How can I tell if a language school is good or not?

I’m going to study Japanese in Japan next year. My current issue is that I’m pretty worried about making this huge effort just to get into a bad school that won’t help me. I’ve done my research and read some close to horror Google reviews about certain language schools that I will luckily not go to.
So having said that, does anyone know if Nagoya International Academy is good or not? I’ve read the Google reviews so it looks good.

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I haven’t looked into that school but I am right there with you on being worried if the language school I picked is good or not. I am waiting to hear back on my application to the Japanese Language Course at Miyazaki Information Business Medical College but I couldn’t really find anything on whether it’s a good school or not. It’s Miyazaki City and it’s a place I really want to be in which is more why I picked it rather than for better reasons such as if I’ll come out of the course knowing things or not. I feel like not many go to Kyushu and if they do, it’s Fukuoka.

What is helping me kind of bypass the worry is knowing that no matter what school I go to, it’s 100% on me to make progress. So I’m doing what I can now to help me next year and the self-study habits I build up now are what’s going to help me beat the JLPT.

In university, I went a month abroad and studied at IFIE. Got put in the B classes, used Marugoto, some really went out of their way to learn and others (myself included) coasted and didn’t progress much. I guess me having that experience gives me a baseline of what can happen if I go back and I’m just trying to prepare as much as possible beforehand.

I don’t know if this is helpful or not but I guess what I’m trying to say is that (and this is so cliche) it’s bad if you let it be. :grimacing: They’re not inherently trying to not have you get better at Japanese and if you’re showing effort the teachers will be more inclined to also put in extra effort to see you succeed. But yes, it’s a lot of money and you have a right to be skeptical. :sweat_smile:

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That makes me feel so nastolgic. I wanted to study at a language school in Japn for a year so bad after high school, but it mostly didn’t work out because of financial reasons. So glad you actually get the opportunity to do that! I don’t know anything about the specific school you mentioned, but reading the reviews is probably the best you can do. Also, I’ve looked at the offical school side and it seems legit. But it sounds like you already booked your stay, right? So there isn’t much you can do at this point anyway. Otherwise I would have recommended Genki Japanese and Culture School. Of course it depends on what you want to focus on exactly, but what I like about this school is that they actually focus on conversational Japanese and not so much on textbook Japanese. They also have a school in Nagoya among a couple more cities in Japan. That being said, that school was recommended to me like 5 years ago, so doing your own research is adviceable.
If I may ask, how long are you going to stay in Japan? What are you goals? I’m going to Japan for a longer period of time as well coming September and I coulnd’t be more anxious, but also excited at the same time.

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The final two options were actually Genki and Nagoya. Both of these schools are pretty alike in reviews. Genki is little bit more pricey than Nagoya Academy, so I went for the latter.

What is helping me kind of bypass the worry is knowing that no matter what school I go to, it’s 100% on me to make progress. So I’m doing what I can now to help me next year and the self-study habits I build up now are what’s going to help me beat the JLPT

I’ll take your mindset. Even if it isn’t what I really expected I’ll definitely make the most out of it. My aim is to get the N2 in order to enroll in a vocational school after graduation.

But it sounds like you already booked your stay, right? So there isn’t much you can do at this point anyway.

Actually no, applications for April courses begin in September so I’m pretty close to the deadline hence why I’m so nervous right now. I think I’ll just go ahead and take a leap of faith.

So glad you actually get the opportunity to do that!

I’m pretty grateful to my family because they are financing my studies there, otherwise it would have been impossible.

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Yeah, definitely. My experience at Yamasa (bit south of Nagoya in Okazaki) was that the classes went at a pace that let you coast a little, but you also had plenty of time for independent side study if you wanted to, and every term (3 months) there was the potential to move up classes depending on your progress.

Also simply being in Japan gives you a ton of immersion and conversation opportunities – for long term study quite a bit of the value of being in a language school I think is that it’s a reason for living in the country to do something other than “be a tourist” and a way to get a visa that lets you do that.

(I occasionally have wistful ideas about going back, since the 9 months I was there were so good, but to be honest I probably don’t need more classroom study at this point. And you can never step in the same river twice…)

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