Learning Japanese in Universities

As foreign people move to Japan to pursue a job, study abroad in Japan to get a bachelor’s degree, or to simply learn the language, there is a barrier with communicating with Japanese speakers. Universities have started to offer Japanese classes for students who wish to learn from the basics or improve their Japanese skills.

There are quite a few numbers of universities which offer Japanese language programs, either for one semester or a full year. Additionally, some universities provide cultural studies about Japan.

Kansai University

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Kansai University courtyard

Kansai University, which can be found in Osaka, offers the Japanese Language and Culture Course, or the JLC, for students who want to study the language. The program also offers a Japan Studies Class and Global Frontier Class, which are taught in English. The program, which has Japanese language levels from one to six, accepts students who are beginners in learning Japanese and offers other classes related to Japanese studies.

Read more about Kansai University here.

Kanda University of International Studies

Kanda University of International Studies

Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba established the Japanese Language and Culture program, or Ryugakusei Bekka, which offers different Japanese language programs corresponding to a person’s Japanese level. Spanning from Japanese level one to six, the university offers programs for a novice to intermediate Japanese speakers. There are compulsory Japanese courses for each program yet the students are able to choose different electives, from classes dedicated to improving pronunciation to learning about journalistic Japanese.

Find more about Kanda University for International Studies here. 

Kyoto University of Foreign Studies

Kyoto University of Foreign Studies

Kyoto University of Foreign Studies offers a one-year Japanese program for overseas students who are on an exchange or for students who wish to study Japanese at a Japanese University. Japanese classes, ranging from level one to nine, are designed to develop the students’ skills in all areas of Japanese. The program also offers electives from composition, kanji, and grammar, to tradition & culture, history, literature, politics, economy, and calligraphy.

Read more about Kyoto University of Foriegn Studies here.

Keio University

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Keio University

Keio University in Tokyo has been offering Japanese courses since 1950. The program is designed for undergraduate and graduate students who are doing a degree with the university. The Japanese language program, which provides Japanese language levels and Japanese studies in society and culture, has nine levels of Japanese: from level one for students studying Japanese for the first time, to level nine for students with a high level of Japanese language proficiency.

To find out more about Keio University, visit their official website!

Kobe International University

Kobe International University

Kobe International University, or KIU, provides international students the chance to develop a high level of proficiency in Japanese. KIU offers one to one and a half years of intensive Japanese learning, ranging from pre-sessional courses and a Japanese language training program. Students who choose to take the pre-sessional courses can enter KIU’s Faculty of Economics on a priority basis. Some subjects in the curriculum include Japanese grammar, Japan studies, Japanology, and vocabulary.

Read more about Kobe international University!

SOKA University

Soka University

SOKA University in Tokyo provides students who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree with intensive Japanese language training. The curriculum is designed to prepare the students for Japanese university admission examinations and SOKA University’s international entrance examination. The students are required to take 13 Japanese language credits and eight Japan studies electives for their first semester. Some Japanese language abilities are required to be admitted, such as being able to read and write hiragana and katakana.

Read more on Soka University here!

Tokyo University of Social Welfare

Tokyo University of Social Welfare

The Japanese language program offered by Tokyo University of Social Welfare was created as a preparatory program for international students who want to study in the university as regular students. The program takes two years to deepen their understanding of Japan through its social, industrial, and cultural phenomena. The program, however, only accepts people who have a Japanese level equivalent to a JPLT N5 or higher.

Read more about Tokyo University of Social Welfare here!  

Nagoya Gakuin University


The Institute of Japanese Studies, or IJS, provides a one-year intensive course of Japanese language and area studies for international students. Students who plan to enter a regular degree program in a Japanese university may take this program. Students are then evaluated every semester based on their proficiency and are placed at their appropriate level. The program offers Japanese one to five of the Japanese language classes while students can take Japanese business management and other courses for their Japanese study.

Read more about Nagoya Gakuin University by visiting their official website!

Mejiro University

Mejiro University

Mejiro University in Tokyo offers a one to two-year intensive Japanese program for people who intend to go to universities or graduate school in Japan or those who want to improve their Japanese abilities. The university offers two programs: the General Japanese course or, for students who wish to improve their Japanese, there is the graduate school course which focuses on the skills needed for graduate schools such as doing research.

Visit Mejiro University’s official website for more information! 

Osaka International University

Osaka International University

The School of Japanese Studies for international students at Osaka International University offers a one-year intensive Japanese studies program with Japanese language subjects and subjects related to understanding Japan. Students are required to take 20 credits or more of Japanese language credits of vocabulary, grammar, recitation, listening, communication, writing, and proficiency. Japanese society and culture, a special lecture on Japan, and Japanese traditional arts are also required under the subjects related to understanding Japan category.

Find out further information on Osaka University here!