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Japan Internship Initiative FAQ

Are these internships paid opportunities?

Some employers offer pay, living stipends, housing accommodations, travel support, etc. but compensation is not required by the employer. Check individual position postings to see if compensation is included.

Ultimately it is the student interns’ responsibility to cover costs associated with the internship. All interns are encouraged to apply for scholarships offered through CJS, the International Institute, and the university at large to help cover associated costs of their internship.

Are there scholarships available for internship funding?

Yes, and we strongly encourage interns to start applying early for scholarships and fellowships to help pay for expenses that your employer does not cover. There's a wide range of funding options available from different U-M departments - including:

Is Japanese language required?

Language requirements vary by position. Check individual position postings to see which languages are preferred and at what level. Some basic Japanese proficiency is recommended for positions located in Japan, but not necessarily required. 

Where can I find temporary housing in Japan during my internship?

For those who do not have housing covered as part of their internship, start looking into accommodation options right away — be it short-term apartments, university or student dormitories, share houses, AirBnb, hostels, or otherwise. Coordinate with your on-site supervisor to see what all they recommend for establishments and location. Past interns have gone through services like Fujimi House and Sakura House which are familiar with short-term international tenants.   

Do I need a Work Visa?

Currently US citizens and those of the countries listed here who are staying in Japan for less than 90 days do not need a Visa. Otherwise, if you're a citizen of a non-exempt country or will be staying longer than 90 days, it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary Visa before your internship begins. Get in touch with the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit for information on how to obtain a Visa for your internship. 

How much should I budget for living and working in Japan?

When making your budget, consider the following categories:

Research general cost of living expenses in Japan and other Japan-related travel blogs in crafting your budget; in general we recommend 4,000~5,000 yen per day as a high estimate for daily expenses, though your spending habits may differ. Also familiarize yourself with how to handle money and cash while you’re overseas in Japan. 

Does the internship program transfer as academic credit?

There is no inherent credit transfer process in this internship program, but some U-M degrees (for example the Japanese Studies MIRS Program) include an option for internships to satisfy degree requirements. Work with your academic advisor and on-site internship supervisor to ensure that you meet the work contact hour and reporting requirements necessary for applying the internship to your degree program. 

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