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Academic Intensive Japanese Program (AIJP)

  • Start Dates: 4 per year - Jan., Apr., Jul,. Oct.
  • Duration: Minimum 3 months, Maximum 2 years.
  • Classes: Beginner to Pre-Advanced levels, Maximum class size is 15 students.
  • Intensity: 20 core classes plus up to 4 electives per week.
  • Tuition: Cost-price. Some early bird and other discounts are available.
  • Contents - Introduction, Outline, Dates, Costs, Levels, Entry Requirements, Visas, Applications, Deadlines

    Introduction: The AIJP are to improve your Japanese proficiency to levels suitable for studies in a Japanese college (senmongakkou, or tankidaigaku etc) or university. Or for professional careers requiring high skill competencies in contemporary Japanese.

    The program is open to students from beginner to pre-advanced levels, and aims to:

  • Increase competency in all four fundamental skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking)
  • Emphasize correct grammar use and pronunication. Kanji learning is also a key focus.
  • Master modern contemporary Japanese.

    Contents - Introduction, Outline, Dates, Costs, Levels, Entry Requirements, Visas, Applications, Deadlines

    Outline: The program features 20 core classes per week, and AIJP students may take up to 4 additional elective classes per week. The AIJP is available in 3-month quarters for 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 and 24 months. It is virtually the only academic program in this country offering offering multiple levels, small average class sizes and year round flexibility - you can choose which quarter to commence or graduate in. In the early stages of each quarter you will usually find yourself reviewing past knowledge, brushing up on forgotten grammar, and having mistakes and bad habits/pronunication corrected. It is particularly useful for "false beginners" - students who have studied Japanese in the past but have either forgotten part or most of what they learnt, or were taught in an unstructured way. The program has a strong emphasis on preparing academic skills such as good reading and writing proficiency in Japanese, fluency in Japanese conversation and good listening skills. The curriculum stresses correct grammatical use as well as successful preparation for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. To give you an idea of the intensity of the program schedule, please note that the APJLE regulations require a minimum of 800 classes/year - and most institutes deliver 810-820 program hours a year with the permitted 20 students per class format in use. By comparison the AIJP covers more than 956 classes in each academic year.

    Methodology: The AIJP is a full immersion course, with all classes conducted in the target language. There are supporting translation and explanatory notes to help you prepare and review your lessons. Please note that Romaji - the Roman alphabet - is not used in instruction. Yamasa's teaching teams use an interactive style - rote learning has no place in the curriculum. During language classroom instruction, the maximum number of students per class is 15 students, and the teaching team is usually 4 or 5 instructors.

    (1) For students with student visas: There are 4 academic quarters (terms) and therefore 4 possible start dates. However the student visa itself is only available for the quarters commencing in April (Spring) and October (Autumn/Fall). If you wish to start in either of the July (Summer) or January (Winter) quarters then you would need to transfer to a student or other appropriate visa.
    (2) For students enrolling in short term studies (3 months or less): For short term students it is possible to enroll for 1 quarter using a tourist or other suitable visa (working holiday, work visa, spouse visa etc). In certain circumstances, it may be possible to study for a second quarter using one of these visas. If you have questions about whether you could study for 3 to 6 months using these visas please contact the Admissions Office.

    Sample Schedule:

    The program includes core classes and electives. Core classes start at 9.00am and finish at 1.30pm from Mondays to Fridays. There are no weekend classes. Elective classes are offered each day from 1.40pm to 3.30pm. There are electives to choose from and you can select up to 4 elective classes per week. Each elective is offered in a course format and runs for 8 weeks each quarter. A class period is of 50 minutes duration. The schedule below does not include preparation time. You will need to prepare for classes and submit homework tasks. An average weekly schedule would resemble something similar to the following:


    Contents - Introduction, Outline, Dates, Costs, Levels, Entry Requirements, Visas, Applications, Deadlines

    Program Dates & Holidays: There are 4 quarters (terms) per year. The AIJP commences in January, April, July and October. Please ensure that you also read through the visa information carefully. Please also check and keep a record of all Holiday Dates (below).

