Getting started / Conditions to study in Japan


Applying through an agent


The process




Japanese Language Schools


Life in Japan


Working in Japan:

Other issues:


After the courses




Getting started / Conditions to study in Japan


Is it really possible for me to study in Japan?

If you are 18 years old or above, steady student, financially sound  and have completed the equivalent of 12 years of studies, you can come to study in Japan.

I want to go to a Japanese University: why should I first go to a language school?

In Japan, higher education institutes (universities, junior colleges, colleges of technology, vocational schools, graduate schools …) offer programs in Japanese only. There are only a few exceptions. Therefore, if you are serious about studying in Japanese higher education, you should consider learning the language first and reach JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) Levels N2 or N1. This is what is usually required to get admitted. You will also likely have to take the EJU (Examinations for Japanese University Admission for International students). Your language school will prepare for all of this. Japanese language schools help thousands of foreign students to reach proficiency each year so why not you! Further, it only makes sense that if you want to study in a Japanese higher education institute and thus live in Japan, you would learn the language to simply cope with daily life issues.

I understand most university programs are in Japanese. But I really want to attend one of those few programs that are in English! What shall I do?

We recommend you to take the time to learn Japanese first. That will open many doors for your studies/careers. Now, as it seems you are really intent on bypassing the Japanese language school step, why don’t you contact us? We can help you with the university admission process. However, contrary to the language school admission process, we will charge you a processing fee. To know more, contact us here.

How long would it take me to become fluent?

It usually takes a 1 year program from a Japanese language school for foreign students to reach JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) Level N2. Level N2 is what enables students to get admitted to Japanese higher education institutes (or look for jobs). Of course, it depends on each individual: their skills, their motivation and commitment. But if you follow your school’s recommendation, you will reach your goals, just like thousands of foreign students in Japan do each year.

What is JLPT?

JLPT means “Japanese Language Proficiency Test”. It is the most-recognized test to assess your Japanese language skills. You will need to reach certain levels of JLPT (N1 or N2) in order to be admitted to Higher Education Institutions.

You can take the test in Japan of course, but also in many places around the world.

For more information, please click here.

What do I need to be admitted by a school?

You only have to be more than 18 years old and have completed High School. If you intend to take an intensive Japanese language course, we recommend that you start learning it in your country prior to joining a program in Japan.

How can I get a visa to study in Japan?

Getting a visa to study in Japan can prove to be somewhat troublesome. A lot of paperwork is required and it can take a long time. But this is one of the services provided by Motivist Japan: we basically take care of everything and help expedite the process – you will only have to pickup your visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country.

For more information, click here.

How much money does it cost to study in Japan?

Prices may vary from school to school but you can estimate the cost to be about 80,000 Yens per month (including text books and everything needed for studies, excluding daily expenses out of school), thus about 8,000$ or 7,000 Euros per year.

Is there an age limit to study in Japan?

There is no age limit to study in Japan. However, if you are over 30 years old, chances are that the Immigration office will look more closely at your application. If you want to know about your specific situation, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to assist you.

What documents do I need to submit to apply to a Japanese language school?

Passport copy
Education background (certificates for completed degrees, letter from school if currently enrolled)
Certificate of Japanese language studies (if applicable)
Bank statements
An essay will also have to be written

Other documents may be required, depending on each school.

What city shall I choose?

Obviously, this is a personal decision, depending on your preferences and depending on your objectives. For example, if you intend to look for a job after your language studies, you should consider choosing a school in Tokyo, by far the largest city in Japan. You would then increase your chances to find a job that suits you. The climate is also something to consider: if you cannot withstand the cold, avoid Hokkaido. If, on the contrary, you intend to spend a summer in Japan and hate a very warm weather, then Hokkaido would be a good place for that matter. Take the time to consider all the criteria that are relevant to you. To learn more about Japanese cities, click here.


Applying through an educational agent

Can I apply through an agent in my country?

Yes, you can apply through an agency at your own country, but we do not recommend this.  Many agencies charge high service fees and also they usually cannot provide necessary help when you face problems after your arrival to Japan and while living here.

That’s why we recommend using our services here at Motivist Japan for no fee.

I have been promised by another agent that they can find a job in advance. Why don’t you do that too?

If an agent tells you so, run away! No one can promise you a job in advance. To be allowed to work in Japan, you will first need to apply once you are in Japan. Even though this is mere paperwork, there is still a procedure that one has to follow. Therefore no one can promise you any job in advance. However, what is true is that you will get plenty of job opportunities indeed. Once you are in Japan.

What help can I get from Motivist Japan?

