Japanese Language and Culture Program

Overview of Japanese Language and Culture Program

The Japanese Language and Culture Program at Senshu University is an intensive program designed primarily for international exchange students from partner schools, though the program also welcomes unaffiliated individuals. Engaging students of different nationalities and academic backgrounds, the program is designed to develop useful skills and proficiency via practical exercises that also foster the acquisition of language. For this elective program, lecturers develop daily lesson plans that give students a sense of achievement and progress.

Class Level and Content

For more detailed information on classes by level, click on the links below. Class levels are subject to change according to the level of Japanese proficiency of program applicants.
LevelClassTarget End-of-Program Level (JLPT)
Upper IntermediateJ4N2
Lower IntermediateJ2N4
Intro/BeginnerJ1A, J1B, J1CN5

J1 Class (Intro/Beginner)

​As a rule, students are expected to know hiragana before beginning the program.
Target Skills to be Acquired
Basic everyday conversations
Conversations on familiar subjects
Deeper understanding of Japanese culture
Class Content
Basic beginner-level grammar
Vocabulary words: 1,300-1,500; Kanji: 150-200
Reading basic paragraphs
Listening, speaking
Understanding of Japanese culture

J2 Class (Lower Intermediate)

Target Skills to be Acquired
Conversations on familiar subjects, expression of opinions using complex sentences
Deeper understanding of Japanese culture
Class Content
Review and build on basic beginner-level grammar
Vocabulary words: 2,500-3,000; Kanji 300-500
Reading more advanced paragraphs
Listening, speaking
Topic-specific integrated studies
Understanding of Japanese culture

J3 Class (Intermediate)

Target Skills to be Acquired
Organization and expression of opinions and ideas
Deeper understanding of Japanese culture
Class Content
Acquire more advanced grammar and expressions
Vocabulary words: 4,000-5,000; Kanji 600-900
Reading long texts
Listening, speaking, writing
Topic-specific integrated studies
Understanding of Japanese culture

J4 Class (Upper Intermediate)

Target Skills to be Acquired
Reading/listening to authentic materials such as newspapers and news broadcasts, presentation of a well-organized summary of the content
Deeper understanding of Japanese culture
Class Content
Acquire logical structure of written and spoken Japanese
Vocabulary words: 6,000-8,000; Kanji 1,000-1,400
Reading simple authentic materials
Listening, speaking, writing
Topic-specific integrated studies
Understanding of Japanese culture

J5 Class (Advanced)

Target Skills to be Acquired
Reading/listening to actual materials such as newspapers and news broadcasts, presentation of a well-organized summary of the content, and expression of opinion on the topic
Deeper understanding of Japanese culture
Class Content
Grasp the structure of written and spoken Japanese
Vocabulary words: Over 10,000; Kanji: Over 2,000
Reading authentic materials
Listening, speaking, writing
Topic-specific integrated studies
Understanding of Japanese culture


Applicants must have completed 12 years of education or be a university student or have equivalent qualifications.

Program Objectives

​This program aims to help students improve their Japanese language proficiency and experience Japanese culture firsthand.
  1. Students will learn to communicate naturally in Japanese by developing general practical skills and working on balanced improvement of their reading, listening, speaking, and writing proficiency through activities that take advantage of the benefits of studying in Japan.
  2. In the beginner class , students will acquire a firm foundation in Japanese grammar, while practicing and acquiring practical skills to convey prescribed content in a natural sentence structure. Starting in the lower intermediate level, students learn to put language to use through task-based activities, while developing research and the presentation skills. At the end of the program, all participants will give presentations of the results of their research.
  3. Students will experience Japanese culture and lifestyle firsthand. While gaining a deeper understanding of Japan, students will also cultivate a broader prospective and understanding and respect for other cultures.

Small Class Size

​Classes are made up of 6 - 12 students to ensure that teachers are able to provide focused and detailed instruction.
(Class size is subject to change depending on the results of placement tests.)
Note: Please note that some classes may not be offered if pre-arrival placement tests do not identify at least six students for each class level.

Intensive Course

​Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 12:50 pm (Four 50-minute classes per day, five days a week)

Field Trips

The program includes a number of afternoon field trips. Scheduled trips include museums of art and history, Kabuki theater, Japanese calligraphy classroom, Kamakura, a factory tour, tea ceremony classroom (autumn/winter only), and an overnight trip to Hakone (autumn only).

Homestay Program (Three days, two nights)

The program also includes an optional three-day, two-night homestay. The homestay program may not be offered if Japanese host families are not available.

Placement Tests

Placement tests will be administered before students arrive in Japan and the day before classes begin. Classes will be determined according to the Japanese proficiency level of students.

