How to choose a Japanese Language School: Introducing what it costs and 4 things to look out for!

In order to work or attend a university in Japan, it’s necessary to study Japanese. However, it’s very difficult to study Japanese on your own. Know the basics about Japanese language schools and the things to pay attention to when choosing one to study at.

Table of Contents
What is a Japanese language school? 
◆How to choose a Japanese language school

What is a Japanese language school?

Japanese language schools are specialized schools to learn the Japanese language. People from many countries go to these schools in order to prepare for the Japanese Language Placement Test (JLPT), or to achieve their goal to study or work in Japan.

You can receive support in various aspects of life in Japan

At a Japanese language school, you can learn not only Japanese, but also receive support in terms of your life in Japan.
For example, you can stay in a student dormitory for a low cost, learn how to fill out a Japanese resume when job-hunting, practice for interviews, and even have someone come with you to the city hall to process paperwork for scholarships, etc. 
You can easily open about worries and concerns you may have about living in Japan, even if your Japanese isn’t that good yet, at schools that have staff members who speak your native language.

It’s better than studying alone

It’s very difficult to learn Japanese from scratch by yourself. There are classes every day at Japanese languages schools, and it’s an environment where you can ask the teacher anything. Furthermore, it’s necessary to have listening skills in order to pass the N1 level of the Japanese Language Placement Test. So it’s really important to study in an environment where you can hear native level Japanese on a regular basis.

Please check out the following article if you want to learn more about the merits of studying Japanese in Japan.
Study Japanese in Japan; Benefits of Studying the Language with the Right Environment

The length of time and cost to attend a Japanese language school

The length of time one would attend a Japanese language school depends on the course, but for a standard course, one to two years is standard. The cost of tuition is about 700,000~900,000 yen for 1 year, and about 1,300,000~1,500,000 yen for 2 years.

Business courses that help prepare for employment in Japan or courses where you can study subjects like math in Japanese to prepare for university exams cost extra on top of the fees above.

For specific tuition fees, please check the websites of each Japanese language school. 

<Average cost of 2 years at standard Japanese language schools>

  Entrance exam fee Enrollment Fee Course Tuition Fee Study Materials Fee Facility usage, miscellaneous 
expenses, etc.

1st year
25,000 yen 55,000 yen 600,000 yen 30,000 yen 30,000 yen 740,000 yen
2nd year     600,000 yen 30,000 yen 30,000 yen 660,000 yen
Total  25,000 yen 55,000 yen 1,200,000 yen 60,000 yen 60,000 yen 1,400,000 yen

How to choose a Japanese Language School

Choose a Japanese language school based on your goals.
If you’re still not sure, comparing the selling points of several Japanese language schools might make it more clear for you. 

Choose an accredited school (適正校 - tekiseikou)

There are accredited and non-accredited Japanese language schools. Accredited schools are schools that are recognized by the government as “managing the international students appropriately”.

There are some Japanese language schools who do not manage their students properly, so it’s best to choose an accredited school.

To know if they are an accredited Japanese language school, you can check their website or contact the school directly beforehand. 

<The Standards of Accreditation>
To be accredited by the government, there must be less than 5% of students in the past year who apply to the following:
① Overstay their visa
② Students whose student visa renewal application was denied
③ Students who had their student visa status revoked
④ Students who had their “Permission to Engage in Activity other than that Permitted under the Status of Residence Previously Granted” revoked
⑤ Those who received deportation orders

Source: Immigration Services Agency of Japan 

Things to look out for when choosing a Japanese language school

There are several things besides whether a school is accredited when choosing a Japanese language school, listed below. Please use this as reference when choosing a Japanese language school. 

・Does the school match your goals?
 Japanese language schools have different strengths, such as schools that focus on employment or schools that focus on pursuing higher education. Choose a school that best suits your goals.

・How is the location and the commute?
 Because you will be going there every day, choose a school that will be easy to commute from where you live.
 If you choose to live in the school’s dormitory, make sure to check the distance between the dorm and the school.

・Is the school within your budget? 
 The cost of living must be considered in your budget along with the tuition fee for the Japanese language school. 
 Depending on the school, they may offer cheap accommodation, thus saving you money on rent.     

・Is there staff or older students who speak your native language? 
 If you don’t speak much Japanese, it may be comforting to have staff at the school who speak your native language that you can consult easily.

In Conclusion

So what do you think? We hope that this will be a good reference when choosing a Japanese language school.

In the article below, we introduce Japanese language schools in Tokyo in detail, so please check it out. 
Introducing 5 Japanese Language Schools in Tokyo【With Personalized Messages】

You don't have to worry alone anymore A Q&A community about Japan

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