Motivist Japan offers information on variety of topics such as language courses, educational institutions, life in Japan, and much more. We offer professional advice and services on how to find and apply to a suitable school according to each student’s choice, how to enroll in your chosen courses, help with visa process, organizing your accommodation, and even help with finding part-time jobs.

We also keep in touch with all of our students while they are studying in Japan, help and guide them if needed.

How much does Motivist Japan charge students?

No fees charged for our affiliated schools.


The process

I am not sure what course I should choose. What shall I do?

Make sure your objectives are clearly defined. For example, do you intend to join a high education institution in Japan after learning the language? If so, you will need an intensive course.

You may want to have a look at information posted on our site. For a good start, please click here.

Can I apply to the school directly?

Most schools do not provide online applications and it’s complicated to complete the application, when you apply directly to school.  You need to contact with the schools, request an application package or download application forms, transfer application fees and deliver application documents. That takes time and effort, and might be complicated.

Schools process hundreds of applications each term. So it’s difficult to get a response about entry requirements (as sometime it varies from country to country), program details and your application status. Many students complain that nobody replies to their emails in timely manner, and sometimes their calls are not answered satisfactorily as administration staff cannot communicate in English well.

That’s why we recommend using our services here at Motivist Japan. We will do all the hard work for you for absolutely no fee.

Check our Blog article on this topic here.

What is the Application Procedure?

  1. Choose a school 
  2. Complete the online application
  3. Send us all the required documents by email
  4. Motivist Japan screens your documents, advises and guides you accordingly
  5. Motivist Japan checks and submits all necessary documents to your chosen school
  6. Send us the original of all documents for submission to Japanese Immigration.

We facilitate and speed up the whole application process, so that you don’t have any issues with your application or visas, everything is done properly and on timely manner.

We will also update you regularly on your application process, and we usually respond within 24 hours.

All of the above is done in your native language or in English. Motivist Japan currently offers services in English, French, Chinese and Russian.

When should I apply?

Applicants should apply for their chosen school and course at least six months before the starting date if they are planning to come to Japan with a student visa.

Deadlines for applicants who need student visa are as follows:

Deadline                                             Stating date

July         ~    September                January

August       ~       October                     April

January     ~       March                        July

February   ~       April                           October

What Fees should I pay during the application process?

You may need to pay the application fee for the school which you are applying for, but most of the schools don’t charge them.

Motivist Japan also does not charge any fee. However, for some countries ( Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, etc.) small fee may apply.

How can I get a visa to study in Japan?

Getting a visa to study in Japan can prove to be somewhat troublesome. A lot of paperwork is required and it can take a long time. But this is one of the services provided by Motivist Japan: we basically take care of everything and help expedite the process – you will only have to pickup your visa at the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country.

For more information, click here.



What are the payment methods?

Motivist Japan doesn’t charge students any fee. However, students must pay application and tuition fees to their school. They can pay their school directly. Or they can pay us and ask us to then re-transfer the money to school. In the first case, students have to pay by Bank Transfers. In the second case, they may send us the money by PayPal (it is not necessary to have a PayPal account; you can use your credit card on PayPal) or by Bank Transfer to our company account. These means of payments are secured and traceable.

Can I pay the school application fee after I get admitted?

No. Schools require the students to pay the application fee before submitting the application. Otherwise your application won’t be processed.

Note: before we submit your application to the school, we will check it and all the documents with the school. If it is acceptable by the school then we proceed and ask you to pay the above fees (school application fee).

Is the application fee refundable?

The application fee is non-refundable, no matter the outcome, whether you are accepted or not.

Are the tuition fees refundable?

Yes. If you do not get a student visa (even though you had been granted a Certificate of Eligibility), you will get the tuition fees back.

If I want to study in Japan, what do I have to pay and when?

First, you will have to pay the School Application fee, after we have reviewed and checked all your documents.

You will need to pay the Tuition fees only after the Japanese Bureau of Immigration has issued your Certificate of Eligibility. Once that happens, we send you a copy of the Certificate and the school issues the invoice. Upon receipt of your payment, we will send you the original of the Certificate of Eligibility by Express Mail (usually DHL).


Japanese Language Schools

What is JLPT?

JLPT means “Japanese Language Proficiency Test”. It is the most-recognized test to assess your Japanese language skills. You will need to reach certain levels of JLPT (N1 or N2) in order to be admitted to Higher Education Institutions.

You can take the test in Japan of course, but also in many places around the world.

For more information, please click here.

What types of courses are there in Japanese Language Schools?

