Your year abroad in Japan

Your year in Japan will be spent at one of our Japanese partner institutions, located across the breadth of the country, from Hokkaido in the snowy north to Okinawa in the tropical south.

A crowded street in Tokyo at night

This means there are over twenty possible destinations, including elite public and private universities, as well as prominent regional institutions. The department will determine the best location for you to spend your year abroad, based on your academic achievement and individual needs and preferences.

During your year in Japan, you will continue to take intensive Japanese language courses at an upper-intermediate level, with your specific classes determined after a placement test on arrival. You can also choose a range of other modules taught in English or Japanese, as well as immersing yourself in this fascinating country. Many students take advantage of their year in Japan to travel, learn new skills, join social clubs and make lifelong connections with Japanese people.

Partner institutions


Prior to departure, you will receive a series of briefings to help you prepare for your application to study abroad and your time in Japan. These start towards the end of your first year at Sheffield, and continue through your second. There is also an annually updated year abroad handbook that provides detailed information on all relevant issues, from how to get a visa, to what it is like to be a student in Japan. Dedicated staff members guide you through the application process and are available while you are in Japan for advice via email or telephone.

Financial support

Japan can be an expensive place to live and study, however there are a number of opportunities available to students to reduce these costs. The university covers your tuition fees in Japan through exchange agreements (you only pay a reduced amount to Sheffield while you are on the year abroad). If you are eligible for Student Finance, you may be able to claim for for some of your expenses such as travel costs.

Competitive scholarships are also available through the Japanese government, partner institutions and private organisations. These can be valued at up to about £800 a month and about one-third of our students receive these each year.

The School of East Asian Studies also providing £500 travel grants to the top 40 students each year, which is a substantial contribution towards the cost of your travel to Japan.

Find out more about financial support and the cost of your year abroad

Studying in Japan for a year helped me gain further language skills, widen my knowledge of Japanese culture and develop my communication skills and ability to smoothly work alongside people from many different backgrounds and cultures. At first living in Sapporo was challenging, but as I got to know the city I also grew to love it. I participated in local festivals and events, made Japanese and other foreign friends and overall enjoyed my time there. I had a part time job which gave me a chance to experience life in Japan outside of studying. There were also many chances to travel to different part of Japan and take part in so many events and go to festivals such as the snow festival.

Laura Rutherford

Linguistics and Japanese Studies BA

Image: student working; Text: Futures. Sheffield Made.

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