Japan Looked At From The Perspective Of A Cherry Blossom Tree. One Of The Best Advantages Of Studying In Japan As An Expat Is Being Able To See Its Beauty All Year Round.

Studying in Japan as an expat

Being a newcomer has never been easy. Add being in a foreign land where you don’t understand the language and are not accustomed to the culture, and we have ourselves a real treat. Feeling under pressure to succeed and having the fear of failure nagging you constantly is really hard on its own. If you’re a student, and a young one at that, you know the feeling well. However, there’s a lot that can change the way you perceive the things that surround you. It’s certainly about the mindset you decide to have. What can help you achieve a positive mindset, though, is being prepared. By this, we mean being well acquainted with the circumstances you’re about to find yourself in. If you decide to embark upon this journey, here’s what you should know about studying in Japan as an expat.

Research what studying in Japan as an expat is like

Whenever we experience a change of scenery, the biggest struggle is the feeling that we don’t belong. This feeling, however, can be avoided by simply learning about the place you’re heading to. Try getting to know about the Japanese lifestyle before moving for studies and gain some confidence.

A girl sitting at a computer researching studying in Japan as an expat.

Research the perks of studying in Japan as an expat to get the most out of your experience.

You can approach this in a few different ways:

  • Online
    There is an abundance of different forums and pages online that can help you get a sense of what it would be like to study as an expat in Japan. There is a lot of people who were and are willing to help. If you’re somewhat of a skeptic but want to try this out, YouTube might be a good place for you. There are vlogs you could watch that’ll practically give you the feeling that you were there.
  • Read about the culture
    This might be a bit of a stretch just for the lack of practical use. Some brochures are bound to make the place they’re pitching a bit more sparkly and touched up than it is in reality. But you could merely brush up on some of this for some extra insight. 
  • A quick visit?
    If you have the time, it would be smart to consider going to Japan for a test drive. Nobody can help you get a sense of what your experience of studying in Japan as an expat would be better that you.

Pack smartly

Considering you’ve decided that studying in Japan as an expat is a path for you, the fun has just begun. You need to prepare. Firstly, there’s the biggest trip of your life that’s approaching. You’ll need to think about everything that you’ll need there and then pack it and ship it.

A suitcase packed for going to Japan to study as an expat.

Pack smartly when going to Japan to study as an expat.

A suitcase packed for going to Japan to study as an expat.

We know that paying someone to do this for you can seem a little over the top. You’re a student that doesn’t have a lot of money to waste. What you should consider, though, is that you’re also a student who doesn’t have a lot of time to waste either. Think about how frustrating organizing can be, especially if you’re under all this pressure of starting a new life and being an expat student in Japan.

The thing is, hiring someone to help you move doesn’t have to be that expensive at all. This is due to the fact that moving companies have separate offers as well. You don’t have to pay for the whole ordeal. Companies like Japan Relocation Services can help you with some aspects of moving that you just simply cannot get through alone.

What you should bring for your student life as an expat in Japan

Going the distance when it comes to packing for this trip is necessary. Prepare well in order to achieve the full potential of this experience. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to purchase some things that you might forget, don’t panic. It just means that the more you’re prepared and well-endowed, the less anxious you’ll feel.

One of the best advice we can give you here is to write your routine down. It’s ideal to be doing this for a month or so. Write down everything that you’re using, however unimportant it might feel at the moment. This way you’ll have a clear representation of what you need to pack.


Anyone that travels frequently knows how some bits and pieces can mean the world and mustn’t be forgotten. Besides your phone charger, favorite headphones and those jeans you just can’t live without, this includes anything that you might find necessary. Don’t let anyone dictate this but you. If you’re going to be studying in Japan as an expat you need to learn to listen to yourself, body and soul. You’re completely responsible for your health and well-being.

Safety first

Seeing that we’re mentioning how you need to be taking care of yourself when studying as an expat in Japan, this feels like an important step. Even though Japan is a state with a fairly low crime rate, you need to be thinking about ways to protect yourself and stay safe. Be it just for the sake of simply feeling safe. You could do this by joining a self-defense course. Besides that, there are some things you could do in advance. Research neighborhoods you should steer clear of and get a place that’s close to your subway stop for those late-night classes.

A first aid case representing that it's smart to learn a few tips and tricks for safety when studying in Japan as an expat.

Safety should be the number one priority when heading off to Japan to study as an expat.

Stop and smell the flowers

After some time of getting used to living and studying in Japan as an expat, you need to relax a bit as well. After all, Japan is one of the most magical and mesmerizing places in the world. Make this experience count. Treat yourself by going to that new ramen restaurant everyone is raving about or just simply go for a walk with your college friends.