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Applying Independently to a Junior College?

tsukioodori

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Hey folks, just have a few questions. I was planning on after I become much better with Japanese living in Japan for a few months, try to find a minimum wage job and see if I like it there. However, after doing some research I realized Japan doesn't allow that. So basically my only way to stay there for an extended amount of time is schooling. I realize a lot of US colleges have study abroad programs but after researching them and their price it's not something I'm interested in. I have a few questions about Junior Colleges.

I have attended a community college, twice actually, however if I go back and finish the few classes I dropped out of I will have a 4.0 gpa. Amounting to a little under a year of schooling. Mainly I dropped out because I was disappointed with the education and I had already taught myself all of the curriculum I was taking. Also this isn't something I'm doing tomorrow, I'm just trying to get some information for what I want to do with my life.

So, after learning Japanese. Can I apply to a junior college in Japan? Can I get a student visa this way, despite not going through a US school? I found very little info on the web about junior colleges. Are they similar to US community colleges, as in, pretty much anyone can enroll as long as they have the money? Also I'm 23 do they accept people who aren't fresh out of high school? I'd greatly appreciate and information/advice.
 

Glenski

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I was planning on after I become much better with Japanese living in Japan for a few months, try to find a minimum wage job and see if I like it there. However, after doing some research I realized Japan doesn't allow that.
Right. You need to have a visa, and if you don't have a college degree yet, the visa you need will have to be a student visa or dependent visa or spouse visa. Sounds like student visa is your only option.

I will have a 4.0 gpa
Meaningless number in Japan, just so you know.

So, after learning Japanese. Can I apply to a junior college in Japan?
"Learning Japanese" is not something that can be done overnight. How much do you know already? Did you pass any of the JLPT exams?

Getting accepted to a school is probably straightforward, the only big requirement being the ability to show you can pay all of the tuition (in order to get the student visa). Other than that, language barrier will be the biggest hindrance. You don't have to attend a junior college if all you want is a student visa. Enroll in a language school instead. Same rules about tuition apply, but there won't be a language barrier.

Just so you know, even a minimum wage job like waiter/waitress or convenience store clerk will require a fairly good command of the language, including being able to read various documents and write some of them. It's not just being able to say thank you and good morning to customers.
 

tsukioodori

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Thanks for the response, I know very little at this point. I've been doing Japan Societies lessons on Youtube everyday; but I'm going to order and complete both GENKI books as I heard they are they best. I'm confident in my ability to learn the language, I have an aptitude for self study. I taught myself how to program in various programming languages/web development. I intend to be able to speak & read/write well before I go, but I know there's somethings you just have to learn by experiencing. My plan is to find someone on the web to Skype with who wants to learn English or something.

I didn't realize I could get a visa just for a language school, but I'm going to run into problems renewing my visa if I do that I think? ~edit~ I've been doing some research on the topic, my biggest concern is will I be able to transition from a student visa to a work field that will allow me to have a working visa until I can apply for citizenship?
 

Mike Cash

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If that is your goal, junior college isn't going to cut it. You're looking at a bachelors degree to satisfy Immigration requirements in most cases. Either that or a Japanese spouse.

Have you ever visited Japan before?
 

tsukioodori

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I haven't visited Japan. I plan to within a year and make a decision weather or not I want to pursue living there. I know it sounds odd that I would be planning so far ahead without having visited Japan. It was also my end goal when I was in high school, I became fascinated with Japan after I began watching anime (please don't think I've deluded myself into thinking Japan is like an anime or something, haha :) ) . I made poor choices like not finishing college, etc. But I've reached a point in my life, had dose of clarity like slamming into a brick wall in my drab, dull life that made me go "I don't want to live here anymore, my dream was to move to Japan/study. I'm going to achieve my dream and at least get that out of life, I don't care how hard its going to be. I'm pretty much like a zombie these days, just here to be here and I refuse to ignore that clarity till I'm 30 and half my youths gone. Hard to explain, I just know its what I should do, what I need to do, I've never been so certain of anything in my life. Sounds crazy but it is what it is.

