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Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/11 23:35
Hello,
I have already got a bachelors degree and would like to spend a year in Japan as a university student (not language school) learning Japanese at a semi-leisurely pace. This is still quite some time away, I hope to do this when I have passed N3.

Basically I am wondering how to find a Japanese university with 1 year Japanese language courses for foreigners without too stringent requirements.
Please note I already have a bachelors degree, have been working for a number of years, and also have the 2.5mil yen I expect I will need for this plan. This is more of a life experience / taking a break for me than an attempt at serious study. So I am not looking for a prestigious university but rather a relaxed course.

Some people take a years break to go backpacking around the world, I instead choose to spend my year experiencing Japanese university life as a post-grad student (will probably be 30 or 31). I am fully aware this is not the most effective use of my time/money, most efficient is a language school either in Japan or even at home. However that is not the goal here.
Any actual use of the degree by itself is less important, as I will be doing further study thereafter to get N2/N1. However it may make things easier to find a job there in my main field in the future if I have a piece of paper from a university in the country.

Thanks for your help.
by Jackson78  

Re: Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/12 14:47
Contact the universities of your choice. See what they have to offer you.
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/12 19:27
What visa will you use? If student visa, there is a requirement to regularly attend to classes. Your post kind of sounds like you want to spend some time in Japan. Go SOMETIMES to university but mostly to do your private things. Well, on a student visa that wonft work. Youfll need to have good (very good) attendance records to maintain the residency status of student.
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/12 20:52
I plan to go on a student visa, and I do intend to attend all classes and actually pass the course. I was a high achiever student with an honors degree. So rest assured I actually intend to pass the course.
However, I do intend to find a course with a very light load and at a level at or only slightly above my current level of knowledge. In other words, going to select a course that I think would be a breeze but actually attend everything and take it seriously.
by Jackson78 rate this post as useful

Re: Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/13 00:00
@Jackson78

I don't see anything wrong with your plan, but you are going to have to do the research, emails, and calls to find the university and course to match your requirements.

It also sounds like you want to get the full experience of what Japan is like, increase your Japanese level, or possibly check it as a place for living and working in the future. As you already have a degree, you could possibly work part-time as an English teacher (possible with a student visa under restricted total hours) or interview for various jobs.
by Rejo rate this post as useful

Re: Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/13 10:37
@Rejo
"It also sounds like you want to get the full experience of what Japan is like, increase your Japanese level, or possibly check it as a place for living and working in the future. As you already have a degree, you could possibly work part-time as an English teacher (possible with a student visa under restricted total hours) or interview for various jobs."

Pretty much all of the above, except work part time.
Please don't assume just because I am looking to take a break from my current work for a year to experience post-grad study in Japan at a more relaxed pace means I intend to skip classes. I already have an honors degree which took 5 years of very hard study to achieve, and saving up this 2.5mil yen was not easy either. So believe me when I say I do intend to attend classes and generally not be a delinquent.

What I do mean is that I intend to take on a course with very few contact hours say with classes 2 days a week (not uncommon for some language courses at my local uni, though my course was pretty much 5 days a week plus a day of self study), studying material that I should already be familiar with. So for instance if I go over with JLPT N3, I would like to study Japanese at a rather basic level which is at or only slightly above the level of competence I arrived with.
Picking an easy course so you get to enjoy the experience and the place, while still ending up with something useful is not a bad way if one intends to take a year off work.

What I do need help with though are pointers as to where to look for suitable post-graduate Japanese courses that are only a year long. Those I found so far besides language school ones tend to be 3-4 year full on things.
My local university has 3-12 month short courses with the post-graduate crowd as the target audience. I was hoping to do something similar in Japan .
by Jackson78 rate this post as useful

Re: Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/13 13:03
A 1-year Japanese course is not a degree, so you wouldn't get that "piece of paper" that you think will make it easier to find a job.

You need to consider language schools, but as others have already said they have stricter attendance requirements.
by / (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/13 13:17
If you want to get a student visa, the course you enroll needs to be fulltime, which is at least 3 or 4 hour a day (forgot exactly which), 5 days a week.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/13 15:05
Maybe you could come with a tourist visa (and prolong it by leaving the country and reentering unless you are from a country that allows you to extend tourist visa to 6 months. ) and go to a language school that offers a course of twice a week? ( eg Cotos in Tokyo offers such classes)
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/13 15:57
I understand what youfre looking for, and that your home country university offers something like it, but you might not be able to find it in Japan.

If Ifm summarizing correctly, it sounds like you want to find a university in Japan with a year-long Japanese-language program aimed at post-graduate-level students, but which also has a light and easy study load. Thatfs sort of a tough combination to find.

