Frequently Asked Questions



FAQ on Other Websites

  • Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)

  • Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)

  • Tokyo Japanese Language Education Center

For further Enquiry ▼


How to Get Started


1. What is the Study-in-Japan Global Network Project for Sub-Saharan Africa? Who established this project?

The Study-in-Japan Global Network Project for Sub-Saharan Africa was established by the Japanese Government through its Ministry of Education, Sports, Culture, Science and Technology (MEXT).

The Hokkaido University Africa Office in Lusaka is entrusted to operate the project by MEXT, on behalf of universities in Japan.

The aim of the project is to increase the number of African students in Japan through promotional activities including Study-in-Japan Fairs across the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

 

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2. Do I need a registration in this project if I apply for Japanese universities?

 

You don’t officially need to register in this project and therefore no costs incurred to contact us.

However, if you have any specific questions or further information required, it is advisable to fill in the

designated form (http://tiny.cc/tso3rz) from this project, as we can learn your background, so that we provide appropriate consultation to you.

 

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3. I am interested in studying in Japan. How can I get general information for that?

Firstly, please kindly check our “Steps” page:

We also recommend you to follow our Facebook page to receive latest information.

https://web.facebook.com/Study-in-Japan-Info-for-Africa-558374528019520/

 

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4. What is the first step towards studying in Japan?

Making a clear plan is your first step towards studying in Japan. Make sure why you want to study in Japan, which city and at what kind of educational institution you want to choose, when you wish to start a course, how long you need for preparation, and how much the total cost would be.

 

The website below will help you to make your plan.

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/flow-chart/

 

In addition, a guidebook "Student Guide to Japan" will provide detailed information including timetable and what sort of preparation you would need:

https://www.jasso.go.jp/en/study_j/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2019/05/16/sgtj_2019_e.pdf

 

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5. What are the steps and paths to studying in Japan at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels? 

【Undergraduate level】

  1. Choose a university and a course
  2. Find out how to apply for the course
  3. Apply for a university
  4. Apply for any scholarship if you need 
  5. Prepare visa and other documents to go to Japan

【Postgraduate level】

  1. Choose a course at a university and find your supervisor
  2. Apply for the university and obtain a pre-enrollment approval from the university
  3. Apply for any scholarship if you need,
  4. Prepare visa and other documents to go to Japan

The process is slightly different between undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In postgraduate level, it is necessary to find a supervisor for your research.

 

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6. I am in Africa. Do I have to go to Japan for application? Can I apply for Japanese universities from my home country/outside Japan?

Many universities in Japan accept applications online. However, the application procedure is set differently by each university.

It is best that you visit the website of your target university for requirements.

 

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7. What is the eligibility for admission at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels?

【Undergraduate level】

Applicants must satisfy any one of the following conditions. 

A.) Applicants who have completed 12 (twelve) years of school education in countries other than Japan
B.) Applicants who have completed their studies at a school equivalent to a Japanese upper secondary school in
countries other than Japan
C.) Applicants who have successfully passed an academic qualification examination that is equivalent to the
completion of 12 (twelve) years of school education in countries other than Japan
D.) Other than the above A.), B.) and C.) conditions, applicants who are eligible for enrollment in a Japanese university at the time of application

 

【Postgraduate level】

1.Master’s course / Doctoral course (first phase)

E.) Applicants who have completed 16 (sixteen) years of school education in countries other than Japan
F.) Applicants who have completed a program with a standard study period of three years or more at universities or equivalent educational institutions in countries other than Japan and received a degree equivalent to a bachelor’s degree
G.) Other than the above E.) and F.) conditions, applicants who are eligible for enrollment in a master’s course /doctoral course (first phase) at a Japanese graduate school

 

2.Doctoral course (second phase)

H.) Applicants who have been awarded with an overseas degree equivalent to a master’s degree or professional degree
I.) Applicants who have graduated from universities and have been involved in a research study at universities or research centers (including overseas universities and research centers) for two years or more, and recognized as having academic competency equivalent to persons with a master’s degree by the graduate school
J.) Other than the above H.) and I.) conditions, applicants who are eligible for enrollment in a doctoral course (second phase) at a Japanese graduate school

 

3.Doctoral course (faculties of medicine, dentistry, veterinary sciences and certain areas in pharmaceutical fields)

K.) Applicants who have completed 18 (eighteen) years of school education in countries other than Japan
L.) Applicants who have completed a program with a standard study period of five years or more at universities
or equivalent educational institutions in countries other than Japan and received a degree equivalent to a bachelor’s degree
M.) Applicants who have completed 16 (sixteen) years of school education in countries other than Japan and have been involved in a research study at universities or research centers (including overseas universities and research centers) for two years or more, and recognized as having academic competency equivalent to university graduates in medicine, dentistry, veterinary sciences or certain areas in pharmaceutical fields by the graduate school
O.) Other than the above K.), L.) and M.) conditions, applicants who are eligible for enrollment in a doctoral course (faculties of medicine, dentistry, veterinary sciences and certain areas in pharmaceutical fields) at a Japanese graduate school

 

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8. [About transfer]
     I am currently a sophomore (the second year) of college. Can I apply for a transfer and enroll as a third-year student at a university in Japan?

It must meet the transfer requirements of your target university. There may be transfer exams required. For details, you need to contact the university.

 

For further information about transfer, kindly access the links below:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/by-style/transfer/

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/search-school/daigakukensaku/

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/assets/pdf/plan/transfer_system_e2020.pdf


Languages


1. Is a certificate of English proficiency required upon application? 

Most Japanese universities require prospective students to submit a certificate of English proficiency upon application.

Following tests are used to prove your English language proficiency:

TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC and the EIKEN Test. Please contact each university for details.

 

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2. Why is it necessary to submit an  English proficiency certificate if English is an official language in my country?

If you enroll in a course for which you only need to have classes taught in English, you are not required Japanese language proficiency for admission and do not need to get worried about Japanese language skills for your study.

However, learning oral Japanese will make your life in Japan much easier and will be an advantage when looking for a job in Japan.

If you are interested in learning Japanese, you can study even after entering a university.

 

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3. I will obtain a degree by taking classes taught only in English. Do I need Japanese language proficiency for application and admission process?

Application eligibility is set by each university. The university will not only examine the applicant’s academic achievement, but also determine whether the applicant has adequate language skills for taking their courses in English by a language proficiency test score.  

Hence, applicants must submit their English test score as one of entry requirements.

For further information, you can inquire directly with your target university.

 


Choose a University


1. Are there courses in which I can study fully in English?

As Japanese universities become more globalized, there have emerged programs at universities and graduate schools in which students can obtain a degree by only taking classes taught in English.

Kindly check the course lists of Japanese universities where you are able to learn in English via the Universities & Courses offered in English page and also the list of scholarships on the Scholarships page:

 

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2. I would like to take master’s programme in physics in Japan. How can I find it? Which universities/graduate schools provide master’s courses in physics?

You can access our page Universities & Courses offered in English.

Then, you can find the downloadable file titled English Degree Courses (Bachelor, Master, Doctor). Please check it carefully and you can find courses which provide the master’s programmes in physics.

In addition, the websites below can be used to search for courses and universities.

https://www.jasso.go.jp/en/study_j/search/index.html

https://www.jpss.jp/ja/

 

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3. I would like to take master’s course on business even though I only have a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), nothing related to business. In this case, am I still eligible for a scholarship in any business-related course?

In principle, it is possible to obtain a scholarship if you show high academic performance. However, you must confirm necessary academic background details on the websites of the universities in which you wish to enroll since the academic background required for admission may vary. Then, you can ask the university whether you are eligible for scholarships upon application.

Regarding business-related courses which set classes taught in English for degree requirements, we can introduce the following universities which have many international students especially from Africa:

  • International University of Japan

https://www.iuj.ac.jp/

  • Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

http://en.apu.ac.jp/home/

Those universities have some scholarships.

 

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4. Are there any courses to study Physical Education or Sports Science which are taught in English language with scholarship or financial support at Japanese universities?

You can access our page Universities & Courses offered in English.

Then, you can find the downloadable file English Degree Courses (Bachelor, Master, Doctor) to find courses for Sports Science and Health Sciences.

For example, you will find following universities there:

  • Tsukuba University

http://tias.tsukuba.ac.jp/tias-2/

http://tias.tsukuba.ac.jp/masters-programme-2/sport-management/

  • National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya 

https://www.nifs-k.ac.jp/en/en-campus-life/en-abroad/en-applicant/en-study-abroad-guide.html

 

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5. I am interested in studying Japanese animation and manga. Where should I apply?

