MS in Japan
Cherry blossoms, traditional arts, kimono, ramen, maybe a few things that cross your mind when someone mentions Japan. However, do you know that Japan is also known for its exemplary education and academic culture?
Japanese universities have high educational standards and are among the world leaders in state-of-the-art technology and research. Japanese technical acumen is revered by the world, making it a highly sought after study destination for students interested in pursuing MS in Japan.
Japan has eleven schools in the top 50 in QS Asia University Rankings. At the same time, it has about five of them in the top 100 QS World Rankings. One cannot deny that the quality of teaching and research in Japan is not lacking. Education is at the heart of modern Japanese society, with academic freedom protected by the Constitution of Japan itself.
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Why consider MS in Japan?
Japan has long established its name in providing state of the art facilities and education. With 55 Universities under the QS World University Rankings, 2021 list, one cannot deny Japan’s domination in the education sector.
Moreover, in 2014, the Japanese government introduced a project called the Top Global University Project. The project aims to internationalize Japan’s education and to increase student’s mobility. Thus, making Japan an idle place to study for international students.
Down below, you will find some more reasons to help making your mind and pursue an MS from Japan.
Japanese universities are known for their state of the art research and facilities. Moreover, their curriculum focuses on teaching soft skills such as work ethics, teamwork, etc.
As per the Global Peace Index, 2020, out of 157 countries, Japan stands at the 9th position. Moreover, Japan’s score is 1.36, and the state of peace is on “very high”, the highest level available.
The low homicide rate, high-speed transportation, etc., make this country the primary choice for several international; students.
Higher education in Japan is much more affordable when compared to the USA and European countries.
Ample of scholarships
For attracting international students, the Japanese government offers scholarship and other funding opportunities to students, national and international alike.
Linguistic and cultural opportunities
For international students, Japanese schools primarily provide programs in the English language. However, one can learn Japanese by joining a language course or indulging in the local culture.
As per the Population Reference Bureau’s report on the world’s most significant number of oldest population, Japan stands at the top with 28.2%.
The fact that Japan lacks a young workforce opens work opportunities for students worldwide. If you boost an excellent academic record and are fluent in Japanese, then Japanese companies will hire you without a qualm.
To apply for pursuing a masters in Japan, one should have the following;
- Bachelor’s degree or its international equivalent.
- Entrance exam test scores – One must check the university’s website to check which exam scores are accepted.
- English proficiency test scores – One must submit these scores if English is not their native language. Most universities accept the TOEFL and IELTS scores. You can skip these if you have pursued your undergrad degree from an English speaking nation.
- Want to pursue a program delivered in Japanese? Then demonstrate your language proficiency by submitting the scores of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).
Documents to supply
Most Japanese Universities follow similar admission procedures and documents. Apart from general exam scores, there are a few other documents that one must prepare. They are:
· Application form – Fill the application form available at the university’s website.
· Personal Statement – An academic essay or a personal statement is needed while filing an application form. This essay states candidate’s intention of joining a particular school.
· Transcripts – You have to submit your high school transcript. Further, If you have graduated, then submit your bachelor’s transcripts.
· References – The applicant is asked to submit one or two letters of recommendations with their application. Usually, one is an academic LOR, given by the school or college’s teachers and professors. Whereas your office’s senior gives professional references.
· English proficiency test scores – If you hail from a country whose official language is not English, you must submit these scores. The most accepted test scores are from IELTS or TOEFL.
· JLPT scores – Several Japanese schools and universities also require the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) scores.
· Application fees – This goes even without saying you need to submit the application fee’s receipt or certificate.
Japan has strict criteria for selecting candidates for their Master’s programs. Most public universities follow the two-step selection process.
1. Document screening – First, candidate’s are asked to fill their application and share their documents. Upon successful sharing, appropriate authorities screen the documents.
2. Interview – Candidates who successfully clears the document screening process are invited for interviews.
· Candidates who live in Japan are invited to the university for one-to-one interviews.
· In contrast, International candidates have the choice of either choosing a video conference based interview or a one-to-one interview.
Visas and immigration for Masters students in Japan
You can ask your university to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility for a Status of Residence on your behalf. The Regional Immigration Bureau issues this document in Japan.
The university will send this document to you. Once received, you can send it to the Japanese embassy in your residence country. Once you come to Japan, the immigration authorities will give you the status of a “College student’.
There are generally two different durations for Japanese Master’s programs – 2 years or two plus a half years.
One can also directly apply for a visa. However, this process is very time-consuming because one needs to back and forth their documents to Japan and their country.
Once approved, you will get a Resident Card from the nearby Regional Immigration Bureau. Moreover, you must inform the Bureau about any changes you are going to make to your study abroad program.
One does not need to reapply for this card while temporarily leaving Japan during study breaks, holidays etc.
Make Sure You Qualify For A Japanese University
After reading all these, we are sure that you are ready to apply to your dream university. The best way to go about it is to start preparing early for your academics. Further, it would help if you also practised improving your GRE and English proficiency test scores.
One should also work over their Essays and LORs. In such scenarios, you can also take the assistance of professionals such as MiM-Essay. Professional assistance can go a long way in improving your chances of qualifying for a Japanese University.
English Language Tests
One of the requirements for pursuing an MS in Japan is to present English language proficiency test scores.
Most popular tests – These universities accept test scores of IELTS and TOEFL. To get an idea about which scores are acceptable, you can check the university’s admission requirements.
Scores submission– Students who hail from non-English speaking nations are required to submit these scores. However, if a candidate has pursued their undergraduate from an English-speaking nation, they can skip submitting them.
Top Universities for Pursuing MS in Japan
Known for making things smaller and faster, Japan boasts the third-largest economy in the world. Its economic strength to some extent is derived from its strong research and development industry that fuels successful international brands such as Nissa, Panasonic, Toyota, Canon as well as produces robots for every single need imaginable. Behind all of this innovation lies an excellent education system.
