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Studying in Japan, funding question

IndieDevM

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Hello,
I'm not 100% sure if this is the right place to ask, as the question I guess I more about funding options for studying in Japan rather than about actual places.

Basically I'm really interested in doing a 12 month Japanese language course in Japan, something like Arc Academy etc. However due to the costs involved of the course fees & living costs I believe maybe I'd need around £10,000 - £15,000 for the year. Which is simply money I just don't have.

I wondered if anyone had been in a similar situation but somehow still managed to make it work somehow by finding any loan or sponsor method anywhere?

The problem with a regular bank loan is I doubt they would process it as they would know you wouldn't be working for a year, so wouldn't be able to afford the repayments. And even if I got a part time job there, I doubt that it would cover the payments of a loan of that amount.

I can't apply for a student loan (far as I'm aware), as it's not a degree course.

Maybe it's just simply a dream that isn't going to be possible, but any advice would be great.
Thanks.
 

JustinIs18

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Hello,
I'm not 100% sure if this is the right place to ask, as the question I guess I more about funding options for studying in Japan rather than about actual places.

Basically I'm really interested in doing a 12 month Japanese language course in Japan, something like Arc Academy etc. However due to the costs involved of the course fees & living costs I believe maybe I'd need around £10,000 - £15,000 for the year. Which is simply money I just don't have.

I wondered if anyone had been in a similar situation but somehow still managed to make it work somehow by finding any loan or sponsor method anywhere?

The problem with a regular bank loan is I doubt they would process it as they would know you wouldn't be working for a year, so wouldn't be able to afford the repayments. And even if I got a part time job there, I doubt that it would cover the payments of a loan of that amount.

I can't apply for a student loan (far as I'm aware), as it's not a degree course.

Maybe it's just simply a dream that isn't going to be possible, but any advice would be great.
Thanks.
Don't spend money you don't have simple as that, I doubt people are going to donate out of the kindness of their heart to make your dreams come true, sorry if this offends you but I'm trying to be real. Just get your money right then go for it. Debt tends to creep up on people, be smart with your money and start budgeting to see where your current money is going every month and cut back and save more.
 

sukarro

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Hello,
I'm not 100% sure if this is the right place to ask, as the question I guess I more about funding options for studying in Japan rather than about actual places.

Basically I'm really interested in doing a 12 month Japanese language course in Japan, something like Arc Academy etc. However due to the costs involved of the course fees & living costs I believe maybe I'd need around £10,000 - £15,000 for the year. Which is simply money I just don't have.

I wondered if anyone had been in a similar situation but somehow still managed to make it work somehow by finding any loan or sponsor method anywhere?

The problem with a regular bank loan is I doubt they would process it as they would know you wouldn't be working for a year, so wouldn't be able to afford the repayments. And even if I got a part time job there, I doubt that it would cover the payments of a loan of that amount.

I can't apply for a student loan (far as I'm aware), as it's not a degree course.

Maybe it's just simply a dream that isn't going to be possible, but any advice would be great.
Thanks.
I'm 18 years old and from the UK. I'll be taking a gap year from this September in Osaka. We're in similar situations, but the simple truth is, you just need to get as much money as possible and get out there. I'm currently working a part-time job to pay for my entire stay, however even with that I'll only be able to do about 5-6 months at ARC Academy (or another one I'm looking at in Kyoto). If you don't have the money for 12 months, look to shorten your stay and work within your budget. Also, getting a job in Japan for foreigners with limited language abilities (which I'm only guessing from the fact you want to attend a language school) is almost impossible. Even with the fact that I'm half-Japanese, it's still not really viable for me to work in Japan part-time as I also don't speak to a high level. Don't go looking for loans or trying to get "easy" money. The hard truth is that if you really want to do this, then you've got to work for it and be realistic about what your situation is. A lot of people have dreams, but it sounds like from what you are saying, this dream is unachievable for you. Maybe look to stay for a month. I went to Japan by myself when I was 16 for a month and went to ARC Academy. It was the single most important and beneficial experiences of my life, hence why I'm going back for a year.

