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Top Universities in Japan for International Students


Are you seeking high quality education and the world’s best sushi? In all seriousness, there are so many reasons why studying abroad in Japan is a good idea for college students. Aside from the amazing cultural experiences, many of the best universities in Japan warmly welcome international students.

The decision to study abroad is not one to make lightly. However, it’s a beneficial experience regardless of where you choose to go because you have the opportunity to immerse yourself into a new culture. In particular, Japan ranks high on many students’ lists because of all the country has to offer.

Study abroad student walking in Japan
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Reasons to Study Abroad in Japan

Before we go into the specific schools to choose from, let’s see why Japan is such a good choice for students who want to study abroad:

1. High-Quality Education:

Japan is consistently ranked in the top 10 countries for education. No matter what kind of institution you attend, from public to private, Japan takes education seriously.

2. Great Food:

Did we mention sushi? Traditional Japanese cuisine is world famous for being fresh, healthy, and delicious. From tofu dishes, miso soup, to the most quality sushi, Japan’s local cuisine has something tasty for every taste bud.

3. Good Job Opportunities:

Japan’s economy has a high demand for foreign workers. That means, upon graduation, if you feel like calling Japan home for longer, you can likely find a job. For example, the demand is consistently high for English teachers.

4. Unique Culture:

Japan is a hub of international impact and culture. From anime to technology, Japan boasts very unique experiences for adventurous spirits!

5. Japan Encourages Students from Abroad:

The government of Japan has a strong interest in welcoming students from abroad. As such, they are focused on making the application process easier for international students and increasing exchange programs with universities around the world.

Best Universities in Japan for International Students

Thinking Japan is the right place for your study abroad adventures?

Check out this list of some of the top Japanese universities:

1. University of Tokyo:

The University of Tokyo is Japan’s first national university. It was established in 1877 and has 10 faculties and 5 graduate schools. Something that’s interesting about the school is that students change campuses throughout their study. For the first two years, they are on one campus, and then they transition to another one in their third year. The campus is a good option for those who want to sightsee around because it’s located close to main attractions.

2. Osaka University:

Osaka University is home to over 15,000 undergraduate students, about 8,000 graduate students and around 2,000 international students. If you attend Osaka University, you will have attended the same school as Sony founder Akio Morita.

3. Hokkaido University:

Initially, Hokkaido University was called Sapporo Agricultural College and was Japan’s first higher education institution to issue bachelor’s degrees. In Japan, it ranks as #7 on the list of top universities.

4. Nagoya University:

Nagoya University continues its legacy of academic excellence and boasts about 33% of Japan’s Nobel Laureates in Science. It comes as no surprise that the university is well known for its research.

5. Kyushu University:

As the fourth oldest university on the island, Kyushu University can trace its history back to 1903. There are over 18,000 students, so if jumping into a big university setting is calling your name, this might be the place for you! Despite the big campus, the student to teacher ratio is still just 9:1.

6. Keio University:

Keio University is Japan’s first private institution for higher education. In 2019, it was ranked as the 10th best school in all of Japan. The school has a great reputation for international research and a diverse network around the world.

7. University of Tsukuba:

More than a third of Japan’s research institutes exist on this campus. There is a strong focus on international studies, with cooperative agreements with North Africa and Central Asia. Interestingly, roughly 70 of its current and previous students have participated in the Olympic Games.

8. Akita International University:

With the word International in its name, Akita International University has 26% international students. The school offers both short- and long-term programs.

9. Waseda University:

Located in Tokyo, Waseda University is considered to be one of the most diverse campuses in Japan. Over 5,000 international students study on the campus, coming from over 100 different countries.

10. Tokyo Institute of Technology:

Demonstrated by its name, the Tokyo Institute of Technology has educated some of the world’s brightest math and engineering minds. 13% of its students are international.

11. Kyoto University:

State-of-the-art laboratories and hands-on training make Kyoto University an incredible place for students who want to perform research.

12. Tohoku University:

Tohoku University led the way into the future for education in Japan by allowing both women and graduates from technical schools to enroll. The university continues to be a pioneering force through its research in next-generation medicine. It’s located in Sendai, which is a huge metropolis with 1 million people.

Mt. Fuji in Japan
Photo by Manuel Cosentino on Unsplash

Reasons to Study Abroad

As you can see, there are a lot of great options of top universities to enroll in Japan for a study abroad program. There are also countless reasons to choose to study abroad. Here’s an abbreviated list of the benefits you gain when you study abroad:

  • Explore the world
  • Expand your career opportunities
  • Network with a global community
  • Develop yourself personally
  • Step outside your comfort zone
  • Grow independently
  • Take part in new experiences
  • Learn a new language

Alternative Learning – Online Options

While some people may not have the urge to study abroad, they still want to network with people from around the world. Additionally, the costs of studying abroad could pose a hurdle.

As such, an alternative for a unique learning experience is attending online college. For example, the University of the People is an entirely online and tuition-free institution with four degree-granting programs. Students from over 200 countries and territories attend from all over the globe.

The flexibility of the program means that you log on when you want and from where you want to learn. That means you can study abroad from wherever you want and still earn your degree through the University of the People. The only constant necessity is for you to have internet access!

The Wrap Up

There are so many opportunities for what you can study and where you choose to earn your degree. However, studying abroad, especially in Japan, will expand your network and experiences! There are many top universities in Japan to choose from. Studying abroad will help you create unique and unforgettable memories.

University of the People