Foreign Students Get Job-Hunting Tips

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), February 9, 2019 | Go to article overview

Foreign Students Get Job-Hunting Tips


Universities are stepping up their support for foreign students in finding jobs at Japanese companies by establishing career-oriented classes for credit and offering special courses to help them learn about job-hunting rules, that are peculiar to Japan.

By emphasizing job-hunting support, universities are apparently aiming to attract excellent foreign students as there is a growing concern that universities may come to a business standstill in the nation, which is saddled with a low birthrate.

"Japanese companies prize students' ability to communicate and sense of responsibility more than their acquisition of qualifications or their academic specialty. So try to write about an episode that will strongly show that you have such capabilities," said an instructor at a career-oriented course at Sophia University in Tokyo.

This course, held in January at the university, was tailored for foreign students to teach them how to fill out job applications. About 20 participants were seen meticulously taking notes, while looking at job applications actually filled out by senior foreign students who had gained informal offers of employment from Japanese companies.

A 25-year-old male student from China, now a freshman in a master's course and hoping to find a job at a Japanese automaker, said: "With regard to job-hunting activities in Japan, there are a lot of things that are hard [for foreign students] to understand. So I'm grateful to this special in-house program. I want to learn various things. For instance, ways to respond when getting in contact with recruiting officials of companies."

The number of foreign students studying at Sophia University has been increasing, with those hoping to find a job in Japan on the rise. However, a lot of those foreign students are also so busy with study and part-time jobs that they are unaware of the annual job-hunting schedule for college students in Japan or are unable to make sufficient preparations in time.

In light of this, in the 2018 academic year Sophia established a course oriented toward foreign students in their junior year, in which students consider job-hunting activities and pursuing a career in Japan. Students can also earn credit by taking this course.

In the same academic year, Otemon Gakuin University in Ibaraki, Osaka Prefecture, replaced some of the mandatory subjects for foreign students, which lecture on Japanese culture and history, with courses providing basic knowledge of job-hunting activities in Japan. …

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