I'm being pretty blunt about it simply because I know how much work it takes to get out there (especially if you're younger and have limited money). I think if you'd created a post which had gone along the lines of "I've worked tirelessly for the last year in order to be able to live in Japan for 12 months and learn the language. I have been in contact with a few places where I can stay and have tried EVERYTHING in my power to make this dream a reality, however I'm still struggling for money, any ideas?" it would appear less like an unobtainable dream. If you really wanted it, you'd have been more proactive.

Keep everyone updated with your progress! I hope you can find a way!
 

IndieDevM

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Thanks guys for the replies, it seems quite clear the only real way is for me to just keep cracking on with working and saving for the trip. I'll do as suggested and perhaps look to maybe take the trip down to maybe 6 months to make the finances more manageable as well.

I'll be sure to work something out as it's something I'm fully fired up and determined to do! Will keep you updated on the progress. Thanks again all for the replies :)
 

hojoojoh

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IUC is a language school aimed at academic and professional training - they offer funding.

IUC
 

Mike Cash

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Do you have specific goal in mind or plans for how you intend to use the skills you gain following the year of study? Are you a beginner or have you already been studying on your own?
 

IndieDevM

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Do you have specific goal in mind or plans for how you intend to use the skills you gain following the year of study? Are you a beginner or have you already been studying on your own?

I did a short 6 week introductory course in Japanese years ago, and have in the last couple of months started studying on my own using Genki, online resources and a variety of apps. I was lucky enough to be able to stay in Japan for 3 months volunteering with help at an English language school not long ago as well, during that time some of the students helped me learn a bit more as well. However I still would class myself as fairly entry level, and I have only just started to try to learn kanji.

As for my goal after the year, ideally I would like to be at a level where I would be able to get a job in Japan and move there, that is certainly my long term plan. Though I know a year may not be enough, I would of course continue to study and practice after. After the year I would most likely need to return to the UK as sadly due to various circumstances after leaving school I went into full time work and did not end up going to university, as a result I do not have a degree required for a work visa, and being 30 now, I would not be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa by the time I finish a years language course.

Thinking ahead I am currently looking at options for me to take and study for a degree, either part time alongside my job, or possibly full time if I am able to. This would of course be a big strain both work wise and financially, and by the time I obtain a degree I'm likely to be mid 30s, but I feel it would be worth it as it is the only real way I stand a chance of getting a work visa and fulfilling my dream of moving to Japan. Of course it won't be an easy path, and I accept getting work in Japan may still be difficult as I am led to understand Japanese employers tend to favour younger employees, but I'll just have to work hard enough to make it happen and hope I get there in the end.
 

Kirirao

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I did a short 6 week introductory course in Japanese years ago, and have in the last couple of months started studying on my own using Genki, online resources and a variety of apps. I was lucky enough to be able to stay in Japan for 3 months volunteering with help at an English language school not long ago as well, during that time some of the students helped me learn a bit more as well. However I still would class myself as fairly entry level, and I have only just started to try to learn kanji.

As for my goal after the year, ideally I would like to be at a level where I would be able to get a job in Japan and move there, that is certainly my long term plan. Though I know a year may not be enough, I would of course continue to study and practice after. After the year I would most likely need to return to the UK as sadly due to various circumstances after leaving school I went into full time work and did not end up going to university, as a result I do not have a degree required for a work visa, and being 30 now, I would not be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa by the time I finish a years language course.

Thinking ahead I am currently looking at options for me to take and study for a degree, either part time alongside my job, or possibly full time if I am able to. This would of course be a big strain both work wise and financially, and by the time I obtain a degree I'm likely to be mid 30s, but I feel it would be worth it as it is the only real way I stand a chance of getting a work visa and fulfilling my dream of moving to Japan. Of course it won't be an easy path, and I accept getting work in Japan may still be difficult as I am led to understand Japanese employers tend to favour younger employees, but I'll just have to work hard enough to make it happen and hope I get there in the end.

You can get a work visa with 専門士 diploma (2 years) from any senmon gakkou that is in the list in MOJ site. So you will need a total of 3 years (the same as me) to go from zero to a work visa.