It depends on schools but, generally, there are two types of courses, depending on students’ objectives. Some students aim at pursuing further education in Japan. They get prepared for that. For example, they train to take the EJU (Examination for Japanese University admission for international students) which is often required by Japanese universities. Other students just want to learn Japanese and do not need the aforementioned preparation. Some schools also prepare students for the job market (how to prepare resumes, how to prepare for interviews etc …). Obviously, students are also placed according to their initial Japanese language skills.

When do courses usually start?

Usually, there are 4 sessions: in January, April, July and October. That might change from one school to another.

What kind of schedule can I expect from a Japanese Language school in Japan?

A typical program usually comprises about 20 hours per week, 4 hours per day (usually each weekday morning or each weekday afternoon). In addition, there are many off-site activities to familiarize students with Japanese culture and way of life.


Life in Japan


How can I find a place to live in Japan?

We can help you find a place. However, our experience shows that it is preferable to choose housing while in Japan. So we recommend you to either find a short-term solution, enabling you to look for the perfect place later when you are in Japan, or simply to wait until you are here.

Also, your school will be able to assist you.

For more information about accommodations, click here.

What types of accommodations can I choose if I study in Japan?

Some schools have dormitories (you may have your own room or share it). You may choose home-stay family, or a shared apartment. Those are the most common types of accommodations in Japan.

I have a small budget: what’s the cheapest accommodations in Japan?

You can find accommodations for less than Yen 30,000 per month (about USD 250). The cheaper option will be sharing a room in a student dormitory.

Working in Japan:

Is it possible to work while studying?

Yes it is possible, under certain conditions that are not constraining at all: 1) you cannot work in the entertainment business (e.g. in bars, pachinko …) and 2) your work should not interfere with your studies. Once you are in Japan, you must apply to get permission to work part-time. This is a mere formality but you have to do it. To know more about this topic, please click here.

How many hours am I allowed to work with a student visa in Japan?

As a foreign student in Japan, you are allowed to work 28 hours per week, 40 hours during long school breaks. That’s more than what most other countries offer to their foreign students!

Is it difficult to find a part-time job in Japan?

Not at all. You just should know basic Japanese. Then your school will guide you (they often have their own networks to place students). You can also find job positions in numerous free publications (for example, you can find that in conbini) and plenty of websites. If you want to work part-time in Japan, you will have no difficulties to find.

Other issues:

How can I open a bank account in Japan?

It is easy to open a bank account in Japan, and we recommend you to do so. To open an account, you will only need your Residence card. To learn more, click here.

How can I get Health Insurance?

It is mandatory to subscribe to the National Health Insurance and, upon your arrival, this is one of the first things you will do. To read more, click here.

Is it difficult to get a cellphone?

No, it is quite easy. Depending on the time you expect to spend in Japan (and your budget) you will have a few options to choose from: prepaid phone, prepaid SIM card, rented smartphone, wifi or not wifi … At the airport, you will find phone companies for immediate phone rental. Or you will easily find branches of the most famous providers (Softbank, Docomo …) in the city.

How much should I budget for daily expenses?

Provided your breakfast is taken at home, you can count 1,500 Yens for the other meals. To that, add 1,000 Yens for transportation and/or other expenses. In other words, with 2,500 Yens (about 23$ or 20 Euros) per day (not taking into account school fee, rent and utilities), you cover daily expenses. See our simulation of a student’s budget here.


After you have completed the language program


Will I be able to go to a college or university in Japan after my language course?

Lectures in higher education institutions in Japan are conducted in Japanese almost exclusively. This is the reason why you should have a Level N1 or Level N2 at the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). Provided you have reached such a level and have the adequate academic knowledge, you will be able to pursue your studies in Japan. Actually, your language school will likely help you apply and find a higher education institute in Japan. And we are also always here to help you if you need.

Will I be allowed to look for a job in Japan after I have finished my language school?

It depends on your academic background. Students with only a high school degree cannot look for a job in Japan after language school. However, if you have academic background of Graduate of universities, junior colleges and colleges of technology, or Graduate of professional training colleges and have obtained your diploma, you can look for a job in Japan. Even if you are unable to find a job before your graduation, you may continue your job-seeking activities for 1 year after the graduation by changing your resident status from ‘College Student’ to ‘Designated Activities’. Once you have found a job, your employer will sponsor you for a work visa.

What level of Japanese do Japanese companies usually require their foreign employees to have?

Generally, Japanese companies will require their foreign employees to have passed JLPT Level N2.

I have passed JLPT N2 (/N1), do you think I can find a job in Japan?

Definitely! Many Japanese companies are looking for language-savvy employees. As a bilingual person, you should get many suitors. Depending on your academic background and professional experience, you may actually by courted by headhunters. In any case, you will likely get many opportunities in Japan.