Study Abroad in Japan

With KCP International, you can earn more Japanese credit than you would in an entire year at your university. Plus, you can pick your start date!

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Immerse yourself in the heart of Tokyo with a wide variety of courses, flexible schedules and convenient packages you keep your experience easy!

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Miniature backpackers walking to the paper Japan airplane on white background

Learning Japanese: In a School VS Independent Study Part 2

How to learn the Japanese language and how quickly it is learned largely depends on the learning style of a particular individual. In  Learning Japanese: In a School VS Independent Study Part 1, there were points discussed on the main differences in learning the Japanese language. Here are more things to consider when choosing between enrolling in a school or independent study.

KCP Fall 2018 Yamanashi trip

Language schools offer structured learning

While studying independently offers the freedom to pursue specific interests, such as immersing oneself in anime culture and engaging in related online discussions, it lacks the structured guidance provided by a teacher. Without this guidance, distinguishing between the various synonyms and nuances within the Japanese language, particularly in terms of levels of politeness, can pose challenges for learners.

Specializing excessively in one aspect of Japanese may result in overlooking other essential components necessary for comprehensive language proficiency. For instance, limited exposure to formal Japanese forms could hinder success in professional environments. In contrast, language schools offer a structured curriculum that ensures a well-rounded education, covering various aspects of the language and providing guidance to navigate its complexities effectively.

Availability of study materials

One challenge of independent study is the limited access to materials. While there are numerous books, manga, and anime available for study, it can be overwhelming to choose from such a vast selection. In this regard, engaging with forums and connecting with other learners can prove beneficial, as they often share recommendations and insights. Despite the abundance of textbooks, most learners tend to gravitate towards the same handful of resources deemed effective.

In contrast, language schools offer comprehensive access to textbooks, multimedia resources, and language labs, which may be costly and challenging to obtain independently. Additionally, these institutions provide supplementary resources beyond academic materials, such as interview practice sessions aimed at securing employment opportunities in Japan. With many language schools boasting high employment rates ranging from 80% to 95%, attending such institutions can serve as a valuable pathway towards launching a career in Japan.

Spring 2023 student April Kirkman's photos

Making new friends

When pursuing independent study, creating your own immersion experience becomes essential. This might entail subscribing to Japanese channels on YouTube for news updates, seeking out local Japanese speakers for language exchange opportunities, and fostering online friendships.

On the other hand, language schools streamline this process. An often-overlooked advantage of attending such schools is the invaluable social aspect. From the knowledgeable instructors to fellow students hailing from various corners of the globe who share a passion for Japanese language and culture, interacting with others can lead to meaningful friendships and valuable connections. Moreover, it exposes you to diverse forms and applications of Japanese.

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Read all about Japanese immersion learning and studying abroad. Check out our eZasshi archives for more articles!