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Have you ever wondered how much it costs to study in Japan? What kind of service does Go! Go! Nihon offer? These are some of the questions we answered about living and studying in Japan. Davide will answer all of them during this video.
If you prefer to read, you find the transcript of the video right here. Enjoy the video!
This is Davide with Go! Go! Nihon here and as announced before, today we are gonna answer the 10 most common questions about living and studying in Japan.
Actually, we collected more than that, so hopefully we’re gonna have time to go through a lot of questions that usually people that contact Go! Go! Nihon ask. So you guys have been asking this for so many years, we basically a list the most common questions and we’re gonna go through them today and we hope this is gonna be very helpful for you that you are thinking maybe to go to live and study in Japan at some point. We really hope it’s going to be very informative, this live session with you.
Those questions were collected by our student coordinator. So Go! Go! Nihon has student coordinator from different countries, actually we employ people from 17 different countries and we speak 8 languages. In particularly, those FAQ were collected by our internationaL student coordinator, so English speaking student coordinator, we have people from the US, from Australia, from also the UK. I’m personally from Italy. Again, we employ people from all over the world, so it’s a mix of questions.
Sometimes people from Europe ask us some different questions from people from the US or Australia. That’s very normal. We try to cover everything. Again, you are watching now as live on YouTube, but we will be posting this video probably also in other social media after. At any time, you could ask your questions in the comments, but also remember that you can also go to our site, gogoihon.com, find our contact page, and let us know your questions, because sometimes questions are very specific to the single person.
There are a lot of questions that are already prepared, but at any time you can contact us and we will be very happy to get back to you.
So the first, the number one, most common question that people ask Go! Go! Nihon when they’re thinking about living and studying in Japan is, what type of support do you offer? So what type of support Go! Go! Nihon offers, what Go! Go! Nihon does to help people live and study in Japan. So, we basically cover everything needed to live and study in Japan.
We start suggesting you what’s the best language school or what’s the best school, in case you want to go to University or vocational school for your needs. So, every person is different. Some people want to study very intensively, some people want to have more free time, some people wanna find an employment, some people want to go to University after the course, so we really try to suggest to you the best school in the city and the type of school depending on your needs. We do all the paperwork so, you know, all the complicated paperwork that is required to apply to a school in Japan is done by us. Of course, we still need you to send us some documents, and we will see them later which documents are required, but then we will check for you, we will translate for you, everything will be done by Go! Go! Nihon.
We look for accommodation. We partner with different type of accommodation in Japan from home stay to dormitory, also shared houses, and private apartments. So again, depending on your budget and your needs, we can suggest to you accommodation that is closest to your needs in the city you want to live. We answer your every question because everyone is different, everyone has his own needs, again, so there are very specific questions every time that you guys are asking us.
We organize events in Japan. Most of the people, they come by themselves. Of course, sometimes people come with a friend or two, they come in a group, but it’s common, I did this myself, 10 years ago I came by myself and I didn’t have many friends. At that time there was no Go! Go! Nihon.
It was really difficult the first few weeks to find friends. Luckily, Japanese people are very open to foreigners, so it was easy to make friends quickly. But the first weeks, what we usually do, we have a big party for the new students, for the new intake, and then we invite everyone, plus we also incite Japanese people so you can meet students from other schools or from other nationalities, plus Japanese people that wanna meet foreigners, and you can already make quick a lot of friends, like you know, several friends from the very first week you come to Japan. It’s a free event organized by Go! Go! Nihon. Not just in Tokyo, but also Kyoto, Osaka, and this year we started also with a little bit smaller event, but still we had an event in Fukuoka and Sapporo, as well. Most important, all the service is free. We will go after, there is a question that asks about the free service, so we will cover that later.
Just to give you some numbers, the reason why we started Go! Go! Nihon is because we wanted to share our experience of coming to Japan to live and study. Again, I did it myself 10 years ago now. Most of the people here, most of the foreigners here, they actually contacted Go! Go! Nihon first, they came in Japan as bilingual students with Go! Go! Nihon and then, you know, at some point they started working here. So they all had done the same experience maybe you are thinking to do. So we wanna share this experience, we wanna help more people to do the same we did, because we all believe that Japan has been a fantastic experience.
