Any advice on a gap year in Japan? Watch

Matchoo95
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I am currently a second year Software Engineering student and have got an almost fluent level of Japanese. Our University is promoting a work placement in our 3rd year and I would love to be able to do it in Japan and combine two major parts of my life. Now, I have never done this before nor do I know anyone who has done this before. Therefore I have a lot of questions If you guys can share your insights and advice I would be really grateful!

Info:
- Plan to go for 6 months to a year
- Was also thinking about volunteering if I can't find anything
- Job hunting for a 1 year placement has proved impossible so far, even on Japanese sites
- Never been to Japan before and have few contacts there

1. If I wish to work part time, but in the IT sector, do I need a work visa, holiday visa, or a student visa?
2. If I do volunteering, say at a hostel, and work part time as well do I need two visas?
3. Do visas cost anything?
4. Do I need to get a special type of driver's license or will a UK driver's licence be fine?
5. How does health insurance and medical care work?
6. Any really good sites for this kind of stuff? (have yet to find anything helpful xD)
7. And finally, what are your guys' opinions on a gap year doing part time work while also improving my programming skills etc, in my spare time, if I can't find a placement. Does this seem like a good idea or not?
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alleycat393
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A lot of this can be found online but your international office should also be able to help. If this is offered as part of your degree there will be someone who helps with this as well and who may already have all this info.
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jthiepler
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(Original post by alleycat393)
A lot of this can be found online but your international office should also be able to help. If this is offered as part of your degree there will be someone who helps with this as well and who may already have all this info.
alleycat is absolutely right! But since I have a lot to share about this topic, I'll still try to answer your questions. (Just my personal knowledge, I might not be right in every single detail!)

I'll be going to Japan in January and stay there until July as a student, learning Japanese at a language school in Toyko. Therefore I already went through all of this!

1. Basically, a work & holiday visa and a student visa are sufficient to work there part time, work visas are quite hard to obtain anyway. Both have a few requirements, for a student visa you obviously have to attend academic institution in Japan, a work & holiday visa has some limits in terms of age, etc. (http://www.uk.emb-japan.go.jp/en/vis...g-holiday.html) Still, the work & holiday visa is mainly meant for travelling, so there might be a few limitations there!
2. As mentioned above, those two visas in genereal allow part-time working, but there could be a few limitations concerning the job, salry, etc.
3. The Student Visa at least has a few fees which have to be paid to the school, the immigration office and the embassy. (I think around 40.000+ Yen)
4. Absolutely no idea.
5. I will be part of national health insurance, which is completely paid by my school and the governemnt. (This is at least the case for student visa!)
6. Just a start: http://gogonihon.com/en
7. For me it was mainly the experience that motivated me to do this! If you just want to improve on certain skills and work at the same time, I do not know if it might be the wrong choice, but that is a very personal thing!

Hope I could help a little bit
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Matchoo95
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(Original post by jthiepler)
alleycat is absolutely right! But since I have a lot to share about this topic, I'll still try to answer your questions. (Just my personal knowledge, I might not be right in every single detail!)

I'll be going to Japan in January and stay there until July as a student, learning Japanese at a language school in Toyko. Therefore I already went through all of this!

1. Basically, a work & holiday visa and a student visa are sufficient to work there part time, work visas are quite hard to obtain anyway. Both have a few requirements, for a student visa you obviously have to attend academic institution in Japan, a work & holiday visa has some limits in terms of age, etc. (http://www.uk.emb-japan.go.jp/en/vis...g-holiday.html) Still, the work & holiday visa is mainly meant for travelling, so there might be a few limitations there!
2. As mentioned above, those two visas in genereal allow part-time working, but there could be a few limitations concerning the job, salry, etc.
3. The Student Visa at least has a few fees which have to be paid to the school, the immigration office and the embassy. (I think around 40.000+ Yen)
4. Absolutely no idea.
5. I will be part of national health insurance, which is completely paid by my school and the governemnt. (This is at least the case for student visa!)
6. Just a start: http://gogonihon.com/en
7. For me it was mainly the experience that motivated me to do this! If you just want to improve on certain skills and work at the same time, I do not know if it might be the wrong choice, but that is a very personal thing!

Hope I could help a little bit
Brilliant, thanks! That really helps
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Klix88
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Can you read and write Japanese as well? Speaking it is just one-third of the language equasion. The general world of Japanese business is in no way prepared to deal with someone who needs to work with documentary inputs/outputs in English. It really isn't a culture which encourages non-Japanese workers - a friend of mine lived and worked there for fifteen years.

It may be worth looking into study-based experience rather than seeking something which is purely an industrial placement.
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Matchoo95
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(Original post by Klix88)
Can you read and write Japanese as well? Speaking it is just one-third of the language equasion. The general world of Japanese business is in no way prepared to deal with someone who needs to work with documentary inputs/outputs in English. It really isn't a culture which encourages non-Japanese workers - a friend of mine lived and worked there for fifteen years.

It may be worth looking into study-based experience rather than seeking something which is purely an industrial placement.
I have no problems with the language Can read and write perfectly fine Still, could be a good idea, study or volunteering would get me living in the country first and make it easier to apply for placements a year later. Would have to do it after Uni finishes though.
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Suezu Arashi
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Not trying to be annoying (well...), but I am going to reply in Japanese (I'm native)
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