For example. you mention ideally having classes only two days a week. Most Japanese university programs for foreign students, however, require more class time than that, especially if theyfre sponsoring student visas. For many Japanese universities their for-foreigner programs are somewhat of a prestige project, and they pride themselves on the amount of classroom instruction they provide.

As for finding courses where the workload wonft be too challenging, most programs require the student to take some sort of Japanese-language proficiency test, and then place them in a class there the level will be reasonably challenging (i.e. a level where theyfll learn a lot of new things if they study diligently). I suppose you could ask to be transferred to a lower level class after your placement test/interview, but theyfll probably ask why you want to, and if your answer is gI want to take classes that are easy for meh they might ask gThen why are you studying here in the first place?h

Ifm sorry if this sounds accusatory, but it sounds like your goal is to basically hang out in Japan for a year, spend only a small amount of time/effort on classwork, and obtain a certificate that will be useful in job-hunting. For the most part, though, Japanese universitiesf for-foreigner programs are designed for the exact opposite of the gjust here to hang outh philosophy. Especially at the graduate level, any program thatfs going to give you a certificate of completion for a year-long program probably is going to involve a lot of classwork.

As many other people have mentioned, pretty much all of these issues get cleared away by going to a language school. While most universitiesf for-foreigner programs are prestige projects, at language schools the for-foreigner programs are their primary revenue source, so their goal is always going to be to maximize enrollment. Thatfs not to say language schools are immoral or uncaring about the quality of their lessons, but a language school is much more likely to say gThis guy wants to take a class thatfs already easy for him? Sure, as long as hefs paying us.h

Language schools do also provide certificates of completion, which can be useful in job hunting. While they might not carry as much clout as one from a prestigious Japanese university, they should be as attractive in human resource managersf eyes as a one-year certificate of course completion from some university theyfve never heard of, and possible more so, since language school programs are focused on teaching Japanese, whereas most university programs mix in other subjects (Japanese history, culture, sociology, economics) as well, sometimes taught in English.

As for the idea of gpicking an easy course so you get to enjoy the experience and the place,h while itfs true that being in an overly challenging course will make your time in Japan unenjoyable, an overly easy one isnft much fun either. Even with a light class load, youfll still be spending hours in class every week and having to do some sort of homework assignments, and if itfs all stuff you already know, thatfs all wasting a portion of your limited time in Japan.
by . . . . (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/13 17:43
"Any actual use of the degree by itself is less important, as I will be doing further study thereafter to get N2/N1. However it may make things easier to find a job there in my main field in the future if I have a piece of paper from a university in the country." --Jackson78

From my experience and what others have told me, your past work experience or what you have a degree in is more important than having a piece of paper from a university in Japan. It is more about how closely a person matches what a company is looking for.

Usually the advantage of a person attending a Japanese university, is about the connections they make. They gain friends and are part of associations that can help them with finding work in Japan or gives them "insider" information about things outsiders wouldn't know.

In addition, your ability to communicate in Japanese, is what various companies can be looking after the candidate matches the other requirements. That is where the JLPT N1/N2 comes in. However, the JLPT is not the "be all, end all".

I've known people that have never took the JLPT, but were very fluent in Japanese and could easily impress on interviews. On the flip, I've seen where having the JLPT N1/N2 made the difference in getting the interview or job.

Some companies and recruiters might ask for the JLPT, others prefer to give their own difficult verbal and reading tests during interviews, and still others only ask for conversational Japanese and do "light" checking. Greatly depends on the company and the job.

By the way, as a supplement to your studies, you might want to get Japanese Language Decoded (www.zenpowerstore.com). Has helped me a lot.
by Rejo rate this post as useful

Re: Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/13 18:17
"What I do mean is that I intend to take on a course with very few contact hours say with classes 2 days a week..." --Jackson78

"If you want to get a student visa, the course you enroll needs to be fulltime, which is at least 3 or 4 hour a day (forgot exactly which), 5 days a week." --AK

I agree with AK on this.

I think there used to be a loophole, where foreign students could do a massive amount of class hours the first 6 months, which would then allow them to work full time or do whatever the other 6 months, if a 1 year visa. This loophole was then closed, where a certain amount of hours must be done a day and for 5 days a week. Remember some foreign college girls complaining about this some years back.

Another thing that I have heard of is a foreign person coming to Japan on a tourist visa, finding, and then attending a school. Then switching from tourist visa to student visa. This appears a bit tricky, looks like more money is needed, and not sure how that goes.
by Rejo rate this post as useful

Re: Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/13 19:14
What you want sounds like Chocesei u but you can not get a student visa and it doesn't help with job hunting or work visa application in future as people mentioned
by mamoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Studying Japanese in a local uni for a year 2021/8/14 07:47
Did you consider https://www.mofa.go.jp/ca/fna/page22e_000738.html as a status of residence option (as it allows up to one year with the extension). It would provide the most flexibility.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

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