Guide to Studying in Japan


As one of the advanced economies in the world, Japan continues to lead in many fields, from high-tech industries to the creative and entertainments industries. Japan’s over 780 universities, which include several that rank amongst the top 200 in the world, offer abundant opportunities to international students to further their education in Japan.  There are currently over 140,000 international students studying in Japan and the Ministry of Education Culture Sports Science and Technology (MEXT) has an ambitious target to increase the number to 300,000 by the year 2020.

Finding The Right University

Your academic journey in Japan begins with finding the right university for you. You can find information about the various types of higher education institutions and the programs they offer at

The Japanese Embassy in Singapore also provides free counseling service for students who wish to know more about studying in Japan. Counseling hours can be found at the Embassy’s website

Financing Your Study

Contrary to common believe, cost of tertiary education in Japan need not be expensive. This is especially true for national universities where tuition fees are heavily subsidised by the government. For example, in the case of Nagoya University, the annual tuition fee is JPY535,800 or roughly SGD6,100 (source: This is much lower than universities in developed countries such as USA, UK, Australia and even Singapore.

Scholarships and financial aids are also readily available for international students. JUGAS partners with well-known universities and governmental organisations to provide or promote scholarships to deserving Singaporean students to pursue undergraduate and post-graduate programs in Japan universities.

JUGAS Scholarship Programs

To mark our 40th Anniversary in 2010, JUGAS launched the JUGAS Education and Cultural Exchange Fund (JECF) with the primary objectives or promoting education and cultural exchanges between Singapore and Japan. One of the key initiative under the JECF is to provide opportunities for promising Singaporean students to further their studies in Japan through various scholarship scheme in collaboration with external organisations.

MEXT (ASCOJA) Scholarship


The MEXT Scholarship is offered by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) to foreign students who wish to study at Japanese institutions of higher education. There are several types of scholarships available under the MEXT Scholarship program. For more information, please refer to

JUGAS is a member chapter of the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA), which is a international body made up of similar Japanese university graduates alumni associations from the other ASEAN countries. Member chapters of ASCOJA have been invited by the Japanese Government to recommend candidates  from their home countries for both Research Student and Undergraduate categories of the scholarship.

As the MEXT (ASCOJA) Scholarship is fully administered by MEXT, the terms, conditions and scholarship benefits of the scholarship are the same as the MEXT Scholarship. In addition to enjoying the same benefit as all MEXT scholars, MEXT (ASCOJA) scholars also have the added benefits of becoming beneficiary students under the Asia Japan Alumni (ASJA) International. As a non-profit organisation supported by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ASJA International implements programs aimed at assisting international students, primarily from ASEAN. Some key services provided by ASJA International include:

  • 6-month Japanese language course at the Tokyo Japanese Language Education Center
  • Welcome and orientation program for newly arrived students
  • Homestay programs
  • Exchange programs with Japanese students
  • Study trips
  • Community service volunteer programs
  • Graduation ceremony for ASJA scholars

These activities are generally provided free for students and students only need to cover their own travel costs.

MEXT (ASCOJA) Scholarship application opens from April to July.

Students typically depart for Japan to start their Japanese language course in April the following year.

Interested applicants can submit their applications to either JUGAS or the Japanese Embassy in Singapore.

JUGAS/Nagoya University Scholarship



A joint initiative between JUGAS and Nagoya University, this scholarship offers high potential Singaporeans an opportunity to study at Nagoya University under the Global 30 Undergraduate International Programs. There are in total 5 different programs offered by 9 different schools available for applicants to choose from.

School term starts in 1 October.

Application period is typically in November to December for the following year’s October intake.

JUGAS/University of Tokyo Supplementary Scholarship 



A joint initiative between JUGAS and the University of Tokyo, this scholarship sponsors the return air tickets for deserving Singaporean students who are accepted into selected PEAK (Program in English at Komaba) Programs offered at the University of Tokyo.

School term starts in 1 September.

Application period is typically in October to November for the following year’s September intake.

Please feel free to contact our secretariat ( if you have any questions regarding the scholarships on offer.

Help for Students Departing to Japan For Studies

Upon accepting an offer from a university or institution of higher education, your next phase of journey involves preparing yourself for your departure to Japan. There are several things that you will need to do and the university’s admission office (or the Japanese Embassy in the case of MEXT Scholarship) will be providing you with the necessary assistance to ensure that the paperwork is done. This website will give you better idea of what to expect:

JUGAS organises pre-departure briefings for students departing to Japan typically twice a year in March and August/September for the April and September/October school terms. At the briefing, JUGAS members and representatives from partnering organisations such as the Japanese Embassy and PSC will sharing information and experience on what students should expect once they arrive in Japan. Students will be introduced to helpful organisations in Japan such the Singapore Students’ Association in Japan (SSAJ), the Singapore Embassy in Japan and ASJA International.

Register your interest to attend the Pre-Departure Briefing: [CLOSED]

When You Are In Japan

Congratulations! You are now in Japan embarking on a new life in Japan.

Here are some useful online resources to help you settle down and navigate some of the bureaucratic maze typically faced by many foreign students in Japan.

Singapore students are also strongly encouraged to register themselves with the Singapore Embassy in Japan.

We wish you all the best in your academic endeavours!

Useful Websites

Contact Us

For more information, please contact JUGAS at


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