Working While Studying In Japan
Want to work and study in Japan?
Conditions differ depending on your visa; please see below for options.
On a student visa, with "Permission to engage in activities other than that permitted", you can work up to 28 hours a week, and up to 8 hours a day during designated school breaks (mainly Spring and Summer breaks). Once you finish your studies, please note that your student visa expires and you must return to your home country or extend it to further your studies.
On a working holiday visa, you can work however long you wish, although your main aim should not be to work; you must have a clear plan to travel around Japan and work to cover your expenses.
On a tourist visa or visa exemption, please note that you cannot work or volunteer while you are in Japan. It is best to save up and enjoy your time here! You can also learn the language and culture and make many friends at a language school, which is a great alternative to just taking pictures and touring.
Great way to cover living expenses
By working while studying, it is a great way to cover your living expenses (food + transport), practice your Japanese and involve yourself while living in Japan.
The minimum that you can earn
Keeping in mind this is the bare minimum; (language teaching, modelling, plus jobs with higher requirements pay much more). The average minimum wage (depending on the region) is about 800 yen. Please don't directly compare this to your country's minimum wage; as the living costs differ too. The minimum wage in Tokyo (whether you are a foreign student or not) is 958 JPY/hour, as of October 2017.
People who know little to no Japanese can start off cleaning, working in convenience stores, or even do private tutoring teaching your native language (more and more people want to learn a new language, for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics).
Once you reach a higher level of language ability, your job opportunities will increase.
- Can use your degree to work in Japan and get a work visa.
- Can work in a Japanese company in your home country or all around the world.
- Can have the ability to work in an international company with relations in Japan.
- Can work in translation or international relations.
Of course, these are not your only options. You may meet the love of your life and get married (or not), find a business partner and start a business together, start your own business, or study towards higher education in Japan.
Basically no-one regrets making the decision to live in Japan. With the better food, cleaner air, technology, nice people, amazing service, it is all worth it overall.
Average Living Expenses
Of course, expenses differ depending on one's lifestyle. You can live cheaply in Japan if you wish. Just shop near closing hours, bulk buy at supermarkets, go to local markets, shop at recycle shops (Japanese people take care of their items well, so you can sometimes buy things near new for a tenth of the price). The conception that Japan is expensive simply isn't true (look up TokyoCheapo's website), if you choose to spend your money wisely.
Assuming you spend the average 500 JPY/day on transport and 1,500 JPY/day on food, you can easily cover your living expenses working part-time. Again, you can keep expenses even lower by walking/taking the bicycle to school (bicycles are everywhere Japan), and using the advice said earlier about buying food.
Accommodation and tuition is usually paid upfront every 6 months (3 months may be available), so savings are needed for this. Hence, the bank statement (showing your savings) is required to apply for a student visa (1,500,000 JPY for 1 year). The bank statement is much less for a working holiday visa due to no restrictions on the working hours.
Please see the fees summary if you wish to learn more on the cost of living.
Language School is the best starting point
The schools give you all the support you need, starting from helping to write your resume, filling out forms, practicing for the interview and looking for part-time jobs.
Most jobs require you to be residing in Japan at first, before you are even eligible to apply.
It is much easier to find a job once you are in Japan because of this, than looking for jobs online while overseas.
Also, most jobs are found through the 'hidden market' of networking; friends, locals, teachers will provide you with opportunities while you are living in Japan, opportunities that you will never find online or while at home.
You can even choose to hold private lessons teaching your native language.
Language schools themselves usually hire their own students to teach English, as most also provide English lessons for Japanese students.
Japan is currently facing a huge labour shortage (due to the aging population, meaning not enough able people to work). So, it is not a matter of if you will find a job, but when!
If you are yet to apply to a course, please send an enquiry so we can get you started on your new journey.