Japanese students should buck the stay-at-home trend and instead study overseas to gain skills to survive in an ever more globalized and competitive world, experts and former international students said at a recent forum on overseas study in Tokyo.

Those skills include not only languages but also social skills like knowing how to work with people from different backgrounds, being more independent and expressing oneself, they said.

"Study overseas has become a matter of gaining skills that you might not necessarily be able to get at home. Perhaps most prominently, it's a matter of becoming more competitive," said Anna Esaki-Smith, editorial director at the British Council in Hong Kong. The council is a U.K. governmental organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations.