International students work 3 jobs at the same time to cover tuition fees in Japan

Thai Minh Thu (born in 2000) is a final year marketing student in Japan. In 2018, Thu left to study abroad after receiving a scholarship to support 50% of tuition fees from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Kyushu, Japan).

In order to cover the remaining 50% of tuition fees and living expenses, over the past 4 years, Thu has had a lot of part-time jobs. Being a final year student, Thu at the same time works 3 jobs: cleaning the onsen bath, tutoring, and kitchen assistant at the nursing home to make ends meet.

“When I entered school, my family had financial difficulties. I am self-aware that I have to work hard to support my parents.” Minh Thu confided.

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Minh Thu studied in Japan in 2018. (Photo: NVCC)

In order to work part-time in Japan, Minh Thu must submit her passport and alien card to the school to apply for a stamp for a work permit from the Immigration Department of Japan. After 2 weeks, I got my alien card back with a stamp allowing me to work no more than 28 hours/week. Next, I made a bank card and registered a new sim to facilitate the CV filling process.

There are three common ways to find a part-time job in Japan: Asking seniors to introduce you, submitting your CV directly or applying through recruitment applications or websites. Most of the jobs that I get are in the first way – the older brother and sister introduced them.

“I often join a community group created by students at my school to connect with my seniors. When you get to know them and are introduced to part-time jobs, the chances of getting a job are up to 90%. The remaining 10% depends on each person’s Japanese ability shown in the interview round.”10x said.

Minh Thu usually wakes up at 7am to prepare breakfast and clean herself. Finished, 10x packed his things and cycled 20 minutes to the onsen bath in time for his shift at 8:30.

Cleaning the onsen bath is Minh Thu’s first job in the land of cherry blossoms, and this is also the job that she has been with the longest. Thanks to the recommendation of a senior brother, 10x was accepted to work at an onsen bath in Beppu city.

Minh Thu cleans 2 bathtubs and 1 foot bath; clean the shelves to put clothes and personal belongings; fold foot towels. The most extreme is on cold days below 5 degrees Celsius, Thu’s hands are frozen and burned when having to immerse in cold water for a long time.

“There are times when the work is hard, but then I motivate myself, working here is more than losing. In addition to earning living expenses, I also have the opportunity to experience a special job in Japan, hone my Japanese communication skills, and be careful and meticulous. I also get a free onsen bath.” Minh Thu said.

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Onsen bathroom where Minh Thu works. (Photo: NVCC)

At the end of the shift, Thu took the bus to school to be on time for class at 10:35. At 3pm, the female student got on the bus to the nursing home to work as a kitchen assistant and returned home at 9pm. Evening on weekends (from Friday to Sunday), Letter teaches Vietnamese to a Japanese student who intends to study abroad Vietnam.

Thu also enlisted to do some more jobs such as translating, writing articles, working as a tour guide. However, these are only seasonal jobs and do not bring me a stable income.

There is an exception day, 10x arrives home at the time of preparing for a new day. Exhausted after a day of work, Thu temporarily ate a cake, took a shower, went to bed to prepare for the “work rotation” at 7 a.m. the next morning. “There was a time when I was under heavy stress, gained weight and became obese because of working hard and eating and resting erratically.” female student confided.

Although working many jobs at the same time, but with a salary of about 1,000 Japanese yen/hour (about 200,000 VND) for all jobs, Minh Thu only has enough money to pay for living expenses and tuition fees. .

Each month, the female student actively lists the expenses to be spent and divides the money into small envelopes to facilitate spending management. I also limit eating at restaurants and only allow myself to spend 8,000 Japanese yen (about 1.5 million VND) on food every month.

“When I was in Vietnam, I didn’t know how hard it was for my parents to make money. Now, after 4 years of studying abroad, I know how to make money, save money, know how to measure and measure to manage my life here. Now, I know how many odd coins are in my wallet.”Minh Thu said.

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Minh Thu experiences life in Japan. (Photo: NVCC)

Despite working more than one job at the same time, Minh Thu always gives priority to her studies. I arrange, complete all the exercises in class to have time to work part-time and register to study to save time. I also always maintain a GPA above 3.0/4.0 and receive study scholarships for students with good academic achievements, enthusiastically participating in many activities and movements.

In the last years of university, Minh Thu gradually reduced her time to work part-time to focus on finding a long-term job in the field of marketing in Japan.

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