Language stay in Japan

Preparations for the language stay

I’m planning to stay one year in Kobe and study Japanese at a school. It’s not only about learning the language.

If you want to do a language stay, I recommend you to research about the schools and courses. I asked an organization in Switzerland first, but I decided to look for a school by myself. Booking directly is much cheaper, because you won’t have to pay a fee for the organization. I would have payed CHF 10’000 – 20’000. The school in Kobe actually costs CHF 7’000 for one year.

I’m still not fluent in English and I don’t understand Japanese. If you know someone who speaks Japanese and understands the Japanese school system, ask them for help. Unfortunately there are many schools who are only for Asians, or don’t accept Swiss people, because the countries don’t have an agreement.

Savings plan

You definitely need to save up a lot of money. I recommend you to calculate CHF 1000 for your monthly expension. It really depends on where you live, but if you have a rent between CHF 300-500, plus CHF 200 for food and CHF 50-100 for electricity and gas bill, you will survive with CHF 1000 per month.

In my case it looks like this:

Fixed costs

  • School fee
  • Food
  • Train ticket
  • Apartment/guest house (wherever you’ll stay)
  • Flight ticket
  • Insurance

Additional costs

  • Medicine
  • Furniture
  • Restaurant
  • Excursion, trip
  • Household
  • Leisure time

What should be 100% covered

Maybe you will survive if you only have the money for the fixed costs. I think it’s definitely better to have a backup in case of an accident or if you want to go out with friends. There is no guarantee that you will find a part-time job in Japan even though the student visa allows you to work 28 hours per week. I calculated the price of a one room apartment + train ticket + food and found out that I would survive with CHF 1000 per month. This is only possible.

Questions:

  • Did you pay the language stay or did someone help you out?
  • How did your savings plan look like?

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