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Study Abroad

About Japan

Japan is a country with rich nature, diverse topography, and beautiful turns of the seasons. Modern Japanese culture and society consist of a diverse mix of the old and new, the East and West, and the natural and artificial. These seemingly contradictory elements coexist in a superb harmony in Japan. For example, it is not unusual to see an old Buddhist temple and a modern skyscraper standing next to each other.

After the second world war, the Americans reformed the Japanese education system after their own which consists of six years of elementary school, each three years of junior and senior high school and four years of university or two years of junior college. Compulsory education includes elementary school and junior high school. Over 90% of all students also graduate from high school and over 40% from university or junior college. At universities the percentage of male students is higher than that of female students while the opposite is the case at junior colleges. The number of graduate university students is relatively low. A characteristic of the Japanese school system are entrance exams, and with them a high competitiveness among students. Most high schools, universities, as well as a few private junior high schools and elementary schools require applicants to write entrance exams. In order to pass entrance exams to the best institutions, many students attend special preparation schools (juku) besides regular classes, or for one to two years between high school and university (yobiko). The Japanese school year starts in April and consists of three terms, separated by short holidays in spring and winter, and a one month long summer break.