    Start Date
    Finish Date
    AIJP Plus Option A
    AIJP Plus Option B
    Spring Qtr
    Summer Qtr
    Autumn/Fall Qtr
    Winter Qtr
    Spring Qtr
    To be confirmed
    To be confirmed

    Note 1: For student visa applicants, the relevant deadline is actually the student visa application deadline (May/June and November/December).
    Note 2: If you are applying for a student visa, you do not need to pay ANY tuition until your visa has been approved.
    Note 3: If a homestay is your first or second accommodation preference, and you are NOT applying for a student visa, you need to complete tuition payment at least 2 months in advance.
    Note 4: You need to arrive in Okazaki one or two days before the start date. Click here for airport pickup dates and times. If staying in Yamasa's accommodation you would need to leave within two (2) days of your completion date. For more information regarding accommodation extensions please contact the Admissions Office.

    Notes regarding holidays: The AIJP is an intensive program. Even so, you do get to take a break from the books every now and then. There are no weekend classes scheduled. Longer term students can also enjoy the term (quarter) breaks and the Obon break.

  • Breaks between Quarters & Obon Festival Break:

    Spring Break 2013: MAR/23-APR/03
    Summer Break 2013: JUN/25-JUL/04
    Obon Festival 2013: AUG/10-18
    Autumn Break 2013: SEP/28-OCT/09
    Winter Break 2013-14: DEC/21-JAN/08
    Spring Break 2014: MAR/22-APR/01

  • Program & Public Holidays*:

    Winter 2013: None
    Spring 2013: May 3rd (Golden Week)
    Summer 2013: July 15th (Umi-no-hi), September 16th (Respect for the Aged Day), September 23rd Autumn Equinox)
    Autumn 2013: None
    Winter 2014: None
    Spring 2014: To be confirmed

    Contents - Introduction, Outline, Dates, Costs, Levels, Entry Requirements, Visas, Applications, Deadlines

    Fees and Costs: The program fee does not include textbooks, homestay or student accommodation fees, transport from airport to Yamasa (unless you use the airport limousine bus, in which case Yamasa will reimburse you for the 1700 yen fare in full), transport between homestay and Yamasa, travel insurance, air fares to/from Japan etc. Tuition fees below are confirmed through to March 2014.

    Application Fees:
    Need Student Visa?*
    No Student Visa
    Application Fee

    21,000 yen - see note #3 below

    Late Application Fee
    Unavailable - see note #5 below.
    10,500 Yen - see note #6 below.

    AIJP/AIJP Plus Tuition fees:

    1) There are several discounts available. Only 1 discount can be used per enrollment.

  • Re-enrolling students (Yamasa alumni) receive a 20% discount on tuition.
  • 10% discount is available for any applicant who has already passed JLPT Levels 1, 2, N1 or N2.
  • 10% discount is available for tuition payments completed 16 weeks prior to enrollment.
  • 5% discount is available for tuition payments completed 12 weeks prior to enrollment.
  • Students enrolling via the studyabroad office of their college or university may receive a 10% discount on tuition. (Other discounts)

    2) There is no cancellation fee. In the event that you need to cancel, a full refund is provided less bank fees and a 5250 yen administrative charge.


    Study/Accommodation Cost Calculator

    "AIJP Plus" Tuition fees:

    Option A: Customized Private lessons.

    You can choose up to 5 Private lessons per week. The customized classes run for 10 weeks, starting the week after the AIJP commencement. Private lessons are 3300 yen per class. Use the Study Cost Calculator to work out your preferred choice &/or combination. These classes are scheduled from either 13:40pm or 14:40pm on weekdays and are scheduled so that they do not clash with your elective classes.

    Option B: JBPP (Japanese for Business and Professional Purposes).

