The decision to study abroad is not taken lightly—it entails physically relocating your life to a foreign country, where every facet of daily living will be new. You’ll be surrounded by new people, hear phrases you’ve never heard before, consume strange cuisine, follow a different regimen… you get the idea. As a result, we take providing you with the unadulterated truth very seriously.
If you’ve come this far in your search, we’re guessing you’re contemplating a study abroad programme in Japan. That’s fantastic! It’s also pretty courageous—Japan is most likely 12 hours or more ahead of your family and friends, on a separate continent, with a firmly ingrained and profoundly felt homogeneous culture. We want nothing more than for you to fall head over heels in love with your study abroad experience in Japan, so we’re going to tell it to you straight and let you figure it out.
The Advantages Of Studying Abroad In Japan
You’ll have an unimaginable quantity of stuff to list to your “pros” once you’ve spent your semester in Japan, learning to bow with your konichiwa and becoming accustomed to new sights, sounds, and flavours. For the time being, we’re pleased to help you get started.
1. You’ll Get To Taste Umami—And Other Delectable Flavours.
When living abroad, you must be at least somewhat familiar with the cuisine options. In an ideal world, you’ll be in complete nirvana. When studying in Japan, you will be bombarded with new and familiar sensations, as well as a plethora of culinary difficulties. Sushi and sashimi are a staple of Japanese cuisine, and the sheer diversity of ingredients, shapes, and sizes is enough to keep your taste buds occupied.
Are you not a fan of raw fish? It’s no problem! Instead, let’s tempura that fish and those vegetables. If you’re a true carnivore, Shabu Shabu, Japanese hot pot, will satisfy your cravings. This is a community dining experience in which friends gather around a pot of boiling water and drown various meats with chopsticks for a do-it-yourself feast. If you want to ease into the whole thing, yakitori, or grilled pork skewers marinated in teriyaki sauce, may be the most familiar meal to outsiders.
Oh, and don’t forget about the famous Japanese soups: how about a light tofu Miso or a substantial meat-and-noodle Ramen? Is it just our mouths that are watering?
2. Japan’s Educational System Is Renowned For Its Excellence.
If you choose to study in Japan, you should be aware that the education system in this nation is well regarded. The achievement-based approach used in the Japanese educational framework has achieved some important results, whether public or private, primary school or university. How could you not be delighted to begin your study abroad programme in Japan, which is consistently placed in the top ten countries for education? You can spend your summer at Seisen University in Tokyo or in Kyoto, which is home to one of Japan’s largest institutions.
Study Japanese in Japan to improve your language skills beyond “Domo Aragato, Mr. Roboto” singing. You’re not a big fan of kanji? You’ll enjoy business, marketing, and philosophy classes. In Nihongo, there are enough courses to excite and educate both your right and left brains! Just remember to take a culinary class as well. 🙂
3. Getting Around Is (Quick) And Easy.
Transportation is one of the most difficult aspects of going overseas. What if you don’t identify your stop or can’t understand the signs? What if, worst of all, public transportation is unavailable? With a Japan study abroad programme, none of these issues arise! Trains and buses, which are noted for their efficiency and timeliness, are used for transportation inside Japanese cities. In other words, you won’t have to wait for train delays on your way to class or to meet your friends for Ramen.
This is your chance to ride the legendary Shinkansen, Japan’s 320-kilometer-per-hour bullet train, when travelling between major cities. Tickets across Japan are praised for being both incredibly safe and extremely comfortable, and they may be reserved ahead of time or on the spot, making weekend vacations that much easier.
4. Possibilities For Employment Make It Simple To Extend Your Stay.
After a period of studying abroad, it’s natural for your overseas adventure to seem like home. Returning to your home country and not knowing when you’ll see your international family and friends again might be frustrating. That is a significant benefit of studying abroad in Japan: there is a high demand for foreign workers. If you decide to make Japan your permanent home after graduation, there is always a demand for English teachers, who often receive stable wages and housing.
You can still be in luck if teaching isn’t your thing. Unlike some other countries that are more strict on foreign workers, Japan offers a wide range of work visas for overseas visitors, including temporary and holiday visas. Although obtaining a work visa in Japan can be difficult, the country is generally accessible to foreigners.
5. You’ll Never Run Out Of Things To Do.
The enormous cultural impact Japan has on the world, as well as the choice of wholly unique activities you’ll be able to participate in, are two of the most compelling reasons to study abroad in Japan. If you want to study abroad in a nation where the culture is showy, splashy, high-tech, and very influential, Japan is the place to go.
The Akihabara neighbourhood is a must-see in Tokyo: known as an electric town, it is home to a plethora of stores selling electronics, manga, anime, and video games, all of which embody Japanese electro techno culture. However, famous Japanese toys don’t stop with electronics—Hello Kitty World is only one of the many locations across the country where you may meet this popular Japanese resident.
This country’s entertainment business extends much beyond its well-known toys. Attending a traditional Japanese Kabuki theatre is a great way to immerse yourself in Japanese history. Japan has also improved its karaoke chambers to the point where they are completely soundproof, giving you the most authentic rock star experience possible. If that isn’t enough to get your blood pounding, consider attending a Sumo match or, better yet, enrolling in a ninja or samurai lesson.
Don’t worry if you’re reading this and feeling overwhelmed by the country’s vitality—there are lots of ways to unwind in this very traditional culture. Taking part in a Japanese tea ceremony will bring solemnity to your heart, and practising Zen while visiting a Buddhist monastery will soothe your mind and soul.