Here's how I did it, get enough money to support yourself for 3 months and pay the first semester of the language school, (since I think the student visa requires you to have enough money in bank) How you get this money is up to you. Then go to Japan, in 3 months get your Japanese speaking skill up to the conversational level (Which is not that hard), get a working permit which allow 28 hours work in school days, and 40 hours work in holiday (usually the school will help you apply). Work your arse off during the weekends, and summer/winter holiday, to pay for your living cost and language school.

After a year, take an entrance exams to any of those senmon gakko of your choice, then do the same thing all over again, at the end of your stint, use the school facilities to find yourself a job.

It's totally possible to self support yourself but with a crap load of hard work and elbow grease. The main hurdle is the first semester cash and a few month worth of living expenses, need to live like a hobo.

On the other hand you can try this company "sponsored" funding.
Such option did not exist when I was first went to Japan, but you can try it out and see if you can get 75% funding.

The main problem I see is you don't have much options on what job you can get, while self funding you can just take the most tiring part time work but pays the most for your hours.

For your worries about being old, maybe worry about it when you get there. I was 25 when I finished my studies, while all the other fresh grad was only 20 years old, and I'm the first one in the school to get a job offer ahead of all these youngin Japanese. Also you already have working experience, so you won't be applying as a fresh grad but as a middle level position, and that diploma will give you the access to the visa you need to even starting to apply for work.

Its going to be a huge upstream struggle, but its far from being impossible.
 
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Kirirao

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Also if you have 10 years worth of working experiences, that would be sufficient for you to get the work visa as well.
 

IndieDevM

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You can get a work visa with 専門士 diploma (2 years) from any senmon gakkou that is in the list in MOJ site. So you will need a total of 3 years (the same as me) to go from zero to a work visa.

Here's how I did it, get enough money to support yourself for 3 months and pay the first semester of the language school, (since I think the student visa requires you to have enough money in bank) How you get this money is up to you. Then go to Japan, in 3 months get your Japanese speaking skill up to the conversational level (Which is not that hard), get a working permit which allow 28 hours work in school days, and 40 hours work in holiday (usually the school will help you apply). Work your arse off during the weekends, and summer/winter holiday, to pay for your living cost and language school.

After a year, take an entrance exams to any of those senmon gakko of your choice, then do the same thing all over again, at the end of your stint, use the school facilities to find yourself a job.

It's totally possible to self support yourself but with a crap load of hard work and elbow grease. The main hurdle is the first semester cash and a few month worth of living expenses, need to live like a hobo.

On the other hand you can try this company "sponsored" funding.
Such option did not exist when I was first went to Japan, but you can try it out and see if you can get 75% funding.

The main problem I see is you don't have much options on what job you can get, while self funding you can just take the most tiring part time work but pays the most for your hours.

For your worries about being old, maybe worry about it when you get there. I was 25 when I finished my studies, while all the other fresh grad was only 20 years old, and I'm the first one in the school to get a job offer ahead of all these youngin Japanese. Also you already have working experience, so you won't be applying as a fresh grad but as a middle level position, and that diploma will give you the access to the visa you need to even starting to apply for work.

Its going to be a huge upstream struggle, but its far from being impossible.

Thank you so much for this information! It's great to hear that there are still some other options I can explore, I wasn't aware of that diploma route. I will look into that sponsored funding route as well, as if I qualify that would be a big help, and great way forwards too.

I know what you mean about the actual getting a job side of things, I imagine I would be limited on choice, but I'd be happy to do pretty much any job that sustained me over there.

It's great hearing how you've managed to do it, it's given me some much needed hope that with enough hard work I can make this happen after all.
 

IndieDevM

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Also if you have 10 years worth of working experiences, that would be sufficient for you to get the work visa as well.

Thank you, that's encouraging to hear it might still count for something after all. It's just that the requirements for a working visa don't specify that anything like that would be taken into account. Great if they do though!
 

Kirirao

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Thank you, that's encouraging to hear it might still count for something after all. It's just that the requirements for a working visa don't specify that anything like that would be taken into account. Great if they do though!
Well things tend to get lost in translation. And some "latest" info can be hard to find as the MOJ site is a pain in the back side to navigate.

