Updated: January 25, 2017
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Things Go Like This If You Were A Typical Japanese College Student

Do you know what Japanese college students do through their college life? It might be very different from what you think. Let's see how the things go if you were a typical student in Japan.

Japanese colleges

First, let me give you general information about Japanese college.
There are about 800 colleges in Japan, and Tokyo has about 120. About 85% of Japanese college are private. About 50% of high school students enter the colleges.

Imagine you were the half who decide to go to a college.


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There are several ways to enter the colleges. Of course the entrance exam is the most common one. There are some students who retry the exam when they fail after a year waiting to enter a good college.
Another way is recommendation system entrance which selected students can apply exam-free entrance based on the level of the school they belong. In this case, the students have to write an essay and take an interview instead of the exam.
The third way is going to the attached schools of the colleges for a high school.

Anyways, you enter an average level private college. And all schools start in from April in Japan.


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It depends on the school and department, but most students can easily get credits to graduate once they enter the colleges. It's because most colleges don't want to lose the students since they are the biggest financial resource to the colleges, especially the private ones.

And most students are not really motivated to learn because they can get the credits even if they are not. So you don't have to study hard. What would you do instead?

Circle activities

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You are supposed to join a circle to enjoy the college life. In Japanese colleges, there are the groups called "circle". Circles are voluntary groups which anyone can make. So there are so many different circles from serious one to ridiculous one, like sports, game, comedy, dance, walking, or even drinking. And typical students belong to one or two of those.

There's a drinking custom called "nomikai" in Japan. You get many friends through the circle activity and nomikai. Might get a boy/girl friend. You maybe join a circle outside of your college. Anyhow you have fun with the circle activity.

Part time job

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More than 80% of the college students have a part time job in Japan. Some students have more than two jobs. Typical job is a waiter of a restaurant or cafe, and a convenience store staff. You can earn about $7-9 USD per hour depending on where you are and what you do.

You can also make some connections through the part time job. You probably have nomikai with the friends you make here too.

Job hunting

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When you become a senior, you stop hanging around and have to start job hunting because the job hunting period is decided by the government. It will be much harder to get a job if the students can't make it in the period.

There are many things to do to get a job. First, you dye your hair black if it's not, and you buy a black suit. And you have to write resume by hand, make your self-promotion states for the interview, and show your interest to the companies to get information through the job hunting websites. It generally takes 4-5 months to finish the job hunting although it really depends.

You can get some time to relax after you get the job. Many students go on a graduation trip with their friends during this time.


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It's time to graduate if you get a job and finish your thesis. If you are a girl, you probably wear kimono for the graduation ceremony. And suits for guys. What you basically do is taking pictures with your friends.

What do you think?

Is it similar to how it goes in your country? As I have said, this is just a typical example. Don't think all the college students have the same story. I hope this article helps the people who want to study in a Japanese college.

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