Helping International Students Find English-Taught Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programs at Japanese Universities

I. Reasonable tuition fees and numerous scholarships

Studying in Japan is expensive. Or so you think, don't you? However, the Japanese government and many universities are currently focusing their attention on welcoming more international students. This project goes further than mere financing: they are arranging a variety of support structures too. So, if you are planning on studying in a top level international institution, we strongly recommend considering Japan as a serious option.

Particularly advantageous tuition fees for international students

Fairly low tuitions fees for international students

Study abroad students are presented with cheaper tuition fees than Japanese university-goers, which set Japanese universities as an almost worldwide exception.
In the following diagram, courtesy of QS World University Rankings (2011), we can compare the tuition fees of the top 50 universities in the world, and realize their comparative cheapness.

QS World University Rankings, 2011
※ USD: Exchange rate as of January 1st, 2011

An attractive scholarship system for international students

Approximately 70% of study abroad students in Japan are granted a scholarship during their stay. The Japanese scholarship system allows for government-funded as well as business, foundation and university-funded grants. Thanks to the substantial number of scholarships provided by Japanese national and public universities, the majority of study abroad students receive such grants. In addition, since many graduate (Master's and Doctorate) students tend to receive scholarships from non-governmental organizations, there is a great number and amount of scholarships. Therefore, it is possible to concentrate on one's studies without having to worry about financial issues.

Scholarship distribution by type of university for fiscal year 2009
National Public Private Total
76.5% 76.7% 66.6% 69.8%

Scholarship distribution by type of degree for fiscal year 2009
Doctor Master Bachelor
Allocated grants (%) 82.2% 73.7% 68.1%
Average monthly grant 84,000 yen 72,000 yen 51,000 yen
Japan Student Services Organization

Welcoming international students to Japan

Another characteristic trait about Japan is that the host, i.e. the Japanese government, provides assistance to study abroad students upon acceptance. Japan is currently managing “Global 30”, a plan aimed at globalizing its universities, and is making every effort to improve its stance regarding support towards study abroad students, etc. Keeping in mind the large scale governmental budget, the government is arranging for comparatively abundant scholarships.

Government-financed grants for international students by country for fiscal year 2010
USA UK Germany France Japan
Number of government-financed students 3,193 2,300 32,861 15,590 9,923
Percentage of government-financed scholarship recipients 0.4% 0.6% 17% 5.6% 7.5%
Average monthly scholarship Depending on the state 133,000 yen 90,000 yen 73,800 yen 154,000 yen
Yearly budget 336.6 billion yen 23.8 billion yen 99.6 billion yen 96 billion yen 347.5 billion yen
Ministry of Education Culture, Sports, Science and Technology – Japan
※ As of the following exchange rates: 1 USD = 90 yen, 1 euro = 120 yen, 1 pound = 140 yen
(Reference) Is Japan really that expensive compared to costs of living in other countries?

The price of a Big Mac is often used to define the living standards of a country. The table above presents school expenses and scholarship budgets in five countries, whereas the following graph displays their cost of living. Please use this diagram as reference in order to estimate the true value of these grants.
Incidentally, it is often said that “living in Japan is expensive”, but we believe one has to differentiate life in Tokyo and other towns. While living in Tokyo is expensive, we cannot say that the average life expenditures are exceptionally costly outside the capital, probably thanks to the cheap cost of goods and taxes as well as the nationalized infrastructures and transportation system.

The Economist

To put it bluntly: if you feel like studying in Japan, now seems to be the time!


University and program information, costs, dates, policies are subject to change; please confirm important facts with university admission personnel.