技術ビザ(Engineer) 就労ビザ申請JAPAN
従事しようとする業務について、これに必要な技術若しくは知識に係る科目を専攻して 大学を卒業し若しくはこれと同等以上の教育を受け又は10年以上の実務経験(大学、高等専門学校、 高等学校、中等教育学校の後期課程又は専修学校の専門課程において当該技術又は知識に係る科目 を専攻した期間を含む。)により、当該技術若しくは知識を修得していること。
Degree *snip* -or- over 10 years of working experiences, which includes the number of years of related studies in University, Senmon Gakko, High school, middle school, etc etc *snip*
So if you are in a vocational school that teaches the thing you are currently doing right now, you can add those years into working experience as well. How magical is that.

Also we don't really actually know what kind of jobs you are looking for though since you never mention your line of work, so I've might pasted the wrong visa info.

Considering you have work experience, it actually far far easier to get a job in Japan now that you have tangible evidence of your skills unlike when I was a fresh grad and its all about enthusiasm and trying to convince the employer you are worth their time and money to train you and all that. I'm 34, and I just got back from Japan last week and landed a job without really trying. I mean I did put effort in the interview, but it wasn't a "do or die" type of thing.
 

IndieDevM

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Well things tend to get lost in translation. And some "latest" info can be hard to find as the MOJ site is a pain in the back side to navigate.

技術ビザ(Engineer) 就労ビザ申請JAPAN

Degree *snip* -or- over 10 years of working experiences, which includes the number of years of related studies in University, Senmon Gakko, High school, middle school, etc etc *snip*
So if you are in a vocational school that teaches the thing you are currently doing right now, you can add those years into working experience as well. How magical is that.

Also we don't really actually know what kind of jobs you are looking for though since you never mention your line of work, so I've might pasted the wrong visa info.

Considering you have work experience, it actually far far easier to get a job in Japan now that you have tangible evidence of your skills unlike when I was a fresh grad and its all about enthusiasm and trying to convince the employer you are worth their time and money to train you and all that. I'm 34, and I just got back from Japan last week and landed a job without really trying. I mean I did put effort in the interview, but it wasn't a "do or die" type of thing.

Thanks again, all this is really very useful stuff.

Most of my working life has been with 1 company (about 12 years), most of that was in retail / customer services fields, but then some in auditing and contracts admin roles for them. Then I did about a year elsewhere in an office as contracts admin. Then I left to do the 3 months volunteer teaching in Japan, since getting back in May I've actually been working self employed as a game developer.

Going to Japan, I'd I guess mainly be more likely to get a role in the retail / customer service field or an admin / office position. But I'd be open to actually taking what's available, even if it needed to be something like warehouse stuff just to work my way up again. Obviously continuing as a developer would be ideal, but securing a regular full time job over there would be the priority initially so I could support myself staying over there.
 

Kirirao

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Welp, I'm not really sure which visa category your job will fall into (International Services visa maybe, and 10 years exp still works, The Japan Specialist in Humanities Visa / International Services Visa | Japan Visa ), but game developing in Japan is a harsh harsh mistress, I know from experience. So you want to continue in that path, you better be ready for it. (also you might need a diploma since that experience isn't transferable to engineer visa)

Either way good luck, first stop is obviously getting your Japanese up to par with Japanese Language school, where to go next is up to you. If you get 75% sponsorship you will only need to cough up a mere 1700 GBP for your first round of fees excluding plane ticket, and the next semester fees will be quite straight forward as you saved what you earn from working there and just pay using that.
 

Mike Cash

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But I'd be open to actually taking what's available, even if it needed to be something like warehouse stuff just to work my way up again.

I've spent many years seeing a long string of foreigners eager to come to Japan saying stuff like that. I have yet to hear of one who actually got a visa to come and do what amounts to blue collar work.

