There are countless options to choose from when it comes to studying abroad. While the abundance of choice can provide you with more freedom to choose, it is also exhausting to consider all of those options and decide which one is the best for you. If you are having trouble choosing where to study abroad, I am here to help! Here are five reasons why you should study in Japan.
1) Japan is a safe country with high standards of living
Let’s admit it, there aren’t so many places in the world that can beat Japan in terms of low crime rates. As a student, it is very important to be able to live comfortably in a safe environment. What’s more, it’s really easy to get around the cities and explore new places quickly and affordably thanks to Japan’s expansive and efficient public transportation system. Want to plan weekend getaways to the beach? – book a hotel, hop onto a train, and you’re good to go!
The food in Japan is also so good that I find it difficult to adjust when I travel to other countries. Hungry prepping for the finals at 2 am? – just grab one of the delicious bentos from that convenience store around the corner of the street! And if you think convenience store food is already so awesome in Japan, the food served in restaurants are even better! Try one of those otsumamis (various kinds of food served in small plates at Japanese-style izakaya bars) and you’ll keep asking for more.
2) Affordable high-quality education with plenty of scholarship opportunities
College education in Japan is very affordable compared to that of the US or the UK. Public and national universities in Japan typically cost less than 600,000 yen per year, which roughly translates to around 5,000 USD. While private universities generally cost over 1,000,000 yen annually, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities provided for international students. Apart from well-known scholarships provided by MEXT and JASSO, there are also many other scholarships provided directly by universities and private organizations. Check out this article for some fully-funded scholarships for studying abroad in Japan that you might have never heard about.
3) Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn a new language in a fun environment
Learning a new language can be much easier once you have a chance to immerse yourself in a new environment that speaks your target language. I got a chance to experience this advantage firsthand by taking up an English-taught undergraduate course in Japan. Even though I couldn’t speak Japanese at all when I first arrived, my Japanese skills have improved dramatically within only a few years. I managed to pass JLPT N2 within three years thanks to the great environment that surrounds me with Japanese speakers who kindly tolerate me when I make mistakes. I would not be able to achieve all this if I decided to go elsewhere for college.
From my personal experience, even though I didn’t use much Japanese in class (except, of course, the compulsory language courses), I learned so much more from everyday communication with friends and people in the community. I think I even learn the language unconsciously when I listen to ambient sounds in public places such as train stations, restaurants, or cafes.
4) Great career prospects after graduation
Japan is a country full of opportunities. With its declining birth rates, the Japanese government is attempting to attract young talents from around the world. The unemployment rate is impressively low, and visa regulations have recently been revised in order to allow more foreigners to work in Japan. There are various job-hunting events that are exclusively for foreigners! If you are looking to start a new career abroad, studying in Japan is a great first step that you can take.
5) Dynamic and tight-knitted communities
As opposed to what many people might assume, Japan is really friendly towards foreigners. If you live in big cities such as Tokyo, Nagoya, or Osaka, it is very easy to find social gatherings and other kinds of events organized by expat communities in the area. What’s more, as more and more Japanese people are becoming interested in learning English, numerous language and cultural exchange events are being held on a regular basis. If you are more interested in the traditional Japanese culture, make sure you explore the matsuris that are being held year-round.
Attending these social events in Japan can help you immerse yourself in the culture, and also get to know more people outside your college. It also makes life much more fun, as you can explore different communities that suit your interests. Moreover, you will never run out of events to attend if you live in big cities like Tokyo – there are just so many things going on all the time!
I hope this article helped relieve some pressure from the gruelling process of choosing where to study abroad. Choosing where to spend the most important four years of your life is a tough decision, but if you decide to come to Japan, I assure you won’t regret it!