There are a lot or Japanese language schools in Japan. But, there are some common points. Firstly, if they don’t have any other visa or permanent residency, all international students are given F-1 visa, which is a student visa. Unlike in other countries, they are allowed to work for maximum 28 hours per week. Also, there is 4 hours class every weekdays from Monday to Friday. The class is in the morning or in the afternoon, depending on the class schedule in the school. The number of students in the class is mostly below twenty. Students can study there for two years at most. If you like to continue studying in Japan, you have to transfer to another school.
Where are international students from?
Most of the students are from China, Korea, or Vietnam. Chinese students consists of about 80% of all international students. So, there are some language schools which has just Chinese students. There are few students who are from the United States or European nations. Probably it is because actually Japanese language schools are places for students to prepare for going to University in the future. A lot of Asian students like to dream that they go there someday.
The contents of the lesson
Most international students there study Japanese for fulfilling requirement for going to university. Most universities in Japan require foreign students to pass JLPT N1 or N2, Japanese Language Proficiency Test which examines listening and reading ability of Japanese. There is no writing or speaking test. Therefore, basically in the language school, teacher teaches only these sections. If you like to improve your Japanese conversational skill, probably a Japanese language school is not good choice. Also, the lesson is taught in Japanese. I recommend that students should learn basic Japanese before going to Japan.
Part time job opportunities
Students works several places, depending on their Japanese proficiency. Some students work for manufacture factories or transportation corporations, which require almost no conversation skill in Japanese. They don’t have to speak anything. If they can understand easy language, they can work there. But, because there is no need for speaking, foreign students don’t have an opportunity to talk with Japanese people. Others works at bars or restaurants as wait staffs or cooking assistants. Probably because they talk with Japanese staffs there every day, they can improve their speaking skills. Most of them like to work for convenience store in the midnight, because the pay is relatively high but the work itself is not so hard.
A way of distinguishing between good schools and bad schools.
Certainly, there are some Japanese language schools which have good reputation. But, others have really poor one. You have to choose your best school carefully; otherwise, you have to spend meaningless time in Japan. Firstly, you can check the list of universities the students entered. If all universities on the list are famous schools or the schools you like to go to, the international school is good one. If you afford to do that, you should visit the language school because the school put only modified pictures in the homepage. Some schools may show you the inside of the building. Even though it is impossible, you can see the outside of the school building. If the building is in poor condition, you should avoid that school.