It really changed my life, it changed the life of people here, and we want more people to be able to do it. Since 2009 we have more than 6,000 people from over 70 different countries to live and study Japan. So those are numbers that probably no one else have and the reason, again, is because this service has been so helpful for so long. You can, you know, search yourself online about it. We partner right now with 23 schools in Japan, so it’s not only Tokyo, but we cover all the islands, all the main island and the other islands.
This second most common questions, the second most common question, sorry, is how is it possible that the service is free? So this is a question that people usually ask, what is the catch? You know, it’s impossible, free things don’t exist. Actually, we get support from schools and accommodations, as I mentioned, and other institutions in Japan to be able to offer this service for free to you. So you will be paying the school directly, the real estate directly, exactly the same you would pay doing everything by yourself. So without the paperwork support, without the guidance for the school, for the accommodation, without the events for free, and every question answered in your native language.
You have to do everything yourself or you use Go! Go! Nihon, the price doesn’t change because, of course, our agreement with the school is that, you know, the price has to be the same. The reason why the schools support us is because they are Japanese people and they don’t really know much about Western and different problems and different thinking way of Western. There are so many countries in Europe and North and South America, so, our expertise is basically communicating with you, with you guys, and giving you information that is very relevant to your nationality and to your background, so the schools is very happy because more Westerners are going to Japan right now thanks also to Go! Go! Nihon and you guys are, of course, very happy because you can get everything for free. So this also should answer the second most common question about living and studying in Japan.
The third question is do you currently have to be a student? So, sometimes people think that this is only for students in the sense of people that are currently a student in their country. Let’s say you are from the US, you are from Canada, you are from UK, or any other country, do you need to be a high school student? Do you need to be a University student to live and study in Japan? Absolutely not. So this actually doesn’t matter. You can be currently a student, you can, you know, come for a short term, while you’re a student you can put on all your University and come to Japan long term, as well. Some people do that. You could be an employee, you could have been finished at University a long time ago and you’ve decided that now it’s time for you to go to Japan. So there is not any education required. Everyone is okay, you don’t have to be currently a student. Generally most of the schools actually want you to have a high school diploma. So generally speaking, you should have a high school diploma.
The fourth most common question is what is the age limit? Again this is very common and it’s very understandable because people think, I must be very young to do this. Well, myself I came to Japan when I was 26 the first time and I started a beginner course from zero. We have people from every age. I would say the majority of people are between 18 to 26, 28, but also there is the possibility for underage to join what we call study trip, which is a short term program specifically for underage. So all your classmates and all the people participating with you through this adventure would be underage from many different nationalities. This is a little bit, I would say, like a sister product, a sister option for you.
You need to go to a website that is called studytrip.com if you are underage and you find Youth Japan, also we offer other countries like Youth Korea course. It’s still us organizing it, it’s just specifically for underage, so the website is different, it’s called studytrip.com. Getting back to Go! Go! Nihon, so living and studying in Japan, with a tourist Visa if it’s three months or less, with a student Visa if it’s longer, there are not age limits. You should be 18 plus to with a student Visa. If you have more than 30 years, there are a few extra documents that immigration asks, but thanks to our support, that won’t be a problem.
We also have students over 50, we also had a couple of 60 plus. Any of you guys really want to come to Japan and you feel that it’s the right time for you, it’s absolutely possible. Just because the nature, if you are 50 or 60 plus, we would just suggest to you a lower paced school rather than a very intensive school for people that want to enter to University very challenging every day, but I think that makes sense, but it’s still possible and we have cases every year. Again, I came myself when I was 26, so I was not a typical like 18 University student or 20 University student. This question was asked by Ray on Facebook before. So thank you, Ray, for asking the question and if you guys are not following us on Facebook or Instagram, please check it out, because we update daily and it’s very interesting also to check the information we put that is a little bit different. It’s more cultural and fun. Please have a look.
Number five, do you have to study Japanese before going to Japan? That’s another very common question. You do not have to study, you don’t have to know Japanese before coming to Japan because you are coming to Japan to study and learn Japanese. However, of course, if you’re not a beginner, if you studied in University or studied yourself, the school will give you a placement test. Every school will give you a placement test to be placed in the level that is closest to your level. Now it sometimes happens that you don’t find exactly the same level because schools have maybe 10 levels, 15 levels, but still everyone coming from a different country with a different study path cannot be only identified in 15 levels. So there’s going to be in the level you are placed things you’ve already done, but things you haven’t done. It’s always like that.
