthermore, a wide range of scholarships are available, both from the universities, and from public and private organizations with some directed towards specific nationalities, women, minorities, or those with high level Japanese proficiency.
5. Become fluent in a difficult, yet highly valuable, language
Achieving fluency in Japanese will make you an incredibly valuable potential job candidate, not only in the United States, but also abroad. Being able to communicate effectively in Japanese will make you sought after by Japanese companies – many of which are incredibly interested in recruiting international applicants.
Even if you have studied the Japanese language rigorously in the classroom, you will never be entirely fluent in the language until you immerse yourself in it. Japanese is an exceptionally difficult language that can be a challenge for Westerners to learn, but surrounding yourself with native speakers will force you to think quickly and speak with confidence.
6. Become familiar with the customs and traditions
Did you know that lateness is considered the height of rudeness in Japan? Are you aware that while Japanese cuisine is heavily vegetable-based, vegetarian diets are uncommon? Learning how other cultures interact with one another can be highly valuable. Not only does it introduce you a new social philosophy, it helps you to successfully relate to people from different parts of the world.
Although you may realize that there are significant cultural differences between the Japanese and cultures of the West, you might not be able to effectively negotiate the sometimes tricky cultural terrain of Japan without having first lived there. The ability to understand and appreciate the culture can be extremely valuable to potential employers. If you can be integrated into a Japanese workplace seamlessly, you will be a highly attractive applicant.
7. Enjoy some of the world’s finest cuisine
If you love food, Japan may introduce you to an entirely new way of enjoying fine cuisine. While most of us in the West are fairly well acquainted with sushi, ramen and teriyaki, you may not be as familiar with traditional high-end kaiseki dining, or the homey pleasures of an Oden stew. You might also be surprised to learn that there is a highly inventive international culinary movement in Japan. Many of the finest restaurants in Tokyo offer a fresh twist on traditional French, Italian and Mexican cuisines!
8. Learn a wholly different cultural perspective
Living and studying in Japan will give you more than a glimpse into a new culture – it will help you to broaden your own horizons, and introduce you to an entirely different worldview. With thousands of years worth of history, tradition and culture, Japan offers students an invaluable opportunity to simultaneously learn from the philosophers, poets and historians of bygone years while developing a familiarity with, and understanding of, cutting-edge technologies.
Regardless of your major, your school or your career objectives, studying abroad in Japan offers a tremendous store of personal and professional value.