Frequently Asked Questions
Is it okay if I don’t know any Japanese?
This is no problem. We welcome beginner students and have classes designed for those just starting out.
What kind of food is available in Japan?
As Nihongo Center is located in the heart of Kyoto city, there are plenty of choices when it comes to food, Japanese and international food alike. There are also many inexpensive restaurants that cater to students, offering set meals from 500-700 yen. Both ramen and curry cost only about 500 yen, and are popular choices for lunch. We hope you can enjoy the variety of food that Japan has to offer. In addition to restaurants, you can also dine in the cafeterias at any of Kyoto’s approximately 50 universities. They offer a wide variety of food at a cheap price.
What is the average cost of living per month?
While the cost of living varies from student to student, the average is around 70,000 – 100,000 yen per month, excluding tuition fees. For example, student A may spend about 70,000 yen a month (35,000 for rent, 20,000 for food, and 15,000 for additional expenses), while student B may spend around 108,000 yen a month (50,000 for rent, 30,000 for food, 10,000 for transportation, 5,000 for electricity bill, 3,000 for mobile phone, and 10,000 for entertainment).
What if I get sick?
You can obtain national health insurance from the ward office, which costs about 9,000 yen for the first year. With health insurance, you are only responsible for 30% of the medical bill. Dental insurance is also included. We have compiled a list of hospitals and clinics near Nihongo Center. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
What can you tell me about Japanese customs, or the Japanese way of thinking?
It is important to be punctual and to keep promises when meeting with Japanese people. In addition, the Japanese will do what they can to avoid causing trouble for others. As such, it is best to refrain from shouting or making a lot of noise, whether at home or out in public. Also, Japanese people love cleanliness, so it is a good idea to take care of your personal appearance and keep your surroundings clean and organized. In general, the Japanese are very kind and polite people, so please treat others with the same kindness and respect that you are shown.
What kind of future prospects do I have?
Aside from continuing your education in Japan, if you have already graduated from university it is possible to work for a Japanese company. There are currently many companies looking for talented foreign staff with a strong command of Japanese, so there are many opportunities for you. Many students go on to work at a Japanese company after graduating from Nihongo Center.
Can I work a part time job?
A student visa allows you to work part time in Japan. One of the quickest ways to find a job is by getting information from other students who have already found jobs. Please also check with the office, as we sometimes receive information on job openings. Please be aware that Japanese ability is sometimes required for certain jobs. If you are interested in teaching private lessons, you can post an advertisement on the notice board at Kyoto’s International Exchange Center (Kokusai Koryukaikan)
How can I make Japanese friends?
We recommend joining a gym, martial arts group, or other cultural activity. Since Japanese tend to be shy, you might want to try approaching them first. However, many people are quite interested in foreigners, so if you are proactive you can easily make good friends. One of our students was studying Japanese at Starbucks, when he asked someone sitting nearby a question about the material. They began talking, and in the end planned to meet again for a date. Smart idea!
What’s the best way to get from the airport to my accommodation?
For those who wish, Nihongo Center can arrange for the MK shuttle bus to take you from Kansai Airport to your housing or the school. The price is 3,600 yen per person, and you can take up to 1 suitcase and 1 hand luggage for free. The price is 1,000 yen for each additional luggage after that. A member of MK staff will be waiting for you outside of customs, holding a sign with your name on it, so there is no need to worry. (Please note that MK does not offer the name-plate service from 8 pm to 8 am, so if you arrive during this time please go directly to the MK service counter to the left of the H Gate.)
Where can I read more about studying in Kyoto?
Please take a look at studykyoto.jp.