Recommended Language Schools
Sendai and Miyagi ALTs have studied at various Japanese-language schools all over Japan in the past few years. Their recommendations are listed below:
Japanese Language Schools Recommended by Sendai ALTs
SIL Nihongo Gakko
・ Location: Sapporo, Hokkaido.
・ Contact: Harumi Shima (Director & instructor) 011-614-1101 email@example.com http://www.silnihongo.com.
・ Course: July 26~Aug. 6 (June 4 deadline) Aug. 9~Aug. 20 (June 4 deadline) Aug. 23~Aug 27 (June 25 deadline)
・ Fees: Application Fee 6,000 yen. Basic Fee 50, 000 yen (two weeks).
・ Levels: All.
・ Accomodation: Homestay available, apartment above the school (not recommended), apartment in Sapporo area.
・ Living expenses: The cost for a home-stay is 22,000 yen each week. Dormitory-style rooms are also available for the same cost (with meals). A weekly apartment for one person is 21,000-23,000. There is a non-refundable 6,000 yen deposit fee for all of above options. 40,000 with food, going out (my experience).
・ Travel expenses: Ferry and trains about 20,000 yen return, be sure to book well in advance as spaces are limited.
・ Comments: It is good fun and worthwhile. Small classes, good teachers, great location. The class you enter will depend on the result of a short test you take on arrival. You can change classes if it's not to your liking?but be firm about it. The course is intensive and is designed to get you speaking lots! To practice what you learn in the classroom, doing a home-stay is recommended. Sapporo is a great place in the summer. It is a break from the intensive heat of Miyagi and you are learning Japanese at the same time. Fabulous atmosphere in Sapporo in the summer!
Tohoku Gaikokugo Senmon Gakko.
・ Location: Sendai, Miyagi.
・ Contact: Jiro Hashimoto (Vice-Principal) firstname.lastname@example.org 022-267-3847; Michiko Onodera (Head of Japanese Language Education) email@example.com 022-263-0820; Yukiko Abe 022- 263-0820 http://www.tohokugaigo.ac.jp (though no information on the course).
・ Course: 7/22~8/1 (usually two weeks, can tailor the course to you).
・ Fees: About 45,000 total. Levels: Tailored to you.
・ Accomodation: n/a
・ Living expenses: n/a
・ Travel expenses: Same as regular week in Sendai.
・ Comments: Tohoku gaikokugo gakko wasn't running any organized courses which were suitable to my needs but offered to schedule a course as long as there were a minimum of 4 people. They conducted a brief and straightforward telephone interview to gauge out level beforehand. To be honest I donft think the course pushed me quite enough, and a lot of what we covered was review for me (though useful nonetheless). I would have preferred to study outside of Sendai and plan to do so this year, but moving apartment and going home in early August for a wedding made that impossible and this set-up worked well for me. It was a bit more expensive than some of the other schools, but you lived in your own apartment and had no additional costs and it was one teacher to only four students, a better ratio than at most schools Ifve heard of.
International Christian University (ICU).
・ Location: Mitaka City, Tokyo.
・ Contact: Research Center for Japanese Language Education
・ Tel: 0422-33-3501
・ Fax: 0422-33-3631
・ E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://subsite.icu.ac.jp/scj
・ Course: July 5 to August 14 (6 weeks)
・ Fees: Application fee: 10,000yen (non-refundable)
・ Course fee: 200,000 yen.
・ Levels: 1 (basic) to 8 (proficient in speaking but not in reading and writing).
・ Accomodation: Dormitory; Global House (a dorm with A/C) Home-stay Find your own apartment No meal plan but there is a cafeteria on campus.
・ Living expenses: Undergraduate Dormitory: 50,000 yen Global House: 84,000 yen Home-stay: 80,000 yen Find your own apartment (many options but can be very expensive)
・ Travel expenses: Shinkansen fare from Sendai to Tokyo is 10,590 yen one-way; overnight bus fare from Sendai to Tokyo Station is about 6,900 yen one-way and 11,800 yen roundtrip. Commuting cost within Tokyo depends on where you live.
・ Comments: This is an intensive Japanese language program at a liberal arts college in western Tokyo. Mitaka-shi is 30 minutes from Shinjuku on the Chuo Line. The teachers are very good and there are many classes to accommodate students of various levels. The homework and tests are abundant and challenging. This is not a class to take if you want to be a tourist in Tokyo for the summer. However, the learning curve is very high and the staff is very helpful and organized. The classes cover language, reading, writing, and speaking, with about 14 students and two teachers in each class. Classes are from 8.30 AM to 12.30 PM. Three times a week there are cultural activities and outings at an additional cost. The college campus is in a suburban setting and it is very green and big. The program participants were mostly college students, mainly from the USA, but a large number were also from Asia. (I believe this school has an affiliation with the University of California.) Overall, it is a very solid program and I recommend it to anyone who really wants to study. It is quite long in comparison to other programs and I had to use nenkyuu (some from both years) to go, but it was worth it!
Kai Language School.
・ Location: Shinjuku, Tokyo. Contact: 03-3205-1356 http://www.kaij.co.jp
・ Course: July 25 to August 15 (3 weeks)
・ Fees: 69,000 yen.
・ Levels: Beginner, intermediate, advanced conversation, prep for JPLT, private lessons also available.