If you want to get professionally engaged in the relevant fields  in the future, there are many specialized training colleges (called as Senshyu Gakko or Senmon Gakko in Japan). However, their classes are taught only in Japanese.

If you want to study manga in a university, such kind of courses are gradually increasing, especially in private universities in Japan. There is a reference list (written in Japanese):

https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%9E%E3%83%B3%E3%82%AC%E5%AD%A6%E7%A7%91

Kyoto Seika University is also known for the field of study:

http://www.kyoto-seika.ac.jp/eng/edu/manga/

Noted: The Vice Chancellor of Kyoto Seika University is from Africa, Prof Oussouby SACKO from Mali.

If you want to study Japanese culture more broadly as Japanology, you can also check the following website: 

https://www.oia.hokudai.ac.jp/mjsp


Find a professor for a pre-enrollment approval


1. How can I search for professor’s contacts? 

Kindly search through the university’s website to acquire professor’s names and email addresses on the target field(s).

If you have a difficulty to find their email addresses, you can contact the professor via the university’s administrative offices or general enquiry page of the website.

 

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2. I need a support to get connected to professors in my major, chemical engineering/chemistry. How can I get support?

Since there are so many universities in Japan, it may be not so easy to choose an appropriate supervisor in your major.

It is recommendable to use the following website and search for your prospective university, course and professor.

https://www.jpss.jp/en/search/?tb=2&a%5Bnm%5D=&a%5Bfw%5D=&g%5Brs%5D=&g%5Bmj%5D=Chemical+Engineering&a%5Bpf%5D=&search=search

 

 

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3. I would like to know what points should be included in my first e-mail, when I communicate professors at Japanese universities.

It is advisable to introduce yourself well including at least the following points in your email.

  • What/how you have studied in your former/current university (your specialty or major)
  • Why you chose your prospected supervisor (the reason of contact)
  • What you want to study (after being enrolled in a graduate school as a Master’s/PhD student) under your prospected supervisor

If you want to enter in a postgraduate course, you can also explain about your research.


Application (Exams, Interview)


1. As a part of screening applications, do Japanese universities conduct exams?

Many universities conduct their entrance examinations for international and Japanese students at undergraduate level in Japan. Some universities determine admissions solely by screening application materials, conducting online interviews or even holding examinations in examinee’s countries. On the other hand, prospective international students at postgraduate level is solely required to have an online interview and submit a research proposal. In fact, admission process and requirements vary depending on the school and so better to visit the school website for details.

In addition, most Japanese universities require prospective students to submit a certificate of English proficiency upon application.

As general information of exams for studying in Japan, kindly visit below:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/examination/

 

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2. I have an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. Can I apply for a Japanese university?

IB diploma graduates who have reached the age of 18 (eighteen) are eligible for university admission in Japan. More than 50 (fifty) Japanese universities  consider the IB qualification as an eligibility in their admission application guidelines and use the IB scores when screening candidates: 

https://ibconsortium.mext.go.jp/en/university/

We have to inform you to check university by university carefully because some of them require a Japanese essay in its selection process. Also, some classes may be still taught in Japanese at those universities.

 

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3. I would like to know the application and admission schedule. 

In most cases the application period is generally set between June and January. Admission of many universities is generally in April.

But some universities, especially graduate schools also have a September or October admission for their programmes.

Admission schedule varies depending on the school and so better to visit the school/university website for confirmation.

 

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4. I am a student from an affiliated university, which has exchange programmes with Japanese universities. How can I apply for the Japanese university? 

If your university has exchange programs, as an affiliated university of universities in Japan, there should be special programs with financial support for studying in Japan. You can ask the responsible international office of your university and also check the website of Japanese affiliated universities to collect related information.

For example, based on its “Inter-University Exchange Agreements” and “Memorandums of Understanding on Student Exchange”, Hokkaido University has various exchange programs with its affiliated universities (partner universities) across the world including Africa:

https://www.global.hokudai.ac.jp/admissions/exchange-student-admissions/

https://www.global.hokudai.ac.jp/admissions/scholarships/scholarships-for-prospective-students/

 

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5. I would like to apply for Hokkaido University. How can I collect information?