    Available for students at intermediate level and above, the JBPP curriculum is now offered in a part-time 5 class per week format, for 10 weeks per quarter. Most of the students (maximum of 8 per class) enrolling in this option are already enrolled at Yamasa, but the program is open (via an online test, online listening test, and skype interview) to any applicant with the pre-requisites. The cost per quarter is 92,000 yen, including textbooks. Please note that bringing a laptop computer with you is strongly advised for participants in this option. This option can be combined with Option A.

    NOTE 1: *For student visa information, please read carefully through the visa requirements section.

    NOTE 2: There is no application fee if you are enrolling for 1 quarter only, or if you do not require a student visa.

    NOTE 3: The application fee covers most of the costs incurred by Yamasa in obtaining the student visa. In some cases (depending on the amount of translations required etc) it costs as much as 60,000 yen in time & other costs for Yamasa to process your application - However even if processing your visa incurs costs well in excess of 21000 yen, you will NOT be required to make any additional payments.

    NOTE 4: Students requiring a student visa are required to enrol for a minimum of 2 quarters (6 months).

    NOTE 5: If you are applying for a student visa then you only need to pay the application fee of 21000 yen. A successful application secures your position in the program (subject to the visa being approved by the Immigration Bureau). You do not need to pay any tuition until after your certificate of eligibility (see visa information section below) has been confirmed.

    Frequently Asked Questions regarding costs:

  • Why are there tuition figures such as 249,875 and 1,525,125? Why isn't the tuition rounded off?
  • If I'm enrolling for 1 year, do I need to pay all the tuition in advance?
  • What is the minimum payment required? Can I pay in instalments?
  • Can I pay the tuition and accommodation on a month by month basis?
  • Are there any discounts?
  • How much do the textbooks and other materials cost?
  • How much are the laboratory and library fees?
  • How much is the airport/train station pickup service?
  • How much does the email and internet access cost?
  • Can I pay for everything by credit card?
  • If Yamasa is non-profit, why do some schools have cheaper tuition rates?
  • How much does the accommodation cost? Does that include bills?
  • What is the average cost of living? How much money do I need?
  • Am I allowed to work part-time?
  • Can I cover my tuition and other costs by part-time work?
  • What should I do regarding Health Insurance?

    Contents - Introduction, Outline, Dates, Costs, Levels, Entry Requirements, Visas, Applications, Deadlines

    Levels: Students entering the AIJP classes are graded via a placement test and placement interview at the beginning of each quarter. The testing is very extensive. This ensures that faculty can place you in a class with students who have attained a similar score in the placement test and are of similar ability. You should not find yourself in a class too easy or too difficult. The placement test measures all skills including listening. It is possible to change classes after consultation and re-assessment with your academic advisor.

    Classes are usually offered at the following levels.
    101 - Absolute beginner level
    102 - Beginner level
    103 - Upper Beginner level
    201 - Lower Intermediate level
    202 - Intermediate level
    301 - Upper Intermediate level
    302 - Pre-Advanced (JLPT2) level

    There are usually a minimum of 7 different levels of proficiency. The maximum class size is 15. The year round average class size is 10.7 students.If there are 16 students or more at the same level, the class is divided into 2 classes for the duration of the quarter.

    Students of proficiency levels higher than 302 / JLPT2 automatically transfer to the Advanced Japanese Studies Program. There is no requirement to re-apply - the transfer is automatic.

    Contents - Introduction, Outline, Dates, Costs, Levels, Entry Requirements, Visas, Applications, Deadlines

    Entry Requirements: The AIJP is both intensive and academic. All students will need to have a high level of motivation to learn Japanese.

    As an absolute minimum:

    1) Applicants requiring a student visa must have a minimum of 12 years of full-time education in their native country or have a diploma equivalent to a Japanese senior high school diploma. (For Hong Kong or Malaysian residents, please note that Form 5 may also be acceptable - though you will need to apply very early as interviews may be required.)

