One of the best ways to learn a language is to surround yourself with it. Take it from the legend himself:
“If you want to learn to swim, you have to throw yourself in the water.” ~BRUCE LEE
Then what better way to learn Japanese than to book a one way ticket to Tokyo! And for any curious readers who wish to master the Japanese language, we have good news. There are plenty of Japanese language schools all over Japan that are looking for students like you! And most are open to everyone, regardless of age or experience!
Choosing the Right Language School
Having a wide selection of choices is great…until you have to choose one. With so many different Japanese language schools located all over the nation, how do you know which one to enroll in?
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” ~BRUCE LEE
Ouch. Hits us right in our weak spot… but don’t worry! We will give you a list of great Japanese language schools that you can choose from down below. By the time you finish reading this article, you may be set on a particular language school! But before we list our top choices, here are some points that you can keep in mind when narrowing down your options.
Where you study will significantly influence your experience in Japan. Will you immerse yourself in the authentic culture in Kyoto? Or will you expose yourself to the vibrant and digital streets of Tokyo? The location of your language school will impact your cultural experience in Japanese society!
Duration and Season
This gets into the technicality of your studies. While some schools offer weekly programs, others require a whole year of enrollment. The duration and intensity of the program should align with your present situation and ultimate goals!
Each school has its own unique twist that they include in their course packages in addition to the typical language curriculum. Check out their field trip activities, cultural highlights, and internship/university support options to find the program suited for you.
Cost and Scholarships
The financial cost of each program is definitely a factor that, unfortunately, we must keep in mind. Depending on your current situation, there are scholarships and financial aid options that you may be eligible for, as well!
And now… here is a list of language schools selected from different parts of Japan!
Founded in 1983, the KCP International Japanese Language School offers intensive courses for all international undergraduates, graduates, and adult professionals. In their most intense program, the KCP guarantees that their students will earn more Japanese credits in 11 weeks than they would earn in an entire year at your home school!
Location: Shinjuku, Tokyo
Duration and Season: KCP has flexible study plans to accommodate its individual students. Here are the basic programs offered by KCP.
- Semester Program: duration of 3 weeks; roughly coincides with US universities’ fall, winter, spring, and summer semesters.
- Extended Programs (2 semesters): Spring Extended (winter to spring) and Fall Extended (summer to fall) Programs; duration of 6 weeks
- Academic Year (3 semesters): October–June
- Summer Short-Term Program: duration 8 weeks
Program Outlines: Their curriculum is divided into two parts: Intensive Japanese Language and Japanese Culture and Society. Classes are mostly taught in English and contain 15 to 20 students with two to three instructors per class.
Cost: Each semester costs $3000 for the course only. Dormitories cost $3700 per semester, and the home-stay option would require another $1000 per semester added to the normal dormitory fees.
[Dorm/Home-stay costs include transportation between lodging and school, pickup from the Narita Airport, and lodging. Some dormitories include meal plans and home-stay includes breakfast and dinner.]
Financial Assistance is provided through scholarships like the KCP International Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship that is awarded to three eligible students each term.
Based in two locations, the JaLS Group Japanese Language School has been awarded ‘Language School of the Year’ from a variety of notable organizations for their quality programs. Open to all nationalities and age groups, the JaLS Group offers customizable courses for its students.
Location: Hokkaido and Kyoto
Duration and Season: The JaLS Group offers standard courses at a weekly basis, which are open all year. There are seasonal courses as well (fall, winter, spring, summer)
Program Outlines: The variety of courses offered by the JaLS Group is QUITE REMARKABLE! From standard language courses to JLPT preps to Pop culture and fashion culture courses, there are plenty of customizable options to choose from!
Costs: While costs vary by program, the standard course fee is 27,000 JPY per week, with 15 lessons per week.
There are four options for accommodation, each varying in their costs. All option charge a 15,000 JPY arrangement fee.
