Study abroad semester in Japan

Japan is located on an East Asian island. Its territory is extremely active. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur frequently. However, buildings are usually built to last, and they don’t suffer great damages during these events. Its citizens rely heavily on the sea as a source of food, and fish is at the basis of the Japanese diet. The country is famous for sushi, a healthy combination of rice, fish and vegetables.

Japan paid a heavy price for its World War Two participation, and after that period the country was struggling economically. Nevertheless, a magical growth occurred slightly after, transforming it to one of the wealthiest and most technologically advanced countries on earth. Its capital is extremely populous. With 14 million inhabitants it is considered one of the world’s most populous cities. Due to this massive concentration, Japan has a highly urban population, with a 90% urbanization rate.

Education in Japan is highly competitive and strict. This competitiveness also transfers onto workplace, to the point that the country coined the term “karoshi”, which means “death by too much work”. On the contrary, in the country you can enjoy some of the most relaxing places on earth, such as some beautiful gardens, that during the cherry blossom season become spectacular, and some ancient temples.

What are the best universities in Japan for semester students?

Are you still undecided whether or not Japan might be an appealing destination for you? On wearefreemovers you can find a selection of 10 academic institutions offering you the possibility of spending a semester or a full academic year in Japan. Let’s check some statistics about them.

Here you can see the positioning of the Japanese institutions among the world’s best universities rankings.

NAME QS THE ARWU CWUR CWTS Eduniversal palmes U.S. News & World Report's Best Global Universities Rankings Webometrics
Waseda University (Research only) 189 801–1000 601-700 176 574 5 467 441
Tokyo Institute of Technology 56 301–350 101-150 142 258 - 316 282
University of Tsukuba (Research only) 265 401–500 201-300 258 375 2 395 292
Doshisha University (Research only) 1001+ 1001+ - 1362 - 2 - -
Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology - - - 1667 - - 1413 -
Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Research only) - - - 1667 - - 1413 -
Michigan State University - Japan Center - - - - - - - -
Temple University - Tokyo campus (US students only) - - - - - - - -
Tokai University (Research only) 801-1000 1001+ - 931 1007 - 1106 -
Tokyo Medical and Dental University 362 401–500 601-700 643 668 - 779 956
Toyohashi University of Technology - 1001+ - - - - - -

Japanese universities enjoy a good international recognition. Tokyo Institute of Technology is almost in the best 50 of the QS World University Rankings, which is pretty impressive, while Waseda University has the maximum number of Eduniversal palmes, making it one of the most important business schools in the world. Michigan State University and Temple University have no ranking because they are not Japanese universities, but US-based ones instead. Again, if you want to discover more about subject-specific ranking check the Subject Guides.

Costs and fees of studying in Japan

Japan is a very expensive country. Monthly costs of living for a single person are above 900€. Here you can find a detail of the various costs that you can encounter in this country. Keep in mind that, as a student, you could have access to various discounts which can include food, travel, and accommodation expenses.

When it comes to university’s fees, Japan is quite cheap, with a median 1850€/semester for free mover students.

Which Japanese cities are available for free movers?