Intermediary Languages

As a rule, the language used in classes to help students gain understanding will be English.

Certificate of Completion

Students who demonstrate mastery of the requisite materials will be issued a certificate of completion and transcript.Students with a certificate of completion may be able to transfer program credits to their home universities.

Program Fees (For reference only, based on 2016 school year)

Spring Term (4-week program)

Total: 171,200 yen
Application fee: 5,000 yen
Tuition and miscellaneous fees: 98,000 yen
University facility usage fees: 3,000 yen
Living expenses: 43,000 yen
Homestay program: 22,200 yen

Summer Term (7-week program)

Total: 260,200 yen
Application fee: 5,000 yen
Tuition and miscellaneous fees: 166,000 yen
University facility usage fees: 4,000 yen
Living expenses: 63,000 yen
Homestay program: 22,200 yen

Autumn Term (12-week program)

Total: 427,200 yen
Application fee: 5,000 yen
Tuition and miscellaneous fees: 290,000 yen
University facility usage fee: 4,000 yen
Living expenses: 106,000 yen
Homestay program: 22,200 yen

Winter Term (7-week program)

Total: 264,200 yen
Application fee: 5,000 yen
Tuition and miscellaneous fees: 166,000 yen
University facility usage fee: 4,000 yen
Living expenses: 67,000 yen
Homestay program: 22,200 yen

** The depositor is responsible for payment of all bank deposit fees. When calculating total cost, it is advisable for applicants to include an additional 2,500 yen in Japanese bank fees.
** Applicants who do not wish to participate in the homestay program will not be charged the 22,200 yen fee.

Included in the Program Fees

* Tuition, textbooks, reference materials
* Use of university facilities
* Transportation and admission fees related to history and art museum visits, Kabuki theater, calligraphy class, Kamakura tour, company tour, tea ceremony class, overnight stay at Hakone, and other field trips
* Room, board, homestay program (including utilities and Internet)

Excluded from Program Fees (for students staying in university dormitory)

* Food (other than homestay program days)
* Airfare and transportation between airport and university
* Delivery of suitcases from airport
* Medical expenses, insurance
* Personal expenses, etc.
* Transportation between host family’s home and university dormitory (for students participating in homestay program)
* Accommodation before and after program
Students who make their own arrangements for accommodations will not be charged for living expenses. These students must pay for their own accommodations and transportation to and from the university.


The university does not offer scholarships to cover participation in this program.

Dorm Life

As a rule, program participants live the in university dormitory in a double room. Although meals are not provided, dorm rooms are equipped with dishes, as well as appliances such as a refrigerator, IH stove, microwave oven, rice cooker, and toaster. The dorms are also equipped with showers, public telephones, washing machines and dryers (coin-operated), and steam irons. Participants who wish to stay in the dorms before or after the program due to their flight schedule may extend their stay for up to three nights. Please consult program administrators. Participants will be charged separately for these nights based on standard university rates.

Campus Life

Other than days when afternoon events are scheduled, students are free after classes end (12:50pm). Students may use this free time to interact with Senshu University students or use the campus facilities (library, gymnasium, pool, training room, computer room, bookstore, cafeteria, etc.).


Applying for the Program

Q. My university is not one of Senshu University’s overseas partner schools. Can I still participate in the Japanese language program?
A. Yes, you may. We hold a total of four courses a year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter).
Q. Can I apply for the program even if I already live in Japan?
A. Yes! Non-Japanese living in Japan are also eligible for participation.
Q. May I send the application forms by email?
A. Due to limited email storage space, we unfortunately cannot accept applications in email attachments. We apologize for this inconvenience, but applications (including the application form, homestay program application, copy of passport, and transcript) must be mailed by post.
Q. I would like to apply for two courses. Do I need to pay the application fee twice? Do I need to submit two copies of the application forms?
A. Participants applying for two consecutive courses are exempt from paying the second application fee and do not need to submit two copies of the application forms. Please note that the transcript submitted must be the original, not a copy.
Q. I want to apply for three courses: the spring, summer, and autumn. When would I know if I have been accepted? Would my tuition fees be refunded if I am not able to continue through autumn due to extenuating circumstances?
A. Acceptances are sent out to all applicants after the pre-arrival placement tests. Test results are evaluated to determine for each student if a suitable class will be offered. Program fees are to be paid after a student has been accepted, and students may officially begin classes after they have paid the fees. We do not accept lump payment for multiple courses. (For example, whether a student is able to continue into the autumn course is determined while the student is taking the summer course. Fees for the autumn course are to be paid by the autumn deadline.) Please be aware that fees cannot be refunded once payment has been made.


