OGU Kokusai Center

Information

Pre-departure Information

Visa Application Process

Once all of the applications materials are received by the International Center, OGU will apply for the certificate of eligibility on your behalf at the immigration office. Once it is approved and issued here in Japan, we will send it to you via post. When you receive your certificate of eligibility, you must visit the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate in your country where you will submit your certificate of eligibility and passport to apply for your student visa for Japan. Sometimes if there is ample time, you can send your passport and certificate of eligibility by mail or courier to your closest Japanese consulate or embassy for processing, but be sure to call and check first with their office. Once you have your student visa and passport, you are ready to come to Japan during the designated time.

Information of your host family's mailing address

Details regarding your host family’s address will be provided prior to your departure. The International Center address can be used as an additional mailing address.

Passport, Money and Credit Card

Please remember to bring your passport and enough money to cover living expenses for the first semester. We strongly recommend that you bring a credit card (Visa or Master) if you plan to obtain a mobile phone and/or internet account. It makes your application and payment fast and easy. Traveler's checks are the safest way to carry money. There are also ATM machines located around Osaka. However, not all bank cash card machines accept international ATM cards. Those that do accept your ATM card may sometimes have strict limits on the amount that can be withdrawn per day. It is possible to obtain cash using a credit card, however banks often charge handling fees, interest, and have limits on cash amount.

What to Bring

Japan has a large selection of various consumer goods and most things can be purchased after your arrival. However, items will probably be more expensive and it may take some time for you to settle in and find preferred stores that will meet your needs. We suggest that as much as possible, you bring your immediate essentials and prescribed medications with you. However, in regards to prescribed and sometimes even over the counter medication, Japanese custom laws are different and your medication may be confiscated upon entry. Please check with your local Japanese consulate or embassy for approved medications that you can bring with you to Japan.

Clothing

Some international students feel that Japanese college students, especially female students, pay more attention to what they wear to campus. You may spend some money on obtaining new Japanese-style clothing in the first couple of months.

Although you can purchase a variety of clothing in Japan, they are usually expensive and range in smaller sizes. Some people find that standard Japanese sizes do not fit them. Shoes and pants are likely to be the most difficult. Men who wear shoes larger than 27 cm and women who wear shoes larger than 24.5 are encouraged to bring footwear from home. Wearing comfortable shoes in Japan is a must due to the amount of daily walking. All homes and some offices and restaurants have a “remove your shoes” rule (street shoes are removed at the entrance). You may also want to bring your own house slippers and warm socks for winter. Bring the necessary warm gear for winter (hats, gloves, boots), as it can get quite cold in the wintertime. Japanese homes are not well insulated, as they are not centrally heated, so the inside of homes can be quite chilly at times. In the summer, it can get quite humid where 100% cotton t-shirts and light cotton pants are all you need. There is a rainy season during June and a light raincoat may be useful. Umbrellas are cheap and can be found everywhere.

Medications

Although some western medicines are available in Osaka at a higher price, we strongly suggest that you bring your prescribed and over the counter medications with you (again, first check with your local consulate or embassy for approved medications). Although many similar over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and prescription medications are available in Japan, the cost may be as much as ten times the cost in your home country. Often, the dosages are also weaker compared to Western products. OTC medications often come in a package and the ingredients and directions are written in Japanese. As a result, they may be difficult to read and understand the ingredients and directions. If you wear glasses, you may want to bring a backup pair in case of loss or damage. You may also want to bring a year’s supply of contact lenses and necessary solution (although many kinds of solutions are available in Japan at a higher price). Vitamins - Japanese brands tend to be expensive and might not be as effective as those found in your country. It may also be a good idea to bring your own brand of cosmetics and hair care products, as the same brands may be very expensive in Japan.

Presents or Gifts (Omiyage)

Gift giving is a very popular custom in Japan. Anything you bring as gifts for your home stay family will be greatly appreciated. The most common gifts are special or unique items from your home country or city: for example, a picture book of your country, scenic calendars, sweets or specialty candies.

Sharing your home culture

Please bring photographs, traditional clothing, traditional music recordings, picture books or brochures from your country. These items can be useful during times when you are sharing interesting information about your home, family, culture, and country with your new friends and your host family.

Household Items

Japan uses a 50-cycle, 100-volt alternating current. US electric appliances will work, yet at a slightly reduced efficiency. If you are bringing an appliance from a European country which operates on 200-240 volt currents, you will need a step-up transformer to use with Japan's 100-volt current.

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