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Internships in Japan

Before starting the job hunt in earnest, I think there are a lot of people who consider participating in internships. But in an unfamiliar country, many of you may be concerned about how to look for an internship program, or what you might be doing during the internship itself. Today, let’s take a closer look at internships in Japan. I hope you find it helpful!

Get a better understanding of a company or industry with an internship
To start with, an internship is a program that allows students to experience actually working at a company, and many companies in Japan take interns. Students can gain a deeper understanding of the industry or company they’re interested in working in, and the company can benefit from the student’s different perspectives. It also helps the company with future talent aquisition.

Short internships are common in Japan
In Japan, most internships are held during summer vacation (around August and September), a time period that’s least likely to be affected by the students’ class schedules. Ranging in length from a one-day experience to a week, or about month, short-term internships are popular. Some offer compensation, but most internships are unpaid. In Japan, students conduct their job search in their fourth year of university (or second year of vocational school), rather than after graduation, so most students participate in internships during their third year of university.

There are some long-term internships, too!
However, the number of companies offering longer internships of over a month have been increasing. You can find such internships in the same way you would shorter-term ones, but smaller companies are more likely to offer these longer programs. Amongst long-term internships, the number of paid programs are increasing, too.

How to find an internship: 1.Company websites
If you’re interested in a particular company, the most reliable way to find information is to look at that company’s website. Some companies set up a special hiring page every year, so you should be able to find more detailed information there.

How to find an internship: 2. Job listing sites
Many job listing sites post information on internships alongside information on part-time jobs and full-time job listings. These sites may suggest similar companies, or allow you to manage the schedules of multiple companies at once, making it especially effective for comparing multiple industries or companies.

Information on Internships for International Students in Kobe:
The Consortium of Universities in Hyogo, Kobe

How to find an internship: 3. Career centers
There are people who can help you at your school or in the area where you live. If you want advice before you apply to an internship, or you want someone to look over your application materials, it’s best to ask the pros. However, even if someone is a professional, they may not know very much about you, so do your best to do a bit of self-analysis beforehand, so that you’re better able to explain your interests and desires, etc.

Job Hunting Support for International Students: KOBE JOB PORT

Use multiple services
International students can also use their multilingual skills to find an internship. By looking on international job-hunting sites, and not only Japanese sites, you can also find internship information posted for major cities like Kobe. Either way, it’s best to use not just the main job-hunting websites, but to sign up for multiple sites and check their information.

Internship Screening
Often, companies will have a limit on how many interns they take on, too, so there may be a screening process. You’ll generally need to submit your reason for applying, as well as a cover letter (or “self promotion” letter), in addition to your basic information. Write positive reasons for your interest in the company and what you hope to do there.

What you’ll do in an internship
What you’ll actually do during an internship depends greatly on the company and the length of the internship. In general, one day internships you’ll get to see and hear a detailed explanation of the company and its work, and do a simple workshop.

For internships of a few weeks to a few months, you may participate in the planning of new projects or products and services. On even longer internships, you may even work as a regular working member of the company.

There are many aspects of a workplace you may not understand until you experience them for yourself, so definitely consider participating in an internship if it doesn’t interfere with your studies.