You may decide during your course of study that you would like to change language school in Japan. Changing or transferring to a new school is certainly possible, but there are a number factors to consider before making the jump.
Firstly, ask yourself why you are unhappy with your current situation. Is it the location? Teaching methods? Class schedule and pace of study? Lack of specialized courses? Whatever the reasons may be, you should know exactly why you want to leave, and what you are looking for in your next school.
Choosing a school
It’s best to have a clear idea of what you are looking for before the school search begins. What is your overall purpose for living in Japan and studying Japanese? What are your language goals (conversational, fluency, reading and writing), and how rigorous of a schedule are you willing to commit to? Do you want to be a full-time student, or would you rather focus on the cultural experience of living abroad and study the local language on the side?
Every school has its own curriculum and varying degrees of difficulty, pacing, and specialized programs of study. The more research you do before choosing a school, the easier it will be to find a school that matches you. You should also consider your plans for after you finish school. Do you plan on returning to your home country, or are you looking to try your hand at the Japanese job market?
Bonus tip: contact Go! Go! Nihon and ask which countries most of the school’s students come from. Some language schools accept mostly students from the surrounding Asian countries, while others focus more on those from Western countries. Most schools will tailor their curriculum to the student demographic.
Changing schools on a student visa
Keep in mind that if you came to Japan on a student visa, changing language school in Japan will be time-consuming and expensive. In most cases, you will not receive any refund for the time you have left at your current school, and you will likely have to pay admission and application fees for your new school as well. You also need to get written consent to leave your current school, as both schools need to contact immigration to report your transfer. In the event that your current school refuses to let you transfer, you will have to return to your country and make a new application from the beginning for the next available term.
The process is much easier for short-term students who are not on a student visa because they don’t need to deal with immigration, however the financial burden will likely be the same.
Please note: Do your best not to skip class. Attendance is very important in Japan, and students wishing to transfer should maintain a minimum of a 90% attendance rate. Furthermore, a certificate of your attendance and grades will need to be provided to your new school regardless of the reasons why you wish to transfer.
At Go! Go! Nihon, we work with you to find the best possible match before you come to Japan, and our students have reported a very high level of satisfaction with their school placements. Still, if you decide you want to change language school, do not hesitate to contact your student coordinator at Go! Go! Nihon. We will do our best to find you a new school and help with the application procedure.