Estimated Living Costs

The following is the estimated amount of money that students spend per month.

Average monthly costs for Kobe University Students
Books and materials?10,000
AccommodationRent for public apartments?40,000~
Deposit, feesDepends on property
University Accommodation?5,900~?37,300
Board & Living expenses?30,000
Utility (Electricity, Gas, Water)?15,000
Transportation (Commuter Pass)?15,000~?20,000
Cell phone?5,000
National Health Insurance?2,000
Others / Entertainment?10,000
TOTAL?100,000~ / month

Activities Other than those Authorized Under the Visa Status

Students residing in Japan on a student visa are not permitted to work. However, those students wishing to engage in part-time work or any other activities for which financial remuneration is received must apply to the Osaka Immigration Office, Kobe Branch to obtain permission. Engaging in such activities without permission is subject to penalty. Students found to be engaged in full-time employment may be subject to deportation and/or other penalties.

Working part time in the adult entertainment, amusement industries (including any business serving alcohol) and pachinko parlors are not permitted and subject to penalties.

Foreign nationals, granted permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence previously granted at the port of entry, do not need to reapply for permission at the Immigration Office. Any part-time work must not interfere with studies and/or research, which is the main purpose of your being in Japan.

If you wish to engage in part-time work, apply to the Osaka Immigration Office, Kobe Branch directly with following documents; 1. Application for Permission to Engage in Activities Other Than That Permitted under the Status of Residence Previously Granted, 2.Residence Card, 3. Passport. After receiving permission from the Immigration Office, contact the respective faculty/graduate school.

You can download the application form from the following website:


Permitted to work up to 28 hours per week; (or 8 hours per day during spring, summer and winter vacation)

(Unless you work part-time as a TA, RA, or Tutor contracted with Kobe University official permission will be required.)

Insurance system in Japan

STEP 1: National Health Insurance

The National Health Insurance System in Japan is an insurance system to reduce individuals’ medical costs. International students who reside in Japan must become a member of the National Health Insurance scheme.

Registration procedures are carried out at the city/ward office. After enrollment, you will pay monthly premiums. Upon joining the system you will be issued a National Health Insurance Certificate. If you show this at the reception desk when you receive medical treatment, you will need to pay only 30% of the incurred medical costs. If you have to change to another insurance system because of employment or if you are going to leave Japan, be sure to file for withdrawal at the local ward or city office.

Reimbursement of High Cost Medical Fees

If you paid over 35,400 yen to the same medical institution within the same month, you are eligible for a refund. Take the receipt, bankbook, and an inkan (personal seal) to the city/ward office and file for a refund.

STEP 2: Basic Compensation (Gakkensai)

Personal Accident Insurance for Students Pursuing Education and Research (PAS)

Mandatory for all students, local and international

This insurance covers all accidents and injuries during University events and classes (including extracurricular activities with Kobe University clubs). Please obtain the application form and pink pamphlet explaining the insurance coverage from the office at your Faculty or Graduate School.

How to apply

Fill in the payment handling slip attached to the pink pamphlet and make the payment at the Japan Post Bank (Post Office).

More information: The pamphlet  / The guide / The premiums for KU

Student Support Section(078-803-5221)

STEP 3: Additional Insurance (Inbound Futai Gakusou)

Comprehensive Insurance for Student Lives Coupled with Gakkensai for international Students

Mandatory for all international students

This comprehensive insurance covers all accidents that can happen during your daily life as a student, including injuries, illness, accidents for which you may be liable, 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day.

In the unlikely event that an accident occurs, the ‘Inbound Futai Gakusou’ provides students with information and guidance in English via email, and mediation services for accidents occurring in Japan. However, you must have taken out the Gakkensai insurance in advance to qualify for this service. It is possible to take out the insurance on a monthly basis to coincide with your study abroad period in Japan.

