Click to expand questions
1. Prior to Applying
+ How do I decide on a course?
We recommend starting with your main reason/purpose.
Is it to...
-> Live & work in Japan in the future?
Then it is best to do an Intensive Course; focusing on getting into university in Japan, passing the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) (at least N2 level is recommended to get a job), or enrolling in a job-hunting class (if you have a degree) to help you find full-time employment.
(Click to choose an Intensive Course).
-> Learn conversational Japanese and do fun activities?
Then a Holiday Course would be a great option.
(Winter Holiday Course is closing applications soon!)
-> Learn Japanese and the culture?
Study & culture courses (pop culture, traditional culture, customs) are also highly recommended from past students.
-> Solely get better at the language?
If you would like to learn to communicate and speak the language better, then the Practical Japanese course is a great choice.
If you would like to study towards tests, then we recommend studying for the N1 or N2 JLPT (The highest levels in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test) through an intensive course.
-> Improve your Japanese conversation skills?
Once you decide, or if you are still unsure, choose a location:
Tokyo is full of exciting activities and unlimited entertainment, but not as good for learning the language; as English can be found everywhere for the tourists. It is great for if you want to work here in the future, as it is the economic and political hub spot.
Kyoto is recommended for those who want to get to know the traditional culture. It is a beautiful place to learn Japanese, with the convenience of the city plus the peaceful rivers and mountains surrounding the area.
Nagano is great for the nature lovers, with the beautiful mountains to ski, paraglide and trek. It is also slightly less expensive than the other two options, as it is in the countryside. Don't worry, any town in Japan still has great festivals and amazing food, too!
Start with what you want to focus on, or choose from a location, there is no right or wrong way to decide.
Feel free to send us an enquiry and we can help you; don't stress.
+ age requirement?
The age requirement depends on the course; it is either 14, 15, 16 or 18+. Please see the respective course page to check.
If you or your child are a bit too young; you can still apply now to save your spot for next year.
And we do not have an age limit; you can never be too old. You are welcome in Japan!
+ What about accommodation?
Yes we help you decide on accommodation, too. Please decide on a course & contact us before accommodation, since it changes depending on the location.
2. Application Process
+ What is the application process?
It is simple; just don't get overwhelmed and take it one step at a time.
1) Apply through our website once you choose a course that you like.
Please see the first answer above to help you decide.
2) Complete the easy application forms that will be sent to you once you enquire. Don't wait; at least 1 month before the starting date is required to apply for short-term courses. 2 months before if you would like homestay accommodation. At least 6 months prior is needed for long-term courses! (This is because a student visa is required, and they take a long time to process through the school and immigration). So yes, if you are serious about coming; enquire today and we can help you find the best course for you.
3) The rest depends on the type of course and whether you will need a visa or not. Please choose a course and we will assist you from there.
+ When applying for a student visa:
If you are wanting to study for over 3 months (over 6 months for some countries), you will require a student visa.
To assure Japanese immigration and prove to them that you will not run out of money in Japan, you must show that you have enough savings. The minimum requirement is 1,000,000 JPY (approx. $9,000 USD) to apply for a student visa for 6 months. This can vary depending on the living costs. Your financial supporter must be in your immediate family, such as your parents. The number is larger if your supporter is in Japan, or if you would like to self-sponsor.
Please enquire about courses over 3 months and we will help you with your application, to ensure the highest chance of acceptance.
You also do not need a student visa if you have a working holiday visa, spouse visa or other long-term visas already.
If this seems like too much, studying abroad in another country is a great investment in yourself. You will grow so much more than staying in your home country and many students claim that it has been the best time in their lives. Don't give up on your dreams if you would like to study in Japan! You can do it too if you commit to it. Make a plan to work extra or save more, and you will be well on your way.
+ For short-term courses
Remember, for courses under 3 months, depending on your country, you will not need a visa at all. However, without a student visa, you cannot work part-time. Therefore, it is recommended to have at least ¥80,000 in Tokyo and ¥60,000 in other locations saved up for every month you are in Japan, to cover all living expenses.
+ When should I book my flight?
If you require a student visa, you must ensure to convert your COE into your student visa first before arriving in Japan. Please consult us on what airport for the times available for airport pickup service.
3. Life in Japan
+ What is the cost of living?
Note: You can easily convert JPY to USD in your head by taking off 2 zeroes at the end.
E.g. 500 yen = $5.
Keep in mind that it is actually slightly cheaper than you think, as 500 yen = $4.40 USD (as of December 2017).
The average meal outside costs between 500 to 1,500 yen.
Transportation is around 500 yen a day.
We cannot give an estimate as it depends on your lifestyle and how you choose to spend. Going out can be the biggest expense for some, while others choose to stay home or go to free events.
Generally speaking, the cost of living ranges from:
Monthly expenses (including rent, food and utilities) should be about ¥70,000 to ¥170,000 in Tokyo.
Monthly expenses is around ¥55,000 to ¥130,000 in Kyoto and Nagano. Tuition is cheaper in Nagano, which is why it is the least expensive overall.
For accommodation, the cost starts from ¥40,000 a month.
The average in Tokyo in 2017 is ¥80,000 for a single flat. It is common for most people working in Tokyo to live further out; and commute using the efficient public trasportation for about 1 hour. This way, it only costs ¥40,000 per month for a similar apartment. Monthly transport is ¥5,000 to ¥30,000. If you live with others, like in a dorm, you can pay only ¥40,000 a month in a more convenient location. If you would like to save on fees, then there are discounts offered if you book accommodation for 3 months or more.
+ Can I get a part-time job?
If you get a student visa, you may work up to 28 hours a week. The minimum pay in Tokyo has been raised to 958 yen in Tokyo (regardless if you are a student or not), so working part-time is a good way to offset your living expenses. Most students on a student visa work part-time, and it is a great way to practice your Japanese as well.
Remember, working part-time will generally only cover living expenses. The Japanese government requires you to show you have enough savings to pay for your tuition and living expenses for a few months, to ensure that you are not worried about running out of money while living abroad. Please see more on student visas above.
For further information on applying and getting part-time work, please see the government website here.
On a visa exemption/tourist visa, you cannot work in Japan. Therefore, it is recommended to have at least ¥80,000 in Tokyo and ¥60,000 in other locations saved up for every month you are in Japan, to cover all living expenses.
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask. The chat box is on the bottom right; we are here to help.