Study in Japan 2024: Ultimate Guide for International Students!

7 Reasons to Study in Japan in 2023

  • Highly ranked schools: In the QS World University Rankings 2023, there are 5 Japanese universities in the top 100 worldwide, and dozens more in the top 100! All Japanese degrees are recognized worldwide.
  • World-class education system: Japan is well known for having extremely high quality academics. National scores for reading, math, and science are among the top in the world. Japanese society is also highly educated in general, with 61.5 % of adults aged 25-34 having attained a tertiary (post-secondary) education status.
  • Unique and influential culture: Japanese culture has made a huge mark on the world. From anime and music, to food and fashion, Japan has probably influenced your life even if you have never been to the country! Enjoy traveling to the homeland of sushi, Shinto and Buddhist culture, delicate pagodas, and breathtaking scenery from snowy mountains to charming cherry blossoms.

  • Traditional values and history: Despite it’s powerful influence on the modern world, Japan also has a deep connection to its history, values, and traditions. Honoring family, harmony with self and society, humility, and etiquette are just some values that you will pick up through studying in Japan.
  • Globally powerful economy: Earning a degree from a Japanese university sets the stage for an incredibly future career. That’s because Japan is an economic and political leader in Asia and the world. The 3rd largest economy in 2022, just behind China and the US, familiarity with Japanese language and culture will increase your future business opportunities.
  • Study the beautiful Japanese Language: Of course, a major benefit to study in Japan is the opportunity to attain Japanese fluency! Knowing Japanese as another language will absolutely open many doors in your life: make new friends, read new literature, advance in your career, or get a prestigious internship.
  • Clean, safe, and polite society: Japan is world-famous for its clean and well-run cities. Japanese trains are famous for never being late by even a few seconds! Throwing trash on the street and even blowing your nose in public are considered impolite. Japanese cities are famously safe from crime, even at night.

How to Choose a Japanese University

Before you study in Japan, think carefully about what major you want to study, what career you want to pursue, and what type of lifestyle you want while you are in university. Thinking about these questions may help you decide:

  • What subjects are you excited to study in school?
  • What jobs do you want to have in the future?
  • Do you want to study Japanese language first, or go straight to a degree?
  • Do you want to study in a city or suburban area?
  • Do you want to study at a school with a large international population, or immerse yourself in a Japanese-language and cultural environment?
  • What is your budget to study abroad? Japanese public universities are much cheaper than private ones.
  • Does the school ranking matter to you?
  • What climate do you want to study in? Warm, or with cold winters?

You can also search programs at Japanese Universities here:

Map of some universities in Japan

Age Requirements to Study in Japan 2023

How old do you need to be to study in Japan? Japanese universities require that all students have completed 12 years of education, which means most students are age 18-19 when they start a Bachelor’s degree. For Master’s or other postgraduate programs, you must have completed at least 16 years of education, which includes completion of a Bachelors degree.

If you are under 18 and have not completed a full 12 years of education, it may be more difficult for you to find enrollment in Japanese universities. We recommend applying with Global Admissions so we can give you personalized help!

Study in Japan 2023
The campus of Showa Women’s University in Japan

English-Language Requirements to Study in Japan

International students studying in Japan are required to demonstrate high levels of both English and Japanese. There may be some exceptions to this rule–some programs may not require a high level of Japanese, and if you want to study completely in Japanese you may not need an English exam. But it is important to know that you will probably be required to meet both criteria!

Here are the accepted English language exams and minimum scores in Japan:

  • TOEFL: 80+
  • IELTS: 6.0+

As usual, if you want to go to a top university, a higher score is better.

Japanese-Language Requirements to Study in Japan

To study in Japan as an international student, you will need to have some level of competency in Japanese. Your Japanese ability will be assessed through two important exams:

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

This exam tests your Japanese language ability through questions about grammar and vocabulary. A score of at least N2 is necessary for students who want to study in Japanese. At an N2 level, you will be able to read newspapers and simple essays in Japanese, present class projects, and follow most conversations–a good level for university students!

The JLPT is an in-person language exam, usually offered at least twice per year (July and December) in countries outside of Japan. Here is the list of places to take the exam in your country. You will need to register with the authority in your country to take the exam.

The JLPT is approximately 2-3 hours. Here are the test levels and score breakdowns: N1 is the highest level of fluency, and N5 is the lowest level (beginner).

Examination for Japanese University Admissions for International Students (EJU)

The EJU does test your Japanese level, but it is also a general examination for entrance into Japanese universities. Most Japanese universities require you to take the EJU. Here are some facts about the exam:

  • The EJU is offered in-person twice per year in June and November
  • It is comprised of four subject tests:  Japanese as a Foreign Language, Science (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology), Japan and the World, and Mathematics
  • Students select the subject test they want to take based on the requirements of the university
  • Here is a list of schools that use the EJU
  • Here is a list of examination sites
  • The EJU is only offered in Asian countries, so if you are outside of Asia, you may need to travel to take the exam
  • The EJU website is

A basic score of at least 300 in 1 subject test is usually required from the EJU exam. Each university may have slightly different requirements.

Study in Japan 2023
Students gather on the University of Tokyo campus.

Sample Test Requirements from Japanese Universities

The test requirements may be confusing. Here are some real-life examples of what Japanese universities will require:

Waseda University does not require Japanese language exams for English-taught programs, and accepts national exams such as SAT, ACT, IB, A-Level, GAOKAO, GSAT, etc. The School of Political Science and Economics requires the English-language EJU with the subjects “Japan and the World” and “Mathematics Course 1” or “Mathematics Course 2.”

The University of Tokyo College of Arts and Sciences Programs in English at Komaba (PEAK) does not require either the JPLT or the EJU for English-taught programs, and instead requires that you have been education in a language other than Japanese and have one of the following exams: GCE A-level, IB diploma, French Baccalaureate, or the German Abitur.

Osaka University International Undergraduate Program in Science (IUPS) is a bilingual Japanese/English program accepts national test scores from many countries, but if yours is not accepted you will need to take the EJU. A JLPT score of N3 or higher is required.

Have questions? Leave us a comment, or check the requirements for programs here:

International students at Waseda University.

Application Timeline to Study In Japan 2023

The deadlines to apply for university in Japan are as follows:

Start date Deadlines
Spring Intake
Summer Intake Feb-April
Fall Intake April-July


Some universities may only have 2 intakes (Spring and Fall) and others have 3 (Spring, Summer, Fall).

You can check the deadlines of your university program here:


6 Steps to Study In Japan 2023!

How can you study in Japan? On Global Admissions, applying is easy and convenient! Just follow these steps.

  1. Book a call with us
    1. It’s free! Talk with our admissions counselors about your plans, timeline, and budget. We’ll help guide you to good programs and universities.
  2. Find a program
    1. You can search programs for free here
    2. If the program you want is not listed on our database yet, click here
  3. Check your eligibility
    1. Make sure you meet the entry criteria and have the required examinations!
  4. Submit application documents
    1. On Global Admissions, you can use one platform to apply for multiple universities in Japan or around the world
  5. Pay the application fee
  6. We will send in your application!

After completing these steps, you just need to wait for your university acceptance and then you can apply for a student visa!

Start your journey to Study in Japan with us today…


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