4 Ways How to Study Abroad in Japan (14 Useful Links)

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Hi guys! How are you doing?

The job hunting season in Japan has just begun recently so I’m getting really busy looking for companies, gathering information, writing application essays and stuff. But don’t worry, Naruhodo will keep updating you many useful Japan information and today, I’m going to answer one of the most asked questions – How to study abroad in Japan!

After high school graduation, what should we do to get into a Japan university? Should I study Japanese language first? Where should I seek for information?

This article, I’m gonna tell you the basic 4 ways people usually take to pursue their bachelor study in Japan. As I’m a Malaysian, this article will be written in a Malaysian tone but you might find it useful too even though you are non-Malaysian.


4 Ways to study abroad in Japan

4 ways to study abroad in Japan

1. Apply Japanese Language School in Japan

Most of the courses in Japan universities are conducted in Japanese language. No question, the first thing you should do is – to learn Japanese language.

  • There are more than 700 Japanese Language Schools in Japan. But only those which are recognized by 文部科学省 – the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology – MEXT (Monbukagakusho)- providing the qualified pre-U program.

So If you are planning to enter a Japan university, please choose a Japanese language school recognized by the government.

  •  All Japanese schools accept high school graduates, non-high school graduates, former company workers, basically everyone.

So for people who intend to learn Japanese language and culture, you are welcomed to apply to any Japanese language schools. (Check the application guidelines of each school) 


全国日本語学校データベース  Japanese Language School Data Base in Japan

This is a database of all Japanese language schools in Japan. You can spend some times finding the school matches your needs.


Go! Go! Nihon Agency

This is an agency website. You can check out their recommendations on Japanese language schools. Especially they have their own wiki system. Spend some times exploring the most asked questions in terms of studying abroad in Japan ya 😀


KCP International Japanese Language School

This is the language school I attended for a year in Shinjuku, Tokyo. It is one of the very few government recognized language schools for holding pre-uni courses. I highly recommend it because, look at me! I’m doing very great in Japan now and everything started from this school. 🙂 Thanks KCP!

You can check out my Facebook photo albums in 2008 for some pictures I took when I was a KCP student. 😀


Lu Pei Chun Japan Education Centre

Lu Pei Chun Japan Education Centre is quite famous among Chinese Malaysian students. Most of the students applied through this centre are introduced to ABK Japanese language school in Tokyo.

It has a long history since 1998, so I think it can be a good support for students who have a dream studying abroad in Japan 😀  (many of my friends came to Japan through this centre, if you need more information, contact me privately ne ^^ )

Shen’s thought:
If your financial status allows, I highly recommend you to learn Japanese language in Japan because living in the local Japanese environment will help you improve your Japanese language skill very fast.


2. Apply Japanese language school in Malaysia

If the cost of studying in Japan is a burden for you, you can choose to study in the Japanese language school in Malaysia first. (non-Malaysian: I believe there are Japanese language institution in your countries too :D)

  • Basically, you will be taking 1.5 – 2 years pre-U program, then you will be applying universities in Japan through the agency in your country.


Institut Bahasa Teikyo

This is the school I used to consider because it is the only recognized Japanese language school providing pre-U program in Malaysia. You will get to study Japanese language while living in Malaysia. The cost will be half compared to studying in Japan.


3. Apply University in Japan which does not require Japanese language

Spending 2 years to learn Japanese is too costly? There are other methods to skip the long Japanese languages school process – which is applying the international university in Japan.

As globalization increases, many Japan university started to adopt English education system. My current university – APU – is one of the examples.


Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) 

Highly recommend you to apply APU! 1st, It’s gaining popularity in Japan recently, which means higher career opportunities offered to APU graduates. 2nd, APU provides large amount of scholarship for international students.

Please spend times reading the application guidelines of APU if you are really planning to study abroad in Japan. Check out my Facebook photos for many many APU campus life photos. 😀


Global 30 Project (Suggested by user Frenzyautin) 

This is a global project joined by many famous university to offer English degree program for foreigners. You should really check out this project first before you consider any other University 🙂 Guess what, you can even apply and take the interview while you are still in your home country.


Ritsumeikan University Global Study (Kyoto)

Just like APU, Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto also started English education program a.k.a Global Studies. If you want to live a life closer to Japanese society, the traditional city – Kyoto can be a very good choice. 🙂


International Christian University (ICU)

This school has a long history as 60 years. I think they are the pioneer of English education university in Japan. Over the past years, ICU has become a dream school among Japanese people who want to study in an international environment. Check it out 🙂


Akita International University (AIU)

This university has tie-up program with APU. There are also English-based enrollment. 🙂 It’s in Akita prefecture. I heard the campus is very remote from town. Do your research about campus life before applying ya 🙂


4. Apply Government Scholarship Program

Before you start researching the Japanese language schools and universities, I want you to do me a favor. Check the Monbukagakuso homepage!

Some of my friends are studying abroad in Japan under the government scholarship program. You know what, everything is free! The scholarship even pays you more than 100 thousand yen (RM 3500 ++) monthly for your living expenses.

Everybody has a chance. Just try to apply it first before you start considering other options.


Embassy of Japan in Malaysia 

Read this carefully. READ it! I don’t want you to miss a golden chance to be a government sponsored student. If I have to say one regret during my Japan study experience, that will be – I didn’t know the existence of this scholarship!


Useful links:

Here are some other useful links to help you research about Japanese language learning in Malaysia.

Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur


The Japan Club of Kuala Lumpur


Japan Student Services Organization


The Japanese Language Society of Malaysia


Japan Educational Information Centre Kuala Lumpur



I know I know. Too many links and information right? But don’t be lazy. Spend times to study everything written in the websites. A famous quote from the Havard University: Sleep now and a dream will come out; Study now and a dream will come true.

So which dream do you want to see? Ganbatte! Feel free to ask me questions. 😀 Shen is here to help!


Today’s Naruhodo!

There are 4 ways to apply to study abroad in Japan after your high school graduation. Shen will recommend you to consider in this order:

Apply government scholarship -> International University in Japan -> Japanese language school in Japan -> Japanese language school in your country

Next time I will introduce more detailed steps to prepare for study abroad in Japan. 😀 Stay tuned!



Shen Lim
A Chinese Malaysian, Blogger, Vlogger on YouTube, Tour Guide in Japan. He believes 1 day his videos can bring Japan and Malaysia together. マレーシア華人、ブロガー、YouTubeクリエイター、日本にいるツアーガイドです。いつか自分の動画は日本とマレーシアを繋げる架け橋になると信じています。 Read more ABOUT him.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Seth Chew

    I went to an education fair in KL recently.
    There were quite a lot of Japan universities there.
    Most importantly, they are offering a few courses in English language.
    We can actually apply degree courses in universities there without having to learn Japanese language 1st though.
    However we still need to learn Japanese language while having your degree course.

    1. Shen Lim
      Shen Lim

      Thanks for your suggestions! This is a very good option for foreigners who are considering an English degree in Japan ^^ Please allow me to include this link into the post 😀 i will put “suggested by Frenzyaustin” 🙂


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