As one of Japan’s top-ranking institutions, Sophia University has long been considered a pioneer in language education. Having received awards from the Ministry of Education and Science for their commitment to modes of education “suited to an increasingly global society”, Sophia offers a number of diverse opportunities for students to study the Japanese language in Japan.

Regular Program

Due to the multiple programs available, students can choose the course best suited to their motivation behind learning Japanese. Students who join Sophia to take undergraduate courses, not to complete an academic degree, have two options regarding Japanese language programs. Students enrolled in the Faculty of Liberal Arts (FLA) are open to the regular program, where alongside their other credits they will have four or five 90-minute classes per week, focusing on developing their Japanese communication skills. The regular program has courses starting at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of Japanese, so is inclusive of all students no matter their linguistic background. This program is ideal for those students who are looking to supplement their time living in Japan and studying at university with a better understanding of the Japanese language.

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Intensive Program

There is also a program available for the students whose main purpose in coming to Japan is to study Japanese. Teaching Japanese within the context of culture, the Japanese Language Intensive Program (JLIP) is open to those enrolled through the Centre for Language and Research (CLER). With three hours of classes Monday to Friday, this intensive program targets students wanting a grounding in the Japanese language for further study at the undergraduate or postgraduate level, or those looking to develop their careers. Courses vary from college skills, Japanese composition, translation theory and practice, as well to academic courses including business Japanese and Japanese economic studies. There are however only four levels within the JLIP, with the lowest being on par with the N5 JLPT. This is equivalent to 150 hours of the previous study of Japanese, which must be fulfilled in order to apply for the intensive track.

sophia university campus

Requirements and Application

In order to apply for these two programs, students must first choose which one best suits their desired approach to learning Japanese. After confirmed application and payment, a placement test will then assign them the appropriate class for their current language level. Within the JLIP there is also a track B option, designed specifically for Chinese character users and other Asian students. With two semesters per year, the first beginning early April until the end of July and then late September until late January, applications for the autumn term 2022 open on March 4. The accurate costs of both programs can be found on the Entrance Procedures & Tuition page on the university website. There is no scholarship available to non-degree students enrolled in the FLA or CLER.

For more information on the application schedule and procedures, visit:

sophia university campus

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Based in Yotsuya, one of the city’s most central districts, Sophia University offers a valuable opportunity to study the Japanese language right in the heart of Tokyo.

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