Two week class in japan

Hello. I am on level 17 and am looking to accelerate my knowledge and use of Japanese by attending a two or three week course in Japan. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions in that regard?

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I did a three month study abroad program at a local language school in Osaka at the start of 2020. During that time I learned a lot of Japanese, in fact when I came back to America to continue my studies at university I already had pretty deep understanding of the content being taught for the next few semesters. My only regret is that I did not save up and actually go for a year or two to a language school. I don’t know how good a two or three week course would be in Japan but I am sure it will at least give you some good knowledge. I always tell people wanting to do short study abroad trips in Japan, if they have the means to do so of course, to maybe wait on going for a short amount of time and save up for a big year long trip.

If you are able to do that your Japanese will accelerate like crazy. There are many schools you can look into but I think the average is around 6K USD for a year. The yen being so weak right now it is a great time to take advantage of that though, in the past it was more like 10K USD. I just googled an saw the International Study Institute was an option and have many options and classes across Japan. I am sure if you did some research you might be able to find one closer to what you are looking for and in your budget. During this time may of them allow you to get a part time job too.

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That’s quite a big difference compared to a few weeks or months. Getting a long term visa and financing a stay doesn’t seem easy to me.

So 6K usd tuition plus accommodation, food, travel expenses etc.

Very much not easy. It is a life altering experience for sure.

Thank you for your thoughts. I should’ve specified that I am 62 and this is just a hobby. I have a family and life in the states.

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Ohhhhhh well then yah this is plenty for that for sure and will be a good experience. I chose Osaka because I had visited there 6 months prior and loved the area. Met some cool people too so I just had to go back. So I recommend finding out where you have an affinity for and go make some unforgettable experiences you can take home and tell your friends and family about :grin:

If you are not sure where exactly to go I do suggest looking into Osaka! Such friendly amazing people with great food. Culture wise it kind of slightly reminds me of a Austin, Portland kind of vibe. A lot more light hearted area compared to other parts of Japan.

Hello from a fellow Seattleite! :cityscape:

Two or three weeks at a language school is perfectly acceptable and there are plenty of schools that accommodate short-term visits. Though you can do up to three months on a US passport without needing a visa, I understand that having a family can make pulling away for a solo trip quite complicated.

My personal recommendation is GenkiJACS (Japanese and Culture School) - they have campuses in all of the major cities of Japan, as well as some in more countryside locations if that’s the backdrop you’re looking for. You can take a placement test when you arrive and they will place you with the class most in-tune with your level. I attended their Shinjuku location for a semester a few years ago and it was a very smooth and memorable experience. They offer apartments, dormitories, and homestays for accommodation.

I also recommend looking at GoGoNihon - they’re a middleman service that helps language schools find potential students and you can sort through the many types of schools available, as well as compare pricing.

I hope you find language classes you like! Even a two-week trip will be very fulfilling ^–^

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If you’re in Tokyo, I’d recommend Coto Academy in Iidabashi. They offer intensive courses—three hours a day, five days a week—which you can pay for weekly. They might have more flexible options too, though I haven’t tried those.

One thing I appreciated was the diverse crowd. Since they don’t issue student visas, it’s not just full of university students like you might find at other schools. I remember being in a class with a 50-year-old American guy who was working fully remotely and hadn’t told his boss he was in Japan. :joy:

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I also went to GenkiJACS, not in Tokyo but in Fukuoka. It’s not the most touristy city, so immersing for the whole day is - I’m assuming - easier than in Tokyo or Kyoto where everyone has their English menus prepared the second you step foot into the restaurant.
For accommodation, I did a stay with a host family, which was also a really cool experience. You learn about the Japanese day-to-day much more intensively compared to staying in an apartment with other foreigners. If this is something you could see yourself doing, I would recommend looking into it :slight_smile:

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Hi Dave, I think thats awesome that you’re interested in Japan and the language itself enough to wanna go to a language school.

Hopefully this doesn’t come as me raining on your parade, but just another perspective to consider: I can’t imagine 2 weeks of a language school would offer much different results than just 2 weeks of intense sudying back in the states. That is to say, its not going to make much of an impact. Especially if you haven’t been to Japan before, just going around and enjoying the country for two weeks (using japanese where you need to) might actually help do more for your studies and ability if you consider the renewed drive and love for the country it can provide. Being in the country is much less of an language learning advantage than I think some people make it out to be, but a very fun and enriching vacation here can do wonders for your attitude and drive in the months/years to come!

Just a bit of a contrarian take to keep in mind.

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Hi!

I guess it also kind of depends on what you want to get out of your time in a language school.

For me, the first time I went to Japan, I just wanted a reason to get out of bed in the morning and signed up to a language school aimed at people staying for a short period of time (Jals group). I think the big difference was that their classes mainly focussed on conversations and had more activities after school compared to the more serious school (aimed at those aiming to enter a Japanese university) I went to a few years later.

I really enjoyed it, and had a head start at college when I came back. I also stayed with a host family, which really helped when it came to immersion. I loved the host family, but I heard shared houses are also good for immersion.

Hope this helps even a tiny bit.

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Thank you for your suggestions. I worked for a Japanese company from 87 until 94 (until the end of the bubble economy) and visited headquarters in Tokyo annually during that time. I became interested in learning the language, but having small children and lack of interesting ways of studying (I.e., no WaniKani, Bunpro, etc.) made it difficult. Now, I have more time and find learning Japanese to be great mental exercise, and very fun.

Jals group in Hokkaido could be perfect.

Thanks again to everyone for your time and thoughts.

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One thing you might like to consider, depending on how much conversational practice you currently get, is maybe doing a couple of online conversational 1:1 sessions with a tutor before you go. If your Japanese study is currently mostly textbooks and reading then it might be helpful as a “warmup” so you start your two weeks in a good place to do what’s probably going to be a strongly conversational Japanese oriented class.

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Good suggestion. I have a tutor on Italki that I use sporadically. Having a trip on the books will be a good motivator to be more consistent.

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That’s great on you, Dave.
I have an IRONMAN race in Hokkaido in Sept and I will use that for a one month trip to Kamakura and Hokkaido to adapt to the weather and also to use it as a period to practice what I learn.
My focus is still my race and training.
I will only use wanikani for reading, irodori to learn the daily conversation (very minimum, I know, but better than self-study without practice in Singapore), listening to more youtube video (news, conversation, etc.).

In summary, justr list what you want to get there and enjoy the trip without stressing too much on learning. I know you have more experience in life to know this much better than I do.
Cheers.

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Hi Dave!

I think that thinking about your goals will be key for deciding on a language school. A lot of language schools tend to have a very test taking focusing approach (often the JLPT). Students at these schools are often young and preparing to enter Japanese universities and/or get jobs with Japanese firms.

It sounds to me like that’s not really what you’re after. I could be wrong, but it sounds to me like you’d be more interested in a program that has more of a practical application focus and still allows you time to do touristy things and experience the culture.

Unfortunately I don’t have any recommendations for specific programs, but I would recommend keeping this in mind when you’re evaluating programs. Do they seem super test prep focused? If so it may not be the best fit

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Good point. Thank you.

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