FAQ

Let us answer any questions you may have.

Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions, from preparing to study abroad to living in Japan.

Enrollment

Q
How long can I go to school?
A
You can study at a Japanese language school for up to two years with a student visa.
Even if you attend other Japanese language schools, the maximum is two years total.
Q
What documents are necessary for admission?
A
The necessary documents differ depending on your nationality.
Documents must also be translated into either Japanese or English.
> Learn More
Q
Can I sponsor myself financially when applying for a student visa?
A
Sponsoring yourself personally is possible.
However, it is necessary to have at least three years of business experience working for a company.
Q
What is the allowable scope of relationship for guarantors when applying for a student visa?
A
Guarantors can be immediate family such as parents or siblings, as well as cousins.
Proof of relationship through family registry is required.
Q
Are there any restrictions on age when applying for a student visa?
A
There are no restrictions on age, but a minimum of 12 years of education is required.
Q
Where do I go to get a student visa?
A
You can apply for a student visa at the Japanese Consulate in your home country by submitting a "Certificate of Eligibility for Resident Status" and "Certificate of Admission".
Please contact your individual consulate for the amount of time required for a visa to be issued.
Q
How long does it take from application until notification of results?
A
It generally takes two to three months.
The deadline for each quarter is six to seven months before the start of each course (April, July, October, January).
The schedule varies depending on the year, so please contact us for details.
Q
Is it possible to change from a working holiday visa or short-term visa to a student visa?
A
Yes.
Please contact us for details on the application method, etc.
Q
If I leave in the middle of a semester, will I be refunded?
A
Please see "For details on our refund policy".

School

Q
When are admissions?
A
We have four admission periods; April, July, October, and January.
Q
Which countries do students come from?
A
We have students from over 30 countries, with many coming from Asia such as Vietnam and China.
This allows you to make friends transcending national borders, and enjoy studying together every day.
Q
How long are courses?
A
Long-term courses range from 1 year and 3 months to 2 years, and the number of semesters varies depending on the course.
Q
Can I enroll in a two-year course and go on to university or employment after one year?
A
While you will complete the course without graduating, it is possible.
Q
Can I study at SAMU if I don't have a student visa?
A
If you already have a visa, you can study through our special courses.
Q
Am I required to attend school every day?
A
Yes.
Your attendance rate at the language school is important when renewing your visa, continuing your education, or finding employment.
Unfortunately, even if you are in poor health you must come to school every day and maintain an attendance rate of at least 80%.
Q
Do you offer scholarships?
A
Yes, scholarships are available.
While only students enrolled in long-term courses are eligible, scholarships are offered by both SAMU Language School and the Japanese Student Services Organization (JASSO).
Q
Is there a study room available?
A
Yes, there is.
Our study room contains computers, printers, books, and manga that students can use freely. Wi-Fi is also available.
Q
Can I smoke at school?
A
The legal smoking age in Japan is 20 years old.
At the school, you are only allowed to smoke in designated areas.
Please follow the rules for smoking.
Q
Can I commute to school by bicycle or motorcycle?
A
Yes.
There is bicycle parking available on campus.
Registration is required if you wish to use it.
Q
Does the school have a cafeteria or kitchen?
A
Unfortunately, the school does not have a cafeteria or kitchen.
Items brought to school can be eaten in the student lounge.
The student lounge features a vending machine for drinks, a microwave, and hot water.
Q
Are multilingual staff available?
A
Yes.
Please do not worry, as we have staff who can also speak English, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
Q
Are there long vacations?
A
Yes.
There are extended breaks between quarters in addition to summer and winter vacations.
After enrolling you will still have chances to visit your home country.
Q
I am worried that there are a lot of earthquakes in Japan. Is the school building safe?
A
The school building was built after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, and has cleared all of the most up-to-date earthquake resistance standards.
Q
Is the building wheelchair accessible?
A
The building is wheelchair accessible, with a fully automated entrance, elevator, sliding doors, etc.
Q
What kind of events does SAMU offer?
A
We hold skiing and hot springs trips, barbecues, sports day and singing competitions, and more.
Additionally, once every three months we also hold cultural experience lessons where you can learn more about Japan. These include themes such as wearing kimono, flower arrangement, and calligraphy.
Q
Is it necessary for everyone to participate in these events?
A
Yes.
These events are part of our lessons and curriculum, and so we request that everyone participate unless there are special circumstances preventing them from doing so.
We think these events will become pleasant and enjoyable memories.

