Myths demystified for studying abroad in Japan

Are you aspiring to study aboard in Japan? Want to clarify some myths and understand the facts about Japan? Check out this article which will demystify your notions and give you an insight into the education, life, culture, people, international students etc. I have also listed some hard facts which you need to know in case you decide to kindle an interest in studying abroad in Japan. Read on and enjoy a sneak peek into education and life in Japan.


Objective of this short article is to demystify some myths, present facts about study in Japan and thus spread awareness among aspiring Indian students about the advantages of studying in Japan. I am sure some of the myths with corresponding facts will prove insightful and be an eye opener for you. I am writing this article based on my close involvement with my daughter who is studying for her MS in Japan.

Demystifying myths

  • Language:
    Myths: Teaching is in Japanese and very few people speak English.
    Fact : Many Japanese universities offer courses in English in selected disciplines. So I would say that teaching is in either in English, or in Japanese as announced by the University, and this is clearly mentioned on the website. Knowing Japanese language will be useful but is not mandatory to study in Japan. Colloquial Japanese will be useful in day to day conversation with people around. The oral and written communication around the place is typically in Japanese. It would be advantageous for a person to know some amount of Japanese. Let me tell you, from my daughter's experience: it helps. A Foreign Language certificate course from the University Department of foreign languages would do

  • Degree offered
    Myth: Indians are not aware of the universities and degree offered by universities in Japan.
    Fact: There are more than 80 national universities, 90 public universities and approximately 600 private universities. All of them together offering variety of programs in Japan with degrees offered ranging from Master's and Doctorates in Technology, Science and Management. Did you know that the University of Tokyo is one of the oldest in Japan. It is founded in 1877 and has a student population of 28,000 students. A small country in terms of size but many universities and students

  • Presence of International students in Japan
    Myth: Not too many international students , specially Indians opt for study in Japan.
    Fact: This is partly true. More than 10,000 Chinese students enroll per year in Japanese universities and specialized training Institutes. Students from other countries like Korea and Indonesia also enroll in Japan. However because of lack of information and the fad for US UK, Australia, Germany very few Indian students opt to study in Japan

  • Quality of studies
    Myth: Not sure about the quality of education.
    Fact: Japan houses renowned and recognized universities, with technologically advanced infrastructure and well qualified faculty having many Japanese and US patents. This is definitely an edge over India. Japanese Universities are ranked high on the international ranking scale. You may not be aware but Japan Universities does have world's best research facilities. Overall Japan is a high technological country and has the world's largest number of patents even today. Who could ask for a place better to study than Japan if you are focusing on in depth research and have a dream to have some patents in your pocket. If you get a program of choice, and there are ample patents in that area, then according to me Japan needs to be your chosen destination for study abroad

  • Cost of study
    Myth: Study in Japan is far costlier than studying abroad in countries like US and UK.
    Fact: This may sound true, but in reality the facts are different. If you were to compare the total cost per program in Japan to US or UK universities, then the cost of study in a Japanese university is quite low. Only thing is the slight variations in the cost of living. Typically the cost of pursuing higher studies in a Japanese university ranges from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs.13 lakh annually, including the hostel fees. If you talk to any student studying in US or UK, or check their university websites then you would know that this is half the cost that an Indian student would pay to pursue the same course in Western universities. Unbelievable isn't it?

Some hard facts for those who want to study in Japan

  • Scholarships : Indian Government offers a handsome scholarship to Indian students wanting to study abroad in Japan. Even the Japanese Government and the Japanese Universities offer different types of scholarships to Indian students. More information is available on the Japanese University websites and google for Indian scholarship for going to Japan

  • Job as a student: Indian students can work in various positions and take up various types of jobs and earn money and support themselves. Since the country is quite safe at all times, both genders will find it convenient to work and balance along with studies.

  • People culture: There is ample respect and trust for people in Japan. The Japanese people are simple, caring and are willing to help others in need. But majority speak in Japanese, hence for a newbie it is important to carry a Japanese translator app on cell

  • Safety: Japan is supposed to be one of the safest places to study or even live in the world. You can move around even late and night and be safe. This is far better than other countries.

  • Career prospects: It is not common to see Indians who have studied in Japan and have taken up senior position in Japanese Corporates. So many Indian students join Japanese companies as interns and or mid-level professionals. After a certain period of time they move on back to their country.

  • Food for the veggies: As such those who eat non veg food can thrive on the food variety but the vegetarians will have to really manage themselves.

  • Entrepreneurial ventures: This is one very important aspect unlike US where there are ample evidences of Indian students and researchers who have been able to patent their ideas in computer programs and other inventions made by them. This is not the case in Japan. But as it is commonly said: There is always a first time for everything.

In a nutshell:

Students from India are enrolled mostly in engineering and Japanese language and literature programmes, the latter being particularly useful for those who wish to work as translators in Japanese companies. A number of these Indian students are on scholarships. There are many scholarships for international students available in Japan.

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Author: Kailash Kumar10 Oct 2015 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

University of Tokyo is ranked as the highest in Asia and 21st in the world according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014. Though in general the medium of education is Japanese but at the graduate level, especially in science and technology related fields, the number of courses being conducted in English is on the rise. The author has written a very useful and informative article which is likely to benefit concerned students. The students may refer the website of Embassy of Japan in India which provides further information regarding the subject matter.

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