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What is the best way to set up a 'study abroad' program for

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  • What is the best way to set up a 'study abroad' program for


    Just so you know, this may be a little complicated, so bear with me. I am currently a student at a technical school, and I'm working full time. I would eventually like to, like many others, live and work in Japan for at least a few years. I am worried that if I only have a 2 year tech school degree, and not a 4 year university degree, that no one in Japan will take me seriously. And so I have decided that after I finish up the tech school, that I want to go to a university for a complete 4 year degree.

    I don't have a clue how these study abroad systems work, I don't know how much they cost, I don't know what you need to sign up, and all of the program web sites I have found have not given me any understandable information as of yet.

    So my questions are as follows:

    1. Generally, how much does this cost per year, for an average level university
    2. What are the typical academic requirements
    3. How do the accomodations/food/etc work
    4. How long are you allowed to study for (i.e. 1 year, 2 years, 4..)
    5. How good at the language do I need to be

    I'm probably asking all the wrong questions, but any and all information on this topic would help greatly.

  • #2
    Re: What is the best way to set up a 'study abroad' program

    If you are looking at staying and working in Japan for any serious length of time then it is absolutely vital that you get a four-year university degree( needed for visa applications-no degree, no visa).
    You basically have two ways to go:
    1) Enter a university in your home country which has an exchange program to Japan.These types of programs are usually for a limited time in your Sophomore year etc but you may have the option to come back to Japan once you graduate.
    2) Enter a Japanese university

    If you decide to enter a Japanese university be prepared to pay a lot of money-not only accommodation but fees are amazingly high.If you can enter a public university, they are relatively cheaper but you will need excellent grades and possibly very good Japanese language skills.

    Tuition can vary from anywhere around 500,000yen a year to 1,000,000yen+. The university I went to was 1,200,000yen a year and it is an average (private level) university.It is possible to get full and partial scholarships but once again you need good grades and competition is quite high.( I found that there were many scholarships for students from Asian countries but very few for so-called "Westerners")

    Entering a Japanese university is the hard part.Once you are in there is very little in the way of studying that needs to be done. I believe that the 1st grade of the Japanese Proficiency Test is still required to enter a Japanese university (for visa requirements).

    Many universities have dorms or can organize cheap accomodation for you-some also can organize homestays.If you are renting you may be looking at about 50,000yen+ per month dorms are less than half that if shared but may be more if they have single rooms.Of course this all depends on where you are.I am giving you info for Tokyo.Food is usually purchased at nearby convenience stores or you can go to your university's cafeteria. I would say you could live on less than 20,000yen permonth. If you are into cooking for yourself you can do it cheaper.

    If you enter a Japanese university you can stay for 4 years and do some part-time work.Immigration really doesn't keep tabs on how many hours you work but it is necessary to get permission from immigration to do "activities outside you visa status"i.e student.You can only get your visa for 1 year and it is necessary to keep renewing it every year.
    As I said before most universities overseas only offer exchange programs for about 1 year at most.

    Getting a "college student visa" is a very tedious proceedure that take months.Japanese universities start in April so it would be a good idea to get started on the paperwork now if you want to come to Japan.You need reports from high-school, letters of recommendation, a guarantor, funds to cover your first year (and proof such as bank statments etc) and the list goes on.

    I came to Japan on a pre-college student visa which is a two-year visa designed for people wanting to go to a Japanese university but who don't have the language skills. It is necessary to go to a Japanese language school for 20 hours per week and it costs money-say about 200,000+/year.On this visa you can also do part-time work with permission but it is necessary to attend class regularly and get reasonable grades or your visa will be revoked.At these schools they usually have tonnes of information about universities that you can go to after passing 1st grade of the proficiency test.

    Why don't you contact the Japanese embassy in your home country for information on universitites/schools that accept foreign students and the requirements?A search on the web should also turn up a lot of information.