Studying Japanese abroad

If you’re interested in studying Japanese, what better place to do it than at a Japanese university? Universities in Japan are starting to adapt to the increase in demand for Japanese classes and have begun introducing various courses targetted at the different interests students have. Mastering a language can seem to be a herculean task, but with the right teaching staff, student support, and environment, it’s feasible.

Classes that are explicitly meant just for the study of Japanese language are pretty common in Japan. Most major universities have some form of Japanese courses, with the most common ones being:

  • Preparatory Language Schools
  • Preparatory Language courses provided by Universities
  • Intensive Summer/Winter Programmes

In this article, we’ll be looking at courses provided by universities.

Waseda University

About Waseda University

Waseda University is located five minutes from Shinjuku, Tokyo. Arguably, Tokyo is one of the most influential cities in East Asia which has continued to invest in it’s economic and political prowess that is in comparison with London and New York. As such, Waseda offers a wealth of opportunities for students in terms of student life.  With students from over 115 countries, Waseda has the largest intake of international students in all of Japan.

Waseda University, Waseda Campus: Okuma Auditorium. By: Dick Thomas Johnson from:

Course details

Japanese Courses are offered at Waseda under the Center for Japanese Language (CJL). CJL offers two different courses:

  1. Japanese Language Program
  2. Short-term Language Program

Japanese Language Program

The Japanese Language Program has two different course lengths; 1 year and half year. Eight different levels are offered, from beginner up to advanced. Your level will be determined by a test taken before entering school.

Short-term Language Program

The Short-term Language Program is targetted at students whose ability level falls in between beginner and intermediate. They also offer courses which teach specific skills, such as speech and writing.


For the Japanese Language Programs the fees are stated as below:

  • Full Year Program
First Semester Second Semester
Tuition Fee 489,200 JPY 489,200 JPY
Total 978,400 JPY (Yearly amount)
  • Half Year Program
Tuition Fee 505,200 JPY

For the Short-term Study Programs the fees are stated are below:

  • 3 weeks
Summer Course with Skill-based course Summer course without Skill-based course Summer course only Skill-based course Winter Course
Tuition Fee 145,000 JPY 105,000 JPY 65,000 JPY 90,000 JPY
  • 6 weeks
Summer Course with Skill-based course Summer course without Skill-based course Winter course
Tuition Fee 225,000 JPY 190,000 JPY  185, 000 JPY

How to Apply

To learn more and apply, click the link.

Rikkyo University

About Rikkyo University

Rikkyo University is located in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Founded in 1874, Rikkyo is proud to be one of the oldest private universities in Tokyo. Rikkyo University has over 35 years of experience teaching Japanese, and recently set up the Center for Japanese Language Education to further accommodate the increase in international students at Rikkyo.

Course details

Rikkyo University only offers short-term Intensive Japanese courses for international students who are not current full-time degree students at Rikkyo. They currently have nine levels, from J0 to J8.  Rikkyo also offers courses that cover Japanese media, manga, songs, and animes in Japanese. Summer courses begin in July while Winter courses start in January.


Total Summer Course Winter Course
 2-person Shared room 301,500 JPY 289,700 JPY
4-person Shared room 281,780 JPY

271,960 JPY

How to Apply

To learn more and apply, click the link here.

Meiji University

About Meiji University

Meiji University offers three programs for international students- Japanese language, Japanese culture, Japanese Law. Courses are held at Surugadai Campus, which is located next to the “Electric Town”, Akihabara. Students will definitely be able to enjoy their life after class with such attractions nearby.

Meiji University
Retrieved from:

Course details

Rikkyo University offers the Japanese Language Program. The Japanese Language Program is held in two periods, during winter and summer..

Both winter and summer offer the following courses:

  • Introductory Class

Introductory Classes are meant for students who can only read basic hiragana and katakana.

  • Beginner Class

Beginner Classes are meant for students who are preparing for JLPT N5.

  • Pre-intermediate Class

Pre-intermediate is meant for students who are preparing for JLPT N4.

  • Intermediate Class

Intermediate classes are meant for students who understand day to day Japanese and intend to take JLPT N3.


Shown below are the fees for the Winter program.

Tuition Fees for Meiji winter

Shown below are the fees for the Summer program.

Tuition fees meiji summer

How to Apply

To learn more and apply, click the link here.

Sophia University

About Sophia University

Sophia University is widely regarded as a premier university for language studies. Located close to Yotsuya Station – which is on the JR Yamanote Line – Sophia is close to the heart of Tokyo, offering students great facilities and a unique experience in one of the most vibrant cities in the world.

Keiichi Yasu
Sophia University 上智大学
CC BY-SA 2.0

Course details

Sophia offers a three-week long short-term language study program for non-degree students. Students will be able to study Japanese at a beginner, intermediate, advanced intermediate, and advanced level. To further enhance their learning, out of class activities are also organized so that there is an opportunity for interaction between the language program students and Sophia University students.

The course is conducted in 2 periods; in mid-June, and in mid-July.


Total tuition fees for the program comes up to about 220,000 JPY, excluding accommodation, textbooks, and other activities.

How to Apply

To learn more and apply, click the link here.

International Christian University

About ICU

ICU’s campus is located in Mitaka, Tokyo. Although it is located further away from the city center, ICU offers a different experience compared to the other universities as over 30% of the students live on campus. This is a very different experience to the other universities in Tokyo and allows students to interact with faculty members and native Japanese students on a more regular basis.

icu campus

Course details

ICU only offers intensive summer programs for non-degree students. Summer Courses in Japanese (SCJ)is a 6-week program targetted at students who want to develop confidence in communicating in Japanese. They offer seven levels in increasing difficulty for those studying Japanese as a foreign language. They also provide an additional one specifically for students who have learned Japanese as a first language.


Summer Courses in Japanese 240,000 JPY

These figures do not include other fees such as application and accommodation fees. For a more comprehensive breakdown of the costs, click here.

How to Apply

To learn more and apply, click the link here.