“Do I have to understand Japanese to study in Japan?”

Thanks to the Global 30 Project, not anymore! Read on to learn how this project helps international students to pursue their academic passions in Japan!

What Is the Global 30 Project?

Established in 2009 by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Global 30 Project aims to internationalize higher education in Japan through collective programs and policies of its 13 member universities. There are 5 target areas in realizing this general aim towards internationalization.

  1. Overcoming the language barrier between Japanese universities and foreign students
  2. Providing financial assistance and scholarship opportunities for international students
  3. Providing quick and easy access to information on Japanese universities and their programs on a global scale
  4. Assisting international students with life in Japan
  5. Establishing effective international support services on campus

Through these targets, studying in Japan has become more accessible, feasible, and comfortable for foreign students than ever before!

13 Member Universities

13 universities across Japan were selected to put the “Global 30” ideals into active motion. These universities create a welcoming environment for international students through English-based degree programs, international support centers, specialized accommodations, and financial assistance. The 13 universities are the Doshisha University, Keio University, Kyoto University, Kyushu University, Meiji University, Nagoya University, Osaka University, Ritsumeikan University, Sophia University, Tohoku University, University of Tokyo, Tsukuba University and Waseda University. 

To learn more about the English-degree programs offered at each of these universities, you can read the article “List of English-based Degree Programs in Japan: A Simple Compilation” on Schoolynk Media!

Overcoming the Classroom Language Barrier

When deciding whether or not to study in Japan, language barrier becomes an inevitable obstacle between us and our adventurous dreams. Our Japanese repertoire of “Konnichiwa” and “Arigato” couldn’t possibly get us through stacks of university-level textbooks and research papers…right? True, our Japanese skills may be limited, but the Global 30 Project has established systems that would have us foreigners thriving in a Japanese classroom.

The first, and most reassuring, are the English-based degree programs that were installed in the 13 member universities of the Global 30 Project. These programs allow foreign students to take all classes in English, allowing them to thrive in the university environment.

The Global 30 Project has also approached the language barrier from a reversed perspective, establishing various Japanese Language Programs throughout each member university. These programs cover a wide range of subjects on the Japanese language, from basic Japanese to advanced essay writing and reading comprehension.

Financial Assistance For Foreign Students

The Japanese government has designed various financial aid options to go hand-in-hand with the newly installed international programs at Japanese Universities.

Maneki Neko (Lucky Cat)

The Monbukagakusho (MEXT) Scholarship is an academic scholarship for international students offered by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Its benefits include a full tuition scholarship, a financial stipend of ¥143,000~ ¥145,000 per month for graduate students and ¥117,000 per month for undergraduate students, and round-trip airplane tickets from the students’ home countries to Japan. Applications are open through either Japanese embassies abroad or recommendations by Japanese universities. Want to learn more? Check out MEXT Scholarships 2020 | Master the Basics with This One Article!

In addition to the MEXT Scholarship, there are various financial assistance options provided by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO, an organization under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan. While it helps coordinate numerous scholarship options funded by local governments and private organizations, JASSO also offers two scholarships independently: the “Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately-Financed International Students” and the Student Exchange Support Program.

The Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately-Financed International Students offers monthly stipends to international students who have been accepted to either a Japanese university program or Japanese language school program. Students attending a Japanese university for undergraduate school, graduate school, junior college, college of technology, specialized training college, or a university preparatory course designated by MEXT receive ¥48,000 of monthly stipends. Students attending a Japanese language school will receive ¥30,000 of monthly stipends.

The Student Exchange Support Program awards scholarships to students who plan to study in Japan on a short-term basis, lasting between 8 days to one year. 5,000 recipients are chosen each year, and each recipient is granted ¥80,000 of monthly stipends.

Easy Online Access to Information

The Global 30 Project has emphasized the accessibility of information on Japanese Universities to the global audience. In order to attract more international students, each member university has established all-English websites and application support centers to assist non-native speakers in their application and enrollment processes.

Scroll down to the References section at the end of this article to find a list of links to the 13 member universities!

International Support Center

In addition to the academic and documentation processes, the universities offer student support centers geared specifically towards international students. These centers assist the foreign students throughout their time at the university, providing necessary information and advice on student life in Japan.

For life on campus, the Global 30 Project’s member universities have prepared English-speaking staff members throughout various offices of the university to provide on-the-spot assistance for international students within the campus. Many of these universities have also established intercultural services on campus that host various international events, English-based lunch gatherings, and multi-cultural lectures from speakers across the globe!

For life outside campus, the universities provide extensive support for international students to cope with the lifestyle in Japan. Even before their arrival in Japan, the international students are given step-by-step procedures to ensure their official documentations and visa-related tasks are settled. There are often international dormitories for foreign students that provide easily accessible facilities and staff for non-native speakers. On their arrival, these dormitories often host group trips to the banks and city offices to complete the necessary legal procedures collectively. Even after the school year has begun, there are various English support services in the dormitories and around the campus to assist with any problems while living in Japan!

It’s Easy to Study in Japan!

Thanks to the Global 30 Project, studying in Japan has become more accessible and affordable for international students than ever before! There’s nothing to fear! So pack your bags, and join in on the fun!


Doshisha University English website:

Keio University English website:

Kyoto University English website:

Kyushu University English website:

Meiji University English website:

Nagoya University English website:

Osaka University English website:

Ritsumeikan University English website:

Sophia University English website:

Tohoku University English website:

University of Tokyo English website:

Tsukuba University English website:

Waseda University English website:

Other Works Cited:

“Global 30 Project -Establishing University Network for Internationalization-.” MEXT, www.mext.go.jp/en/policy/education/highered/title02/detail02/sdetail02/1373894.htm.

“Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship Students: Planning Studies in Japan / Planning for Study in Japan and about Japanese Educational System: Essential Guide for International Students Considering Study in Japan.” Study in Japan, www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/scholarship/.

“Scholarships for Study in Japan.” JASSO, www.jasso.go.jp/en/study_j/scholarships/index.html.