Work Experience for Students

I would love to go to Japan this summer to do something related to computer science. To give you an idea of my experience level:

I have 3 years of self-taught experience and have developed four apps currently on the App Store with over 30,000 downloads. I am currently being “employed” by my school (from which I will graduate this year) to develop a newsletter app. I will start a computer science degree at Cambridge in October (provided my A-Levels go well). I have made numerous projects in python. I can communicate in Japanese at a basic level.

Are there companies in Japan which would give work experience to someone at my level? Am I too young/Do I require a degree? I was initially looking for summer courses but it seems only those who are university students are eligible.

To get a visa as developer in Japan, you need a related university degree or ten years working experience in the field, along with a company that will employ you full time.

Besides that, if you get the working holiday visa, you can come here and work temporarily (up to a year, only once in your life).

If you’re a university student, you may be eligible for an “internship” visa. I’m not so clear of the details, but some bigger companies will bring people over this way. Your university might have more details.

You could also come over as an exchange program. Again, your university will have more details about this.

Okay, thanks for the details. Seems like it might be too tricky this year.

Some additional points:

  • If you have money (aka money isn’t an issue for your family) you could just contact professors send your CV and ask them for an unpaid internship. I did this by mistake (I thought they are paid) and I succeeded with University of Tsukuba
  • You can always try and get an internship at Preferred Networks, I do not think other companies besides Rakuten will employ students that are not Japanese mainly because of logistical and administrative reasons.
  • You could try and join the GitHub dev team of Japan-based libraries such as Chainer and CuPy this would enable you to get connections in the Japanese community from afar.
  • You can apply for the JSPS Summer Programme but be aware that this programme is highly selective and the easiest way of getting in is if a Japanese researcher wants you, thus entailing that somebody from your university recommends you to her/him.

Good luck!