New Season (Academic Year 2017) of Application for Japanese Language Programs Started


Now, are you ready? 用意はいいですか? Application periods to enter to Japanese language programs now begin in many Japanese language programs in Japan in 2017. 2017年から日本で日本語の勉強をして、日本の大学で勉強したい人の最初の試練の年が始まります。Don't worry, it's not too late to begin. 大丈夫!今から始めても間に合います。

  1. Who: What kind of people are going to study Japanese in Japan?
    どんな人が日本語留学するの?

    Anyone who is interested in Japan and/or Japanese technologies, culture, business, etc. would go to Japan to study. 日本や日本のこと、技術、文化やビジネスなどに興味のある人ならだれでも留学できます。Recently, students come to Japan to study Japanese pop-culture such as manga and other entertainment culture. 最近はアニメ・マンガやその他のポップ・カルチャーを研究する学部もでき、いろいろな国の学生が留学してきています。

  2. Qualifications: What kind of people are able to apply?
    応募資格は?

    First, you have to complete 12 years of regular school education or its equivalent by 18 years old. まず、18歳までに12年間の基礎教育を受けていることが条件です。If you have finished your high school by your 18th birthday, yes you can. 18歳になる誕生日の年までに高校を卒業していれば大丈夫。Even if you take longer than that, if you can prove some good reason, you will be qualified. ま、多少時間がかかっても、仕方ないなーという理由があれば大丈夫、受験できます。

  3. Short stay or long stay?: Language schools or university-operating Japanese language programs (Bekka)
    Visaなし短期か、就労も可能な長期か: いかがわしい日本語学校か、正規の大学が運営する日本語研修プログラムか?

    Short stay programs mostly offered by small private Japanese language schools are suited to people who like Japan and stay a bit longer than sightseeing visitors. 小規模な語学学校がやっている短期留学型の留学は観光旅行よりちょっとだけ長く日本にいたい、という人におすすめです。 You don't need to get a student visa for short stay if your passport issuing country has a treaty with Japan. もしあなたのホーム・カントリーが条約加盟国なら、短期留学にはビザは必要ありません。

    However in short, "Short stay" is an easy-in-easy-go type program, just a bit longer than a sightseeing visit. でも簡単にいうと、短期留学は誰でも簡単に行けてしまうような、観光旅行に毛がはえたようなものなのです。

    On the other hand, "long stay," especially offered by genuine, well established universities, is worth investment after all. 一方、正規の学校法人で政府の保証のある大学が提供する長期留学(1年以上)は、時間的金銭的投資に見合う価値をあなたに約束してくれます。In those universities, many well educated Japanese students would also study together with you foregin students, and you have great opportunities to meet many young Japanese friends with great backgrounds. これらの大学には当然、たくさんの優秀な日本人学生が留学生のみなさんと同じように勉学のために集まってきますので、良質な社会背景に育った優秀な日本人の友達をたくさん作ることができます。In short-stay Japanese language schools you cannot meet with such people. 短期留学の怪しげな日本語学校では不法就労目的の怪しい友達が増えるだけです。

    In college level Japanese language programs (so-called "Bekka"), you can have genuine Japanese education programs, you can use full facilities of universities such as libraries, student restaurants, sport gyms, dormitories, etc., you can join standard college courses and gain credits with other Japanese students, you can join "clubs" to meet more friends and learn much more than short-stay dubious Japanese language schools around Shinjuku and Ueno. これらの大学の日本語プログラム(一般に「別科」と呼ばれます)では、きちんとした日本語教育を受けることができるばかりでなく、大学キャンパスにある様々な施設、例えば図書館、スポーツジム、学生食堂、学生寮、などを自由に、無料または信じられないくらいの安価で使うことができ、日本人学生といっしょにうける授業では卒業に必要な単位を得ることができ、クラブに入れば趣味の勉強ができますし、大学の垣根をこえて、もっとたくさんの優秀な日本人に出会うことができます。新宿や上野、大久保の繁華街にあるようないかがわしい短期の日本語学校では不法就労目的にきた変な外国人の友達しかできません。

  4. Language schools or Universities' Bekka: What is different?
    語学学校と大学の別科はどこが違うの?

    Most significant difference is "credit." 最大の違いはというと、それは「単位」です。If you are in a college, you can earn credits needed for graduate while you are in Japanese language programs in Japanese universities. もしあなたが大学生ならば卒業に必要な単位を留学先の大学で取得することができます。You don't need to take a year long leave, but earn credits for graduate to save your money and time. 休学して語学学校に通うよりも、別科に通いながら大学の英語の授業を受講することで時間もお金も節約することができます。

  5. How much money do I need?
    お金はどのくらいかかりますか?

    Tuition in average is 700,000 Yen per year for bekka (university program) and 900,000 Yen for Japanese language schools. 学費は別科で年間70万円程度、日本語学校で90万円以上となっています。Japanese language schools are more expensive than university operating Japanese language program because those are business and accepting low level students. 日本語学校が大学運営の日本語プログラムよりも高いのは商業目的であることに加え、レベルの低い学生でも受け入れる傾向があるために運営により多くのコストがかかるからです。As for living cost, if you go to Bekka, since you can stay in university operating dormitory, you may spend 800,000 to 1,000,000 yen per yen. However, if you go to language schools, it will cost more than 1.5 million yen per year. 生活費は、大学が運営する別科の場合、大学の学生寮に入居できるので、年間80万円から100万円程度で済みますが、日本語学校では寮(dormitory)などはないので、年間150万円以上は確実にかかってしまいます。In urban area in Japan, especially Tokyo, living cost is very expensive, and most Japanese language schools are located in urban area. 日本の都市部、とくに東京は生活費が世界でも指折りにとても高いところですが、日本語学校は大抵、その東京の真ん中にあるのです。