Classes

Q
How many students are in each class?
A
There is a maximum of 20 students per class.
Q
What are the daily classroom hours (start and end times)?
A
Morning classes are from 8:30 to 11:55, and afternoon classes are from 13:15 to 16:40.
Students have four periods (45 minutes each) per day.
Classes are decided by placement tests taken after enrolling, so it is not possible to choose your level or classroom hours.
We will take the circumstances of those enrolled in special courses into consideration.
Q
Can I take classes in English?
A
No.
Classes are only held in Japanese.
For beginner classes, we use classroom materials and other lessons to help students who do not yet have any understanding of Japanese.
Q
What do I need when taking classes?
A
Textbooks, notebooks, writing utensils, and a dictionary are required.
Q
What textbooks does the school use?
A
The beginner level uses "Minna no Nihongo I and II (latest edition)", pre-intermediate level uses " Chukyu e Ikou ", intermediate level uses " Chukyu wo Manabou ", pre-advanced level uses " Shin-chukyu Kara Jokyu e no Nihongo ", and finally the advanced level uses " Theme-Betsu Jokyu de Manabu Nihongo".
Q
What kind of classes are there?
A
There are classes for kanji, listening comprehension, reading comprehension, conversation, composition, and more, with a focus on classes using the main textbooks.
Kanji classes are separate from normal classes and have their own levels.
Additionally, elective classes are available starting from the intermediate level, allowing you to select classes on videos, pronunciation, the state of affairs in Japan, test prep, etc.
Q
Are there graduate admission classes, business Japanese classes, conversation only classes, or private lessons?
A
While none of those particular classes are available, you are able to comprehensively raise your Japanese level through the classes offered.
Q
Can I take classes with many/few students of my own nationality?
A
Classes are organized based on the placement test results, so the balance of student nationality in each class may not be equal. All students have the same drive and desire to learn however.
We hope that whoever your classmates are, you will work hard together at improving your Japanese.
Q
What are the teachers like?
A
We have a wide range of teachers, from those in their 20s to those in their 70s.
Some are young and energetic, some have a mother's kindness, and some are a bit strict.
While it is not possible to choose your teachers, all are excellent and qualified.
Q
Are there exams?
A
Final exams are held four times a year (at the end of each quarter), and classes are rearranged based on the results.
In addition, there are level tests twice a year that allow you to objectively measure your own level.
Q
How should I study outside of classroom hours?
A
Lesson times are limited.
Homework will be given out regularly, and it is a good idea to thoroughly review what you learn.
Using Japanese in your daily life is a great way to study.
Q
Can I join the school with absolutely no Japanese experience?
A
Yes.
We offer classes starting with hiragana and katakana, though some Japanese may be required depending on your nationality and the course you wish to take.
Q
How long does the beginner level take?
A
Around eight to nine months.
In addition to textbook lessons, there are also classes on listening comprehension, reading comprehension, conversation, composition, kanji, and more, allowing you to comprehensively improve your Japanese language skills.
Q
Can I enter a famous university?
A
Acceptance at famous universities depends on your Japanese level at the time of enrollment and the effort put forth while a student. However, SAMU does offer a comprehensive continuing education support program designed to help students get into their target universities.
Q
What will my Japanese level be when I graduate?
A
While it depends on your Japanese level when entering the school, if taking a two-year course and starting with zero Japanese experience, the curriculum is designed to help you achieve N2 level by the time of graduation.
Q
I'm quite good at kanji. Can I take kanji classes that are a higher level than my normal classes?
A
Yes.
Kanji classes are separate from normal classes and have their own levels.
Many students from countries that use Chinese characters are studying kanji at a higher level than their normal classes.
Q
Can I study for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) or Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)?
A
The curriculum for normal lessons is built around content that may appear in the JLPT.
Practice exams and similar questions are handled in elective classes.