The thing I can guarantee that studying in Japan will make everything so much faster. Like usually if you study three years in your country, you’ll come to Japan and the same is done in three months. Just because it’s everyday study, four hours a day, very intensive, you only study Japanese. Then when you go out you have to use Japanese. If you want to go to a convenience store, supermarket to buy stuff, you will have to use Japanese. So the pace of learning is so much higher. But again, you can be a completely beginner.
However we suggest, so you don’t have to, when you apply you don’t have to know any Japanese. You can apply now if you even have an open Japanese grammar book and you don’t know what hiragana katakana is, it’s fine. However, my super strong suggestion is to, from the time you have applied to the time you actually come to Japan, you know it could be several weeks, it could be a few months, please learn at least hiragana and katakana. So the two Japanese alphabet, not the kanji, that’s, you know, it could be a little bit more challenging, and you can study perfectly in Japan, but hiragana and katakana, it’s like an alphabet, are symbols that they use to basically read Japanese words. Some words are only written in hiragana, some foreign words are only written katakana, you can always read every kanji with hiragana reading on the top called furigana. But if you know hiragana and katakana and you come here that you have already studied it, your life will be way much easier.
Actually, I would say this is the number one problem for people that come to study in Japan that may make their experience tough or not. If they asked me what would be the number one problem, I would say people that haven’t studied at all hiragana and katakana or they’ve studied so so. That is also why we decided to develop an app ourself, because we really wanna fix this problem as much as possible. Ideally we want every student that come with Go! Go! Nihon to understand that it’s important to know hiragana and katakana, and that they use the app because its just easier to check on our mobile maybe when you commute to school, to work, or just when you have free time rather than having all these papers and then buying books and it just takes space and it’s hard to bring outside, it’s hard to bring to Japan, but with an app it’s always on your mobile or smart phone. So both in the Play store and in the Apple store, you can download hiragana quest. So it’s spelled hiragana like hiragana and then quest is key, sorry, it’s Q-U-E-S-T. We will write the link in the comments so you guys can find it, but we just released it actually one week ago. So it’s super, super recent and you can practice as many times as you want the writing system.
You can have stories that also shade each symbol with actually a meaning, so it’s easy to remember for people not living here, not seeing hiragana and katana every day. It has audio, so you can listen to the real pronunciation. Actually one of our staff recorded the audio, so it’s a real Japanese person that recorded the audio, so I really suggest you to. It’s free to download, then if you wanna use 100%, there is a very small fee to pay because, you know, it cost us to develop and all the costs involved with it, but at least the free download I suggest you to see. You have I think 10 kana you can learn for free. Please, guys, give a look. So I hope this also answered the fifth question, do we have to study Japanese before going to Japan. Then we have a few questions that are cost related. So we tried to categorize. We answer about like limits and requirements now. Now the next section is about cost related.
How much does it cost actually to get to Japan to live and study? So I’m gonna read here because I wanna be as accurate as possible. I don’t wanna make mistakes. So roughly it’s 1.2 million yen for initial six months. That would cover everything, though. So we consider 1.2 for the school fees, for the accommodation, for living expenses, considering you don’t do any part time job for six months, 1.2 million yen. Now you’re probably asking and figuring out how much would it be. The easiest way is always to go to any website currency converter that has the live, like today’s currency exchange, because that’s just things change, right? So whatever I’m saying now, you guys should double check because maybe you watch this video after one month, after one year and things have changed. I hope in the best, I hope the yen get as weak as possible for everyone to be able to come for cheaper.
There’s actually sometimes even 30% difference just because of the currency exchange. So right now I would say the 1.2 million yen, it’s about maybe a little bit more than 10,000 US dollars, and a little less than 10,000 euros. But again, please check the currency converter, but that’s for the six months full experience. I will answer later about part time jobs. You can work part time and pay part of the expenses with that. But that’s the money you should have in your mind if you really wanna come to live and study in Japan. You should either save them or you should have a financial sponsor, usually one of your parents or grandparents that wanna support you. Again, this is a huge investment for everyone because it’s not just that you spent six months in Japan, you actually learn Japanese and we bet this will change your life.