The Meiji Academy was founded in 2014 by a young team of international graduates, who were exposed to the difficulties of learning Japanese through their foreign classmates. With an emphasis on language, culture, and experience, the Meiji Academy offers an exquisite learning environment in Fukuoka, Japan!
Duration and Season: Courses are charged per week, so there are no long-term time commitments. All programs are open year-round. Very convenient!
Program Outlines: The Meiji Academy offers program selections of the
Standard Course, Intensive Course, Japanese Business, Traditional Culture, and the Pop Culture programs. They provide opportunities to travel around the region through recreational activities, gourmet adventures, and social events. 4 options for accommodation are provided!
Costs: Courses are charged on a weekly basis, with Standard courses costing 30,000 JPY per week, which changes to 24,000 JPY per week from the 13th week of consecutive studies. Other optional and mandatory costs are added to this standard base fee:
- Registration fee: 20,000 JPY (mandatory)
- Private Lessons: 4,300 JPY per lesson (optional)
- Kanji Lessons: 3,700 JPY per lesson (optional)
Specialized courses have different tuition from the Standard courses [Note: registration, private lessons, and kanji lessons fees still apply]:
- Intensive Japanese: 40,000 JPY per week
- Traditional Culture Course: 40,000 JPY per week
- Pop Culture Course: 40,000 JPY per week
- Business Course: 42,000 JPY per week
The ISI Japanese Language school has four campuses, all with suitable curriculum to meet the varying needs of each student, no matter their age or purpose. With the philosophical aim to create an “educational environment for the development of global human resources”, the ISI Japanese Language School provides exceptional support in higher education preparation, job hunting, and interview tactics for its students.
Location: Tokyo (Takadanobaba or Ikebukuro), Kyoto, or Nagano
Duration and Season: There are two options: the long-term program (student visa necessary) that lasts a minimum of 1 year and 3 months and the short-term programs that last a minimum of 2 weeks.
Program Outlines: There are three levels of classes: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Elective courses include EJU and JLPT preps, practical conversation classes, and job finding classes. There are 2 class periods per day, with each period lasting 90 minutes.
The long-term program has 4 admission seasons with the academic year commencing in April.
Accommodation is provided in all locations, but prices and types of services differ.
Cost: Tuition and fees differ by students’ visa status and the campus location.
- For student visa holders, one-year tuition is 680,000 JPY (Except Nagano: 620,000 JPY). The total fee after adding in the visa application, material, facility, and entrance fees is 823,000 JPY (Except Nagano: 763,000 JPY).
- For other visa holders, 10-week tuition is 170,000 JPY (Except Nagano: 155,000 JPY). The total fee is 201,500 JPY (Except Nagano: 186,500 JPY) per 10 weeks.
The Osaka Bunka Kokuritsu Gakkou (OBKG) Japanese Language School was established in 1985 with the goal of teaching the Japanese language and culture to international students. There are no grade level requirements for students, given that they have a high school degree. OBKG is perfect for anyone looking to learn the Japanese language while experiencing the Kansai culture of Japan!
Duration and Season: The OBKG offers long-term and short-term courses. The enrollment date for long-term courses varies by the duration, which can range from 1 to 2 years (and intervals in between). Short-term courses last for either 4, 8, or 12 weeks, with approximately 20 hours of classes per week.
Program Outlines: The OBKG divides its long-term students into two categories: General and Undergraduate Preparatory. There are 6 class levels, ranging from Elementary Japanese I to Advanced Japanese II.
Costs: For long-term courses, the tuition is 50,000 JPY per month with an 80,000 JPY admission fee. Fees for extracurricular activities charge 80,000 JPY the first year and 10,000 JPY per every 3 months after the first year.
Dormitories are provided with a boarding fee of 132,000 JPY per 3 weeks.
Nihon ni ikou!
Let’s go to Japan! With the support of these amazing language schools, and many others not listed, there is nothing to fear! Of course, moving to Japan won’t initially be easy, but you are not alone in facing those exciting challenges! And since he has already appeared so many times in this article…
“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” ~BRUCE LEE
… will you accept the challenge?