Continuing Education and finding employment

Q
What are my options after graduating?
A
80% of students continue on to an institute of higher learning (graduate school: 10%, university: 20%, vocational school: 50%).
The remaining students either find employment (10%) or change their status of residence/return home (10%).
> Learn More
Q
What are the requirements for studying in Japan?
A
You must have at least 12 years of study in your home country.
If your home country's education system is less than 12 years long, please contact us.
Q
Do you offer any support for me to continue on with my education?
A
SAMU offers detailed guidance and support for each individual student through continuing education support programs and homeroom teachers.
> Learn More
Q
I would like to find a job. Can you introduce me to any companies?
A
Our group company Bridge Academy provides meetings explaining job-hunting in Japan and can introduce you to companies.
You will need to have graduated from university in your home country, as well as have specialized knowledge and work experience.
> Learn More
Q
Can you give me an estimate on yearly tuition for institutions of higher education?
A
National universities are approximately 800,000 yen, private universities are 1.1 to 1.6 million yen for liberal arts-based universities and 1.3 to 1.4 million yen for science-based universities, and vocational schools are around 700,000 to 1.3 million yen.

Daily life

Q
Do you have any dormitories available?
A
While we do not have student dormitories, we do offer affiliated dormitories.
They cost approximately 150,000 yen (three months) and are fully furnished, so you can immediately start living comfortably.
These dormitories are located within a 7-minute walk of the school.
Q
Where is the school located?
A
We are located in the Shinjuku city center of Tokyo, and our closest station is just a 3-minute walk.
This is an extremely lively area, with businesses and shopping districts centered around the Tokyo metropolitan government buildings.
There are also a number of convenience stores, bookstores, restaurants and more near the school, making it a very convenient location.
Q
What are the average monthly living expenses?
A
It is generally around 100,000 yen including rent.
Q
What steps do I have to take after entering the country?
A
You will have to register your address at the ward office/city office where you live and enroll in National Health Insurance.
Q
Can I begin working part-time immediately after entering the school?
A
Yes, you can.
If you have a student visa, you will have to obtain "Permission to Engage in Activity Other than that Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted ", which will allow you to work up to 28 hours per week.
Many students have part-time jobs at restaurants, convenience stores, transportation companies, etc.
It is also possible to find part-time work through our group company Bridge Academy.
Q
Can I receive student discounts?
A
You can purchase and use commuter tickets limited to the Toei Subway, Toei Bus, and Tokyo Toden.
You can also receive a student discount at many movie theaters, sports centers, karaoke lounges, etc.
Q
What should I do if I get sick?
A
The school can give you information on hospitals.
There are also hospitals that can help you in your native language.
With National Health Insurance and international student insurance, all medical expenses except for handling fees will be reimbursed to you.
There is a high-cost medical expense benefit if you are hospitalized or involved in an accident as well, so there is no need to worry.
Q
Can I drive in Japan if I have an international driver's license?
A
No.
International driver's licenses cannot be used in Japan, and must be exchanged for a Japanese license.
The exchange procedure varies depending on your nationality, so please feel free to contact us.
Q
Are there any sports facilities, libraries, parks, etc., near the school?
A
Yes, there are.
Please refer to "Facilities surrounding the school".
Q
Will I be able to open a bank account?
A
Generally, accounts with banks cannot be opened unless your period of stay is more than 6 months, but please contact us as this depends on individual circumstances.
If your stay is less than 6 months, a post office bank account can be opened.
Q
Is Halal food available?
A
Yes.
There are a number of multinational grocery stores around the school, as well as Halal shops.
Q
Can I travel while studying abroad?
A
You are free to travel when you do not have class, such as on the weekends and during long holidays.
If you are temporarily returning to your home country or traveling abroad, please obtain a "re-entry permit" from the school.