Wither you find a job in Japan, either you go back to your country, you will always be the person from, I don’t know, from the US, from the UK that can speak Japanese. This will be great for job interviews for looking for a job or just, you know, networking. It’s something, I mean I can tell from my personal experience, but I also speak with students, they always end up to find something related to Japan. So this experience will put you outside the comfort zone, yes, because you’re not gonna be doing the same thing you do everyday in your house, but then it will give you a huge learning that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Another question related to cost, I call this six A, so we are still on the sixth question, average price for schools and accommodation? We suggest you to check our website because the price really changes depending on your needs. You wanna have a private apartment, you wanna live in Tokyo, you wanna live in Fukuoka, you wanna have a dormitory, you’re coming only for two months, or sorry for two weeks, or you come for six months. So the money you pay per week are all so different. So it’s really difficult to give an answer for everyone that would basically an FAQ only about accommodation price, but we list prices for schools and also for accommodation on our website. Again, for short term experiences of a few weeks, so two, three, or four weeks, you should search instead studytrip.com. But for anything else that goes more than one month, so two or three months, six months, one year, two years, or even more if you’re planning to go to University, you should search gogonihon.com and there are specific sections with all the prices.
Question number seven, I heard it’s cheaper to live outside Tokyo, so should I study elsewhere? This is true in some cases, but there are affordable apartments, dormitories, solutions in Tokyo as well. Actually, one of the cheapest schools we have is based in Tokyo, so you could, it really depends on your lifestyle, right? So if you really wanna live in Tokyo because you wanna live in the capital, you wanna have more opportunities for finding part time jobs or employment and you wanna compromise a bit on like the size of the place you live and maybe it’s okay for you to sleep in the school dorm, I think you can still find something affordable.
On the other side, if you really want an apartment or you want to kind of have a little bit better quality of life over all, spending maybe the same money you would spend saving in Tokyo, then, you know, if you go to other cities, maybe smaller cities, you can have a little bit higher quality lifestyle with the same money. So it’s really dependent on you and again, I think we do a very good job to suggesting you based on your needs and what’s your priority. Because you can, you should have priorities, right? So you shouldn’t want the cheapest school, the best quality accommodation, the largest room, spending the less money. You know, at some point, you need to tell us what would be your budget and what would be your preference. Then, if we know that, since we’ve done this for more than 6,000 people for nine years now, I think we can do a very good job to select, you know, the options. Then you can see yourself before, of course, you decide to book.
Number eight, question number eight, can I use financial aids towards studying abroad at Go! Go! Nihon? While Go! Go! Nihon doesn’t directly help with financial aid and scholarships, so we don’t offer our financial aid or scholarship, we have experience with helping students that cannot gain such methods for funding to study abroad. So for example, depending on the country, there may be some funds and scholarships available and we can support you to get all the paperwork, the letter from the school sometimes as necessary, and also sometimes to extend the scholarship you need to show attendance rate and things like that. We support you 100% in getting this. So if you heard about a scholarship in your country or you have, you know, some system in place, you can just contact us, we can look into it with you and I think we can help you to get it done to the school of your choice. Some scholarships they may require you to already have acceptance study abroad program, so in the case, you must first prove that you have finances to apply, even if you don’t use those finances, because you’re gonna have the scholarship, but you should still show to get the acceptance letter from the school that you have the finances to apply, and then you can use, you get the acceptance letter from the school and then you can use the scholarship. But this is again in some specific cases.
I’m gonna read this from our American student coordinator from US students receiving financial aid, if you remain enrolled full-time at the US institution and reduce it for study abroad courses while on your program, it’s possible to apply for aid. You should be aware, though, that in order to do this you will need to discuss the possibility of such an arrangement with the respective study abroad office, academic departments, and university’s office of financial aid. So we can help you on the Japan side, but you still need to communicate with your university or your aid office in US or in your country.
Then question number nine I think is similar. Can I use scholarship or other means to come to Japan, an example, a GI bills, etcetera. So again, the answer, this is a very similar question, the answer is very similar, so we always support you when you are already in contact with the local scholarship office. So you should feel there is not a problem for the Japan part or whatever is required, we will get it for you, but you still need to communicate with your local Japan office, For some countries, like Sweden, we are very actually familiar with CSN. We’re also, you know, in contact with them. So that’s a little bit different just because so many people use us in Sweden. We are also very familiar with GI bills for Americans. Again, we are familiar with some other scholarships, you know since we work with 17 different countries, I’m not gonna here list all of them. But sometimes, you know again, we find out about another program, maybe a temporary program or a very specific program, and we always do our best to help people to get the scholarship.
