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Studying Japanese in Japan


27 Mar 2003
Hajimemashite everyone

Im new to the forum, and wanted to introduce myself, but I also have a bunch of questions I was hoping you guys could help me out with. First off, my name is Don and I studied abroad in Nagasaki last semester. Its currently my final semester as a comm major and after this Im heading into the Air Force as an officer. Okay, enough of that good stuff...

So Japan was the greatest experience of my life, and I am dying to go back to get more. I know I have a few years of service ahead of me, but I want to start planning (really) early, so here's the entire scoop...

Assuming I'll be out of the AF in 4 years, I will be 26. My goal is to go back to Japan and study at a university. I want to go really hardcore in learning Japanese when I get their, but I dont know what the best option is to take. Is it better to go to a college, university, or a Japanese language school -- keep in mind, I'll be 26 and with a bachelors degree.

My biggest problems (I think) are going to be getting into a college. Can anyone give me any insight on how to apply, what kind of examinations you have to go through, and if their is any kind of scholarships available. Also, since I will have a degree already, do any of you think that it will be a problem to study again at a Japanese college -- that could be a stupid question, Im really not too sure.

Finally, can anyone give me any reccomendations for any good schools. Personally, I think I want to stay away from the Tokyo area. (Im a big fan of Kyushu!!!!, but thats not required)

So here's the recap. I want to attend college in Japan (not study abroad). I want to learn Japanese, and I want to know what kinds of issues I'll have to face about applying and finding the right school. Any information you guys could provide me with would be totally awesome. I appreciate any and all help, and since this is getting to be too long, I'm just gonna end it here. (thanks again in advance)

Mata ne ;-)
Try Temple University... It has campuses in Philadelphia, Rome, Tokyo (yea, you don't wanna go, but at least you know it's an American based university, so you can speak English there too...)


Issues you'll have to face is student visas, acceptance (of course), money (seriously... come loaded or something)...

I hope I've helped... and Ganbatte with the Japanese... I'm working on it too...

I'll keep looking around for you so check back to this thread ok?

Greetings and welcome Duce. The questions you pose are all very valid ones and i'm afraid I don't know as much as i'd like in this area in order to anwer your questions fully at this time. If you are indeed planning on pursuing graduate studies after your four years, then I think a good place to start would be your contacts from your last semester in Nagasaki.
I'm not certain what sort of restrictions or protocols are in place for foreigners wishing to pursue an academic field of study at the graduate level abroad but if you have any contacts you still keep in touch with in Nagasaki, i'm sure they may be able to set you on the right track. At the very least, they should be able to help you find out what universities accept foreign students and whether or not they have a program suitable for you (if you're planning on attending a Japanese academic instuitution).
With a Communications degree, that leaves your options pretty much open at the grad level so you definitely have that working in your favor. The link provided above by ChennehCis is an excellent example of one of many possible resources that could potentially be of use to you, and I would very seriously consider enrolling in one of of many international campuses abroad. The reason I say this is because apparently instances of discrimination by foreigners wishing to enroll in Japanese universities have occured in some cases, and with your background being in the military... that may very well be a deciding factor (whether positive or negative) that is taken into consideration during the admissions process.
At any rate, I think you're doing the right thing by planning early. The actual process for admissions into an academic program may end up being either more stringent or more relaxed but with the benefit of having time on your side, you're definitely on the right track. This being the "information gathering" stage, I would strongly encourage you to seek out and contact any International Studies program directors at those American universities near you or those that you may be interested in attending (if so inclined) for further information (like the link above). I know that here in Michigan, 15 universities have a joint program which can be found here:
While it is more geared for study abroad programs, they also offer an excellent language school program and is a joint collaboration between the state of Michigan and the city of Hikone in Shiga prefecture (where it is located) along with many member universities. I am sure they may be able provide you with the information you're looking for although I would suspect similar programs may exist in your area. Nevertheless, the staff at JCMU are very friendly and have helped me in the past with prior projects. I encourage you or anyone else who may have questions to drop them a line Hope that helps and i'll post further if I am able to find any other info that may be of use to you..
Jeffrey Johnson, Ph.D. Resident Director john1982[at]msu.edu
Minoru Aizawa Japanese Language Program Coordinator minorua[at]jcmu.net
Mizuki Kitamura Internship Coordinator jcmukitamura[at]hotmail.com
Miyuki Kakuta Student Services Coordinator
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Have you also looked into getting stationed in Japan? Or don't you have much choice about where the AF puts you? I'd think that skills in Japanese would increase your chances of getting an assignment in Japan.
Hey everyone, thanks for all the input so far. As far as getting stationed in Japan, thats not really possible in my situation. (The new guys usually don't get those kind of places)

I appreciate all the info so far, and I actually hadnt considered studying through an American college. I'm going to start looking into American schools now to see what they have to offer. But, if anyone has any kind of experience or information about obtaining a masters degree in Japan (without going through an American university) it would be a great help too. Thanks again for everything so far, and I'll keep checking back.
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