The “Land of the Rising Sun”, Japan is an ancient culture and country that is just waiting to be explored. With some of the most powerful and extensive multinational businesses in the world, learning Japanese could be very useful to your future career prospects. Not only will you be able to visit fascinating temples, wander bustling metropolises, and even perhaps hike mountains, you will be able to make lifelong friends from around the world. Experiment with creative dishes and inventive venues. Try on a mixture of clothing styles and tap into the anime and cartoon side of you. There is much to see and do, not to mention eat, so consider studying Japanese in Japan.
Japan at a Glance
Domestic Population: 127 Million People
Capital City: Tokyo
Currency: Japanese Yen
Trivia: Japan consists of more than 6,800 islands and the four main islands are Hokkaidō, Honshū, Shikoku, and Kyūshū.
When is The Best Time to Study a Language in Japan
Language programs tend to run no shorter than a summer, and it is preferable that you opt for a semester or yearlong program. Since language study is very intensive and covers a lot of material, you might benefit from spending a longer period of time learning to read, write, speak, and listen regardless of your level. However, if you are at an advanced level, then a shorter course would still allow you to gain valuable language experience.
Make sure to check the deadlines for your program since language courses are sometimes taught at local universities and the application system is geared towards semesters. Also check to see how the credits will translate over to your own university.
Language Programs and Popular Cities in Japan
When choosing a language study abroad program, one of your most important considerations should be how the program fits with your pre-existing knowledge and how you can move on to the next level after it has ended. Do not tackle a program that is too advanced for you and definitely do not choose anything that is below your current level. Immersion is extremely important to language acquisition and a well-structured class should include cultural activities and chances to interact with locals.
Tokyo: If you are ready to live in a fast-paced environment and to get serious about learning Japanese, then consider a program in Tokyo. This city is a microcosm for the rest of Japan and is a great place to get started. Make sure to visit both the many fascinating museums as well as the peaceful gardens scattered all around the city.
- CIEE Study Abroad Tokyo
- IES Abroad Tokyo
Osaka/Kobe: The Osaka/Kobe area is another wonderful arena to learn about and live in Japan. The sheer amount of cultural attractions and centers will keep you occupied during your entire study abroad experience and you will definitely want to go back for more after your time is up.
- University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) Osaka/Kobe
- CET Academic Programs Osaka
Housing Options for Students in Japan
Most study abroad programs offer dormitory housing. This is a great choice for students of Japanese since you can choose to be paired with either a local or another member of your program. If you are rooming with a local from Japan, then you will have more opportunities to practice Japanese and to learn about the culture. If you opt to live with someone else from the program, then you will have a fellow student to study with. This will allow you to have an immediate friend who is just as new and excited to be studying abroad.
You could also decide to live in off-campus housing. This would give you a real taste for what it is like to live as a local. While you could choose to live alone, having a roommate would cut costs and allow you to make a new friend.
Costs of Language Study Programs in Japan
Summer programs start around $7000-$8000 and continue up depending on what is included in the program. Some semester programs can be found for $10,000, although typical costs run closer to $19,000 and up. For a yearlong program, you will be expected to spend $38,000 or more. Many of these costs include the fees for visa, accommodation, classes, and even some meals. See if you can negotiate for healthcare or even field trips to be included in the program fee.
Learning Japanese is a challenging task that would make you not only more marketable in your future career, but will also expose you to an intricate culture that you will probably fall in love with. You would have the chance to experience a different kind of university life and maybe even network with fascinating individuals like your professors or fellow students. You can participate in new activities and experience a life very separate from your own back home. Take the opportunity to live and learn in an ultra-modern society that still has very deep roots in cultural history. Study Japanese in Japan and get ready to have the time of your life.