According to the QS World University Rankings, 2021, the following are the Top Universities for pursuing an MS in Japan.
1. University of Tokyo
Established in 1877, the University of Tokyo is the oldest and largest of Japan’s national universities. Committed to exemplifying the ideals of excellence and diversity, the university serves as a forum for educational and research activities carried out at a wide range of locations.
The University of Tokyo has always been a leading institution and a pioneer in research and technological advancements. Many of its alumni are Nobel prize winners, astronauts, and even the President of the country.
2. University of Kyoto
Based in Japan’s old capital city of Kyoto, Kyoto University is the second highest-ranked university in the country and 35th in the world. Kyoto University has 18 Graduate Schools, offering various Master, doctoral, and professional degree programs to its students.
The University of Kyoto has been a trailblazer in research and innovation, being an alma mater of 11 Nobel prize winners and having 382 inventions, 148 patents, and 262 IP based developments in just the last two years.
3. Tohoku University
Tohoku University has maintained its position amongst the top academic institutions in Japan for more than a century. Its research achievements and contributions made it one of the first universities to be awarded the status of Designated National University by the Japanese government in 2017.
Tohoku university offers various MS courses taught entirely in English and home to 6 research institutes and 5 Nobel laureates.
4. University Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech)
Tokyo Tech is one of the top national universities for science and technology in Japan, with a history spanning more than 130 years. The university is a center of innovation. It enables students to build a better future through the power of science and technology.
Findings from research institutes such as ELSI are fed back into the curriculum, and students are in close contact with the world’s top researchers. Additionally, the institute’s hands-on approach is reflected in its graduate employability rankings, in which Tokyo tech excels consistently.
5. Osaka University
Osaka University or Handai is one of the premier institutions of Japan. The university comes under the list of seven of Japan’s National universities.
The university has about 16 different graduate programs. Moreover, the university offers 5 English graduate courses and Stem research.
As a part of Japan’s Global 30 program, Osaka university offers masters programs such as the Special Integrated science course, the International Physics course, Quantum engineering design course etc.
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Popular Student-Friendly Cities of Japan
Japan consists of multiple students districts. These districts primarily cater to the multiple needs of students. Students generally prefer these cities because of their student-friendly environment.
Some of the significant student-friendly cities are;
Tokyo is the fast-paced capital city of Japan that provides a unique experience to students living there. Apart from their educational institutions, Tokyo hosts several restaurants and shops that will enhance your student experience.
Okasa, although not as lavish as Tokyo, boasts about its immaculate charm and presence. The city offers plenty of educational and non-educational options to its students, including aquariums, giant fairy wheels etc.
Kyoto, the attractive epicenter of Japan, is an excellent option for people who are into Japanese history and culture. Although not as modern as other cities, the city offers fairly good transportation facilities.
Also, the cost of living in Kyoto is far more affordable than in Tokyo.
Fukuoka was made by merging two Japanese cities, i.e., Hakata and Fukuoka. The city’s vibrant nightlife and community are some of the reasons why students live here.
Apart from multiple well-known universities, one can also find reasonable restaurants and lodgings services.
Sapporo is another bustling Japanese city that is free from Tokyo’s crowd complexity. Thus, offering a stress-free lifestyle. The city also has ample shopping complexes and well-maintained transportation facilities.
The city offers affordable housing costs for students. Additionally, Sapporo’s locals do not communicate using a strong Japanese accent. Thus, enabling international students to learn and communicate using Japanese easily.
Student Cost of living in Japan
Japan is a perplexing country that has a small number of international students’ committees. Thus, making it hard for international students to understand their student’s life.
Here is a detailed breakdown of the average cost of living in Japan as an international student-
- Accommodation – Apart from tuition fees, students also face accommodation-related expenses. Students can reduce their expenses by staying at dormitories, guesthouses etc. Recently, flat-sharing has become very popular. However, university dormitories are one of the most affordable options. One-room apartments in Japan can cost you around 50,000 ¥ to 70,000 ¥.
- Foods & Drinks – Affordable food & drinks options are available for students by local restaurants and eateries for 100-1200 ¥. In comparison, breakfasts can cost as little as 400 ¥. The cost will significantly reduce (up to 900 ¥) if you prepare a meal for yourself or eat at the university canteen.
- Transportation – Japan Rail East (JR East) offers about 20% discount to students. Further, to reduce your costs, you can also find accommodation near the university’s campus. Even so, one month of transportation can cost around 10,000 ¥.
- Books, Medical expenses and Phones – Monthly phone costs are usually below 2,000 ¥. Books and other study materials cost around 3000 ¥. However, one can mitigate this cost by using the university’s library. Furthermore, students must enter into the National Health Insurance Scheme. For international students, it costs 20,000 ¥.
- Social expenses – Students usually engage themselves in social activities with their peers. These activities usually involve extra expenses on their part. Most university districts have multiple eateries that offer affordable combined dinner packs. These activities will cost you around 15,000 to 20,000 ¥.
Hopefully, now you can understand what Japan offers to Indian students in terms of MS courses! Although, most of these universities have aa strict criteria of admission.
Japan has been a leading pioneer in technological advancement and research for many years. With its rich culture, fast-paced, and tech-savvy life, Japan offers a study abroad experience like none other. Japanese culture is an amalgamation of traditional values and modern technology. Its essence is preserved and propagated by its prestigious universities and institutes.
With its state of the art research centers and unmatched scientific prowess, Japanese MS programs are unrivalled and well-respected worldwide. No matter how high your academic expectations or career aspirations may be, Japan would fulfil them and more. You indeed can’t go wrong with Japan as your study destination.
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