The following four types of insurance are included:

  1. Personal Liability Insurance
    Insurance will be paid out when there is a sudden accident involving the student either in Japan or abroad, where injury or damage is caused to another person or another person’s property resulting in a claim for compensation.
  2. Insurance for death or disability
    Insurance will be paid out in cases of death or disability due to a sudden or unforeseen accident in Japan or abroad. Injuries caused by natural disasters (including tsunami,earthquakes or volcanic eruptions) are also covered.
  3. Medical expense insurance
    Insurance will refund medical expenses & prescription fees paid for with National Health Insurance. It also covers injuries and illnesses that result in 1 or more days of hospitalization or continual treatment.
  4. Assistance expenses insurance
    If the bearer is hospitalized for 3 days or more due to injury or illness, travel and accommodation expenses to enable close relatives to attend to the patient will be covered. 
    However, this insurance is also included if you purchase the‘Inbound Medical Assistance Service’, which is explained below. Therefore we recommend that students enroll in Insurance plan Type B or Type D, which does not include the assistance expenses.

How to apply

Online application via smartphone or PC (a QR code is printed on the pamphlet)


If you cannot apply via the internet, you can apply and transfer the insurance fees at a Japan Post Bank instead. Please use the special transfer form- this is attached to the blue pamphlet.

For more details, please contact the Consulting Desk for Student Life and Insurance which is listed on the back of the pamphlet.

More information: The pamphlet  / Insurance premium(per month) / International Exchange Division (078-803-5264)

Click here to make an insurance claim.

STEP 4: Medical Assistance: Inbound Medical Assistance Service (IMAS)

Mandatory for all international students

This 24 hour multilingual medical assistance includes two types: Standard and Emergency, both of which are provided when you are in Japan.

For example....:

  • "I have no idea which hospital I should go to…"
    "I cannot explain my condition to a doctor properly…"
    "It’s difficult to understand the doctor’s explanation about my condition and medication instructions…"

Available in 18 languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Tagalog, Nepali, Malay,Burmese, Khmer, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian

Service contents

Standard service

  • Reference to an appropriate, nearby medical facility
  • Interpretation by telephone for when you have difficulty understanding explanations at a clinic or need to communicate with a taxi driver when you go to see a doctor.

Emergency service
One-stop, comprehensive support if you have an emergency, such as hospitalization for 3 or more consecutive days. In principal, the University’s consent is required to receive this service.

  • Arrangement of transportation to another medical facility in Japan or in your home country.
  • Contact your family in your home country and provide travel and accommodation support for your close relatives to come to Japan to look after you.
  • Funeral, etc, in Japan and/or transport to home country (in case of death)


  • This assistance service is not a type of medical insurance. You are responsible for all medical expenses including checkup, treatment and hospitalization. However, rescue costs incurred in the event of death or more than 3 days’ hospitalization will be covered by the university's compensation system expense insurance, although there is a limit.
  • Some emergency services have additional costs, which you will be required to pay. 

How to apply

Membership fee: 1,980yen/year(tax included)
(*An additional handling fee (182yen) will be charged per payment)

Please register your information on the website below and pay the fee by credit card or at a convenience store.

Handling of Personal Information

The underwriting companies EAJ (Emergency Assistance Japan Co. Ltd) and SOMPO Japan Insurance Inc. will not use the personal information of those signing up for IMAS provided by Kobe University or obtained in the course of their duties for any purpose other than the implementation of their duties. The underwriters will not disclose the personal information to any third party without the consent of the IMAS members unless required by law, or unless necessary to save the lives of the IMAS members and property.

IMAS members shall be deemed to have consented to the handling mentioned above by applying through this website.

Please contact the Student Affairs Section of your faculty/graduate school to receive your Login ID and Password.

National Pension Plan

If you reside in Japan and are 20 years of age or over, you are obliged to join the National Pension Plan. This duty also applies to international students. If you enter Japan at the age of over 20 years old, you must join the National Pension Plan when you submit a notification-of-moving-in form to the local municipal office. If you enter Japan at the age of below 20 years of age, you must join the National Pension Plan when you become 20 years of age.

For those who have financial difficulties paying national pension premiums, premium exemption programs are available such as Special Pension Payment Exemption for Students (SPPES). If you wish to apply for SPPES, you must apply to your local municipal office at the time when you register for your National Pension Plan. You need your student ID card to apply for this program. SPPES or exemption programs are valid for 1 year. If you wish to renew, you must re-apply annually.

For more information, please visit the Japan Pension Service website .