College moving to Japan: How to do it?

Embarking on your college journey to Japan is both thrilling and challenging. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in a culture rich with traditions, modern advancements, and unique educational approaches. Japan, known for its blend of ancient heritage and cutting-edge technology, offers a truly distinctive learning and living environment. As you prepare for this move with a reliable moving company, such as Kokusai Express, you’ll experience the excitement of exploring new landscapes, traditions, and ways of learning. However, apart from the college moving process, it also involves adapting to a different lifestyle and educational system, which can be a challenging but rewarding journey.

Reasons for college moving to Japan

In recent years, more and more students have decided to hire a moving company and continue their education in Japan.  College students are increasingly choosing Japan as their destination for further education due to a variety of compelling reasons:

  • World-renowned education system: Japan’s universities are known for their high educational standards and research opportunities, especially in fields like technology, science, and engineering. Institutions like the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University are globally recognized for their academic excellence.
  • Cultural richness: Japan offers a unique blend of traditional and modern culture. Students can immerse themselves in everything from ancient temples and tea ceremonies to cutting-edge technology and contemporary art. This cultural immersion is a significant draw for those interested in experiencing a diverse and rich cultural heritage.
  • Language skills: For students interested in learning Japanese, there’s no better place to learn than in Japan itself. Proficiency in Japanese can open up numerous career opportunities, especially in international business and diplomacy.
  • Safe and clean environment: Japan is renowned for its safety, cleanliness, and public order. The country’s low crime rates and the cleanliness of its cities make it an attractive destination for international students.
  • Career opportunities: Japan’s economy is one of the largest in the world, offering numerous internships and job opportunities for students, especially in the technology, business, and innovation sectors.
  • Government scholarships: To attract international talent, many Japanese universities and the government offer scholarships that cover tuition fees and living expenses, making it financially feasible for international students.
  • Technological advancement: Japan is a hub of technological advancement for those interested in technology and innovation, offering students a chance to be at the forefront of cutting-edge developments.
Friends talking about college moving
Many students decide to relocate and study in Japan because of its great education system

How to get a student visa?

A student visa is for those moving to Japan as language students or enrolling in junior colleges in Japan for longer than 90 days. Suppose you are going to Japan on an exchange program with your university, or if you are going directly to a Japanese university, you need a student visa to enter the country. The host university where you will study may assist you in getting a student visa. Getting a visa can be a hard task. But, with the right help, you will get it. You will need to fill out a lot of forms. Also, you need to go through the application process in the embassy building. The good news is that the Japanese student visa is one of the easiest visas to get.

A person filling visa application for college moving
Gather all the documents that you will need for your visa application and your college moving

Moving to Japan requirements

If you have already relocated to Japan with overseas relocation services, there are some “moving to Japan requirements.” You may be able to get a student visa if you enroll full-time in a Japanese language school or sermon Gekko (technical school). In this case, your school may be able to act as your sponsor or guarantor. If you get a student visa, you can work in Japan for 20 hours per week. You can teach English, work at a fast-food restaurant, etc. But first, you must apply to the immigration bureau for permission. Once the Immigration Bureau approves your visa application, the school will send you the Certificate of Eligibility (COE)).

After you get the COE, take it, with the visa application form, photos, and passport, to the Japanese embassy. The Embassy will issue you the actual student visa for college moving to Japan, which can take anywhere from 3 – 7 days. So, you can relocate to Japan without stress. A student visa will let you stay in Japan for a period of 3 months to 4 years and 3 months. The amount of time goes up in increments, like this: 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 1 year 3 months, 2 years etc. For language schools, you can stay in Japan for 1 year and 3 months, but the school can prolong it. The maximum that anyone can stay in Japan for language school is 2 years.

Choose the right college and course in Japan

Choosing the right college and course in Japan requires careful consideration of several factors. Firstly, consider your academic interests and career goals before moving internationally. Japan offers renowned programs in technology, business, and the arts. For instance, the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University are excellent for science and technology courses, while Waseda University is well-known for its business programs. When selecting a university, consider the location. Do you prefer the bustling city life of Tokyo or a more tranquil setting like Kyoto? Each city offers a different experience and opportunities. Also, look into the campus facilities, student support services, and extracurricular activities available.

A student holding books
There are a few factors you should take into consideration before college moving

For international students, language can be a barrier. Many universities offer courses in English, but learning Japanese can significantly enhance your experience. Universities like Sophia University have extensive programs in English and also provide Japanese language support for international students. Lastly, consider the availability of support services for international students. Many universities have dedicated offices to help with accommodation, visa processing, and cultural adaptation. For example, Tokyo Institute of Technology has a comprehensive support system for its international students, ensuring a smooth transition to life in Japan.

