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How to Get an Internship in Japan

How to Get an Internship in Japan

How is your study abroad job search going? You may often hear that the job hunting system in Japan differs greatly from other countries.
One big difference is likely the use of internships. In many countries, it’s common for people to gain experience as an intern for a period of time before being officially hired. Unfortunately, such a system isn’t yet common in Japan, though it does seem like things have been changing little by little in recent years. To find out how, we went to speak with someone who’s actually done an internship in Japan. Chai Yuan, who now works for Kyoto Elevator Co. Ltd., let us interview him about his experience, and gave some pretty passionate suggestions for students looking to find the workplace of their dreams

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After graduating with a Master’s from his university in China, Yuan entered Kyoto University as a PhD student. At the end of his internship, he left his PhD studies to work full-time at Kyoto Elevator Co., Ltd. He currently works in the service sector, research and development division, specializing in the repair and development of remote-monitoring devices for elevators.

What kind of student were you?

Q: What was your student life like?

A: At university in China, I did four years of undergraduate studies, then two years to get my Master’s, and came to Japan after that to begin studying for my PhD. But after just a year of school, I left school to pursue my job. All through college, I studied science: mostly electricity, machinery, and programming. The main focus of my studies was something called a sequencer controller, which essentially lays out the instructions for the control unit of a computer. I also studied software engineering and big data simulation.

In college, I spent so much time studying, my school life probably looked pretty boring, but to me, it was really interesting and rewarding, so it was fun for me.

In my first year of undergrad, I wanted to study abroad in the U.S, so I had planned to study English. I studied really hard for the TOEFL, the GRE, and the GMAT, but in the end, instead of going to the U.S. for study abroad, I graduated, and went straight on to grad school for my Master’s because I was exempted from the entrance exams.

Around that time I started studying Japanese just for fun, and in two years I had passed all the levels of the JLPT, and decided to go straight to Japan after receiving my Master’s degree. My first year in Japan was very busy with my PhD studies, and job hunting.  After one short year, I decided to take a break from school, and enter this company. I’d been a student for a long time, but I made the decision to enter the working world.

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