Now moving on, there is another question on Facebook that came, as an American who hasn’t experienced living in Japan, and has not dealt with the often cramped living spaces that you find in Japan, what are some useful tips on what to expect and things to consider when moving into your first residence in Japan? So we asked this to our American staff, so this was not my direct reply, because as an Italian, a European, it could be different. So I’m gonna read again, sorry if I’m just reading and not looking at you, but I think it’s more important the quality of the information. “The urban planning of Japan is quite unique “in the sense space can be limited. “Living in cramped or small spaces depend entirely “the fixed limit of your budget, however. “While it’s true some apartments are smaller “and have higher rents based on their location “or accessibility to a train station, “it’s important to know that you have weighed “the importance of every factor when seeking accommodation. “As a general rule, “if you are planning to move into “a smaller space for your apartment, “expect counter space in kitchen to be limited. “No Western styled ovens are available.” Yes, that’s true.
Unfortunately, it’s so rare to have a Western styled oven. “You may or may not have a loft space “to go with your apartment, “and storage closets will need support beams “to hang clothes as a separate purchase. “The way you hang dry laundry will depend “on the layout of the apartment. “You may opt to house a laundromat instead.” That’s also common at the beginning. Maybe your place will be small. If you have a shared house, usually you have bigger common spaces like kitchen and toilet and also washing machine, but if you rent your own space, maybe it’s very small and you just go to a proper coin laundry, local laundromat. Which is pretty popular in Japan, so you find them everywhere, every area, and then you just with maybe $1 or $2 you can have washing and $1 or $2 you can have the drying. “We encourage students to do as much research as possible “as the apartment you choose in the end “will ultimately be up to you. “We are here to find you a place best to fit your needs. “For more information on accommodation, “please check out gogonihon.com/accommodation and our blog.” So we have a very nice article. We always try to write about Japanese culture and Japanese life from a student point of view on our blog. I definitely suggest you check it out “and if you search for gogonihon.com/yen/blog “you can see and you can search in the blog “for apartments related articles.” So I wanna thank Jesse for this answer because that’s coming from a US point of view. I hope that was a good answer, but again if you come from another country and you wanna know, we may have a staff from your country or from the area you live and give a more tailored advice on accommodation. Now let’s talk about jobs.
Question 11, so actually we already passing the 10th. I think we have time, so I can give you some more extra question and answers. “I want to work part time to offset some costs while studying abroad in Japan, but I still want to study at the highest intensity and get as fluent as possible as quickly as possible, can I?” So working part time together with finding, studying at a very high pace, is it possible? It’s very difficult to do, but not impossible. Depends, if you are very confident on your study ability, how much you are willing to sacrifice like the free time, the fun time, usually an intensive school will give you three to four hours of homework and you go to school, again, about four hours, so it’s pretty much the day considering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s gone. That’s what will be your life. So you work part time, again three or four hours. You can work as a language student 28 hours a week and 40 hours a week when you’re on holiday. So basically four hours to go to school, four hours homework, four hour part time work is 12 hours. Then you have two or three hours to eat, and then eight hours to sleep, or you know, the time you spend at home, and that’s it. So this is how challenging it would be to go to a very intensive school plus working part time.
However it’s possible, we have plenty of cases and it’s very rewarding at the end, because maybe in six months or eight months, you really already are able to speak and maybe, you know, you find a better job faster or you can go back to your country faster. That aside, there is always the possibility to focus on study without working part time if your finances allow you to do that. It’s also recommended for people that don’t need necessarily to get money working part time. Other results are the other way where you choose a lower intensity school and you have less homework, like maybe one or two hours per day. So you have those two extra hours which is basically more relaxing time, meeting friends in the evening, and you can still work part time. So you have different options.
Question number 12, “I want to find work in Japan after I graduate high school and study at a Japanese language school. Can I?” So if you don’t have at least 12 years of education in your country, any A levels or their equivalent, or you’re not eligible to move on to higher education in your home country, then you’re not eligible to obtain higher education in Japan. So basically, are you able to go to higher education in your country? Are you able to go to university in your country? Then, you could go to university in Japan. Of course we still need to check some papers and documents, but that should be possible. If you, for example, dropped out of high school, or you’re not able to go to higher education in your country, then still, you need to do some extra study before able to go to a university in Japan.