Anyway, that seriously puts me in a bad spot with my only way of attaining citizenship by a bachelors degree or marriage. It's not that I'm against studying for four years I just don't know how I could pay for cost of living + four years of tuition only being limited to working part time. Scholarships are an option but I don't know if I'll be able to receive one having previously had one for a community college and dropping out. Loans seem to be my only option, I'll do some research on them, but are they easily obtainable for a student working part time?
 

Mike Cash

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If you're taking about student loans to attend university here, that is highly doubtful. I believe you also have to show proof of having enough to tuition and living expenses as a condition of a student visa. Others can tell you more about that.

Go to university in the US; Japan will still be here when you get done.

Quite frankly, it is common for us to get threads like this from people who say they'll work hard, will do whatever it takes, won't let anything stop them, etc, from their childhood dream of living in Japan forever-n-ever-n-ever. The first mention of anything that will require actual time or effort on their part universally bursts their balloons and I think we have yet to hear from anybody who actually followed through.

Life can be dull and mundane here just like it is where you are, by the way.
 

tsukioodori

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Yeah I didn't expect a warm response from that haha but I figured I'd type out what was on my mind anyway. If it would be interesting to people I could keep this thread updated with my progress over the next 2 years + from now till I enter Japan and start studying.

I'm assuming that along the way of getting an aa you can take certain courses to acquire certification in some fields. I'd be studying for computer science or a similar degree with the idea of working in networking. Would it really be that hard to find a job in such a field with a associates degree? I'm pretty sure a networking position would meet the requirements of a working visa(skilled labor), could you comment on that if you have any idea? I don't know job availability in Japan but nearly every single business has a network now, so I don't think there would be severe competition in acquiring a job in that field. Anyway, I'm kind rambling about my thoughts. Thanks for your replies

~edit~ I intend to have enough for 1 years tuition and cost of living before I pursue this. Which is going to take me about a year to save up.
 

Mike Cash

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What sort of education an employer requires is entirely independent of what Immigration requires. Immigration is the ogre at the door and you either satisfy their requirements or you're not getting in. Doesn't matter if your employer just has you cutting out paper dolls all day and what you learned in crafts time in kindergarten is all you need as far as they're concerned.

You need to realize that this is not a country built on immigration and that it is quite a restrictive country in terms of giving out working visas. Your presence here has to fulfill a need for a Japanese company, one which it can't fulfill from local talent. People are let in if it benefits Japan or a Japanese enterprise (or to maintain family unity in the case of spouses/dependent).....NOT because people just decide to pick up and come here because they want to, think it would be exciting, or are fans of Japanese comic books and cartoons. You don't ask for and receive a working visa and then show up here looking for a job. You find a job then your prospective employer is involved in the process of getting you permission to come here to work.

If all the unqualified cartoon fans who wanted to come live out their fantasy of living in a country they know nothing about were freely allowed to come here, the Japanese would all have to emigrate to make room for them.

Yes, we'd be very interested in updates from you. But promising updates and never making any is another common element in this sort of topic, so don't feel guilty if you don't actually do it.

And talk of citizenship is extraordinarily premature.
 

tsukioodori

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I don't think I've stated or gave the impression that I want to hop on my magic carpet and fly on over to Japan, plant my money tree and be a useless fool. Do you really find it that offense that my I occasionally enjoy anime these days and my interest in Japan was originally sparked by it when I was 15-16 years old? I'm just trying to gain knowledge about visas and Japanese citizenship. If I have the idea that I want to live in Japan why would I not find out about citizen requirements? Yes its premature, but I wouldn't open a course book close my eyes and point to pick my classes either. Yeah I could get to Japan and be like "NOPE", it's possible. Yes I'm planning like I will live there someday and I feel that I will. I'm going to have my plan and be damn sure that I know what I'm in for if I solidify my desire to study in Japan after visiting.

I'm talking about visiting Japan - returning for school (student visa) - working part time - internship - work (work visa). What part of that makes me sound like a free loading leecher to your country?

Also in my original post when I was talking about minimum wage work I figured the best way to figure out if I wanted to live & study there would be to spend several months living and working. I always intended to go to college, but I'm not going to plan to study in Japan if I don't have a desire to live there. I hope that makes sense.

I'll do some updates on the progress of my Japanese, I probably won't have the books for a week or two; but I'll be continuing with my JapanSociety Japanese lessons.
 

