Study in Japan faq

Can studying Japanese in Japan be a straight forward process? That's our goal. We try to answer the most common questions here, but if you can't find the answer you're looking for, or if you'd like to suggest an addition to our FAQ, there's a form at the bottom for direct contact with us!

Studying in Japan

Who should study Japanese in Japan?

Whether you are a beginner, or you've been studying for years, there is an appropriate course for your level. You should consider studying Japanese at a language school in Japan if you want to:

  • Quickly surpass plateaus and difficult parts of the language (kanji, anyone?) with the help of dedicated experts
  • Learn the language in the context of the culture by getting the chance to use your new skills in real life each day
  • Develop the skills necessary to successfully live in Japan, with the benefit of resources, support, and assistance in getting established in the country
  • Study alongside a truly international student-base and make language learning partners and lifelong friends

What are the requirements?

For most programs at most schools, the basic requirements are that you:

  1. Are a high school graduate
  2. Have a desire to live and study in Japan so you can improve your Japanese level
  3. Have enough savings, or a financial sponsor (family member) who will cover the costs of tuition and living while you are in Japan.

Full details on the requirements and process can be found here.

What can I expect from my investment in my Japanese education?

It's true, there is no better investment than in yourself. A yen spent upgrading your own skills can be invaluable in the future when it opens up new career, relationship, and other life opportunities.

Studying Japanese at a school in Japan can give you:

  • A very fast path to success in Japanese
  • Connections with other like-minded people interested in living and working in Japan
  • Introductions to companies interested in hiring foreign talent
  • International experience that may open up career opportunities you had never imagined before

See why you should study at a Japanese language school for more information.

What does the timeline look like? When should I start planning?

You should start planning your study abroad program between 4-12 months before your intended start date.

For a detailed breakdown of the visa application process, see our guide to getting a Japanese student visa!

  1. 1
    12 to 4 months out
    Begin comparing schools, begin your application with us. This is a good time to start planning your budget and looking at financing. Also, if you don't have a current passport, or yours has less than 1 year of validity left, you should apply to get it so you can fulfill the application process.
  2. 2
    7 to 3 months out
    Your chosen school will start the visa application for you, and you will need to pay your initial application fee. This could be between ¥20,000 ~ ¥30,000 depending on the school.
  3. 3
    5 to 2 months out
    It's getting real! You will pay your full tuition fee to the school and you should begin planning your move in detail: flights, accommodations, travel insurance.
  4. 4
    2 to 1 months out
    You should receive your COE (Certificate of Eligibility) in the mail from the Japanese government. You will take this to your local Japanese embassy with your passport and exchange it for a student visa.
  5. 5
    1 month out
    You're about to set out on the adventure of a lifetime! Buy some Japanese currency, pack your belongings, and race to level up your Japanese skills a bit before you take off.


What does it cost to study at a school in Japan?

You can see our calculator to estimate your cost of living in Japan here. It's free to use and gives you a reasonable estimate of the cost of one month in different areas in Japan!

Risu Press will help you manage your application free of charge. However, you will need to prove to the Japanese government that you have a reasonable annual income and a current bank balance of at least ¥2 million. It is also helpful to provide any documents or signed letters from anyone helping to fund your program. This could include parents/family helping to pay, or perhaps you have a scholarship. The goal to is assure Japanese immigration that you have the means to support yourself for the duration of your studies and you will not be at risk of defaulting or working illegally to support yourself.

As for tuition and school fees, generally it depends on your length of study, but can range anywhere from a few hundred thousand yen ($3k-$4k USD) for shorter periods to upwards of 1.5 million yen ($14k-$17k USD) for much longer programs.

In addition to tuition, you will have to pay for textbooks and materials separately, and you will need to consider the cost of accommodation, food, necessities, going out, and air travel for your full budget picture.

Can I work while in Japan in order to earn money?

It depends. While nobody can guarantee you will receive the permit, you can make an “Application for Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted Under the Status of Residence Previously Granted” (資格外活動許可申請書) once you live in Japan. Learn more about it here. It will allow you to work part time in Japan legally while on a "Student" status of residence.

However, it is important to note that "intending to work part time in Japan" cannot form part of your financial plan when you submit your visa application. Because there is no guarantee you will receive the permit, or find work, you should consider it a "bonus" opportunity to supplement your already established funds.

What does a typically monthly budget look like for a student in Japan?

You know you best, so this is just a general guide.

Housing can run you as little as ¥40,000 depending on what type of situation you are looking for (for example, shared rooms vs. private room). On average, we recommend people plan for at least ¥60,000/month as a rough estimate.

Food will also be more or less expensive, depending on whether you choose to cook Japanese style food for yourself or you want more Western options. We have heard stories of people spending as little as ¥30,000/month on food in total, but we recommend budgeting for at least ¥40,000 each month.

Transportation can be free (walking), but you'll likely want to take the trains sometimes, or perhaps you live far away from your school. Consider budgeting at least ¥8,000/month for transportation.

The above will cover your bare necessities in most cases. However, we highly recommend thinking about your current lifestyle and then planning around that. Do you like going out to restaurants and bars a lot? Traveling on weekends? Attending concerts, shows, and going shopping? These are all places where you will inevitably spend some money, so put together a plan for yourself that makes sense!

Why Risu Press?

How does Risu Press help me study abroad?

We have a team of experts, both in North America and in Japan, who are fluent in Japanese and English, AND have experience studying abroad in Japan.

We help manage the confusing process of choosing the right school, making a successful application at the right time, and managing the back-and-forth communication with Japan.

When you apply to study Japanese at a school in Japan through Risu Press, we also give you support in finding accommodations, what to do in your first days in Japan (eg. cellphone, withdrawing money from abroad, etc.), and make the whole process as stress free as possible.

Does applying through Risu Press cost more?

Nope! We don't cost you a dime (or a yen).

We act as a resource for schools in Japan, helping to facilitate communication with students for applications, so you never need to pay anything for our service. Get all the added value of a managed application process and save your money for going out and enjoying your international experience!

What else can Risu Press do for me?

Glad you asked! We're pretty excited to work with you and ensure you have the best study abroad experience possible.

We can help answer questions and make recommendations for accommodations, help set you up with the travel insurance you may want, and even get you started upgrading your Japanese level today, so you are ahead of the game when you arrive at your school! Contact us about any of the above anytime and one of our representatives will be happy to help.