To find employment, unless you have a lot of work experience in some specific fields, like cooking or IT or other specific fields, you have at least five years in some cases 10 years of working experience, you should have a Bachelor. If you have a Bachelor degree or equivalent, then you don’t need work experience, you can find an employment in Japan. Of course, if you don’t have a Bachelor yet, but you finished high school or you can go to higher education, you can go to a university in Japan, then you’re able to find employment in Japan. Or you can also go to a senmon gakko, which is a vocational school, a professional institute, that teaches you a specific subject. That could be animation, computer graphic, photogrpahy, and then you get a degree in that subject, and then you can find employment for that thing you have studied. So you don’t have to finish four years university, usually it those senmon gakko are two years. Then we talk a bit about universities. They’re specifically coming from the US people that contact Go! Go! Nihon. So I have two or three answers from Americans that are really interested in going to university in Japan.
“I want to go to University in Japan. What does that look like?” So actually again, Jesse really helped us a lot to put up those questions up. He also, I think it’s going now, at the moment, he’s still completing his university course in Japan, so as an American he has the full experience of going to study into a Japanese University. He wrote this answer. So again, I’m going to read it, because I think it’s very important to give you accurate information and since I didn’t go to university in Japan, I went to language school in Japan, I graduated in Europe, then I think his voice is way much more informed than I was. So the question again was, “I want to go to university in Japan, “what does that look like?” And the answer from Jesse was, “there are two different routes here “for those waiting to attend their university in Japan. “In the first route, a prospective student “can apply for a program entirely conducted in English. “It may be necessary for students to provide “English proficiency score or of either IELTS or TOEFL, “T-O-E-F-L. “In the case of out partner institution, “Tokyo International University, “students outside of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, and US, “are required to submit English proficiency scores.” So for out partner university, if you’re not from one of the countries I just mentioned, you need to provide proof of English proficiency. “The other route is for students who “want to enroll in a regular program “taught completely in Japanese.
“If you are wanting to enroll in a Japanese university “outside of our partner vocational colleges “and need to acquire Japanese proficiency beforehand, “the Japanese language school you attend “will most likely be able to help you “to apply to a higher education institution of your choice. “In the case you are attending “an internal Japanese language school “of a vocational college that we partner with, “the process is even easier. For example, in the case of Nihon Kougakuin, or Yokohama Design College, those are two vocational schools and they have a language school inside the vocational school, so that’s automatic for you to pass to the vocational school when you reach the right level of Japanese. And you take one year, one year and a half, depending again on what’s the level when you start and what’s the speed of your learning. Also, they usually give you some discounts if you move from the language school to the vocational school, so we suggest you to follow this pattern. “Secondly, for Japanese universities, “we heavily encourage students to begin their studies “of the Japanese language in April, “as this is the beginning of the academic year in Japan. “Any school you enroll in thereafter “would be about a year to two years later “the following April.” Yes, so the academic year in Japan is from April to March, so we suggest you to keep April in mind. Sometimes you are still able to start in October to a university, but again yes, April should be the best time for you to start if you can choose, otherwise October. “Thirdly, you may be required not only to “go through the admission process for university, “but you may very well need to take “a university specific entrance exam. “This can entail an interview, “written portion, and other sections “depending on your school and program of study. “Some schools require students to submit JLPT “or EJU, Japanese Proficiency Scores, “as a part of your application to their schools. “We encourage students to research this ahead of time “and plan ahead so that the time of enrollment “in a Japanese Language school, “the application procedures for “Japanese Language Proficiency Exams, “and admission process, deadline university entrance exams, “are all accounted for. “With all that said, yourself and your sponsor “will need to be financially responsibly “for the entirety of your studies in Japan. “Upon Visa renewal, you may be requires to, “once again, prove finances. “Students with these kinds of goals “are easily looking at six months or more years “of education in Japan, “so please understand the time commitment and cost.” Yes, going to university, if you don’t know Japanese yet and you wanna go to a program that’s taught in Japanese, it’s six years, probably one year and a half around for the language and then four years for the actual university, so you get five years and half, six years. If you wanna go to an English speaking course, program, and then it’s only gonna be four years because you don’t need to do the Japanese study, and we can support you in both cases.
