According to a survey conducted this January by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) on 7,000 private international students studying abroad at institutions like Japanese universities and Japanese language schools, 92% of international students answered that they were glad to have studied in Japan, with only 1.2% of the students replying that it was a bad experience.
Furthermore, 93.7% of students that have been in Japan for longer than 6 years said that they were happy, implying that the longer time spent in Japan, the better the experience of life in the country.
In comparison, the results of a survey of Japanese nationals studying abroad provided different results; 41.2% said they were glad to have studied aboard, but 12.4% of students had a negative experience.
The most prevalent reasons for students to be glad that they studied aboard was that they could learn about international ways of thinking and different culture (67.1%) and that they could improve their Japanese (65.3%).
On the other hand, regarding the difficulties studying abroad, 74% of the respondents replied that the cost of living was expensive, whilst 34.6% attributed their bad experience to differences in culture and custom from their home countries, in particular, daily life customs relating to lifestyle, religious beliefs and so on. Difficulty learning Japanese also came up in the results at 30.7%.
Based on the results of this survey, it seems that most international students who came to study in Japan are satisfied with their life abroad. Meanwhile, it also sheds light on the fact that, in reality, some foreign students struggle with the cost of living and cultural differences in Japan.
In accepting more foreign students from now on, these results suggest that there is a need to boost support systems for students having a hard time adapting to the life and culture in Japan.