    2) As a general rule students need to be 18 years and over. If you are not going to be 18 at the time of the program commencement, and do not require a student visa, you may contact Admissions and seek a waiver.

    3) All students applying for the student visa will need to be at least 18 at the time they will enter Japan. It is possible for you to start the AIJP on a tourist visa when you are still 17 (subject to the conditions 1 and 2), and then transfer to the student visa after your 18th birthday.

    4) It is not a pre-requisite but it is helpful if you have some experience of studying Japanese or a foreign language before.

    5) Citizens of certain countries will need to find guarantors. Please check the Visa Requirements section to see if this applies to you.

    Contents - Introduction, Outline, Dates, Costs, Levels, Entry Requirements, Visas, Applications, Deadlines

    Visas: Unless you have a Japanese passport, you will need a valid visa.

    1) Visa required for enrolling for 3 months or less.
    Students who intend enrolling for short studies only will not require anything more than a tourist visa. For many nationalities, a 90 day landing permit will be granted automatically upon arrival in Japan. Please see the visa requirements section for details. Please note that for most nationalities the maximum period of stay for a short-stay (tourist) visa is 90 days/3 months. Please ensure that you do not arrive too early - or you will find that you are unable to complete the program.
    2) Visa required for enrolling for 6 months.
    For studies of 6 months or longer (regardless of whether you study for 6 months in the AIJP only or if you transfer to another Academic program for the second 3 months), the easiest way is to apply for a 6 month student visa and start in April or October. If this doesn't fit your schedule, it is possible to either (a) start on a tourist visa in January or July and then change to the student visa 3 months later (you need to leave and re-enter Japan for that) OR (b) Leave the country after 3 months and then re-enter on another tourist visa OR (c) for some countries, it is possible to stay up to 6 months in Japan on a tourist visa by getting an extension. The reason why the student visa is the easiest way is because you qualify for national health insurance, you can get cheaper accommodation, mobile telephone rentals etc and can work part-time. Please see the visa requirements section for details.
    3) Visa required for enrolling 9 to 18 months.
    For studies of 9 months or longer (regardless of whether you study in the AIJP only or if you transfer to another program), the easiest way is to apply for a student visa and start in April or October. No matter what the length of study, the visa will be for 12 months with an optional extension of 6 months. If this doesn't fit your schedule, it is possible to either (a) start on a tourist visa in January or July and then change to a 6 month or 12 month student visa later. Note that you will need to leave and re-enter Japan for that. The reason why the student visa is the easiest way is because you qualify for national health insurance, you can get cheaper accommodation, mobile telephone rentals etc. Please see the visa requirements section for details.
    4) Visa required for enrolling in 8 quarters (2 years).
    If you want to study for 2 years, you need to start in April with a student visa.

    Please note that students enrolling for more than 6 months will usually need a student visa (ryugaku visa). The student visa is available from April or October (only). The exceptions include working holiday visa holders, students with Japanese ancestry, cultural activities visa, work category visas such as "Specialist in Humanaties" etc. Please note that if you begin on a tourist visa and then transfer to the student visa you will in some cases NEED to leave the country. However, the usual application deadlines will still apply.

    Contents - Introduction, Outline, Dates, Costs, Levels, Entry Requirements, Visas, Applications, Deadlines

    Applications: Once you have read everything on this page, especially the sections regarding deadlines, fees, holiday dates, have checked your status re visas and guarantors, and have chosen your preferred accommodation options, schedule and so on, you are ready to apply.

    If NEED a student visa, please click here to apply for a Student Visa Kit. (opens new window)

    If DO NOT NEED a student visa, please click here and apply online. (opens new window)

    Contents - Introduction, Outline, Dates, Costs, Levels, Entry Requirements, Visas, Applications, Deadlines

    Deadlines: The deadline for the program will depend entirely upon the visa status you require.