Mike Cash

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Where in anything I said did you get the idea I'm offended or think you intend freeloading?
 

tsukioodori

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"If all the unqualified cartoon fans who wanted to come live out their fantasy of living in a country they know nothing about were freely allowed to come here," . Sorry that I took it wrong, getting a bit tired and I guess I interpreted what you said wrong. Didn't mean to come off so rude myself.

As I go I'll post when I plan to take my trip, where I'm at money wise, what schools I'm looking at. Would help me to hear feedback also.

Basically, if an employer picks me up for a job that requires a degree I should be able to get a working visa? Does time spent in Japan affect decisions on this at all, I mean I will have been and studied there two years at that point.

Also you've been really helpful, I've learned quite a bit today. Thanks for that.
 

Mike Cash

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I was largely speaking in generalities, trying to outline the situation, not necessarily speaking specifically of you.

My advice would be to go to school in the US, learn job skills that are marketable here or there, and work on learning Japanese while you're at it. As I said earlier, Japan isn't going anywhere. It will still be here when you're ready to come.

I don't seem to be able to make you understand that a two-year degree is NOT going to make you eligible for a visa. It doesn't matter even if you do find an employer who thinks that's plenty.
 

Glenski

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Thanks for the response, I know very little at this point. I've been doing Japan Societies lessons on Youtube everyday; but I'm going to order and complete both GENKI books as I heard they are they best. I'm confident in my ability to learn the language, I have an aptitude for self study. I taught myself how to program in various programming languages/web development. I intend to be able to speak & read/write well before I go
Learning a skill like programming is not comparable to learning a foreign language, though. Good luck to you in any regard.

I didn't realize I could get a visa just for a language school, but I'm going to run into problems renewing my visa if I do that I think? ~edit~ I've been doing some research on the topic, my biggest concern is will I be able to transition from a student visa to a work field that will allow me to have a working visa until I can apply for citizenship?
Changing from one visa type to another is pretty straightforward. If you meet the requirements of the subsequent visa, the previous one doesn't matter.

For a work visa, you almost always have to have a bachelor's degree. Employers are also crazy about licenses and certificates, but immigration holds all the cards and it says a BA or BS degree minimum. Only extremely rare cases that I know of have achieved that otherwise, and it was through the totally legitimate route of having years and years of related work experience. For programmers, by the way, that would be 10.

Basically, if an employer picks me up for a job that requires a degree I should be able to get a working visa?
What do you mean by "picks me up"? No matter how interested a company is in hiring you, they still have to abide by immigration regs. No BA/BS degree or 10 years of related experience means no visa. Don't even THINK of working illegally, just in case the company says it's ok.

I'm pretty sure a networking position would meet the requirements of a working visa(skilled labor), could you comment on that if you have any idea? I don't know job availability in Japan but nearly every single business has a network now, so I don't think there would be severe competition in acquiring a job in that field.
I'm not sure what you mean by "networking position". Yes, every business here has a computer with internet, but... please explain better. Besides, if you want to compete for the job itself, you're going to need a lot of Japanese language skill. Working for a company that has foreign owners AND that tries to operate with English as the office language is a possibility, but they are not that numerous. It might actually be better to try landing a job with the parent company in your home country first, then you could transfer here on an intracompany transfer visa, but ONLY IF they think you are qualified, and I don't see that a freshly hired body meets that requirement.

Citizenship? What the heck are you even remotely thinking about changing your citizenship for? You haven't even been here for a visit.

I haven't visited Japan. I plan to within a year and make a decision weather or not I want to pursue living there. I know it sounds odd that I would be planning so far ahead without having visited Japan. It was also my end goal when I was in high school, I became fascinated with Japan after I began watching anime (please don't think I've deluded myself into thinking Japan is like an anime or something
Ok, I won't berate you for thinking that, but just liking anime is a pretty weak reason for wanting to uproot and move to a foreign land, presumably for good. What else do you have for a reason? (By the way, like Mike wrote, we get posters with that sort of sudden urge to relocate often on this forum, so some of us are a little sensitive to the topic and want to help but sometimes get ruffled when no reasonable excuse is offered. Bear in mind that we're only trying to give you a sensible outlook on what to expect here.)
But I've reached a point in my life, had dose of clarity like slamming into a brick wall in my drab, dull life that made me go "I don't want to live here anymore, my dream was to move to Japan/study. I'm going to achieve my dream and at least get that out of life, I don't care how hard its going to be.
So, you're bored to tears where you are now. That's a common reason people give for wanting to move abroad and stay forever and ever. It's still considered a weak reason, especially in a situation like yours. Nice to have long-term goals, but are they reasonable ones?