Kindly visit the websites below:

https://www.hokkaido-university-lusakaoffice-zm.com/links/

https://www.global.hokudai.ac.jp/admissions/

There are two programs for international students at undergraduate level which are taught in English in Hokkaido University: the Modern Japanese Studies Program (MJSP) and Integrated Science Program (ISP):

https://www.oia.hokudai.ac.jp/mjsp/

https://www.oia.hokudai.ac.jp/isp/

Also, there are many other disciplines at postgraduate level taught in English:

https://www.global.hokudai.ac.jp/admissions/graduate-admissions/

 

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6. I am very interested in joining a short-term study program at Japanese universities, which does not provide a degree. How can I find the program?

A short-term study program means a program of any period from a few weeks to a full academic year, yet which does not provide a degree. Short-term students are generally considered nonregular students:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/by-style/short-term/

Universities with short-term study programs:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/search-school/daigakukensaku/index.html

Scholarships for short-term study programs:

https://www.jasso.go.jp/en/study_j/scholarships/short_term.html


Apply for scholarship


1. I would like to know scholarships to study in Japan.

There are different types of scholarships available:

  1. Financial aid you can apply for prior to coming to Japan 
  2. Financial aid you can apply for in Japan after arrival and enrollment in a school

Please refer to the Scholarships page for details.

The following links provide necessary guidance, available funds and application procedures.

https://www.jasso.go.jp/en/study_j/scholarships/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2019/04/17/scholarships_2019_e.pdf

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/about-scholarship/

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/search-school/daigakukensaku/

https://www.jasso.go.jp/en/study_j/scholarships/index.html

https://www.jpss.jp/en/scholarship/

 

 

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2. Are there any scholarships which don’t have age limitation?

While many scholarships including the Japanese Government MEXT Scholarship (with age limit of 35 years old) would have, there are still some with no age limitation.

You can visit the Scholarships page and your target university websites  for their own scholarships.

 

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3. How can I collect information of the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship with application through the Japanese Embassy?

You can visit our Scholarships page. 

For further information, you can ask local Japanese Embassy. Japanese Embassies located in Sub-Sharan Africa:

https://www.mofa.go.jp/about/emb_cons/mofaserv.html

 

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4. When will the application period of the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship be opened by the Japanese Embassy? 

Usually the application will be opened in late April every year. They may accept the application around April-May.

If you check the website of your local Japanese Embassy around March, or the following website, you may find the information even if there should be delays depends on years and countries:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/scholarship/

 

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5. Can I get detailed information of the Japanese Government MEXT Scholarship (via Embassy recommendation) to study in Japan? 

This full scholarship covers full tuition, monthly allowance and a return trip flight ticket between Japan and your home country.

 

Japanese government (MEXT) scholarships:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/scholarship/types/

There are various categories as research (postgraduate) students, undergraduate students, college of technology students, and special training college students, etc.. Your local Japanese Embassy will decide a category to apply.

 

Eligibility requirements:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/scholarship/requirements/

Application process:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/scholarship/application/

Guideline and application form for research students:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/smap-stopj-applications-research.html

For undergraduate students:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/smap-stopj-applications-undergraduate.html

For college of technology students:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/smap-stopj-applications-technology.html

For specialized training college students:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/smap-stopj-applications-specialized.html

 

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6. I am thinking of applying for a MEXT scholarship. When should I contact a professor in Japan?

According to the guideline, after passing the first screening, applicants can directly contact Japanese universities they apply for to request a provisional acceptance.

This process is more important for research (postgraduate) students because research students have to identify their supervisors at first.

 

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7. How much would the score of Japanese language exams affect the MEXT scholarship screening process?

It depends on each embassy’s decision. 

For example, in case of the Japanese Embassy in Zambia, they say there is no negative impact.

They prioritize exam scores of other basic subjects as English, Mathematics and Natural Science.

 

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8. Is the MEXT scholarship for Teacher Training Students available?

The decision will be made by your local Japanese Embassy and so better to ask them.

 

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9. Are there any scholarships to study Japanese language?

The MEXT scholarship for Japanese Studies is open only to those who have already gotten a degree in the area.

If you are a Japanese language instructor or specialist without any degrees in Japanese studies, we recommend you the Japanese-Language program of the Japan Foundation:

https://kansai.jpf.go.jp/en/training/

 

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10. What score in GPA is preferred to apply for MEXT scholarships?