    1) For students who DO NOT require a student visa:

    We request that you complete the application at least 42 days (6 weeks) prior to your commencement. After you complete the online application, submit photographs, please note that tuition fee payment is due no later than 35 days (5 weeks) prior to your commencement.
    If a homestay is your first preference accommodation please ensure that you have completed the tuition fee transfer at least 56 days (8 weeks) before commencement.

    If you intend to study for longer than 3 months, you will usually require a student visa. Please read through the information thoroughly and feel free to contact admissions if you have any questions.

    2) For students requiring a student visa:

    After you complete the documents included in the application kit, you must deliver it either to The Yamasa Institute or one of our offices abroad by mail, courier or hand delivery. The Student Services and visa specialists will start screening when the application fee (21,000 yen tax included) has been received. Due to the heavy screening and translating costs required in obtaining the visa for you, we regret that the application fee cannot be refunded.

    Application Periods:
    For student visa applications, the application period opens March 20th (for October commencement), and September 20th (for April commencement).

    Deadline 1:
    General Applicants - The application MUST be received by May 5th for October commencement, and November 5th for April commencement.

    Deadline 2:
    Fast-track Applicants - In some circumstances, it MAY be possible to extend the deadline for 1 month. These circumstances are determined not by Yamasa but by the Immigration Bureau. If the following criteria are met, then the application may be received by June 8th (next working day if this is a weekend) for October commencement, and December 8th (next working day if this is a weekend) for April commencement: a) Applicants under the age of 30, who have
    b) Completed full time studies recently, and are
    c) Citizens or Permanent residents of OECD countries.

    If you believe you meet the criteria for fast-track application please contact contact Admissions to make certain that your application can be accepted.

    What if I miss the deadline?

    If you are unable to submit your documentation prior to the relevant deadline, you are unable to obtain a student visa until the next available application period - ie 6 months later. You are however still able to apply for admission into the program if you are prepared to study using an alternative visa such as the tanki-taizai (short term visitor / tourist visa), working holiday visa etc.

    So for example if today is December 28th and you wish to start studies in April, you can do so if you use a tourist visa for the April to June Spring Quarter, and then a tourist visa for the July to September Summer Quarter. Provided you bring your documentation with you in the spring, you would then start studies using the student visa from October (Autumn Quarter).

    With tourist visas it is usually possible to spend up to 6 months in the program without difficulty. In the case of some nationalities, for example Ireland & Mexico, it is possible to spend 6 months in Japan on a tourist visa without leaving the country. Students of other countries, for example Canada & the USA, would need to leave the country and then re-enter with a new tourist visa. The only disadvantage of studying on a tourist visa is that you are not allowed to work part-time and do not qualify for the National Health Insurance scheme. More information is available in the visa file.


    Once your application fee is verified, we can screen your application. The screening is done on the basis of the documents submitted with the application kit. An interview is usually required for applicants who are already in Japan. After screening, we will notify you of the result and then submit your documents to the Immigration Bureau for application for a CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY. After inspection, and if there is no problem, the Immigration Bureau will issue the CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY. Yamasa will inform you of the outcome (approval or refusal). The frustrating part of the application is that the Bureau will not inform Yamasa of the result of the application until late August/early September in the case of October commencement, and until late February/early March in the case of April commencement.

    1. You will then be asked to remit a minimum of 2 quarters (6 months) of tuition fees and a minimum of 1 quarter (3 months) of accommodation fees. If you remit 1 year's worth of tuition, you will receive a discount of 10% of the tuition.
    2. Yamasa Admissions will then be able to send you the CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY and LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE.
    3. You then need to take this letter with your passport to the nearest Japanese diplomatic office to receive your visa stamp.
    4. You are then able to enter Japan.

    The rest of the enrollment procedure is completed upon arriving in Okazaki.

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    Hattori Foundation (est.1919) - The Yamasa Institute
    1-2-1 Hanehigashi-machi, Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, JAPAN 444-0832
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