If your dream is only to come here and study, why do you add the part about LIVING here?
If you want experience here, look into WWOOF opportunities to volunteer.
 

tsukioodori

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My plan is to go back to my local community college next semester and get a 2 year degree, I would like to be able to finish my bachelors while studying/living in Japan if after visiting, I continue with that goal. I'm so happy you linked me to WWOOF, it really fits in with my original plan perfectly and it sounds like it could be an amazing experience. Do either of you know of any universities in Japan other than Temple that would accept credits from a community college? To fit in with the idea of spending my last 2 years of my bachelor studying in Japan? I didn't come up with anything from google, I haven't looked through these forums yet though. I'm going to continue to self study Japanese, starting on Hiragana tonight, won't have the GENKI books for awhile though. Seriously, you guys have been so immensely helpful with the information and I appreciate the advice too. I didn't mean to come off as extremely overzealous; also I didn't mean to mention citizenship I was just associating it with living for some reason. Anyway, I'll be hanging out here while I study, I think I'll enjoy the community :).
 

Mike Cash

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You can live here for decades without citizenship. Most long-term people choose to go for Permanent Resident status rather than seeking citizenship. At the very least, it is typically a step taken prior to deciding to go for citizenship. The only real difference between the two is essentially that citizens can vote while PR can't.

Have you looked into the MEXT scholarship?

I doubt you'll have much luck transferring credits. Find out for sure and get all your ducks in a row so you don't find out two years down the line that you've either locked yourself into two further years in a US school or starting from scratch at a Japanese one.
 

WonkoTheSane

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I strongly suggest you do your full bachelors in the US.

For the most part the jobs you will be able to get here, based on how much experience you'll have and the level of Japanese you'll likely attain between now and then, will be available with any bachelors degree from any reputable school. In the US that will probably not be the case.

Set yourself up for success!
 

tsukioodori

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The MEXT scholarship seems like my most promising option but here's my concern with it. I'll be 23 or nearing 24 when I would be attending, I've started a semester multiple times at a community college and dropped out. I wonder if passing the JLPT and participating in WWOOF would look good on the application? I mean I can study and get great grades on any kind of ACT or similar tests that would benefit me but is there even a university that will accept me as is.

(3) The following policy will apply to each screening:
[1]Application documents: Must show that the applicant obtained academic achievement higher than a certain level at the university he/she last graduated from, and state the applicant’s desired research program in a detailed and concrete manner.

As far as I understand me dropping out disqualifies me?
 

Mike Cash

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Are you looking at the Masters degree requirements?
 

tsukioodori

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Ah yeah I was, but I can't receive the undergraduate scholarship. Applicant must have been born between April 2, 1992 and April 1, 1997. I was born in 91

So that's a big disappointment but have to deal with the decisions you make in life.
 

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Why would you want to finish a degree in Japan? The number of universities that would consider you are extremely limited due to language barrier alone. Temple, APU, Miyazaki International U are the only ones I know that teach enough in English to make your chances better than anywhere, but I have no idea whether they accept jr college credits, and I don't know your major.

Still waiting to hear why you figure you want to live here. Being bored with your current situation and liking anime don't say why you picked Japan over India, Australia, Germany, Argentina, or anywhere else. You're sounding more and more like someone who just figures anime is enough reason to live here, and frankly speaking, that's a very poor reason especially since you haven't a clue what it's like here. Same old, same old conversation.
 

Mike Cash

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Adding to what Glenski said:

You should be aware that VERY FEW foreigners stay here longer than about three years at the most, with the bulk leaving after one or two years. That's why I strongly suggest acquiring education and job skills that will be marketable both here and back home.

Japan is a wonderful place if you come here and it turns out you're a match. It is a miserable place if you come here and it turns out you're not a match. Leave yourself options for an "out". It is exponentially miserable if you don't fit and find yourself feeling "trapped" here.
 
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