Aside from its showy buildings in city centres, Japan is home to UNESCO World Heritage sites such as temples, shrines, and castles, where visitors can pay their respects to ages past.
6. There Are A Plethora Of Excellent Programmes To Select From.
You’re not forced to choose between two shoddy application providers with questionable websites. No way—Japan has a well-developed system for hosting international students, which means you’ll have dozens (if not hundreds!) of possibilities to choose from.
KCP International and CISabroad are two of the best study abroad programmes in Japan, according to student reviews and our recent assessment of the best study abroad programmes in Japan. We’ve also got you covered if you’re looking for summer study abroad programmes in Japan. International students in Japan benefit from programmes like IES Abroad, which routinely provide high-quality programming.
The Disadvantages Of Studying Abroad In Japan For College Students
What could possibly go wrong with this scenario? Japan has a lot to offer in terms of positive aspects, yet each place has its own set of negative aspects. We aim to prepare you for some of the less pleasant scenarios you may encounter while studying abroad in Japan, as well as some study abroad in Japan recommendations on how to deal with them.
1. How Much Does That Cost?
Studying in Japan has many advantages for college students, including being elegant, convenient, and amusing. There are world-class shopping opportunities and nightclubs that stay open until 6:00 a.m. There are supermarkets in the Western manner, fancy electronic bathrooms, and cafes with themes ranging from hedgehogs to French maids to robotic acts. If only these goods were available for free!
Japan’s cost of living is exceptionally high, and it is commonly referred to as one of the world’s most expensive countries. Specialty experiences, such as seeing the Cherry Blossoms, visiting one of Osaka’s palaces, or climbing Mount Fuji, can feel like an overindulgent indulgence. While this may appear to be a disadvantage, it really makes college student study abroad in Japan one of the most popular options.
Your study abroad programme will most likely pay for housing for you, allowing you to spend a little extra money on sheikh cafés and purikura pictures—those adorable little photo booths that make your skin flawless and transform your photo into a sticker.
2. Work-Life Balance… Or The Lack Of It
Despite its abundance of excitement and amusement, Japan is recognised for its disciplined, work-focused mindset. Children in Japan are trained from an early age to value education above all else, which leads them into occupations that do not believe in sick days and frown upon holidays. “The nail that sticks out is hammered down,” says a popular saying in the country… —overwhelming, to say the least? While we admire all of Japan’s hard work, we understand that as a student studying abroad, this mindset may be difficult to adjust to.
When studying abroad, it’s crucial to realise that no matter how long we remain, some cultural factors will be unpleasant to us. Isn’t that part of the goal, though? Taking in the highs and lows is all part of the process of observing and adapting to a new culture, and who knows, maybe you’ll pick up some tips that will help you get through the remainder of your college career.
3. Having A Distinct Feeling From Everyone Else
For the majority of students studying abroad, every location will provide cultural barriers as well as the possibility of a language barrier. Given the vast differences between Japanese and English in both written and spoken language, this experience is likely to be more prevalent in Japan than elsewhere. However, why not enrol in a Japanese script class to make this a pleasant challenge? You’ll be able to exercise your artistic ability, learn more about the culture, and do something practical and satisfying.
Aside from language problems, when travelling abroad, you run the risk of feeling like an alien based just on appearance. This is compounded in a country as homogeneous as Japan, where having different hair or eye hues is very noticeable. Being singled out or gazed at can feel like a con—you will be singled out and glared at—and it can lead to an arduous internal conflict. However, your experience does not have to be defined by this.
You’ll almost certainly receive comments, praise, and queries about your different appearance and cultural heritage because Japanese culture is kind and receptive. What a great chance to strike up a discussion, learn about their culture, and share a bit of your own, right?
Getting Excited About Japan’s Advantages And Recognising The Obstacles That Lie Ahead Are Excellent Initial Steps, But We’re Not Done Yet! There Are A Few Additional Options To Consider While Planning Your Ideal Study Abroad Experience In Japan.
What are your plans for the future? Tokyo is the energetic metropolis, but Kyoto brings all of its history as the past capital to the table. If you’re concerned about missing out on some greenery during your study abroad in Japan experience, you might want to consider escaping the main island entirely and seeing the cities of Hokkaido.
How long do you intend to be here? Witnessing all four seasons and spending a whole academic year abroad is arguably the finest approach to thoroughly immerse and acquire as much language and culture as possible. But this isn’t for everyone! It is entirely up to you to choose a semester or even a shorter summer alternative.
Decide what you want to concentrate on. Maybe you’re going to Japan solely to finish your Japanese language degree, or maybe you want to take a look at technological courses for the first time. Maybe you’re suffering from major senioritis and want to occupy your time with something new—dance, art, women’s studies, food science?
Make contact with your alma mater. It’s common to choose a study abroad group that isn’t affiliated with your school, but be sure you’ve informed all of the necessary people. Your academic advisor may be able to help you with class requirements, and financial aid may be able to guide you in the right direction for a scholarship!
You’re All Set For An Unforgettable Study Abroad Experience In Japan!
See? We warned you there would be a lot of choices! It will all be worth it when you see the futuristic fashion on the famous Harajuku Bridge or relax in the tranquilly of Zen gardens. We’ve described a few of the problems that come with studying in Japan, because being prepared is the key to being a successful trip. But now that you’re aware of the situation, you have all of the tools necessary to deal with it.
Let’s face it: every study abroad experience will have highs and lows—all it’s part of the adventure!