The other question related to university is, can I get academic credit from a study abroad program to Go! Go! Nihon? “The discretion and approval of your university “and study abroad office and “respective academic department’s approval, “if they approve, this could be possible. “You will need to consult with them beforehand. “In this case it may be in your benefit to know “what specific program of ours you would like to enroll, “and then discuss this program with your university “before sending an inquiry to our staff. “Students are responsible for sorting out the logistics “of their academic and financial investments “before applying for a study abroad “in Japan with Go! Go! Nihon.” So, it seems a scholarship, scholarships we mentioned before, you can get academic credit, but you need to find agreement on your side. So if you are coming from a university in the US, Canada, or Europe, you should talk from your office. Then when you find out what’s needed, you can tell us, and then we can find the required documentation or approved from the school or from Japan. So that’s, we work on that side. Number 15, “Does my technical education vocational college “or Associates degree count for anything in Japan?” “If you are trying to seek employment “with technical certificate, vocational degree, “or an Associates degree behind you, “please keep in mind you need to inquire “with the potential employer directly.” So basically, the certificate and being graduated or having a vocational degree from your country, it’s giving you the necessary requirements to be able to find employment in Japan, but you still need to find an employer that wants to hire you, of course. So you don’t have the guarantee until you actually getting a job offer, and then you can submit the information to immigration.
“I want to make Japanese friends and engage with locals. How?” So one thing is Go! Go! Nihon always does events. Especially if you’re in Tokyo, you probably have a lot of opportunities to come to one of our events and meet locals, Japanese people. Usually people that come to our events, they come because they know that with Go! Go! Nihon there are other Western people and they wanna make friends with people from Europe, America, Australia, and so on. So it’s a very easy place to make friends. In general, you can get in contact with your local senior, or a non-profit organization that really try to put in contact Japanese with foreigners. It’s pretty easy to find those events in Japan or happenings, or again, local communities that are putting together Western foreigners with Japanese. Just because Japanese people really wanna make friends with foreigners. So that wouldn’t be a problem. Again, if you are for example a very shy person, you need some help, please come to our events. We have events in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and once or twice a year, also in Fukuoka and Sapporo right now. So please join and we will do our best to introduce you to Japanese friends.
Another question, and this is one of the last ones. “Is Japan safe?” “Japan is one of the safest countries in the world “with very low crime rates and national inclinations “also to cover you. “Of course, we at Go! Go! Nihon take “the safety concerns of students very seriously. “With natural disaster, crime prevention, “privacy, and personal safety concerns, “we encourage students to reference their government’s “national department bureau agency website “of foreign affairs to learn more “about international travel and safety. “For example, the US.” That’s a specific case from the US again coming from Jesse, “The US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs “offer the STEP program for US citizens “living and traveling abroad. “What is STEP? “Basically STEP helps American citizens to stay informed, “stay connected, and stay safe. “You can find more on the travel.state.gov website “if you search for international travel, “before you go STEP program.” But I think if you Google, as well, as an American you can find it. Again, the advice is the Japan is extremely safe. I mean I find myself still after 10 years, I’m amazed at the fact that you can always come back late at night and you never worry about something is gonna happen to you. You can come back by yourself, you don’t need to have a car. It’s just another level of safety.
However, you should always be keeping in mind that, you know, even if a place is very safe here, and if Tokyo usually is number one safest city in the world and probably in the to 10 there are four or five Japanese cities, it is impossible to have 100% safety, so you should always be alert. You should always make sure that you have all the numbers for contacting emergency, like the police or the ambulance. You should check your embassy website just to have some kind of supporting or if you want to look something up and save on your mobile, save on a paper, just in case something happens. And of course, if anything strange or weird happened to you, you can always consult, also, with Go! Go! Nihon since we are based in Japan. We follow our students after they come, as well, and you can just let us know if something doesn’t really seems right to you, please let us know and we will be ready to support you. I have the last page and a half. So we actually were able to read most of the extra questions that I’m very happy about. I hope, again, this is very informative for you guys. I’m really, really happy to be able to talk in this way because I think the lack of information makes people sometimes feel it’s impossible for me and no, Japan is on the other side of the world, all my friends say I’m crazy. Actually you are not because there are so many people like with Go! Go! Nihon, it’s had more than 6,000 in nine years, but recently, of course, the number is growing.
