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Undergraduate Studies in Japan

#1
Hi everyone! 
I have just graduated from High School, and I am intending to pursue my undergraduate studies in Japan.

There are several things I would like to ask.

1. Can anyone share their experience on university in Japan? I heard things like it was a joke and whatnot; is that really the case? I also heard Japan has high cost of living, but tuition fee doesn't seem abnormally expensive. Is it because of the rent cost? Do dormitories cost that much as well?  

2. How difficult is it for a foreigner to get a science research-related job in Japan? Is it a must to go to a top university to just have a fighting chance?

3. If anyone here has taken EJU, how difficult is the Japanese component? I do not have any formal Japanese education, and my Japanese level at the moment is here and there (can understand 70% of a talk show, only remember how to write 10 kanjis or so). Is it possible to get a good enough score in just 3 months?

4. Does anyone know about the GSEP programme by Tokyo Tech? If you do, can you share your opinion of it?



Thank you very much in advance for helping me out!   Blush
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#2
In terms of cost of living, you might want to post about where you are from, as cost of living (compared to what you are used to) will be different depending on your background.

To a certain extent the same can be said about tuition, coming from the US it seems like a fraction of the tuition I am used to seeing.
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#3
I am used to the Singapore currency, I guess. Singapore is the 4th most expensive city, and Tokyo is the 5th, though I'm not sure how much does this statistics reflect the cost of living for students.
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#4
I don't have any first hand experience yet, this is just from the research I've been doing (planning on getting my Masters or PhD there; still have two years left on my BS).

If you study in Tokyo, housing will be much more expensive than if you go to one of the other cities, so consider that when deciding which schools you'll be trying for.

Chances are, you'll be able to live in the dorms for a year, maybe two, assuming they're open, but you'll probably need to get an apartment; this is where most of the upfront cost will be, especially if you have scholarships to take care of tuition. I'd suggest looking up apartment hunting guides if no one here has any tips.
I hear that you can get rooms super cheap if someone died in or near it (morbid, I know). Also consider whether you'd be able to cycle to class or if you'd need to take the train, since apartments near the station will command a higher price.

As an American, tuition at just about any Japanese university seems like peanuts (and my current college is considered cheap), but if your country puts a lot of public money into higher education, then it will likely seem expensive to you.
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#5
1. Can anyone share their experience on university in Japan? I heard things like it was a joke and whatnot; is that really the case? I also heard Japan has high cost of living, but tuition fee doesn't seem abnormally expensive. Is it because of the rent cost? Do dormitories cost that much as well?  

This is going to depend somewhat on where you come from, but generally speaking I wouldn't got to a Japanese university for an education. 


2. How difficult is it for a foreigner to get a science research-related job in Japan? Is it a must to go to a top university to just have a fighting chance?

It can be pretty hard. A better question is, do you want to have  science research-related job in Japan? I guess it will depend somewhat on the field and your luck, but I have friends working in science/tech and the story is pretty consistent. Low pay. Long hours. Little chance for advancement.
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#6
(2016-08-22, 9:28 pm)Danchan Wrote: It can be pretty hard. A better question is, do you want to have  science research-related job in Japan? I guess it will depend somewhat on the field and your luck, but I have friends working in science/tech and the story is pretty consistent. Low pay. Long hours. Little chance for advancement.
I'm not sure this is true everywhere. This is only one data point but I know a person who was working in a national science laboratory in Japan who seemed very happy there. Much happier than in the US actually. They also had a lot of foreign researchers which would suggest that it was worth it to move their families to Japan to work there, and that being a foreigner was not a major impediment to working there as a scientist.
Edited: 2016-08-22, 9:49 pm
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