What You Should Know About Short -Term and Long-Term Internships in Japan

Updated: Jan 17, 2020

by Putri Nurdivi Djamil

published on September 17th, 2019

If you are about to start looking for internship opportunities in Japan, then you are landing on the right page. Nowadays, Japan is starting to offer more job opportunities for foreigners. Before you take further steps, you should be able to be familiar with the two types of internship in Japan; Short-term and Long-term internship program.

In this article, we provide you with the essential knowledges about these 2 types of internship provided in Japan along with exclusive interview and case of 2 international students; 1 student from Thai shares her experience about Short-term internship and another student from Bangladesh shares his Long-term internship experiences.

This article guides you through the followings:

1. Learn 2 type of internship in Japan: Short-term vs. Long-term internship

2. Long-term internship : Real voice of Japanese university graduate from Bangladesh

3. Short-term internship : Real voice of an international student from Thailand

1. Short-term vs. Long-term Internship in Japan

Internship has become a popular choice for sophomores and juniors before coming to the job hunting season since it has tons of benefits consciously and unconsciously. By having an internship in Japan, you will gain international and professional working experience. Moreover, it helps you build your relationship with the company and broaden your connection with colleagues. Let's take a look at the key differences between Short-term internship and Long-term internship here in Japan!

Analysis by JPort Editorial Team (SPeak corp.)

Long-term internship is a well-known one usually ranging from one to six month — you probably need to think twice to say goodbye to your semester break. But, unlike the short-term internship, the long-term offers a real working experience by involving in the company’s project and work closely with other colleagues and employees. Plus, long-term interns generally get paid per-month or at a minimum, the company usually covers transportation expenses/ accommodations. Companies which offer long-term internship are usually Japanese start-ups or mega-venture or large IT companies or 外資系 foreign-capital companies in Japan.

Short-term internship program in Japan is ranging from one day to one week — best for the student with a hectic schedule or for those who intend to still have some free time during their semester break. The activity cover company tours, 説明会 or setsumeikai (company’s information session) and a set of presentations which aim to provide interns with the company culture alongside given a bigger picture of the working environment. Note that short-term internship usually organized by the Japanese established companies and conducted in Japanese. That being said, your Japanese ability will be considered during the application process.

2. Long-term internship : Real voice of a Japanese college graduate from Bangladesh

Real voice : Hasan Shaikat

Meet Hasan Shaikat. He is from Bangladesh and also a recent graduate from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. Hasan gladly shared his experience as a former intern in Audi Japan assisted under the internal IT department for four months. He first found the internship on Glassdoor and applied through Audi’s official website later on. Hasan mentioned three key points that applicants should recognize throughout the process.

1st Point :

Make sure to have a professional resume. Hasan added, “Apart from having a proper curriculum vitae, an appropriate LinkedIn profile would give an additional value on your profile.”

2nd Point : Besides your English language skills, it would be beneficial to have Japanese communication skills.

3rd Point :Once you have made it to the final interview, make sure to show your eagerness to learn new-different things through your internship period. “It’s nice to have a Japanese-Language Proficiency Test of N2 or at least N3 and emphasize that you are passionate enough to learn something new.”

Where can you find long-term internship in Japan?

Searching for long-term internship openings in Japan is not an easy but very challenging task. This can be done through several approaches. First, start looking at your university portal which may/may not provide you information. Second, type some keywords of your field of interest or preferable location on Google, LinkedIn, Neuvoo, and Glassdoor. If you already have a name in mind, go straight away to the company’s official website and land on the career page.

3. Short-term internship : Real voice of an international student from Thailand

Real voice: Thitikamon Modhuang, Mint

JPort had a chance to interview Thitikamon Modhuang, known as Mint from Thailand. She is a 4th-year undergraduate student of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University who had just done her internship in Tokyo for Nihon Denpa News (NDN) which produce documentaries for other major outlets around the world such as the BBC, NBC, and NHK.

Mint needed to save her own money to survive in the capital city of Japan since it was as an unpaid internship. Despite that, the employees were very kind to her, “Sometimes, my supervisor invited me to have a meal together.”

This internship required Japanese language ability even though some of the employees could speak English since the job involves various traveling and contacting international outlets. Furthermore, having some conversational Japanese will help you to survive in the workplace comfortably. Mint believed that the workplace environment is the most important thing to be considered while looking for a job.

“Honestly, I was very nervous when I first entered the office. Knowing that my Japanese is not anywhere near perfect, I was afraid to talk with them. Therefore, it is important to find the one that you think suits you the most, and you will most likely have a splendid time working there. In NDN, my colleagues were supportive and kind, which made me relaxed and tried my best to communicate in Japanese.”

Mint expressed her opinion to the JPort readers out there who are currently looking for an internship in Japan.

“Don’t be afraid and make sure to be prepared. You don't have to know exactly what you are looking for in a job, because that is the whole point of doing an internship; to get to know more about the job. But still, it is important to have some basic knowledge about the job and try to find more information related to the company beforehand.”

Where can you find short-term internship in Japan?

Photo from RikuNavi website

To find the short-term internship vacancies, you can go through your campus website, apparently, your university has a rich source of the list of companies. If you are curious enough with more opportunity, you could go through the company’s website or online job portals such as MyNavi and RikuNavi. Furthermore, a short-term internship is an unpaid internship, but on some occasions, the company may cover your accommodation and transportation expenses.

Word of advice

Internship is a trending topic once you have entered college or university. Whether you have a plan to apply for a short-term or long-term internship program, perseverance and motivation are needed to meet the right place to improve yourself as an individual alongside your professional skills. Internship can become everlasting lifetime experience in your life whether you decide to work in Japan after graduation. Meeting new people from different culture and dealing with them in real deal gives you the boost to grow as a person and as a professional.