The Tokyo Institute of Technology, commonly referred to as Tokyo tech, holds the title of the top national university for science and technology in Japan. The university is built on a goal of developing global leaders in the fields of science and technology who can contribute to the betterment of society through the research of solutions to global issues. With a history stretching back over 130 years, Tokyo tech has been a key player in the transformation of Japan throughout the 20th and 21st centuries into the technological giant it is universally known as today. This reputation of having played such a crucial role, and continuing to shape and advance Japan’s position at the forefront of science and technological development, makes the university one of the most dynamic places to study in the country. Stemming from and contributing to the now global image of technologically advanced nation, Tokyo tech offers students the chance to immerse themselves not just in conventional Japanese culture and daily life, but also in an evolving modern Japan.
Studying Japanese at Tokyo Tech
Of the 10,000 students currently enrolled at Tokyo tech, 1200 international students are also studying at the university’s three campuses spread across the city. This high number of overseas students, as well as its commitment to advancing Japan’s already globally renowned status as a science and technology superpower, means that the university recognizes the importance of its students learning Japanese. The Japanese language programs available range from minimal commitment to high intensity courses, classes with a focus on culture to classes looking at advanced Kanji and journal reading ability. This encompassing approach to Japanese language study therefore allows Tokyo tech students to not only engage with their studies at one of the country’s leading institutions, but also to optimize their study abroad opportunities, and explore the unique nature of Japan so integral to the university’s core idea of a technological Japan. The ability to study Japanese in Japan is a valuable experience that Tokyo tech seeks to provide for all of its international students.
Japanese Language and Culture Course
The most accessible Japanese language programs for students at Tokyo tech are taught through the Japanese Language and Culture Course. This course falls under the Humanities and Social Sciences department, and corresponds to 400, 500 and 600 master’s level credits. Here students can learn Japanese through two different routes: the Regular Course or Optional Classes. The regular course offers a more conventional method of Japanese language learning, as students take one to two classes per week aimed at improving Japanese language ability and communicative skills. Levels start from basic beginner levels (B1, B2), upper-elementary (B3, B4), intermediate levels (I1-I6), all the way to advanced Japanese (U1-U4). As the main focus of the regular course curriculum is on developing language comprehension and ability, for students with more specialized interests, topic oriented classes are available (in addition to the regular program, or as their primary language course). These cover areas such as presentation skills, culture through areas of art and music, and conversation and speech practice.
Tokyo tech do offer an intensive Japanese language program, however it is foremost designed for Japanese government sponsored scholarship students, as a means to learn Japanese before entering graduate school in Japan. Other international students may apply for the course, but only if they are eligible for the available language levels and they have received permission from their research advisors that they are able attend class everyday. Classes are held three hours every morning Monday to Friday, and alongside their classroom lessons, as part of the curriculum on the intensive course, students will take part in a variety of field trips throughout the term. Visits to places including Enoshima and Kamakura, as well as cultural experiences of Japanese tea ceremony and calligraphy, provide a holistic and immersive approach to Japanese language education.