Intensive Study in Japan

Hey gang, lately I’ve been considering going back to Japan (I worked there for three years previously) to take an intensive study course for a year or six months (depending on what I can afford). Does anybody have any experience with this? Can you recommend any schools apart from the ones listed over at gaijinpot? I passed the N3 this year so I’m not tooooootally unschooled. Ideally I’d like to be able to live and work in Japan permanently, but I’m worried that even if I really hit the books and “get gud” after a year of full-time study I might not be able to find meaningful work. It’s a big investment and a big risk, y’know?Is being bilingual enough to get a job at a good company? I have a BA but it’s in Audio Engineering, so it’s tough to find work with that even in a country that speaks English. Anyway, I’d appreciate and thoughts, insight, or warnings on the subject. Help me sort my life out!


I’m interested in a similar future for myself, so I’m curious too.

Audio Engineering, like producing sounds on a computer? You could try to go for a gaming company.
This year, I get my BA in English Literature, which I have no idea if it’s gonna be of any use in Japan. I guess I could be a teacher? monkaS

I studied mostly working in a recording studio and a bit of post-production for TV/film, but these days I work in live sound: Music concerts, corporate events, that kind of thing. Only this year I started looking in to audio for gaming (it’s really quite different to audio for TV/film), which is a lot of fun, but it tends to be one of those industries where everybody wants 5+ years of experience before you get hired, and even then full-time positions are rare. They usually choose a new sound guy for each new project.

Teaching is definitely an option, you basically just need any kind of post-secondary degree. It was a great experience for me, just not something I see myself doing permanently. After three years the pressure to make sales and the repetitiveness of the job really got to me.

Probably not a bad place to start, though. I wouldn’t wanna teach my entire life either, but I imagine it’s good for early stability. I would just need to settle in the beginning and get used to a life in Japan, while not being afraid of being thrown out into the street. When I feel safe enough, I can maybe pursue some other career.

I’m curious what others would recommend.

Have you looked into a service called Go Go Nihon? They work directly with a handful of schools and can help you apply to a program specific to job seeking if you have a degree. They don’t charge anything (though I think they may have tacked a little on to the school’s application fee…) and, at least in my case, have been super helpful with everything regarding the application process. I believe they also help with finding accommodations, etc. but I can’t comment on that yet since I just got through the application stage (got the acceptance email last night! Yay!). At any rate, I highly recommend checking them out! Good luck!

I wonder if I’m not better off doing an internship through a company like IIJ or Zentern. Anybody have experience with those companies?

i recently used gogonihon to find my language school and they’ve been super helpful, but it takes a lot of self research to pick the right school if that’s what you want to.

to op: I had a horrible language school experience if you wanna hear about that, and Ive done a ton of research on schools if you want any advice there. If you’re planning on going to school, your end goal should really be the next step on the JLPTs so you have a formal document to show your level of skill. a school certificate isnt going to get you that far, so make sure your expectations are set!

Yeah, tell me all about the bad experience too. PM me or post here おねがい :blush:.

Ok so. I enrolled in a language school for a year, I thought I did my research, I had actually visited the school before for a short “study trip” of two months before I did the full year in an annex of the main school.

To make a long story short, the school ended up being a “visa scam” school. And if you haven’t heard of this, heres how it goes. Japanese visa are very strict. On a Japanese student visa you must go to school fulltime, but you also are allowed to get a part time job and work around 28 hrs a week. You are NOT allowed to work anymore than that. legally.

What the school would do, is accept hundreds of students (specifically from Nepal in my case), get them student visas, then place them in “part time jobs” as soon as they arrived. they would actually work these jobs 40-60 hours a week, only legally put down 28 hrs, THEN the school would take a “job placement fee” from their paychecks.

SO basically, people were abusing the student visas to work illegally and the school made a profit. I had no idea the school did this, I was one of 3 other non-nepalese students in the school. No-one actually cared about learning, they were only legally obligated to show up to the school. Everyone slept in class. It was a nightmare and I left after 6 months.

so. be careful where you go lol

I would recommend finding a company you would work for in the US and see if they have an office in Japan. Depending on your age, a year off of actually work could be detrimental to your overall career growth when you already seem to have a decent understanding of the language. Additionally, you will learn a lot participating in society sans schooling. It does not seem worth to me, but I am not you.

My recommendation would be to enroll at a reputable school like KICL in Kyoto ( I think someone on this board is there now, in fact—don’t remember who, though.

As for work, worry about that when you’re in Japan. You won’t have much time to work during school, but you can start networking and maybe do part-time in a restaurant or someplace where you’ll get to practice Japanese.

Id also recommend you find a school who makes their own textbooks and materials, that way you’re really getting a learning experience and not just a re-telling of minna no nihongo or genki that you could buy yourself.That tip was huge in me picking a school this time.

I studied at a language centre attached to a quality university, and had an excellent experience.

I went to 日米会話学院. The teachers were excellent, and it was a great experience.

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