We have 1,000; 1,100 that comes with a student visa which is long term study and another 200 to 300 that come for a short term study per year. So it’s about 1,500 each year that come to live and study in Japan. And no one of them is crazy. No one of them is strange. In your country they may feel like why do you wanna go to Japan? Just go to this close country instead? But so many people have this passion and I’m very happy just to share information because this is, I think, is what makes people feel it’s possible. Again, the first step would be just contacting us, let us know what are your needs, when are you planning to go, and then we will make sure that the next steps are easier and make your desire to come to Japan happen. So let’s finish those questions we prepared. So this question came also from social media, “I want to get fluent in a year. “Can I?” So even for students with previous Japanese experience in Japan, it take two years to reach the completely, of course, business level and proficiency that same level that you would be also able to maybe go to university and sign up for a university course completely in Japanese. We say that six months is the bare minimum to kind of have a conversation, if you start from zero, of course. If you start from zero, in one year you can already have job interviews and you can maybe try your luck to find employment. So, it really depends on the school you choose, how intensive is the program, and also by your starting level and how fast you learn Japanese. Let’s say that one year, it’s a good to have in mind to be able to really talk fluently and two years is the goal for you to be extremely proficient, going to university in Japanese, or have a strong business level of Japanese and maybe even try the Japanese level proficiency test N1, which is the hardest to do.
“Which schools or cities do you recommend?” This is, again, is very personal. It’s impossible to pick a school that covers or a city that covers everyone’s needs. So it really depends on which type of experience you would like to do. So id you are looking for a more quiet environment versus a very, very busy city. If you wanna work, if you wanna increase the chance of working rather than you wanna focus on studying. If you wanna go to university afterwards rather than you wanna go back to your country. I think the advice would be different. So please contact us and then we will make the best possible to suggest the school to you. Do you have to take EJU to apply to higher education in Japan? So not all colleges and universities in Japan require EJU, please research ahead of time. If the school department and major course of study that you’re interested in requires this as a part of admission, because you would really wanna to be prepared. So some universities assess Japanese Language proficiencies in alternative ways, so not necessarily is gonna be EJU, Enter Japanese University test. You would really wanna research ahead, of course you can drop us a message in case.
“Can I transfer credits to a Japanese University?” So, “Go! Go! Nihon, of course, cannot guarantee “for students wanting to transfer academic credit “earning from abroad to be transferred to “higher learning institutions in Japan. “Transfer of academic credit “both to and from your home country “fall outside the scope of our services. “While it may be possible to achieve this, “it must be understood “this is extremely difficult to accomplish “and students must communicate directly “with the schools they wish to attend “to inquire about the possibility of “academic credit transfer.” So again, if anything we can do from the Japan side, we will help you, but you need to talk with the local institution, the local university, to make sure this is possible before you even ask us, because we need to know that you are in touch with them.
Last question, “Can you guys help me to apply to a university or school not on your website?” So, we ut a lot of effort actually to select the schools that are on our website is just because, you know, after nine years we know where are the good places. Every time we add a new school, we always make sure that we talk with teachers, we see the facilities, we interview students, we make sure that that would be a place of high standards because, you know, we’re putting it on our website, we put Go! Go! Nihon name on it, we’ve been suggesting schools for nine years, we wanna absolutely make sure the quality of the schools are the best for you. So not all the schools are on our website and unfortunately we can only offer support for the schools on our website. Sometimes people ask us, feel free to email us if the school is not there because we actually may be in the process of being on our website, we always keep looking for schools, we always keep thinking about adding schools when we receive a lot of inquiries of people that wanna apply there because, you know, they heard it’s of good quality. So you can still let us know to get the most recent, updated information. But generally speaking, you can only apply for the schools on our website.
Okay guys, I think I’m gonna check the time now. We went to way many more than 10 questions and I’m very glad that I could share this information for you. If you thought that this was very informative, please let us know in the comments. Please share this video with other people that are interested in living and studying in Japan. I think this is gonna be watched by people that are just planning now maybe to go to Japan and I really, again hope that that was really helpful. So this was Davide with Go! Go! Nihon, thank you very much for joining us, and I hope to see you soon in Japan.
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