5 Schools to Study Japanese at in Kyoto – Japan’s Ancient Capital

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Why Study in Kyoto?

Kyoto, a must-see for anyone interested in Japanese history or traditional culture, attracts visitors from far and wide but, what about living there? Kyoto is located in central Honshu and is an easy 30 minutes by train from Osaka which makes it the ideal base for exploring Japan. Kyoto offers cheaper rent than Tokyo, access to some of Japan’s oldest temples, deer in Nara and the crazy lights of Osaka!

If you want to be in the centre of it all while learning Japanese or brushing up on your language skills, then here are some of the top language schools in Kyoto that might just be for you:

Nihongo Center

Course Length:                 3 months – 2 years
Intakes:                               January/April/June/October.
                                            (only April/October for those requiring visa support or with below N5 level)
Visa Support:                     Yes
Accommodation:             Yes, furnished share houses and apartments
Language levels:              From no prior knowledge to N1
Class size:                           Maximum 20 students per class
Student backgrounds:   Various backgrounds including Taiwan, Sweden, Indonesia, France, USA
JLPT success:                    76% (2017)
Cultural activities:            Around 1 excursion per month but bigger events such as climbing Mt Fuji and
,                                             ski trips have been organised too.
Why Nihongo Center:   “We are probably the most international school in Kyoto and in the
,                                             Kansai. Furthermore, because we focus a lot on the conversational skill, we are
                                            very proud of the progress of all our students and we are often praised on this
                                            aspect, even by other school’s students.“
Website:                             Nihongo Center


Kyoto Minsai Japanese Language School

Course Length:                 2 weeks – 2 years
Intakes:                               January/April/June/October depending on the course
Visa Support:                     Yes
Accommodation:             Support provided
Language levels:              Beginner to N1
Class size:                           10-20 students per class
Student backgrounds:   Students from over 30 countries including: Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia,
,                                             Australia, various European countries
Cultural activities:            Every Friday for short term students and twice per month for long term
Why Kyoto Minsai:          “We have a lot of experienced teachers and provide stable schedule and study
,                                             curriculum for Japanese study. On the other hand, we provide a lot of cultural
,                                             activities. Students can study very seriously and they can enjoy a lot of cultural
                                           activities in Kyoto.”
Website:                             Kyoto Minsai


The Kyoto Center for Japanese Linguistic Studies (KJLS)

Course Length:                10 weeks – 2 years
,                                             1 month Summer Intensive Course
Intakes:                               April/October
,                                             July (Summer Intensive Course)
Visa support:                     Yes
Accommodation:             Real estate support provided and homestay option available
Language levels:              Beginner to advanced arranged in 7 levels
Class size:                           Approximately 10 students per class (maximum 13 students for introductory and
                                           advanced levels, 18 students for intermediate)
Student backgrounds:   Mainly from Taiwan, France and China
JLPT success:                    67% (2016)
Cultural activities:           1-2 excursions are offered per term (6 months) for the beginners’ classes
,                                            The Intermediate Culture & Art class and Advanced Business class will      have
,                                            visits to organisations or studios after studying the topic. Guest speakers may
,                                            also be organised.
Why KJLS:                         “From beginner’s level, students will start to experience Japanese culture and
                                           business sites in Kyoto. In our ‘Intermediate Culture & Art class’ and ‘Advanced
                                            Business class’, students will learn Japanese while they are studying culture
,                                             and art/business using Japanese only.
                                            As the second oldest Japanese language school in Japan, we have taught many
 ,                                            types of students for more than 60 years. We are also teaching volunteer
                                            teachers and issue some Japanese text books.”
Website:                             The Japanese Center For Linguistic Studies 

Arc Academy Kyoto

Course Length:                 3 months – 2 years
Intakes:                               January/April/July/October
Visa support:                     Long term courses: Yes
                                           Intensive courses: No
Accommodation:             Can help arrange apartments and sharehouses
Language levels:              Beginner to advanced
Class size:                           Maximum 20 students
Student backgrounds:   A great mix of students from over 30 countries including Australia
JLPT success:                    65%
Cultural  activities:           A cultural activity or sightseeing once per term (3 months)
Why ARC Academy:        “In order to foster the ability to think, our students will have many
,                                             opportunities both in and out of classroom to think about social, cultural and
 ,                                            local issues. Also, Arc Academy focuses on communication skills so that
 ,                                            students can learn and use smooth practical Japanese.”
Website:                             http://japanese.arc-academy.co.jp/?lang=en


Language Academy Kyoshin

Course Length:                 2 weeks – 2 years
Intakes:                               Long term courses: January/April/July/October
                                           Short term courses: April/July/October
,                                            *January start dates require N4 or higher
Visa support:                     Yes (long term course)
Accommodation:             Dormitory, homestay or apartment
Language levels:              8 levels from beginner to upper-advanced
Class size:                           15-20 students
Student backgrounds:   200 students from over 15 countries
Cultural activities:            Once per term (3 months). Examples include: Arashiyama hiking, traditional
sweet making and tea ceremony.
Why Kyoshin:                    “Kyoshin Language Academy is a big educational group, our 9 Japanese
                                            schools are helping each other to make happy schools for students.”
Website:                              Kyoshin Language Academy 

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Kirrily Zoon

Kirrily spent her extended gap year collecting Japanese entry stamps in her passport for her work designing itineraries for Australians visiting Japan. In 2016 however, she left the travel industry to study a BA majoring in Japanese at La Trobe University. After representing Victoria at the Japanese Speech Contest, she is now preparing to return to Japan to undertake an internship in Tokyo before embarking on a year of study in Kyoto.

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