Navigating accommodation options

Finding the right accommodation in Japan is a crucial part of your college experience. In Japan, student housing options vary, including university dormitories, private apartments, and shared houses, known as “gaijin houses.” University dormitories are a popular choice for their affordability and proximity to campus. They offer a great way to meet fellow students and immerse yourself in campus life. For example, Tokyo University provides well-equipped dormitories with basic amenities.

A woman sitting on the bed
Decide if you prefer to be in the dorm or a shared house

Private apartments offer more privacy and independence. Websites like GaijinPot can help you find suitable options. Remember, renting in Japan often involves key money (a non-refundable deposit), a security deposit, and a guarantor. Shared houses or gaijin houses are ideal for those looking for an affordable, social living environment. They are furnished and offer a chance to live with locals and other international students. Sakura House in Tokyo is a popular choice among students. Living with roommates has its perks, like shared expenses and companionship. However, it may also mean less privacy and adapting to others’ lifestyles. Solo living offers more privacy and freedom but can be more expensive.

How to prepare and pack for college moving to Japan?

Moving to Japan for college is an exciting step, and preparing for it requires attention to detail, especially when you’re packing your life into a suitcase. Working with an air sea forwarder can streamline the process of shipping your belongings overseas. Start by researching different forwarders that specialize in international moves to Japan. They can guide you on shipping costs, timelines, and customs rules.

Packed books
Find a company that will ship your belongings

When packing, prioritize essentials due to space limitations. Choose clothing suitable for Japan’s climate and pack enough to last until you can shop locally. It’s often more practical to purchase electronics in Japan, considering the voltage and plug differences. Important documents like your passport, visa, and college admission letters should be in your carry-on luggage. For your checked items, pack them securely and label each box with your name, destination address, and contents for easy identification and customs processing. Be mindful of Japan’s customs regulations and avoid packing prohibited items, such as certain medications or perishable goods.

Settling into Japanese culture and lifestyle

Settling into Japanese culture and lifestyle as a college student can be an enriching experience. Understanding and adapting to local norms and practices is key to a smooth transition. For instance, it’s important to be aware of the emphasis on politeness and punctuality in Japanese culture. A simple bow and timely arrivals can go a long way in showing respect.

Integrating into college life offers many opportunities to immerse yourself in Japanese culture. Participate in university clubs or circles, which are groups based on various interests – from sports to arts. This not only helps you make local friends but also allows you to experience Japanese student life firsthand. For example, joining a cultural festival committee at your university can be a great way to meet people and learn about Japanese traditions. Language can be a barrier, but it’s also an opportunity to learn and connect. Even basic Japanese phrases can help in daily interactions. Most universities offer Japanese language courses, and practicing with friends can improve your skills quickly. Also, don’t hesitate to use translation apps or language exchange meetups, which are common in cities like Tokyo and Kyoto.

Working in Japan after graduation

After graduation, foreign students often consider working in Japan, attracted by its advanced economy and rich cultural environment. Navigating this path involves understanding Japan’s job market and work culture. Firstly, proficiency in Japanese is a significant advantage. Many employers value candidates who can communicate effectively in Japanese. Language proficiency levels are measured by the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test), and reaching at least N2 level can greatly improve job prospects.

A woman looking for the job
Once you finish your studies, consider searching for a job in Japan

Job hunting in Japan is unique, often starting with ‘Shukatsu’ (job hunting season) in the final year of university. Companies like Sony, Toyota, and various startups in Tokyo offer opportunities in fields like technology, business, and engineering. Networking through university alumni and career fairs is crucial. Visa regulations are also an important consideration. The government offers a ‘Designated Activities Visa‘ for job-hunting students after graduation, and securing a job leads to a change in visa status, typically to a ‘Work Visa.’ Lastly, Japan’s support for foreign workers is growing. Initiatives like career support centers and legal assistance for expatriates are available, making the transition into the Japanese workforce smoother for international graduates.

Enjoy your college experience in Japan

As you embark on your college journey in Japan, embrace every moment of this unique experience. From the vibrant culture to the high-quality education, Japan offers a world of opportunities to learn, grow, and explore. Immerse yourself in the local traditions, savor the delicious cuisine, and make lasting friendships. Remember to balance your studies with exploring the beautiful landscapes and bustling cities Japan has to offer. College moving is not just about academic achievement but also about personal growth and cultural understanding. Enjoy the adventure, overcome challenges, and make the most of your time in this fascinating country. Your college years in Japan are sure to be unforgettable, filled with memories and experiences that will shape your future.

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