  6. Who are teachers?
    語学学校と大学では先生に違いがあるの?

    Yes, teachers in language schools are licensed (sometimes not) by the government to teach the Japanese for money offering their standard Japanese class in boring class styles, while college Japanese teachers are more professional who teach those language school teachers to get government licenses and offer most updated effective teaching methodology. 大学の日本語の先生は日本語教授法の研究を通じて常に最先端の効果的な日本語教授法で日本語を教えてくれますが、語学学校の先生はお決まりの教科書でお決まりの授業をするだけの存在にすぎません。In short, college Japanese teachers are professors and teachers of those language school teachers. つまり、大学の日本語の先生は語学学校の先生の先生でもあるということ。Teachers are pupils of college Japanese professors, studied "Japanese teaching methodology" for several years in colleges and passed license exams to teach Japanese. 語学学校の先生たちは、大学の日本語の先生の下で「日本語教授法」というのを何年も勉強して、そうしてようやく日本語教師の資格試験に受かった人達なのです。

  7. Is it safe in Japan?
    日本での生活は安全でしょうか?

    Yes, overall we can say it is safe here in Japan. はい、基本的に日本は全国どこでも安全と言えます。However, it is not always. There are certain areas in urban area, where crime rate is relatively higher, especially in night hours. しかし、どこでも必ず安全というわけではありません。都市部には犯罪発生率が高い場所もあります、とくに夜間は。There are areas in big cities, where Japanese most parents don't want their children to be, such as entertainment area od Shinjuku, Shibuya and Ikebukuro in Tokyo. 新宿の歌舞伎町、渋谷のセンター街、池袋の西口など、日本の一般的な親たちが子供にはいかせたくない繁華街もあります。Some Japanese language schools are in those area, because rents are relatively cheap and close to major train terminals. いくつかの日本語学校はそうした繁華街の中にあることがあります。というのも、大きなターミナル駅に近いのに家賃が安いからです。Students in those language schools often become crime victims because it is easier to get jobs in those area, working in late night after schools. そうした語学学校に通う留学生は犯罪の犠牲者になることが多いですが、それは比較的簡単にいろいろな危ないアルバイトで簡単にお金を稼ぐことができるからです。Also, apartment and sharehouse language schools offer are in the middle of such high crime area, and temptations that bother your study are everywhere in cities. しかも、語学学校が推奨するアパートやシェアハウスはそうした犯罪エリアのど真ん中にあることが多く、勉強の邪魔になる誘惑も多いと言えます。In university's language programs, you will be safe very much because you can live on campus dormitory where security is 100% guaranteed. 大学の日本語プログラムではセキュリティが100%行き届いたキャンパス内の寮で生活ができるので安全に生活をすることができます。Some universities such as Reitaku University offer considerated room assignment so that you can live with native Japanese students in safe dormitory. 麗澤大学のようないくつかの大学では安全な寮生活を送りつつ、日本人学生と同じ区画に住めるように必ず配慮してくれます。

  8. Which national is the majority of foreign students?
    どの国の留学生が一番多いですか?

    Statistically speaking, Chinese students are the majority, but it depends on school management. 統計的には中国人が最も多いですが、実際は学校の運営方針によってそれぞれ異なります。For example, majority students in Reitaku University are Taiwanees because Reitaku has a student office in Taiwan.例えば麗澤大学の場合は台湾や香港の学生さんが多いですが、それは台湾にオフィスがあったり、香港での評判がいいからです。On the other hand Waseda University has more offices in China, making Chinese majority students.一方、早稲田大学などは中国全土にオフィスが展開されている影響もあって、中国人の方が多いようです。

  9. After school: Career or further study?
    卒業後の進路:就職か進学か?

    It depends on which type of Japanese school you go. 就職か進学か、卒業後の進路は語学学校にいくか、大学の日本語プログラムに行くかで決まります。If you go Japanese language schools, it would be almost impossible to enter universities and graduate schools, but to find a job elsewhere. 語学学校を卒業しても日本の大学や大学院への進学はほぼ絶望的です。大抵の場合、日本の地方都市や母国で日本人相手の簡単な仕事に従事することになります。If you want to seek a good position in major companies or further study in universities and graduate schools to get higher degree, you must go to Japanese language program offered by Japanese universities. もしあなたが優秀な企業への就職や大学・大学院の進学を考えているのであれば、あるいは少なくともその可能性を残したいのであれば、大学の日本語プログラム以外の選択肢はありません。 Please think twice. よく考えて進むべき道を選びましょう。

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Now is the good time.

Why do you want to speak Japanese? Is that because you got a Japanese girl friend or boy friend? Or, do you want to know more on anime things? You may want to communicate with Japanese boss or subordinates much more closely? You may want to read Japanese books or blogs? BTW, Japanese is the language used most in the blogs in the world. Did you know that? It means the most modern age wisdom are written in Japanese. That could be a good reason to start studying Japanese.

Well whatever the reason is, since Japanese is the language that shares nothing in common with English, you need an intensive cource to get started. Not like Latin or Spanish, just reading a how-to is not enough. Some high schools or elementary, maybe, teach some elementary Japanese, so you might have already got started, but if you want to make it improved to higher levels, like reading financial articles or blog entries, you need a higher level education in Japanese.



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