Studying at Japanese Schools

Since universities and other advanced education institutions in Japan generally only offer classes in Japanese, students in Japan must learn Japanese to keep up with their studies.

*This does not apply to all courses, as some universities offer courses in English.

There are three main ways to study at Japanese schools.
  1. Take Japanese classes as part of an international student course at a Japanese university for one or one-and-a-half years, and then enter a university.
  2. Take a one-and-a-half or two-year Japanese course at a Japanese language school in Japan, and then enter a university.
  3. Enter a Japanese university directly from your home country. (In this case, you will already have sufficient
    Japanese language skills, or will enter a course taught in English that does not require Japanese language ability, for example.)

1.Entering a University after Completing an International Student Course

This course was designed for students who hope to study at an undergraduate or graduate school, and offers classes that teach the Japanese language skills required to lead a life at college.
As it is affiliated with a university, course enrollment can bring students various benefits, such as access to university facilities and a possible recommendation to the parent university.

International Student Course
Academic Fees (Prefectural Average)) One-year course: ¥685,000, One-and-a-half year course: ¥939,000
Screening Method Screened by application documents, interview
Time of Entrance One-year course: April, one-and-a-half year course: September
Major Universities in Fukuoka Prefecture that Offer International Student Courses

(Source: Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO))

2.Entering a University after Studying at a Japanese Language School

Many Japanese language schools offer two kinds of courses, one designed to teach Japanese and the other designed to help students enter a university.

Japanese language school
Academic Fees (Prefectural Average) One-and-a-half year course: ¥1,063,000, Two-year course: ¥1,387,000
Screening Method Screened by application documents, written exams, interview
Time of Entrance One-and-a-half year course: October, Two-year course: April
Japanese Language Schools in Fukuoka Prefecture

3.Entering a University or Graduate School Directly from Your Home Country

Entering a University

For those who wish to study in Japan, most universities use the results of the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) as a way to screen applicants. The EJU is designed to evaluate international students’ Japanese skills and basic academic skills, to see whether they are of a sufficient level to study at Japanese universities. The Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) conducts the examination semiannually (June and November) in Japan, and at 14 locations overseas, mainly in Asia. The examination subjects include Japanese, Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology), “Japan and the World,” and Mathematics (courses 1 and 2). The exams are provided either in Japanese or English. (The Japanese test is given only in Japanese.) As your preferred university may have designated certain subjects and languages to be used in the exam, please check with that university first.

Entering a University
Source: Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
Academic Fees (Prefectural Average)

Please refer to “Academic Fees.”

Screening Method Screened by the EJU, exams given by each university, interview, etc.
Time of Entrance April (You may enter some universities in September or October.)
Entering a Graduate School

To enter a regular course (master’s or doctoral course), or to be a research student, you are generally required to be screened by submitting application documents and taking an entrance examination in either Japan or abroad. In addition, there are some cases where students must seek out the teacher in charge of the Japanese graduate school in advance to obtain his/her informal approval for admission before submitting a formal application. Please check with your chosen university concerning this.

Entering a Graduate School
Source: Study in Japan Comprehension Guide
Academic Fees (Prefectural Average)

Please refer to “Academic Fees.”

Screening Method Screened by application documents, exams given by each university, interview
Time of Entrance April (You may enter some universities in September or October.)

A research plan may be required to submit.

Most graduate schools require applicants to submit a research plan with their application documents. A research plan describes the student’s purpose and the method of research the student hopes to pursue in graduate school. Although the format varies for each graduate school, applicants must normally clarify their research intent, a reason for that intention, preceding research on the same theme and an analysis method in the space of a few A4 pages.

You can prepare for entrance into graduate school as a research student.

Research students are defined as those who are attending short-term (6 months or 1 year) non-degree courses. Many graduate schools recommend that international students attend research student programs during the preparatory period that precedes their entrance as regular students.

Important Points Concerning Study in Japan

Obtaining a visa

Students must obtain a “College Student” visa to study at Japanese universities and other educational institutions. The period of stay of the “College Student” visa is set by the Immigration Bureau of the Ministry of Justice to somewhere between 3 months and 51 months, depending on each student’s study period. To learn more about visa application procedures, please inquire at the university you plan to attend.

(Source: Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice)

Number and Country of Origin of International Students Studying in Fukuoka Prefecture, Shown by Data

Students from approximately 100 countries and regions selected Fukuoka for their study abroad experience

Fukuoka Prefecture represents the country’s third largest region in terms of numbers of international students, following the Tokyo and Osaka regions. Students from abroad choose Fukuoka for many reasons, including its convenient transportation services (including the short 10-minute subway ride from the airport to the city center), the low cost of living and the lively and bustling atmosphere, with various festivals held throughout the year. Chinese students account for the largest share (approximately 66%), followed by students from Nepal and Vietnam. As students from 98 countries and regions are studying in Fukuoka, there is a myriad of opportunities to have social exchanges with counterparts from various countries and regions.


Number of Imternational Students
Trends in the numbers of international students in Fukuoka Prefecture and nationwide over the past 5 years (As of May 1, 2013)

Ranking by country

Top 10 countries and regions with students studying in Fukuoka Prefecture(As of May 1, 2013)
Top 10 countries and regions with students studying in Fukuoka Prefecture (As of May 1, 2013)
Rank Fukuoka Prefecture (9,027 in total)
Country (region) No. of Students %
1 China 5,945 65.9%
2 Nepal 679 7.5%
3 Vietnam 677 7.5%
4 South Korea 659 7.3%
5 Taiwan 137 1.5%
6 Indonesia 133 1.5%
7 Thailand 85 0.9%
Malaysia 85 0.9%
8 USA 56 0.6%
9 France 49 0.5%
10 Bangladesh 40 0.4%
  Other 482 5.3%