・ Accomodation: The school does not provide housing, but it does refer you to places you can stay during the course. Alternatively, several guest houses can be found athttp://www.jafnet.co.jp. Living expenses: 30,000yen Travel expenses: Shinkansen fare from Sendai to Tokyo is 10,590 yen one-way; overnight bus fare from Sendai to Tokyo Station is about 6,900 yen one-way and 11,800 yen roundtrip. Commuting cost within Tokyo depends on where you live. Comments: I had a great experience at this school. The staff and students were among the most interesting people I that I have met in Japan thus far. I would definitely recommend Kai if you are into a no-nonsense but friendly, to-the-point Japanese course. Classes move pretty quickly and expose you to a lot of information. Class sizes range from 7-15 students. The teachers are focused, energetic, and inspirational. The atmosphere is laid-back and the focus of is on learning. The student body is rather diverse from professionals to students to JETs.
The Yamasa Institute.
・ Location: Okazaki City, Aichi.
・ Contact: Declan Murphy Tel: 0564558111 Fax: 0564558113 email@example.com http://www.yamasa.org.
・ Course: Yamasa offers many different types of courses. The courses can last from anywhere from two weeks to two years. The SILAC (Short Intensive Language Acquisition Course) starts once every two weeks all year round. These courses run either 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12 weeks. Fees: 4 weeks: 123,200 yen 6 weeks: 170,016 yen 8 weeks: 216,832 yen (Discounts are given if you pay the fees in advance and JET participants are also given a discount)
・ Levels: Conversational Japanese study to Advanced Japanese study are available. Classes are available for absolute beginners to advanced students.
・ Accomodation: There are many different types of accommodations. Studio apartments are available at four different sites and there are also two dormitory style accommodations available. Students can also participate in a Homestay Program. There are no meal plans available. Each accommodation does have cooking facilities.
・ Living expenses: The cost of each accommodation is different. For example, if you choose to stay in the Student Village (a dormitory style facility) the cost for 4 weeks would be 70,000 yen. Additionally, there is also a futon rental fee of 2000 yen a week for each facility. Living expenses per week depend on the activities that you decide to do. You will need to buy your own food. You also may wish to rent a bicycle.
・ Travel expenses: Cost of travel down to Okazaki variesctaking the shinkansen is expensive, but there is an overnight bus to Nagoya (18,340 yen, return) and then it is only about a 30 minute train ride to Okazaki. From Okazaki, travel to places in central Honshu is relatively inexpensive. Kyoto, Ise, Mt. Fuji, Hiroshima, Himeji are all within a 3 1/2 hour train ride. Train fares vary from about 2000 yen to 13,000 yen for the above mentioned locations.
・ Comments: This is an APJLE (Association for the Promotion of Japanese Language Education) accredited program. The website is very user friendly and informative. The staff/teachers are supportive and helpful to their students. Most of the teachers have experience in learning a second language therefore understand their studentsf frustrations and problems. One recommendation---do not take any C.A.L.L. Seminars. These are computer-based seminars. You pay extra tuition, go to an extra class, and work by yourself. However, all of the students at Yamasa have access to the same computer program that is used for these seminarsctherefore you can do the same type of class on your own time but without paying the extra tuition.
Osaka YWCA College.
・ Location: Osaka, Kinki.
・ Contact: TEL 81-6-6361-2955 E-mail is the best way to contact YWCA if you have any questions and canft speak Japanese. firstname.lastname@example.org http://osaka.ywca.or.jp/college_eng
・ Course: July 20th to August 6th (2.5 weeks)
・ Fees: Entrance fee: 10,500 yen Tuition fee: 59,000 yen
・ Study materials: 2,500-3,500 yen
・ Levels: Beginners 1 (no experience) Beginners 2 (some experience) Intermediate Advanced
Accomodation: Homestay is available. Otherwise, youfre on your own to find a place to stay. Ifm sure that someone there can recommend a place if you ask or e-mail them. As for the meal plan, everyone brings their own lunch or goes out to eat.
Living expenses: It depends on where you stay and if you choose to bring your own lunch or go out to eat. Travel expenses: Shinkansen fare from Sendai to Tokyo is 10,580 yen. From Tokyo to Shin-Osaka Station, the fare is 13,750 yen.
Comments: In order to receive the application form, I had to e-mail the YWCA at email@example.com to get them to fax me a copy. Their fax # is 81-6-6361-2997. You must submit the application form with a photo by July 13. If you want to do a homestay, then submit the application by June 16. Payment for the entrance and tuition fee is due on July 15. The placement test is on July 15 from 10:00~12:00. Just have them mail you the placement test, like I did, if you canft make it to Osaka at that time.
Kyoto Japanese Language School.
・ Location: Kyoto, Kansai. Contact: 075-414-0449 http://www.kjls.or.jp
・ Course: July 14 - August 10 (but adjustable).
・ Fees: 75,000 yen (four weeks, discount for a shorter term).
・ Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced (all with different internal levels).
・ Accomodation: None, but homestays or lodging can be arranged by the school.
・ Living expenses: Varies. Comparable to Sendai. Varies with how much you want to travel, eat out, etcc ・ Travel expenses: About 20,000 yen on the bullet train, one way. Highway tolls are the same, and could be split between more people.
・ Comments: I highly recommend this language course and studying in Kyoto in general. It offers you a chance to improve your Japanese skills as well as experience living in one of Japanfs most beautiful and culturally rich cities. Kyoto is centrally located in Kansai enough to allow you to travel in and around the surrounding areas and see Osaka, Himeji-jo, Kobe, not to mention all the temples and historical sites within Kyoto itself. The school itself was great and the level of teaching was high. Many after-school cultural activities and demonstrations were offered but there is no pressure to attend. You may pay a little more money that you would at some other courses, but you get to live in Kyoto. I got a discount since I wasnft able to come until the second week of the course.
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