However, big national Japanese universities try to increase their international competitiveness and nowadays offer few courses in English. As an exception, some faculties even offer master, Ph.D. programs entirely in English. Nonetheless, from my personal experience. I can definitely recommend you to have at least a basic level of Japanese even for programs taught in English. You will have to deal with a lot of documents in Japanese during your study, and it is a very bureaucratic country. On top of that, the student office will regularly send you emails only in the Japanese language. Both national and private universities are recognized internationally for their quality and are therefore quite expensive. As a rule, private universities cost significantly more. An average tuition fee for an academic year would cost around 500,000 yen for undergraduate and graduate schools. Probably the most generous of them is Next Japanese government scholarship for international students.
It covers your tuition fee for the entire duration of the program, for example, 4 years of the bachelor or 2-3 years of graduate school. On top of that, you will receive a monthly scholarship of appr. 150,000 yen and your flight expenses to japan will be fully covered. As you might have expected by now, the application process for such a great scholarship is complicated and long. The application procedure starts in June each year and takes up to 8 months. Throughout the process, you will have to present your intended research plan, take an exam in both English and Japanese, and go through the interview at a Japanese embassy with 3 Japanese professors. Lastly, If you managed to successfully pass these stages, you would be required to contact a Japanese professor at a university you want to study and get his letter of acceptance. The final decision would be announced by the Embassy of Japan in your country at the end of August and you would fly to Japan at the beginning of April. As I mentioned before, Japanese universities differ from universities in other countries in a few important ways. One of them is the teaching method.
Traditionally classes in Japan rely on one-way, teacher-centered lectures. This means that the teacher gives the information to the students and doesn’t expect much interaction in return. Questions and discussions are extremely rare during lectures, especially if the program is taught in the Japanese language. Homework and readings are also minimal. This, however, may vary to some extent depending on the program and a professor. The grading system is also different in Japan. Most universities employ 4-scale grading system with the following grades: C, B, A, S. As a rule, your grade is based on such things as attendance, presentation or a final paper of around 3000 letters and in some cases participation in the class. Judging from my experience, teachers mainly grade students with A – very good, on a condition you finished all your assignments and attended most of the classes. Your grade will be lowered to B if you missed more than 2 lectures. S – is the highest score you can get and is rarely given.