Prospective Students
Prospective Students

Before Leaving Your Country

Preparations before Leaving (Students)

In order to study in Japan, you will need to obtain the following items before leaving your home country:
  • Passport
  • Airline ticket
  • Money (equivalent of approximately US$1,500)
  • Visa
  • Approximately 10 ID photos (4.5 cm H x 3.5 cm W)
  • Life Insurance against Traffic Accidents (optional)


Passport applications generally take a long time to be processed, so be sure to apply as early as possible.

Airline Ticket

Reserve an airline ticket well in advance of your departure. Before selecting a travel date, carefully check the procedures that must be completed to study at the University of Tokyo.
Japanese Government Scholarship Students who have received an embassy recommendation should check with the nearest Japanese diplomatic office in their country, while those who have received a university recommendation should check with the relevant Faculty or Graduate School at the University of Tokyo.


You will need to have cash on hand when you arrive in Japan in order to cover various initial expenses, such as travel from the airport to the university or your housing. This includes students with a Japanese Government Scholarship or other scholarship, since the first scholarship payment is usually not paid until four to six weeks after arrival. Accordingly, all international students are recommended to bring the equivalent of about US$1,500 in cash to cover initial costs.
Those planning to move into a private apartment or similar housing will also need to have funds available to cover the deposit, key money (reikin), rent, and other housing costs.


In order to apply for a visa, international students other than Japanese Government Scholarship Students need to acquire a Certificate of Eligibility. The method of acquisition and visa application procedures vary at each Faculty and Graduate School, so you should contact the relevant Faculty or Graduate School for details. Japanese Government Scholarship Students should contact the nearest Japanese diplomatic office in their country for information on visa application procedures. One of the requirements for receiving a Japanese Government Scholarship is to have a visa issued with the status of residence "college student."

ID Photos

You will need to submit photos of yourself when carrying out certain procedures, such as alien registration and university enrollment.

Life Insurance against Traffic Accidents (optional)

It is advisable to have life insurance against traffic accidents or traveler's insurance in case something happens to you or your baggage on the way to Japan.

Other Preparations

1. Contact the Faculty or Graduate School where you will study as well as your supervisor.

Be sure to check the scope and plan of your studies, housing arrangements, necessary preparations and other details. If possible, get in touch with people from your country who have studied in Japan, and ask for their advice on studying and living in Japan.

2. Study Japanese as much as possible.

Build up your conversational and listening comprehension skills, and memorize terms and expressions commonly used in your field of study.

Guide to Japanese Visas

Preparations before Leaving (Researchers)