And speaking as a foreigner who makes his living in the transportation/warehousing field, I would like to point out that your Japanese skills (including literacy) will need to be better than those of most foreigners who come here to do the sort of work that you can actually realistically expect to get a visa for. If you're going to fill a position in which your English skills or some other aspect of your foreign origin plays no role, then you're going to have to function in Japanese. And for unskilled or semi-skilled labor....the kind of work everybody says "I'd even do xxx if I could just live in Japan"...then you're either going to need a spouse visa or you need to be a returning person of Japanese ancestry.
 

IndieDevM

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I've spent many years seeing a long string of foreigners eager to come to Japan saying stuff like that. I have yet to hear of one who actually got a visa to come and do what amounts to blue collar work.

And speaking as a foreigner who makes his living in the transportation/warehousing field, I would like to point out that your Japanese skills (including literacy) will need to be better than those of most foreigners who come here to do the sort of work that you can actually realistically expect to get a visa for. If you're going to fill a position in which your English skills or some other aspect of your foreign origin plays no role, then you're going to have to function in Japanese. And for unskilled or semi-skilled labor....the kind of work everybody says "I'd even do xxx if I could just live in Japan"...then you're either going to need a spouse visa or you need to be a returning person of Japanese ancestry.

Just to clarify, so for unskilled or semi-skilled work are you effectively saying the chances of obtaining anything in that sector are zero, without a spouse visa or Japanese ancestry? As in immigration just wouldn't grant any standard work visa for those types of jobs at all, or it's a case of employers being extremely unlikely to hire a foreigner for those roles unless at virtually native level of Japanese and with a spouse visa or Japanese ancestry?

As it stands currently I'm now leaning a bit more to taking a degree as at least with a specialty in a field I'd stand more chance. Though I'd have to do it part time so being 35ish when I complete a degree course is my main concern there, as from what I've been researching most Japanese companies favor employing younger people anyway.
 

Mike Cash

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Just to clarify, so for unskilled or semi-skilled work are you effectively saying the chances of obtaining anything in that sector are zero, without a spouse visa or Japanese ancestry?

Yes.

This isn't a country you can just freely move to and/or get permission to work in. If it were, Japan would be so overrun with weeaboos that the Japanese would all have to go overseas to find a place to live.

If you or anyone else knows of specific examples of a foreigner being hired from overseas and sponsored for a visa to fill an unskilled or semi-skilled position I would like to hear about it. I've never heard of it happening.
 

WonkoTheSane

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If you can do a degree with a clear and reasonable path to high earnings, it would be a wise choice regardless of whether you end up moving in Japan.
 

Kirirao

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as from what I've been researching most Japanese companies favor employing younger people anyway.

If that were true all Japanese people will be homeless and jobless and unable to change job. You are filling your mind with weird information aka delusions of Japan being on a different planet. They are not and Japan job market is exactly similar from where you are right now. If you have a marketable job skill/experience, not matter how old you are, they will hire you if they need your skillset (which is your job to show them that they need you).

Stop c*ckblocking/sabotaging yourself with all these meaningless "excuse" of what a Japanese employer do and don't do. The path you should take is already in front of you, just choose one and do it.
 

sukarro

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If that were true all Japanese people will be homeless and jobless and unable to change job. You are filling your mind with weird information aka delusions of Japan being on a different planet. They are not and Japan job market is exactly similar from where you are right now. If you have a marketable job skill/experience, not matter how old you are, they will hire you if they need your skillset (which is your job to show them that they need you).

Stop c*ckblocking/sabotaging yourself with all these meaningless "excuse" of what a Japanese employer do and don't do. The path you should take is already in front of you, just choose one and do it.
I'll second this. If you are employable in one country, you will be employable in another country. Of course there will be things which make it slightly harder like the language barrier, however these things will not get in the way if you are the right person for the job. I do know, simply from talking to my mother, that there is less leniency when it comes to employing older workers, but I will make it very clear, there are many older foreigners who find work in Japan pain-free. As Kirirao said perfectly, you are only sabotaging yourself with these excuses before you have even tried. If you can't find a job, you may just not be good enough, but it doesn't mean you won't find one eventually. Don't let your own misguided thoughts stop you from going and doing something really beneficial to your life.
 
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