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Helping you realize your dreams! Kobe International University’s unique support for international students

Studying in Japan can help broaden your international perspective and give you new possibilities for your career. But studying or searching for a job in an unfamiliar country can also present difficulties that you might have not experience in your own country. To help support these international students, Kobe International University has created a special initiative to improve life on study abroad for international students and to help them find employment in Japan. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the International Student Employment Promotion Education Program and the Foreign Caregiver Program (Kobe Model) conducted at Kobe International University, and how they can help students.

About Kobe International University

Kobe International University is a private university in Kobe, and the school is home to a Faculty of Economics and a Faculty of Rehabilitation, which have international departments in subjects like business and tourism. The campus faces the ocean, which is visible from the cafeteria and from some classrooms.

About the International Student Employment Regional Cooperation Project to support the employment of students who want to work in Japan

Certified by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) since April, 2023, Kobe International University has begun carrying about an International Student Employment Regional Cooperation Project to support international students in three major categories: Japanese Language Education, Career Education, and Internships. The target audience for this project can receive Japanese language education support by taking free, additional classes aimed at obtaining N1 (business level) in the Japanese Language Proficiency Tests, and receiving subsidies for part of the exam fee. Other than that, students can receive career support in topics such as how to proceed with job hunting in Japan, how to get a visa, and how to write an entry sheet. Also, since participating in a 2-week internship is one of the conditions for participation, you can also attend matching meetings to search for companies at which to do an internship. Furthermore, since students can receive up to 48,000 yen a month (as of December 2023) to subsidize their studies, participating students are better able to concentrate on school.

Liu, who is eligible for this system, came to Japan in 2017. After studying at a language school for two and a half years, she entered the Faculty of Economics at Kobe International University. In 2023, after taking interviews and selection tests within the university, she was selected as a target candidate for the International Student Employment Regional Cooperation Project, and she participated in employment guidance and internship matching sessions. She said that since students from multiple grades participated, it was good to see the upperclassmen as an example of what she should aim for.

Liu Fang (4th year student, Faculty of Economics)

Liu has decided to get a job at a container/logistics company where she did an internship as a part of this project. While there are many one- to two-day internships in Japan, with the two week internship this program offers, students are able to get a much better look at their company, giving them a better basis to evaluate whether they’d like to work there, beyond the superficial.

Developing highly skilled human resources in the community! The “Kobe Model” drastically reduces the burden on international students

Kobe International University also supports the activities of international students in the nursing care industry as a part of its efforts as a school involved in the “Kobe Model,” where businesses, the government, and schools cooperate to develop highly skilled workers in the field of nursing care.

Cooperation with Mekong International College

Following the Kobe Model, in 2022, Kobe International University began cooperating with Mekong College, a medical vocational school in Vietnam, to provide Vietnamese students with a way to work in Japan as nursing care personnel. This initiative offers everything from tuition, textbooks, rent, and utilities for free, including flight fees from Vietnam to Japan. It’s made possible through a collaboration between industry, government, and academia, with grants from Kobe City, aid from partner welfare facilities, and academic support from Kobe International University.

Those who wish to participate in this program will enter Kobe International University in September, just before graduating from vocational school. At Kobe International University, you can take Japanese classes from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and take nursing-related classes twice a week.

International students are required to take the Nursing Skills Assessment Test (conducted in Vietnamese), as well as the Japanese Language Proficiency Test at the N4 level or the JFT-Basic Japanese test in the approx. half a year period until March during which they can stay at Kobe International University. Students who successfully pass the exams are matched with social facilities in Kobe, and can work as caregivers beginning in the spring. If you work in the nursing care industry in Japan for 3 years or more, you can also obtain certification as a nursing care worker, which is a national certification, as well as permanent residence in Japan.

The students currently enrolled at Kobe International University as third-year students in this program told us that at first they had gotten a little sick due to unfamiliar Japanese food and cold weather, but there was no big gap between what they’d been told in Vietnam about the Kobe Model and their actual experiences. The students wanted to get a job in Japan, and they were excited to do their best to study Japanese, which is their biggest challenge.

Currently, the program is linked only to Mekong International College in Vietnam, but Kobe City is considering accepting students from Sri Lanka in the future.

With this, Kobe City is working to support not only Japanese students but also international students, so that they can confidently proceed towards employment in Japan. At Kobe International University in particular, students who don’t have confidence in their Japanese ability can also take classes to improve their Japanese language skills in the international departments. A fulfilling learning and career await you on this ocean-facing campus!

If you want to know more about studying in Kobe or Japan, click here!