View Full Version : Exchange/studying in Japan
2003-06-07, 05:04 PM
I was wondering if any of you know enough to help me out a bit;
I want to come to Japan on a student visa, preferably to study Japanese, and live in a homestay with a Japanese family. I am keen on Japanese culture so a not-too-big city would be nice. My question is, what steps should I take to go about this? I mean, are there organisations that can help people out with this sort of thing? I'd probably want to also work a little bit just to supplement my funds.
I'm from New Zealand, btw.
Any help would be greatly appreciated, I'm 18, out of High school with some reasonably basic Japanese skills.
Thanks very much
I have been where you are, so here are a few of my experience.
Since you have access to the internet, things will be simpler for you.
First thing you need is a High school diploma (min) since most schools will ask for it (and min age of 18). Next you need to decide how long you want to stay. There are summer intense programs at most school, as well as 6 months up to 2 years. If you want to work legally, you need a college (or pre-college) student visa, and for that you need the 6 month program (min). The school you apply to will help you here. As for your choice of school, most of them (the major ones) have an Internet site. Just go to your favorite browser and do a seach with keywords such as "Japanese school japan" "study japanese in japan" etc... You will need to request an application form by internet or mail.
But since you want to go in a "not-too-big city" you will probably have to send a letter. The Japanese Embassy or consulat would have books with school listings (for the smaller cities). There are also lists on the internet (if you want some sites e-mail me).
If you want a home stay program, make sure the school offers it. ANd in my experience, they only take you for a few weeks at a time. Months are rare. Therefore you will have to skip from one home stay family to an other. Or you could start or finish with home stay and the rest of the time live in a dorm. (they are cheaper). Most School have those.
Sorry but I have to go. But there are lost of info on the web, and also on school sites. This forum has also lots of info (just do a keyword search).
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me
2003-06-08, 02:39 PM
Thanks heaps Maya, that's been a great help. I'll have a look now and if I need more info I'll contact you. Thanks
2003-06-08, 02:50 PM
Maya, I do have one question: Do you know/think if it's possible to choose your homestay? This would make it easier for me, as I could specify my ex-girlfriend's family, which would save both money and having to keep swapping. Thanks Maya
Going to your ex-girlfriend's family will simplify things a lot. First you won't have to worry about your school having a homestay program or not. You just tell them that you don't need accomodation and just go and live where you want. The programs is for those who do not have a place to stay and would like to experience staying with a Japanese family. In this case there are negatiations and contracts to sign between the family and the school and you (ex: rules to follow, fees etc ...).
And also knowing which location you are going (ex-girlfriend's house) will give you a place to start when looking for a school. Do you want to be able to walk/ bike to your school? Or if you don't mind, there is always the option of paid transportation (some people easily travel 1h + to get to/from work/school).
An other thing I would suggest to keep in mind, is a back up plan. I don't know how things are between you and your ex-girlfriend, but will you be comfortable staying there during a long period of time? What if she gets a new boyfriend? Is her family ok with that??? Remember, once you pay for you course, few schools will give you your money back. Therefore, even if you are confident with this arangement, plan a backup. You never know. Like I mentioned before, most school have dorms at resonable prices (if not they can suggest a place).
2003-06-10, 06:25 PM
Thanks heaps for the info Maya, it's been a real help.The thing with my girlfriend is, she only just broke up with me, and I've no idea what the reason is. I might travel there in July first to see if I can sort things out with her. If we end up getting back together, then that's a bonus. Thanks heaps Maya.
I just wanted to mention one thing. You said you will go in July FIRST, does that mean you are not planning on starting school then? But If you are, I'm not exactly sure how to accomplish that... Most schools have dead lines when you apply for a course (and therefore a student visa). For exemple, if you wanted to go there for October the deadline was at the begginning of this and last month (depends on the school). In most cases, you need to apply months ahead of time (from 5 month to a year). Of course there is always the possibility of going there in person and then find a school. Put in this case you won't be able to get a student visa before coming to Japan since your school must sponser you before you come.
Well I wish you all the luck with your girlfriend. I hope things will work out.
2003-06-12, 02:12 PM
Thanks Maya. Things are really too good with her, but that's another story. I can't afford to pay for my education there AND accommodation & food, so along with our relationship she also broke practically any chance I had of going there to study, unless I meet someone else I can stay with.