Career Guide

Should An International Student Find Part-Time Jobs in Japan and How

Should An International Student Find Part-Time Jobs in Japan and How

Japan had roughly 267,042 international students attending universities , vocational schools and Japanese language schools as of 2017, and the government wants to increase this number to 300,000 by 2020. It is estimated that near 75% foreign students do part-time jobs.

If you are going to study in Japan or already, you may have heard that many of your classmates or friends are doing a part-time job.But the question is, should you work like others or not? How to find a job if you want? In this article you may get answer for these questions.

Should you find a part-time job ?

You may not want to start work just because other people are doing. Before making a decision to do or not do a part-time job, try to list the pros and cons.


A job will get you money

For someone who is studying abroad or going to be, the first question is always about the money. You may have known that the cost of studying in Japan is high, not just for the tuition but also the living cost. Maybe you get these expenses paid by your parents, but having a little more spending money is always a plus.

With these extra money, you can enjoy yourself in Japan for traveling, eating delicious food and experiencing traditional cultural events and so on. No doubt that these kind of things will make your student life in Japan much more meaningful.

A job will get you more work experience

If you get a part-time job that relates to your major or career interests, you'll be building your resume at the same time of earning money. The work experience will absolutely keep you more attracted when hunting for a job after graduation because employers prefer to hire graduates who already have experience in the field.

Even if the part-time job has no business with your major, still it is helpful for your future job searching, as you can learn the rules and manners of Japan, which are considered to be critical to work in Japanese companies.

A job will practice your Japanese

As an international student in Japan it is important to speak Japanese fluently. To work part-time is a good way to practice the language and improve quickly. Immersion is the best way to learn a language.

As you need to serve customers or communicate with other coworkers in Japanese, which makes the immersion experience more complete. Above all you will have no fear to talk with Japanese people and turn to think and speak in Japanese. And your study will of course benefit from a language skill improvement.

A job will expand your social network

You must know how important a social network is for someone living abroad, especially when you are not good at the language.You may need translation help, or job recommendation, interview tips or life consultations, or just companionship from friends.A part-time job is the best way to meet new people and make friends.

And also it's a cliche that finding a job after graduation is more about who you know than what you know. So more job opportunities with bigger social network.


A job may affect your study

The main task for a foreign student in Japan is to study. But if a part-time job takes your time and energy too much, your grades will be affected.

There were international students forced to leave Japan as they can't extend their visa stay in the country due to their low school-attendance rates out of working part-time and neglect studies. Making money and being productive is good, but make sure not to prevent you from doing the thing you are supposed to do in college.

A job may affect your social life

Always you are not able to find a part-time job that perfectly meshes with your social life, like midnight shift. Don't ignore the importance of having plenty of time for friends as an international student.

Because studying abroad is also about exploring new interests and meeting people from different countries. So think about how it will affect your social life before signing up for a part-time job.

What to do before finding a job

So after thinking twice you have decided to find a part-time job, but wait a moment. You need to take a check and do some preparations before stepping to job searching.

Are you permitted for work?

Actually, a student visa holder is not allowed to work in Japan without applying for "permission to engage in an activity other than that permitted in status of residence previously granted," that is to say a work permit.There are two ways to apply for the permit easily:

  1. If you haven't entered Japan yet, fill out an application form and propose it to the Immigration Bureau at the time when you arrive at the airport.The application is available at the Immigration Bureau, or it can be downloaded from the Ministry of Justice homepage.
  2. If you are already in Japan, you can apply at the Immigration Bureau in Japan along with these necessary documents:passport, residence card, student ID card and application form available at the bureau or from the homepage.

As an apply for the permission after aboard in Japan will take up to a month, you are highly recommended to apply at the airport when you entering Japan. The officers of the Immigration Bureau will stamp at your residence card if you were approved. And also a sticker will be put on your passport.

What kind of jobs you can do?

Now you have got a work permission and you want to find a part-time job.But first of all you need to understand the rules for international students to work. If violated, you will be punished by deportation in the worst case.

Time restrictions

Student visa holders can't work more than 28 hours per week, while in a long vacation like summer vacation or winter vacation, they can work up to 8 hours per day. Notice that this time restriction is a total for all the part-time jobs you are doing, so if you were working two jobs at the same time, you can only work 14 hours for each one.Time restriction can prevent you from working too hard to study.

Workplace restrictions

Usually international students are permitted to do almost any kind of part-time jobs, but not related to adult entertainment by laws, like bars, hostess bars or host clubs, video game arcades, pachinko parlors, love hotels, adult goods or video stores, massage parlors, and anything related to the sex trade. Keep in mind that even working as a dishwasher or a cleaner in these places will also break the law. If you can't judge whether it's legal or not, you should ask the government agencies or consulting staff for help.

Keep away from illegal jobs

International students are often targeted by organized crime groups to carry out their criminal schemes.If someone promised you high-paying jobs for simple tasks like withdrawing money on someone's ATM card, or ordering products online with someone's information, or receiving packages for someone and handling it to someone, please don't be cheated. Please remember that the average hourly wage for part-time jobs is about 900 yen.

What are the popular part-time jobs for international students

You may want to know what kind of part-time jobs that other foreign students do.There are three most popular categories:

Work in the service industry

To work in supermarkets, restaurants, convenience stores or other service industry is one of the most popular part-time jobs for foreign students.Usually you are required to speak polite Japanese as you have to serve the customers.But there are also some positions which have no requirement for Japanese like sales clerk at tourist spots because you are supposed to serve foreigners who can't speak Japanese.

You can make friends easily because you have to meet and communicate with many people. And working at a restaurant may save the cost of food because they may give unsold food to clerks.

Work as language teacher(English/Chinese)

Many Japanese are learning a second or third language, especially English and Chinese. If you have some experience or qualifications you can be a language teacher at schools, else you can try to be a tutor. Nowadays you can register for a tutor in the website and get job messages from people who want you to teach language. Language school teacher can get higher wages while you are free to decide the date, time and wages by yourself as a tutor.

Other jobs using your language

If you are good at Japanese and English/Chinese, there are also job chances like tour guide, or translator, interpreter for you.

How to find part-time jobs?

So you have known what kind of work to do, then you can start searching one. There are many ways to search job opportunities. Firstly you can collect information from the school or acquaintances. You may get introduction from the student affairs section of the school, or your classmates or friends.There are also job needs on the bulletin boards in the school or international student support centers.

Secondly you can use a much more effective way-by internet. There are many job searching websites, some of them even have special columns for international students, like quick jobs japan, gaijinpot, indeed and so on.


As you have got a whole image about part-time jobs for international students, now you can start to find one and enjoy both your study and life in Japan.