FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This website contains a lot of information on the courses and programs we offer along with a whole myriad of details, but sometimes we get questions that are specific to a given student's situation or desires. Below we've listed the answers to many of these sorts of questions. If you don't see the answer to your question please don't hesitate to contact us.

Classes

I've never, ever studied Japanese at all! Can I still attend your school?

Yes, we have classes for absolute beginners but we do ask that you learn how to read and write hiragana and katakana before coming to Japan. If you practice an hour a day this should only take a couple weeks. See our hiragana and katakana pages for a description of how to read and write hiragana and katakana.

I'd like to study Japanese for a year but I'm wondering if you have conversation-only classes?

Sorry, all students at Yoshida learn how to read and write while learning how to speak and listen.

How big are the classes?

The number of students in a class ranges from 10 to 18 students.

What sort of qualifications do teachers at Yoshida have?

Our teachers are typically university-educated teachers with an abundance of experience, both as teachers and in other professions prior to teaching.

What are the nationalities of students at Yoshida?

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Our students come from a wide variety of countries, including Vietnam(16), Sweden(12), USA(11),Mongalia(10) Italy (9), Sri Lank(6), China(3), Spain(4), France(4), Nepal(4), German(2), U. K(2), Canada(2), Korea, Brazil, Holland, Belgium, Australia, Maxico, Noeway, Finland, Russia, Mexico, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and other (-percent-)(July 2015.)

Are any of your classes taught in English?

At Yoshida we use the direct method of teaching Japanese so our teachers use only Japanese in all of our classes. However, our office staff can assist you in English when you need help with something outside of school.

Is the textbook available with explanations in other languages?

At the beginning level, the textbook we use has an accompanying grammar explanation written in a wide variety of languages - English, French, German, Russian, Thai, Portuguese, etc. The textbooks used in the intermediate classes likewise have a grammar explanation written in English. You'll find links to these books on our class contents page.

Further study

What sort of test to I need to take to enter a Japanese university?

Typically you'll need to take both the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and the International Student University Entrance Exam. You can find more information on these tests on our test preparation page.

I'm interested in attending a Japanese university. Is there someone who can answer my questions?

Several times a year we have a general school meeting to explain about continuing on to a Japanese university or technical school. At the end of each quarter, students talk about their progress with their instructor at which time they have an opportunity to talk about their future plans.

From elementary school through high school I've only studied for 11 years. Can I enter a Japanese university?

Technically no, but depending on the country where you studied a variety of university degrees are recognized.

Visas

Can I apply for a student visa at anytime?

The application periods are quarterly — see the admissions page for a complete description.

I don't know the meaning of a Certificate of Eligibility.

If an applicant wishes to study in Japan, he/she should in principle first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility. The Certificate of Eligibility is issued by the Ministry of Justice in Japan. To obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, the applicant must ask a sponsor in Japan(YOSHIDA) to contact the local immigration office and make an application on his/her behalf. The application must be made by a sponsor in Japan. It cannot be made by the applicant himself.

Who can apply for a Working Holiday Visa?

Citizens from Australia (no limit), Canada (6,500), the United Kingdom (1,000),France (1,500), Korea (10,000), New Zealand (no limit), Norway (no limit), Denmark (no limit), Portugal (no limit), Poland (500), Germany (no limit), Austria (200), Ireland (400), Slovakia (400), Taiwan (5,000) and Hong Kong (1,500), who are between the ages of 18 and 30 inclusive, and citizens from Australia, Canada and Korea who are between the ages of 18 and 25 inclusive, can apply for a Working Holiday Visa(except in those cases where the competent authorities of Japan agree to extend the limitation of age to 30 years.). There are other conditions too, which vary from country to country. These conditions also change over time. Please contact your local Japanese Embassy or Consulate for more information.
Maximum number that could be issued per year ( --- )

I'm Swiss and I'd like to study Japanese for six months. Do I need to apply for a student visa?

Students from England, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Mexico, and Lichtenstein are allowed to study in Japan for six months on a tourist visa. Upon arrival you'll receive a 90-day visa which can be extended another 90 days during your stay in Japan.

I'm Swedish and I'd like to study Japanese for two years. Do I need my guarantor to apply for a student visa?

In the case of you, the guarantor isn't necessary. Use CSN if your are Swedish. CSN är den myndighet som administrerar det svenska studiestödet, det vill säga lån och bidrag för studier.

I'm Thai and I'm wondering what are the necessary documents needed to apply for a student visa?

In addition to the documents listed on our admissions page, students from non-OECD countries need to provide documents listing the name of the person that will be supporting them financially during their time in Japan. As this varies from country to country and often depends upon current conditions, it's best if you contact us directly for more information.

I'm Russian and I'm wondering what are the necessary documents needed to apply for a student visa?

Students from Russia are required to submit not only proof of financial support but also the name of someone in Japan who will act as their guarantor during their time here. As this can be a complicated process, please contact us directly for more information. The process is less stringent for students from Ukraine.

If my attendance or grades are bad what happens to my visa?

If your attendance is lower than 80% or if you're failing your class, you won't be able to renew your visa.

I have a working visa. Is it possible to change to a student visa?

Yes, it's possible. Please contact us for more details.

Is there an age limit for getting a student visa?

There's no strict limit but if you're middle-aged or older your reason for studying Japanese and your school history will be more carefully evaluated.

OECD countries

The OECD countries, which include countries in the EU nations, Norway, Ice Land, Poland, Hungary, South Korea, Canada, U.S.A, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Czech, Slovakia, Switzerland, China (Taiwan, Hong Kong), etc.

Living in Japan

Is it possible to get a commuter pass at a student rate?

This depends on the type of transportation you want to use. For subways and JR, you'll have to pay the standard rate but bus lines offer student passes.

seal - inkan

Would I be able to open a bank account in Japan?

You are able to open a bank account in Japan, if you have a student visa. You need a seal (inkan), residence card and Student ID.

Miscellaneous

Are there computers I can use to browse the internet and check my mail?

Yes, we have seven computers available for student use.

If I bring my own computer, can I connect to the internet at school?

Yes, you're free to use our internet connection with your own computer.

Letters in the Japanese alphabet are referred to as kana, specifically hiragana and katakana.