Written by Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute – Japan


Japanese, although being a fascinating and beautiful language, is very challenging to learn. It often appears in the top 5 of “The Most Difficult Languages to Learn for Westerners” rankings made by different websites. But because you are passionate or just curious, you decided to learn Japanese language anyway!
Most people usually start to learn Japanese in their home country, in a language school or by themselves, and while it is a good way to gain grammar and basic writing skills; listening and speaking skills can be more difficult to acquire. The best way to fully and quickly learn Japanese (and any language for that matter) is through total immersion. So, how about you start learning Japanese in Japan?

Studying in Japan : with what visa?

So you decided to go with immersion and to learn Japanese language in Japan. But which programs will you choose? And what are the procedures?

Procedures for Australian citizens

If this is your first time in Japan, you might want to try a short program and stay in Japan for less than 90 days. The good news is: if you choose this option, you won’t have to worry about a visa. Australian citizens can stay in Japan for up to 90 days without the need of a visa, on the condition that you don’t engage in any paid activities (if you do, then a visa will be required). You will only need to show your valid passport to immigration at your arrival airport.
If you decide that you want to enroll in a long-term program, you will need a visa. There are mainly two visas that allow you to go studying in Japan: the working holiday visa and student visa.

The student visa: how to get it

The student visa is the best option if you want to fully devote yourself to studying Japanese. Some Japanese language schools can help you with the visa application, but not all of them are accredited by the Japanese Government to provide student visas. Our Japanese Language School based in Tokyo, Shinjuku Japanese Language Institute (SNG), is accredited to apply on your behalf for a Certificate Of Eligibility (COE), a compulsory document for student visa application. Our office staff will help you through the process so you won’t be overwhelmed and since we provide multilingual support, you don’t have to worry if you can’t speak Japanese!

Learning Japanese : which courses to pick ?

When you apply to study in a Japanese language school, you will have to choose the courses you want to attend. Depending on the schools, you will have a (more or less) vast range of courses:

Long term programs

Most schools offer a long term program, from one to two years of Japanese lessons every weekdays. At SNG, we have three options for the long term course: one year, one and a half year and two years. You will of course need a visa for those courses, so make sure to pick a school that can apply for one.

Japanese business class

You can only apply for the Japanese business class level as a long term program student. Business class is usually aimed at students who have at least a JLPT N3 level (intermediate level). Those courses train you to interact in a japanese business environment, and are perfect for those of you who want to work in Japan or work in an Australian company doing business with Japan.
However, not all Japanese language schools offer these courses. At SNG, we offer not one, but two business courses, a general one and a specialized tourism business course.

EJU Preparation Courses

EJU (Examination for Japanese University Admission) is the test you can take as an international student if you wish to enroll as a regular student in a Japanese university. It consists of 4 tests (Japanese language, Science, Japanese and the World and Mathematics) used to evaluate your Japanese skills and your basic academic skills (required test type and results differs on universities). At SNG, we can train you to pass this exam with our “EJU Preparation class” for free (reserved to our long-term students).

JLPT preparation courses

If you wish to take the JLPT exam (Japanese Language Proficiency Test), you might want to have some help to go through the preparation process. While the lower levels N5 and N4 can easily be prepared by oneself, the upper levels N3, N2 and N1 are more difficult to get ready for. A JLPT Preparation class will help you go through the review of the four sections (grammar, vocabulary and kanji, writing, listening) in order to make you feel more confident on the big day.
At SNG, we help you to prepare the N3, N2 and N1 JLPT exams so you can feel confident and be successful. Our JLPT courses are also open to external students, but as a SNG student you will get preferential prices!

Summer course

This special short term course takes place during summer and allows you to study Japanese and to discover Japanese culture and landscapes with activities. With SNG’s Summer Course, you will learn Japanese in the morning and participate in various activities in the afternoon, but you will also go on one-day trips to discover beautiful places such as Kamakura and Okutama, have fun at Fuji Q Highland and get on board for a night cruise around Tokyo Bay. Check out our dedicated Summer Course in Japan page.

By choosing to study Japanese in Japan, you will improve your Japanese skills at a faster pace, and you will make unforgettable memories. Pick a place where you can learn Japanese while participating in various extracurricular activities in order to make International and Japanese friends. You will then be able to use your language skills to communicate with the people around you and enjoy your stay even more! Let’s learn Japanese in Japan!

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