Q. Is it possible to pay in installments?
A. Unfortunately, we do not accept payment in installments. The fee total must be paid in a single payment.
Q. Are scholarships available?
A. Unfortunately, there are no scholarships available for this program.

Arriving in Japan

Q. Will someone from the school meet me at the airport when I arrive in Japan?
A. No. As a basic rule, students are expected to travel on their own to Senshu International House (KOKUSAI KORYU-KAIKAN) after arriving in Japan. See the map for directions to the building. Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture offer various modes of public transportation, including train, subway, and bus.

Health Insurance

Q. Am I required to have insurance in Japan?
A. Students are asked to arrange for insurance to cover major injuries and accidents. Those without insurance will be unable to participate in this program.
Q. Can I get insurance at Senshu University?
A. Unfortunately, only fulltime students are eligible for university insurance. This insurance does not cover short-term exchange students.

Transferring Credits

Q. Will the credits for this program be transferrable at my home university?
A. Each university has its own rules in place. Please check with your home university about transferring credits.
Q. I would like to take the autumn course after I complete the summer course. Will I be able to extend my visa?
A. Unfortunately, extending your visa is not possible. For more information, please click on the Visa Information link below.

Dormitory (Senshu International House)

Q. Where are the Senshu University campus and dormitories located? Are they in Tokyo? Can I walk from the dormitory to campus? How long does it take on foot? Will I need to take public transportation?
A. The Senshu University dormitory for exchange students, Senshu International House, is located in Kawazaki City in Kanagawa Prefecture, which is near Tokyo. The train station closest to the university is Mukogaoka-yuen Station on the Odawara line, 25 minutes by express train from Shinjuku (one of the main urban centers of the Tokyo metropolitan area). From the dormitory, it is a one-minute walk to the university.Q. Are the dormitory rooms single rooms?
A. The dorm rooms are double rooms, not single rooms.
Q. I would like to bring my computer. Do the dorms have Internet access?
A. You may bring your computer, and Internet access is provided. Computers are also available at the Information Science Center (ISC ) on campus and in study rooms at the Senshu International House (KOKUSAI KORYU-KAIKAN).
Q. Is Internet access included in the dormitory free?
A. Yes, Internet fees are included in room and board expenses.
Q. I would like to stay in the dormitory after the program is over. Is this possible?
A. You may extend your dorm stay for reasons related to your scheduled flight home. Extensions are only possible, however, for up to three days, which will be charged separately. If you wish to extend your stay, please inform us as soon as possible.
Q. How much does the washing machine cost?
A. Each floor in the dormitory has a laundry room with coin-operated washing machines and dryers. (Students must supply their own laundry detergent.) The washing machines cost 200 yen per load, and the dryers cost 100 yen for 30 minutes.
Q. I would like to cook my own meals. Is that possible?
A. Cooking appliances (for example, rice cooker, refrigerator, IH stove top, microwave oven, etc.) are always available in the dormitory for student use. You may also bring in your own appliances. However, please check the voltage of any electrical appliances that you bring. You may need an adaptor if the voltage differs from standard voltage in Japan. Bringing heavy appliances all the way to Japan is difficult. For short term stays, we recommend using the appliances available in the dormitory.
Q. I plan to travel around Japan once the program is over. May I leave my bags at the university while I travel?
A. Heavy suitcases can be stored free of charge in the dorm office. However, the office cannot be held responsible for loss of items of value. Please take all valuable items with you.

Campus and Neighborhood

Q. May I participate in Senshu University club activities?
A. In general, program participants are able to take part in university clubs. Some clubs, however, may not accept short-term exchange students.
Q. Are there maps of the neighborhood and information for daily life in English so that exchange students are able to get around the city on our own?
A. Mukogaoka Yuen Town Guide is a guidebook in English for non-Japanese residents in Mukogaoka Yuen. The guidebook was planned, written, and compiled by students in an English writing class taught by Mariko Kurosawa, associate professor of literature. The guidebook is a fun, easy-to-understand pamphlet with information on about 30 spots in the neighborhood accompanied by color photographs.
Access the website below to print the pamphlet out.Q. Will the university issue a student card that can be used while travelling?
A. Senshu University issues a student card that works as an ID card. This student card can be carried with you instead of your passport to provide proof of your identity. It cannot, however, be used to receive student discounts.
For more details on the International Student Card, click the link below.Q. Are there ATMs in Japan where I can use a Maestro card or Cirrus (global online banking system operated by Master Card)?
A. In Japan, you can make cash withdrawals using Cirrus and Maestro debit cards at post office ATMs around the country. There is also a global ATM at the post office near the dormitory, as well as at train stations in Shinjuku, Machida, and elsewhere.