Low PhD Stipends in Japan Pose a Challenge for International Students

Many international students face financial challenges while studying for a PhD in Japan. This is surprising because Japan has many universities that rank high in global rankings.

First, let’s look at the fees for studying a PhD in Japan. For national universities managed by the Ministry, the fee is about ¥820,000 every year. For local public universities, it’s about ¥930,000. In private universities, the yearly fees can reange from ¥800,000 to ¥1,000,000. These are just the fees for the course, not including daily living expenses.

There are other costs students need to think about. All international PhD students must join the National Health Insurance system. There are also other insurances like university student health insurance, personal accident insurance, and personal liability insurance that they might need.

The government of Japan thinks an international student will spend about ¥93,000 every month on living. However, many students find that this amount is not enough, especially in more expensive areas.

Many students say that the MEXT scholarship of approximately 146,000 yen per month isn’t enough for them to live in Japan. Even after trying to cut down on expenses, they still struggle.

Another point is about working part-time. While students can work to earn more money, this might take away time from their studies. This suggests there might be a problem with how the system is set up.

Moreover, living in Tokyo can be very costly. Some students said that living in Tokyo without staying in a student dorm is expensive. Dormitories run by private universities can also be costly. Living farther from the city center can be cheaper, but then long commutes can become an issue.

Other students express disappointment because of the low scholarship amount. They complain about the many costs they have to think about, such as rent, transportation, food, fixing a broken computer, medical costs, and even buying expensive textbooks.

In summary, while Japan is a good place to study, many international students find it hard to manage their finances. The cost of living and studying can be high. If the Japanese government were to address this issue, it would help international students have a better experience in Japan.

Leave a Comment