The Land of the Rising Sun, as Japan is often referred to happily merge her ancient traditions with modern technology there is a mix of the East and the West, the natural and the artificial. Japan has rare skills and techniques in the production of arts and crafts. The land has not only Samurai swords, origami, kimono and geisha girls well- versed in house-keeping but bullet trains, science research, and industries focusing on automobiles, shipbuilding, cameras and consumer electronics.
Japan is an archipelago of thousands of islands. But the four largest islands, Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku, together occupy nearly 97% of the land area, which is nearly ten times that of Kerala. The demographic trends that indicate a falling birth rate has led to the Japanese government offering incentives to parents for raising the population.
There are nearly 120,000 foreign students in Japan, most of who are from China and Korea. There is the case of the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Kyushu where half of the 6000 students are from overseas. Japan aims to increase the number of foreign students to 300,000 by 2020. Though a few classes may be taught in English, you will have to learn Japanese if you intend to take a higher qualification in Japan.
The academic environment is congenial for quality in research, especially in the areas of science and technology. Remember that ten Japanese scientist received Nobel prizes in Physics and chemistry during the period from 2000 to 2010. Four of them where in the year 2008.
Japanese education enjoys great reputation at the international level. There is, however, some difficulty in communication for many foreigners, since English is not understood even by many professors of eminence.
There are about 700 universities in Japan, in three sectors - national ,public and private. You can join university after 12 yrs of schooling. For further details go to :
Period for Undergraduate -
4yrs, but for medicine, dentistry and veterinary - 6yrs;
Master's program - 2 yrs; Doctor's program - 5 yrs (2 yrs Master's + 3 yrs),
Doctors program in medicine, dentistry and veterinary : 10 yrs ( 6yrs undergraduate + 4 yrs)
Junior Colleges duration : 2 - 3 yrs in areas of home economics, humanities, education, and sociology. You can join after 12 yrs of schooling.
Special Training Colleges offer post secondary courses in vocational education as well as education i skills, technology and knowledge. You can join after 12 yrs of schooling and prescribed proficiency in Japanese Language. Duration : 1-2yrs.
Colleges of Technology (about 50 in number) offer courses in engineering, merchant navy and certain other fields. Duration 5 yrs. Merchant Navy- 5 1/2 yrs.
The academic year is usually from April to March, divided into 2 semesters. Some universities permit entry in October as well.
In many cases, a student first enrols at a Japanese language institution after arrival in Japan and studies there for a year or two, before taking the entrance test for university admission. Details of the language schools are available on
Different Categories of Students :
Depending on the duration of study and the manner in which your expenses are paid students are categorized as :
1) Japanese Government Scholarship students
2) Privately financed foreign students
3) Foreign Government sponsored students
4) Short term student exchange program students
There are several scholarships provided by the Japanese Government. International Students have to take a Japanese language Test conducted by JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization) for Japanese University admission. There are centres in India to take this Test.
Immigration can be obtained as Researcher, College Student, Pre-College Student, Trainee and Temporary Visitor. Students holding the College Student residency status are permitted to reside in Japan for either one or two years. You will have to make the initial alien registration within 90 days of arrival in Japan at a municipal office in your area of residence. A full-time international student can normally work up to 28 hrs per week, after obtaining the prescribed permit for 'extra-status-of-residence activities'.