Japan might just be one of the most interesting countries with a contrast of modernization and tradition. Ancient temples, bullet trains, futuristic cities, and the agrarian country side, Japan has it all! Although it is considered to be one of the most expensive countries in the world, you will find that studying in Japan is priceless! Before arriving in Japan, however, be sure to acquire comprehensive insurance so that your precious savings don’t go toward your medical bills.
It is important to recognize that Japan has a National Health Insurance program that you can apply for as a foreign student. This plan is designed to cover 70% of your medical expenses for illnesses and injuries (that’s right – maternity is not covered!). The plan does have some limitations in terms of what is covered and how much will be covered so it is important to take the time to contact the National Health Insurance program to see what is covered and what is not covered.
Be sure to apply early after you have arrived as you may be required to pay retroactive payments should you not pay your premium upon arrival. Rates will depend on where you are residing, however in 2010 in parts of Tokyo the price for one year was ¥3,325. Be sure to ask about discounts as rates may be reduced depending on your income level!
Additionally, you may find that your school may offer their own health insurance plan for foreign students. As a Chinese international student, you will need to contact the office for foreign students to see if additional coverage is provided. If not, some Chinese students will purchase their own private international insurance in Japan to reduce their out-of-pocket expense. This insurance can be purchased in advance of your arrival and many times will cover you in multiple countries should you plan to travel to neighboring countries.