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Modern Japanese culture and society consist of a diverse mix of the old and new, the East and West, and the natural and artificial. These seemingly contradictory elements coexist in harmony in Japan. For example, it is not unusual to see an old Buddhist temple and a modern skyscraper standing next to each other. Japan is a country with rich nature, diverse topography, and beautiful turns of the seasons. Japan also boasts extraordinary skills and techniques in the production of arts and crafts.

The greatest appeal of studying in Japan is its academic environment where one can study state-of-the-art technology. Whether it is electronics, Japanese literature, medicine or international business administration, Japanese universities and other institutes of higher education can offer course studies or research programs of almost any field.

The percentage of students who go on to universities (undergraduate level) and junior colleges (regular courses) is also very high in Japan at 48.6%. This figure is indicative of the high standard of education in Japan. Many leading figures that are playing an active role in the world today have the experience of studying in Japan. The network of course mates that you can build in Japan will undoubtedly become an invaluable asset for your future career.

There are many different ways of studying in Japan. Regardless of the course you choose, from Japanese-language training to postgraduate studies, you will come in touch with Japanese culture and lifestyles will prove to be an invaluable experience for you. Foreign students can enroll in one of five types of institutions of higher learning:

Universities (undergraduate courses)

There are about 700 universities in Japan, including national, public and private ones. The length of study in an undergraduate university is four years with the exception of medicine, dentistry and veterinary science department, which require six years of study.

Graduate schools

The length of study in a graduate school depends on whether you are matriculated in a master’s program or doctor’s program. Master’s program: lasts for two years. Doctor’s program: lasts for five years.

Junior colleges

The length of study is two years or three years depending on the department. The majority of department are those related to home economics, humanities, education and sociology.

Special training colleges (post-secondary courses)

Special training schools that offer post-secondary courses are called special training colleges. Such schools are positioned as higher educational institutions in Japan. They provide vocational education as well as education in the skills, technology and knowledge needed in life. The length of study is one year or more, but most courses are two years in length.

Colleges of technology

Colleges of technology provide junior high school graduates with five years (five and a half years for merchant shipping courses) of education. There are about 60 colleges of technology in Japan. They offer courses related to engineering, merchant shipping as well as other fields.‏

The qualifications for admission differ according to the type of higher educational institution you would like to enroll in. A student who has completed his or her secondary education (including high school) and school education for 12 years or more outside of Japan will qualify for admission to a Japanese university.

In order to select a university that is most suitable for you, it is extremely important that the prospective student has an accurate understanding of such things as the educational circumstances in Japan as well as the features of the education or research offered by a university.

There is only one official language spoken in Japan, which is of course Japanese. However, many Japanese are able to understand English to a certain extent since English is the foreign language that everyone must learn as part of compulsory education.

The general case of studying in Japan begins with a student first enrolling in a Japanese-language institute. The student takes an entrance exam and enrolls in a university or other institute of higher education after they study Japanese and other subjects at a Japanese language institute for one to two years. For this reason, the choice of a Japanese-language institute becomes extremely important for a prospective student.

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