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Study Web Development or Data Science in Tokyo: an international student’s guide

Are you considering studying Web Development or Data Science in Japan? If so, you’re not alone! Since Japan opened its borders in October 2022, many students have traveled to Tokyo to take advantage of Le Wagon programs offered here.

Tokyo is one of the most exciting cities in the world, with a rich culture and a bustling tech scene. In this blog post, you’ll hear from our Spring Web Development and Data Science students who flew to Japan to study, and learn about their experiences. Read about their reasons for choosing Le Wagon Tokyo, and the tips and tricks to enjoy Japan’s stay.

 

Markus
Germany, Berlin
Web Development student


What brought you to Tokyo?

Although there is a Le Wagon campus right next to me in Berlin, I wanted to combine my full-stack development studies with another challenge. I wanted to learn programming in a culture that is very different from Europe. As a passionate entrepreneur, being able to network anywhere anytime is crucial for me, and Tokyo seemed like a perfect city to practice this.

Do you have any tips to make the most of a study & leisure trip to Tokyo?

When I have free time, I enjoy exploring various areas of Tokyo. If you’re looking for a quick city escape, I highly recommend a hike up Mount Takao. Perhaps it’s the German in me, but I find it to be a great option. Mt. Takao is easily accessible from central Tokyo and offers some stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

I really enjoyed Vent club in Omotesando for its nightlife, and as food was one of the main reasons for my trip to Japan, Hiroo is my favorite area with many hidden gems. It’s also a great place for a leisurely afternoon stroll.


Markus traveling in Europe

What are your plans after graduating from the bootcamp?

I will be definitely staying in the start-up ecosystem on the product development heavy side as I love solving problems and the hands-on developing process. Depending on the outcome and technical skills gained at Le Wagon, I’d be keen on joining an accelerator and working on my own project, joining another innovative early-stage startup or an early-stage VC to work closely with and help other founders developing and launching products.

 

Neyla
New York/Casablanca, Morocco
Data Science student


What brought you to Tokyo?


Having studied Political Science and worked for a tech start-up in New York, I was eager to enhance my analytical skills. Pursuing a career in Data Science seemed like the ideal path for me, as it aligns with my long-term goal of creating an EdTech solution for school dropouts in developing countries.

After visiting Japan in 2018 I promised myself to come back and live as a local for a short time, which I’m now doing! This country is very close to my heart.

Do you have any tips to make the most of a study & leisure trip to Tokyo?

To improve your understanding of bootcamp topics, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Teaching assistants or peers can be valuable resources when you’re trying to understand a concept in depth. It’s also helpful to set aside some time at the end of each week to review any challenging areas you encountered during your studies.

I’m taking a leisure trip this weekend to solo travel to Kyoto, seeking a sweet escape to more serene and calm surroundings. I’m particularly excited to explore the city and enjoy the Kyotographie exhibit on display throughout the city!


Neyla in Argentina

What are your plans after graduating from the bootcamp? 

After graduation, I’ll take a short break and travel around Japan for two weeks.  Planning to visit Osaka, Naoshima, and explore the natural beauty of Hokkaido up north.

In September I’m starting my Master in Finance & Strategy at Sciences Po Paris. Very excited!

 

Hippolyte
Paris, France
Data Science student


What brought you to Tokyo?


Since I always wanted to visit Japan, I thought it would be a great way to conclude my Data Science studies by going abroad to Tokyo. I’m even considering returning to Tokyo later to work here, so participating in the bootcamp provides a good preview of what my life could be like.

Do you have any tips to make the most of a study & leisure trip to Tokyo?

Since Data Science bootcamp is both intellectually challenging and demanding in terms of workload, I don’t usually socialize during weekday evenings, although I occasionally take a break when I need some fresh air. It’s important to stay on top of the coursework throughout the week to allow for some free time on the weekends.

If you’re looking to budget your expenses in Tokyo, a good resource is Tokyo Cheapo (https://tokyocheapo.com/) or browsing places you want to visit to get an idea of prices. You can also find weekend escape ideas on social media and Google, such as day trips to Mount Takao or Kamakura, a two-day trip to Mount Fuji, or other destinations like Hakone or the Pacific Ocean coast. Additionally, you can discover hidden gems by following Japanese friends or locals; for instance, Masafumi, another Le Wagon web development student, took a few of us to Akigawa river near Akiruno, which was lovely. One last thing to note is that while Tokyo can be expensive, it’s worth spending a weekend at a peaceful ryokan like Hakone, which comes highly recommended.

Lastly, I recommend buying travel guides for anyone visiting Japan or even just exploring Tokyo for the weekend. The Lonely Planet guides are helpful, but I highly recommend “Tokyo Like a Local” by Eyewitness; it’s an excellent guide with a 100% hit rate for all of the recommended addresses that I’ve tried so far.


Hippolyte and Markus, Tokyo

What are your plans after graduating from the bootcamp?

Following the career week, I’ll have about three weeks of free time in Japan before returning to France, and I plan to make the most of it. I’m considering traveling to Nara and the Kii peninsula before heading to Hiroshima and Miyajima, with possible stops in Himeji and Okayama on the way. Alternatively, I may travel north to Hokkaido to see Daisetsuzan, Akan Mashu, Shiretoko, Sapporo, and more. Regardless of which plan I choose, one thing is for sure: I’ll be spending a few days on Amami Island in the Okinawa prefecture to soak up some sun after 10 weeks of coding.

Hippolyte traveling in Europe 

 

Juan
Melbourne, Australia
Web Development student


What brought you to Tokyo?


I initially came to Japan as a tourist. While I didn’t plan to study web development at first, I became interested in the field and discovered that the cost of studying it here was cheaper than in Australia. And now I am in the middle of my bootcamp studies!


Juan at the cherry blossom spot near Le Wagon Tokyo campus

Do you have any tips to make the most of a study & leisure trip to Tokyo?

Knowing some basic Japanese can be helpful in getting to know locals and showing an interest in their culture.

When traveling, it’s best to pack light and bring only necessary items. For a three-month stay, 10 kilograms should be sufficient.

Flight tickets are often less expensive than bullet trains. If you’re studying, a JR pass might not be worthwhile, and cycling could be a cheaper transportation option.

You can plan ahead and book affordable share houses on Japanese websites, rather than the more expensive English foreign websites.

Meetup is an excellent application for meeting people with similar interests, and finding accommodation within walking distance of your study location can save you both time and money.

Bento (lunch) boxes are cheaper after 9 pm.

What are your plans after graduating from the bootcamp?

I am considering launching a startup in Australia, starting with the idea we developed during the last two weeks of the bootcamp and turning it into a viable product. To secure funding, I am currently applying to various accelerators.

Thanks to Markus, Neyla, Hippolyte and Juan for their answers! We hope this opportunity brings you closer to achieving your goals and realizing your dreams. Best of luck in your studies and your adventures in Japan!

Do you have any questions about Web Development or Data Science programs in Tokyo? Feel free to contact the local team by email or book a short call.

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