Life on Campus: University life in Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
How is university life in Japan like?

Life on Campus: University life in Japan

By Guidable Writers Jun 1, 2017

What you can learn from your university life in Japan

How is university life in Japan like?
Studying abroad gives us an opportunity to see the world differently, it exposes us to a new culture, challenges us to improve our language skills, pushes us to experience a different kind of education and eventually helps us find better career opportunities. No wonder why many people are getting more and more interested in studying overseas, especially in Japan, which is among the countries where many international students flock.
Ever wondered how the university life in Japan is? Well, some of my Japanese friends who studied in Japan basically said the same things, first of which is the fact that getting into a Japanese university is very hard. Many of the students spend a huge amount of time preparing for the entrance exams and getting into cram schools. It costs not only money but end of relationships, as well, as some prefer to break up with their boyfriend or girlfriend to focus on the review and preparation for the exam.

Cram Schools for Students

Classes are also flexible, especially for international students, and depending also on the courses you are taking. Sometimes classes are twice or thrice a week, and you can choose whether you prefer the day or night classes, depending also on the university you are enrolled in. The flexibility in schedule allows students to do other curricular activities or get part-time jobs.

How is university life in Japan like?

In Japan, many universities adhere to the bukatsu or after-school club culture, where students join organizations of their choice based on their preferred niches, and in activities they are passionate about. It’s a huge part of a university student’s life to be a member of a dance club, choir, baseball club, and even English club. In bukatsu, members are committed to attend meetings, practice and many activities that require the members’ full attendance and active participation, like school fairs and festivals. Don’t be surprised if you observe for yourself how committed these students are into their clubs than into their classes. It doesn’t mean they value the latter less, it’s just that most of the students feel that bukatsu gives them opportunities to do something helpful not only for themselves, but most especially for others, after classes.

Part-Time Work for Students

The flexible university life in Japan also allows students to find arubaito or part-time jobs. Many international students are also teaching part-time in school-accredited language centers, and even in factories recommended by the university. Many are also doing part-jobs in ramen shops, crate cafes, restaurants and even cram schools. Many university students get to support themselves financially, and they can even save enough for out-of-country travels.

How is university life in Japan like?

Going back to classes, it may be a surprise to some international students the way classes are taught in Japan. Class size tends to be smaller compared to classes in our home universities, and lessons are mostly lecture-style with less interaction between students and professor. Many international students find this less inspiring and boring, however, it doesn’t apply in all universities as it sometimes really depends on your university professors and also really up to your keen interest to be part of the discussion, as well.

How is university life in Japan like?

Another thing you would find interesting in your university life in Japan is the opportunity to get rid of uniforms. Many universities don’t require uniforms; however, they have policies in-place for dress codes. University days are also your time to feel at least fashionable, while trying to wing and win the struggles of a student life.

They say that university life in Japan is considered a long spring break, and while there is a little truth to it, at the end of the day it is still up to you how to make the most of it. Either you make it a very productive, fun-filled, memorable and life-changing one or otherwise is really up to you.

Harumie/ Philippines