How to Study Nursing in Japan for International Students

Nursing is one of the most developed industries in Japan given that nurse registration began as early as the 1910s. Currently, it doesn’t only offer one of the best nursing services worldwide, but also top-notch education on the same. Are you looking for an ideal study destination abroad?

As an international student, Japan offers you the chance to explore all important aspects of becoming a reputable nurse both nationally and internationally. There are several institutions offering various nursing disciplines in the country. This article aims to discuss some of the main things you ought to know before applying to study nursing in Japan.

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What Degrees are there for Nursing in Japan?

Upon completing high school studies, there are three routes through which one can become a registered nurse in Japan. One of the options is a diploma course running for three years. You can also become a nurse by completing a 3-year college education and earn an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN).

Most institutions including the University of Tsukuba, however, offer Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). If you are looking to advance your studies, the likes of Chiba University have a number of graduate programs which mainly comprise of Master’s and PhD degree courses.

Cost of Studying Nursing

Of course, the main factor that will influence your decision when deciding which university in Japan to study nursing is the overall cost that you expect to incur. Tuition fees in Japanese universities are relatively affordable as compared to U.S and European institutions. Generally, the fees range between £3,000 and £4,000 per year for both undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition to this, you’ll need to pay an admission fee that could rise up to £2,000. Be sure to check the rates of your selected university since they all vary. If you are interested, you might want to check out Cheap Universities in Japan for International Students.

The cost of living is dependent on your location within the country. For private apartments, you’ll need roughly £500 per month, or £90 if you opt for university accommodation. It’s worth noting that unlike Western countries, flat sharing is not as common in Japan. As such, you should be prepared to shoulder all the monthly expenses if you live in a private apartment. Since transport channels in Japan are modernised, they are very costly and you might have to part with £430 per month (of course, this depends with your location and distance from school). There are ways you can study nursing in Japan for free through various ways. Check out How to Study in Japan for Free.

Fortunately, you can offset these expenses by looking for job within your locality. The Japanese government allows students to take on part-time jobs while studying. As an international student, however, you’ll be required to apply for a work permit as the visa doesn’t provide for such privileges. Once you’re up and running, you can only work for 28 hours per week, and this should not coincide with your class time.

Requirements to Study Nursing in Japan

To study nursing in Japan, one must complete their high school education and have a certificate to show the same. Alternatively, you can submit your can submit transcripts and prove that you’ll have completed your high school studies before the beginning of the next academic year. It’s worth noting that this is dependent on the institution you’ve selected.

As for graduate courses in nursing, some institutions like Chiba University demand that the applicant must complete 15 years of education (12 years in high school and 3 in a relevant undergrad course). This can be through the Japanese or an overseas system. Another important aspect is the language test. All students aspiring to study in any Japanese university should be ready to submit their IELTS, TOEFL, or TEPS scores.

A recommendation letter from your former teachers and professors should also be included. When assessing your application, the admission committee usually evaluate your financial ability. As such, you must attach bank statements proving that you can afford the cost of living, health insurance, and tuition fee during your stay in Japan.

In What Languages Do You Study Nursing in Japan?

In Japan, the two main instructional languages used are English and Japanese. The country’s education system has constantly integrated English into high school and university studies over the past few years. As such, English has become one of the main modes of communication in Japanese schools. However, Chiba University and other institutions still require applicants to prove their Japanese proficiency when applying for undergraduate programs.

It’s worth noting, though, that all institutions in Japan have Japanese and English-taught courses. Therefore, you’ll need to find one that suits your needs, but having a knowledge of both languages is still very crucial for communication purpose.

Best Nursing Schools in Japan

1. Chiba University School of Nursing

Chiba University is one of the most famous institutions in Japan, not only for its stature, but also how it has consistently offered quality education since the 20th century. It consists of nine faculties and can host over 15,000 students. Studying in this nursing school in Japan whether as a domestic or international student is quite a ride. For one, you’ll find both undergraduate and graduate programs of your preferred discipline within the field.

The institution aims to improve play a role in improving the health of the society by training nurses from various parts of the world. Master of Science, for instance, is designed to teach International students on basic and advanced research skills within the field of nursing. Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD), on the other hand, natures these research skills and guides students to developing new knowledge that’ll help advance nursing practice.

2. University of Tsukuba

Another top nursing school in Japan that’s worth applying to is the University of Tsukuba. It’s one of the state-based public institutions established in the 20th century. The institution hosts over 17,000 students in its 28 schools and colleges, among them being the College of Nursing. Whether you want to start your journey as a nurse or looking to advance your studies of nursing in Japan, Tsukuba College of Nursing has got you covered.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, for instance, runs for four years. During this period you’ll not only learn the basics of nursing, but you’ll also be introduced to other relevant aspects such as human rights. The objective of all nursing programs in this institution is to ensure that all students that go through the system come out compliant with the global standards.

3. Osaka City University

  • Nursing Program Link
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science, Master of Philosophy, Doctor of Philosophy

If you’ve not decided which university to join in Japan, then Osaka City University could be your best nursing school in Japan. The university’s School of Nursing was established to meet the ever-increasing demand for nurses across the globe. Its curriculum is geared towards solving societal problems related to the healthcare industry. Upon completing these studies, you’ll be eligible for a license exam offered in the country. The undergraduate program takes four years while the graduate courses run for three years. Don’t forget to go through the school admission website page to find out more about the requirements.


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