Planning to Study in Japan

Types of Schools

Japanese Language Institutes

Japanese Language Institutions are institutions where non-native speakers of Japanese can learn the Japanese language.
There are courses for people who wish to learn Japanese before enrolling in a university, and for people who wish to learn business Japanese, among others.
To be able to keep up with classes at Japanese schools, it is necessary to obtain a JLPT N1 or N2 certification. It takes approximately 600~900+ hours of studying to reach this level.

Types of Japanese Language Institutes

1. Japanese Language Schools

Japanese language schools are established by incorporated educational institutions, business companies and other sponsors. Japan offers over 600 such language schools, at which approximately 49,000 students are studying Japanese.


  • Aside from basic Japanese language courses, Japanese language schools provide university preparation courses, business Japanese courses, and others.
  • If your country's secondary education curriculum lasts less than 12 years, you will need to take a "university preparatory course"*1 in order to become eligible to apply for university.
  • Admission periods are in April and in October. (Some schools have programs that start in January or July, as well.)

Note: In order to qualify for the "Student" status of residence, you must attend a Japanese language institution designated by the Minister of Justice.

*1. University preparatory course: In order to be admitted to a Japanese university, an applicant must have completed at least 12 years of formal education.

However, in some countries or regions, education through high school lasts less than 12 years. In this case, students must complete MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)'s designated "university preparatory course for admission to university" in order to be eligible to apply for Japanese universities.

In the preparatory course, students study not only the Japanese language but also the basic subjects required for university entrance.

2. Vocational School Japanese Language Programs

These are established in vocational schools approved by each prefectural governor.


  • Admission periods are in April and in October.
  • Aside from basic Japanese language courses, they provide courses for higher education.
  • Students may be eligible for student discounts and other benefits as vocational schools students.

Note: In order to qualify for the "Student" status of residence, you must attend a school designated by the Minister of Justice in a public notice.

3. Private University and Junior College Programs for International Students

These programs are generally established by a university or junior college for the purpose of providing special technical education at a simplified level, and is mainly intended to prepare international students to study in Japan.

There are various types of programs for foreign students, such as nursing, international, and Japanese language courses, and what students can study differs depending on the school.


  • Many schools offer preparatory education for those who wish to enter universities, graduate schools, or junior colleges, with the aim of teaching Japanese language, Japanese affairs, Japanese culture, and other basic subjects.
  • Some schools may be able to recommend students for admission to universities and junior colleges that offer a program.
  • Some schools offer technical education such as caregiving programs, so you need to find a school that fits your learning objectives.
  • Admission periods are in spring (around April) and autumn (September or October).

Find Schools

Each school has different characteristics and admission requirements, so please use the following websites and Excel sheet to find the school that best suits your needs.

Key to Finding Schools

  • Is it an institution of Japanese language education authorized by the Minister of Justice in a public notice? (for Japanese language schools and vocational school Japanese language programs)
  • Is the refund policy explained in detail on the website or application requirements?
  • Will you be able to take classes that meet your learning objectives?
  • What are the class level divisions and how many students are in a class?
  • Does it provide training for the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) or the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)?
  • What schools do graduates attend? Does the school provide career and daily life counseling?
  • Are there any school dormitories or housing facilities?

Application Documents

Below are the basic required documents. Required documents and admission requirements differ from school to school, so please contact the school you are planning to apply to for details.

  • Application form and resume (designated by the school)
  • Certificate of graduation (expected) for the last school attended
  • Transcript from the last school attended
  • Documents that prove your ability to pay expenses
  • Other

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