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3 months or 1 year?

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  • 3 months or 1 year?

    I need help deciding what would be a better option for me. I'm 18 years old and I really want to go to a language school. I would really like to go for a year but It's very complicated to get a student visa. They said I would have to show that I have $10,000 in my bank account even if I wasn't going to spend that much. I have a job, but showing that much money will be very hard. But If I go for three months I don't need a student visa so I will still be able to go and it will be much easier at that. I'm just wondering how much can I learn at a language school in 3 months? Is it worth it or a waste of money? Also is it possible to apply for a visa while I'm over there if I decide I would like to stay longer? And which would be better to go to Tokyo or Osaka? I would appreciate some opinions.

  • #2
    Three month language trips are more like cultural exchanges then they are serious study. Your Japanese isn't going to make any significant growth going on one. An intense year will make you conversational, assuming your only priority is acquiring the language. I teach at an international school, and at the beginning of the year everyone had put on their survey "learning Japanese" and 6 months later you know a handful of words.

    It's not that complicated really getting a student visa, assuming your school sponsors you of course. The school can make it complicated, but from the immigration perspective, its really very routine. This is assuming your going with a reputable school or program. The best options are usually university programs, as you hopefully can get into the dormitory that way.

    I know you say your not going to spend that much but starting money for someone here is about 5,000 USD, that's why if you can get into a UNI dormitory would save you a lot of upfront money. Housing here is very expensive when your getting into a new place, its why Gaijin houses are popular for newcomers. You'd probably spend 10,000 staying here for 3 months, so for a year unless your living with someone for free you'd spend a lot more then 10,000 for a year.

    If you arrive on a tourist visa, and you have a school sponsor you, it's easy to change your visa status to a longer student status.

    I. Ant say which is better for you, but for me its not even a contest, definitely Tokyo. Tokyo is THE place to be if your a newbie and looking to get the biggest impact and experience from your time here. The only reason I can think to choose Osaka, is if you really wanted to dedicate your time to studying the language and wanted fewer distractions, but if your going to do that you might as well stay home and study. Osaka has some differences in spoken Japanese, over how its spoken in Tokyo, from a linquistics point of view you'd be better off learning in Tokyo.
    Last edited by vallient; 2013-02-17, 09:31 AM.


    • #3
      In your last posts, you were asking about 'Asian Studies' at University. Rather than blowing your limited amount of money on a language-only course, I'd rather recommend to go with your original plan and study something along these lines. Chose a program that includes an exchange with Japan.