One day, International students might hate Japan.
Hi everyone! I am Okazaki ( @okatom33_zak ) for MOLE and I am the admin of JapanLIFE webpage.
Recently, I have been thinking that there are so many foreigners In Tokyo.
I went to Kyoto last month, I was visiting some sightseeing spots like shrines: there were only a few Japanese people.
Although I was in Japan I felt like I was abroad!
Nowadays in Japan you can hear people speaking English every day and that is so helpful for those who are studying English like me.
2008, “Project for 300,000 international students”
In 2008 the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology developed a “300,000 International Students Project”; since the number of international students is increasing year by year it has been estimated that by 2020 international students will be 300,000.
Currently (2017) the number of international students in Japan is 267,000, it seems that the estimation for 2020 is correct, isn’t it?
Regarding which nationality has the majority among international students in Tokyo, I guess the 40% of students may be Chinese.
There are also many students from other Asian countries like Vietnam, Nepal, South Korea, Taiwan, etc.
Survey on enrolment status of international students – JASSO
Survey result on enrolment status of international students in 2017:
About “300,000 International Students Project”
Let’s see in detail this project.
WHY: Why a project for 300,000 international students?
The project aims to be a “Global strategy”, with Japan open toward other countries, able to expand from Asia to the rest of the world the flow of information about people, goods, money and so on.
In conclusion, I think there are two goals:
- Welcome excellent international students in order to improve the international competitiveness of Japanese educational institutions
- Welcome talented students in the Japanese job market
HOW: How to achieve “300,000 international students project”
(1) Invite more students in Japan – provide motivation to study in Japan developing a top service –
(2) Improvements about> entrance examination, enrolment (in university, etc.), immigration procedure – Facilitation for studying in Japan –
(3) Promote globalization process for universities and other institutions – Creating appealing educational institutions –
(4) Create a welcoming environment – providing a comfortable atmosphere for students –
(5) Promote the integration of students in the job market after graduation – Globalization of society –
Full support from the very beginning to the end (employment) of the job search-activities.
About “300,000 International Students Project”: Ministry of Education
http: //www.mext.go. jp / b_menu / houdou / 20/07 / 08080109.htm
Points in favour of “300,000 International Students Project”
As I am also a part-time lecturer for an educational organization, I have the opportunity to meet many different international students; some of those are excellent students and I feel that they could actively contribute, once they enter the job market.
In addition, there are many students who can speak Japanese, English and their native language: three languages in total! They are all young, likely to be active in the global development of Japanese companies. I personally have great expectations!
“300,000 International Students Project” issues:
Is there any problem that has come up from “300,000 international students project” and other issues for the future?
It is said by news and other media that there is a progressive decrease about the level of international students.
When “300,000 international students project” has been formulated, the procedure for studying in Japan became easier. For this reason, I think that the level has started to have a downturn because of the increasing number of students come to study or to establish themselves in Japan.
This happens because the quality of life in Japan is higher than other Asian countries.
For example, let’s consider the average monthly income in Vietnam which is about 30,000/50,000 JPY. A Vietnamese student can have a part-time job while attending Japanese lessons at school: the monthly salary would be about 100,000 JPY, so the student could spend only 30,000/40,000 JPY for remittances.
Like I mentioned before, when the “300,000 international students project” started, hurdles for students has been reduced. There are even some brokerage agencies who lend money to students for their studies abroad.
Frequent problems among international students
I have realized that there are some tricky matters which mostly affect students’ life in Japan, more than half of them tend to go back to their country after graduation. This is one of the reasons why I started JapanLIFE.
- It is hard to find Japanese friends
- It is hard to find a good part-time job
- House rents are expensive
It is hard to find Japanese friends
The first frequent problem for international students is the language barrier.
It is said that it is quite hard for Japanese people to open themselves up towards other people; even if a foreigner tries to make some efforts to speak Japanese, due to intonation or grammar mistakes, it seems that Japanese people don’t tend to make mutual efforts to communicate. I think this is so sad! Even though foreigners come to Japan with many expectations and sacrifying a lot, I feel sorry for giving up on them and let them return to their countries just because of communication problems.
It is difficult to find a good part-time job
The second problem is related to part-time job.
International students can work only 28 hours per week.
It seems that young people, especially foreigner students, are likely to work part-time in convenience stores or in restaurants in night time.
It is known that convenience stores can offer a good remuneration per hour but since many foreigners has struggled for coming to Japan, I think it would be great if they could enter internship programs connected to their studies, so they can improve their skills and build foundations for job market.
Currently educational institutions don’t offer any service related to the research of internships, etc.
Permission for activities outside the status of qualification (Article 19 of Immigration Control Act) | Immigration Bureau
http: //www.immi-moj.go. jp / tetuduki / zairyuu / shikakugai.html
Expensive house rents
This is the third widespread problem among international students.
House rents in Tokyo are among the highest ones in the world. I guess it’s hard for students to live here…
Moreover, notifications like “Foreigners OK/Foreigner-friendly” are often missing on the material used by most of the real estate agencies in Japan. Without those kind of notification is so hard to find a suitable place.
Actually, there are even apartments or share houses where for example guarantor is not required, two tenants are ok to share the same room, rent is cheap.
The fact that there isn’t a proper service for recommend students an appropriate solution is also an issue.
Tokyo is the 21st city in the world with the highest house rents.
After the “300,000 international students project” implementation, with all its pros and cons, we can definitely affirm that the number of international students is increasing.
I have started JapanLIFE because I wish Japan can become a country where is not difficult to make some friends, to find a good part-time job while studying or to find an affordable place to live in. A country that foreigners won’t start hating but on the contrary the country where they would like to build their lives.
JapanLIFE team aims to create a provision of services able to solve all kinds of problems for international students and all the other foreigners who plan to live in Japan. We are ready to respond your expectactions.
Many thanks for your attention.