A Guideline About Internship Programs in Japan

Sep 16, 2020


Guidable Guide: Getting an Internship Program in Japan

This article on an internship program in Japan is one of our series of guideline articles on how to get a Job in Japan as a foreigner.

In Japan, internship programs are called インターンシップ or インターン for short.

Who Should NOT Take an Internship in Japan?

Pratical Trade Students

Students who study at university often work on something directly related to their field after graduating and are usually required to complete additional certification outside their bachelor’s degree. They do not need to consider taking an internship outside of their studies because they are prepared for their university programs.

Academic Research Students

Students who plan to pursue further education related to academic research or scientific studies will not usually intern at a company to gain work experience.

Through their current university studies, research students will acquire the skills needed for their potential academic employment. So they don’t have to enter a corporation as an internship to learn how to do academic research, get a research grant, and write for an academic journal.

Types of Internships in Japan

You can get an internship in pretty much any field because there are so many companies in Japan. 

Big corporation

Numerous big corporations are searching for 3rd or 4th students and Master and Ph.D. students to do an advanced summer internship or a part-time internship during the regular school year. Big corporations seek internships in financial management, law, mentoring, marketing, logistics, and several different business areas. The biggest drawback is that they’re quite selective and like to get interns from the best universities.

Start-up and smaller companies

It is easy to find internships at startups and in smaller companies. They are looking for interns in marketing, design, and coding. This appears to apply to languages other than English and Japanese, as well. Due to the recent tourism boom and expanding number of foreign residents (now stuck by the Virus), small companies are looking for interns to help them reach these foreigners.

Full-time internships in Japan

Volunteering internship

These internships are usually conducted through an agency and require one to three months of traveling to Japan on a tourist visa and interning at the office during the week and spending weekends exploring Japan. 

These interns usually pay a fixed fee to the agency. Then the agency organizes the internship with a company, finds housing for the applicants, arranges health insurance and a SIM card, shows them around Tokyo by putting tours to places like Mt. Fuji and cultural activities and experiences like making sushi. The agency also provides assistance and answers to questions while the applicant is in Japan.

Break Internships (Summer, Spring)

A semester break internship is as much as a full-time internship, but the key difference is that most of them are international students in Japan. These kinds of intern offers usually occur in the summer, but may also occur during the March to April break. Big international companies offer most of these internships. They also have strict requirements and usually available only for students studying in a profession that suits the company.

Part-time Internship in Japan

The majority of part-time internships are for international students who study abroad for a year at a Japanese university or study in Japan for a 4-year program. However, several internships are available for English teachers and working holiday visa holders at start-ups and smaller companies. The majority of part-time internships are for international students who study abroad for a year at a Japanese university or study in Japan for a 4-year program. However, several internships are available for English teachers and working holiday visa holders at start-ups and smaller companies.

Part-time internships can start at any time of year and require less time commitment per week than other internships in Japan. The company that offers you the intern program will require you to be there for around three months to one year.

Usually, the company’s time commitment is not worth if an intern wants to volunteer or work
for only three months or less unless they prefer to come in full time after the program.
You have both paid and paid internships, just like full-time internships.

Job Boards for Internships

Getting an Internship Program in Japan

Many foreigners make the wrong decision when selecting an internship program in Japan because of lacking information or researching methods. A lot of internship applicants end up not having as much from the experience as they should have. Thus, Guidable team do hope that you found this article as a helpful piece of information! After all, all of our activities are aiming for a better life for foreigners in Japan! So, stay tuned and follow us!

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