If you have a high academic performance record as more than 2.3 of GPA, it would be fine. However, even your score is lower than that, you can still apply for the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship (via Japanese Embassy Recommendation).

If your university or institute does not use GPA on the 1 to  3 point scale or GPA system itself, recalculate your evaluation mark using the link below, for your reference:

https://e-apply.jp/e/tufs-7/gpa_for_jasso_calc.xlsx 

 

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11. I would like to apply for a MEXT Scholarship.How should I have preparations? Are there any written exams for selection?

There are written academic exams as a part of screening. You can find past examination-related questions on the page below:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/scholarship/application/examination/

The application will open around late April usually.

 

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12. I would like to know about scholarships under the Ashinaga Africa Initiative.

Regarding scholarships from the Ashinaga Africa Initiative funded by the Ashinaga Uganda, its application period will start in around September.

http://en.ashinaga.org/what-we-do/africa/the-ashinaga-africa-initiative/

http://en.ashinaga.org/apply/aai/

 

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13. Are there any scholarships I can apply for after coming to Japan?

Some Scholarships can be applied only after coming to Japan.

 


Prepare for Japan (visa, learning Japanese and so on)


1. I would like to know how to get a Japan Visa.

People who study in Japan must apply for a student visa. You need to apply for one through the Japanese Embassy in your country before your departure.

Immigration procedures including visa application:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/immigration-procedures/immigration/

http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/index.html

 

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2. Could you help me to get a passport or visa?

Unfortunately, you have to complete this procedure on your own.

 

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3. Who pays costs of the passport and visa? 

Unfortunately, you have to cover the costs for passport and visa by yourself.

 

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4. Can you tell me the cost required during the procedure?

The cost will vary depending on your nationality.

Also, depending on the university and scholarship system you apply for, required documents and the application method for visa will differ.

The cost of document submission, passport and visa acquisition will be borne by each individual.

 

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5. I want to learn Japanese language, but there is no place nearby to learn.

You can also learn Japanese language online.

For more information, see our page Learn Japanese.

 


Others (Part-time work, Internship, Employment in Japan and so on)


1. Can I work in Japan during studying in Japan?

People studying in Japan get a student visa. International students coming to study and research at universities receive their status of residence as "Student" without work permit. However, if international students wish to work to cover tuition or other necessary expenses, they are allowed to work up to 28 hours per week (maximum 8 hours per day during summer, winter and spring holidays) as a part-time job, in accordance with their “permission to engage in activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted” from the Immigration Bureau.

Those who are getting any scholarships need to re-confirm the rules and regulations of the scholarship:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/job/parttime-works/

 

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2. I am very interested to have internship in Japan. Can I conduct internship during studying in Japan?

Yes, there is an internship program by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI),Japan.

https://internshipprogram.go.jp/english/foreign/

International students studying in Japan will be able to join the program which application period is from April to June.

For further information about internship, kindly access the link below:

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/job/internship/

 

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3. Can I work in Japan after studying in Japan?

Many Japanese companies would like to hire talented personnel regardless of nationality. The employment of international students by Japanese companies is increasing.

For further information about job hunting in Japan, kindly access the link below:

https://www.jasso.go.jp/en/study_j/job/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2020/03/03/guide2021_all_e.pdf

https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/job/employment/

 

The Japanese government has established a system of preferential treatment in order to accelerate the inflow of highly-skilled foreign professionals to the country. For further information about highly-skilled foreign professionals in Japan, kindly access the link below:

https://www.jetro.go.jp/en/hrportal/forprofessionals/

http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_3/en/system/index.html

 

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4. I am a Japanese passport holder and have Japanese nationality. However, I cannot speak Japanese. Can I still apply for a scholarship to enter a Japanese university?

The project targets students from Sub-Sharan African countries, not Japanese unfortunately.

In addition, many scholarships that we are introducing here focus on students from Sub-Sharan African countries. Japanese universities which offer courses in English are increasing gradually.

You can find degree courses taught in English on our Universities & Courses offered in English page.

Regarding financial support, some universities have their own tuition waivers for Japanese students. The Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) has scholarships for Japanese:

https://www.jasso.go.jp/shogakukin/index.html