Generally, a prospective student first enrolls in a Japanese language institution after arrival in Japan. In many cases, he or she studies Japanese and other related subjects at the language institution for between one and two years and then takes the entrance examination for a university, etc. For this reason, the choice of the Japanese language institution is very important for the prospective student.
There are two types of Japanese language institutions for foreign students who wish to go on to a Japanese university for either undergraduate or postgraduate studies.
- Preparatory Japanese language courses for foreign students offered by private universitiesThe preparatory Japanese language courses for foreign students offered by private universities are regular courses within the university curriculum as defined by the School Education Law. The objective of these courses is to offer preparatory education in the Japanese language, Japanese society and culture, and other necessary subjects to foreign students who wish to enter junior colleges or undergraduate or postgraduate programs at universities, either as students or researchers.
Subjects taught include the Japanese language, Japanese society and culture, and other basic studies, which are usually taught in Japanese. There are, however, some schools that offer the courses in English. The residence status of students taking such special courses offered by private universities is “College Student.”
Preparatory Japanese language courses for foreign students are offered at more than 66 private universities and junior colleges. It is important for each foreign student to select the program best suited for him or her, taking into consideration the reasons for studying in Japan, field of study and future direction, i.e., what he or she intends to do after completing the preparatory course. Depending on the school, students who remain at the same university as the one offering the preparatory Japanese language courses may enjoy special benefits and procedures, such as waiver of the admissions selection process.
- There are also hundreds of colleges and universities in Tokyo, including Japan’s top-ranked institution, the University of Tokyo.