FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General

About Shibuya Gaigo Gakuin

Shibuya Gaigo Gakuin is one of the oldest and most respected language institutes in Japan. We were established in 1970, and we have been a member of the Association for the Promotion of Japanese Language Education since its foundation.

What sets Shibuya Gaigo Gakuin apart?

Location and teaching methodology. We are located in the heart of Shibuya, the lifestyle mecca of Japan, so you will never be bored. We conduct our classes using a Direct Method approach which emphasizes real-life scenarios and practical conversation lessons so that you can start having conversations in Japanese in a relatively short amount of time.

Are there any cultural events?

We have cultural events, day trips and excursions in and around Tokyo. We try to provide you with as many chances to immerse yourself in the Japanese culture. You will also have the opportunity to practice Japanese on a daily basis with the many Japanese students who are learning other languages.

Where do students who attend Shibuya Gaigo Gakuin come from?

We have students from around the globe, our international environment allows students of various backgrounds to enjoy a harmonious study and life experience. You can see our Students Demographic here.

What kind of support do you provide?

Helping our students make a smooth transition to life in Japan is a priority for Shibuya Gaigo Gakuin. You will never feel alone and can rest assured that we are here to assist you in whatever way we can.

Where is the school located?

We are located in the heart of Shibuya within walking distance from Shibuya Station.

Will I earn a degree or diploma after completing my course?

Yes, at the end of each course, you will earn a Certificate of Accomplishment or a Certificate of Attendance.

One-month students and students with less than a 70% attendance rate will not receive a Certificate of Accomplishment.

Does the school have WI-FI available?

Yes.

Can I extend my length of study once the course has started?

Of course, you can extend the length of your studies. If you are here on a student visa, please talk to the school staff about the process and related fees for extending the visa.

I have never studied Japanese before, can I enroll?

Yes, it is possible. However, to ensure a smooth start, it is required to learn at least Hiragana and Katakana before the beginning of the session.

Can I transfer to Shibuya Gaigo Gakuin from my current language school in Japan?

Yes, it is possible. Please contact us to discuss your specific case.

Application

What are the application periods?

There are 4 enrollment periods per year: Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct.

How can I apply?

Please visit our Application page.

Is there an age limit?

You have to be 16 years of age or older.

Is it necessary for all the documents to be translated into Japanese?

In general Japanese or English are accepted. Please consult with us for other languages.

What documentation is needed if I am still in University?

Proof of graduation from your high school and an official letter indicating your enrollment at the University are needed.

What should I do if I do not have any documentation from my job stating my occupation and income?

A tax statement showing your annual income is acceptable. Other documentation may be acceptable; please contact us for personal advice

Japan Student Visa

Do you sponsor Student Visa?

Yes, you can receive a Student Visa if you apply for our Long-term Course.

For how long can I study for with a Student Visa?

The maximum length that you can study for with a Student Visa in a language institute is 2 years.

Can I work part-time with a Student Visa?

Yes, you can work for up to 28 hours a week with a Student Visa.

Can I change my current status visa to a Student Visa?

Yes, it is possible if you're currently on another long-term status visa ( Working Holiday, Work Visa, etc.).

Can I change my visa status from a Tourist Visa to Student Visa?

In general, it is not possible.

Classes and Lessons

How are lessons conducted?

Classes are conducted using a Direct Method approach. We emphasize conversational skills above all so that you can start speaking Japanese in everyday situations within a relatively short amount of time.

What is the average class size?

Depending on the class level, between 6 and 16 students per class.

What are the class hours?

Morning 09:30-13:00 (Level 4 to 10) Afternoon 13:30-17:00 (Level 1 to 3).

In what language are classes conducted?

The teacher will only use Japanese during class.

How much do the text books cost?

It depends on your class level. Usually between 3000-5000 Japanese Yen per term.

Will there be quizzes and homework?

Yes, there will be homework and quizzes in order to retain what you’ve learned during class.

How do you decide what class level is most appropriate?

Class level is based on the information provided during the application process and the level check result. 

Can I change my current class level?

The teacher decides on the most suitable class level. If you, however, feel that your current class level is inadequate, please consult with your teacher.

Do you offer scholarships or other kind of tuition discount?

We do not provide any scholarships. We do however occasionally provide discounts which we communicate through our newsletter.

What is the minimum bank account balance required for Student Visa?

A bank account balance with the equivalent of 1,200,000 Japanese Yen for a 6 months Student Visa or 2,000,000 for 1 year Student Visa is required.

Who can I use as my financial sponsor?

Other than yourself, only close family relatives can be used as a financial sponsor.

Payment

Is a payment by installments possible?

Not at first but it is possible when extending your course.

What type of payment methods are available?

Both Flywire and bank transfers are accepted. If you are located in Japan, you may pay cash at the school.

When should I make payments?

For long-term course, the application fee is due after your application is approved while the admission fee and tuition are due after your CoE is issued.

For all courses, the Tuition fee is due 2 to 4 weeks before the course starts.

What is your refund policy?

You can find our refund policy here

Private Lesson

How do you decide the dates and times of the lessons?

We make arrangements based on your request.

Can I make a request about the content of the lessons?

Yes, you can. We’ll have a free counseling session before starting the lesson and design your lesson plan accordingly. If you are not sure what you would like to study, we will make a proposal based on the purpose of your study as well as your planned study time period, hours per day and frequency, etc.

How do you decide the study material?

If you have some study material you would like to use, please let us know. We can also recommend textbooks based on your needs and objectives.

Will the teacher(s) speak, provide explanations in english?

Depending on teachers availability, yes it is possible.

Is it possible to appoint a specific teacher?

Depending on teachers availability, yes it is possible.

Is the teacher the same all the time?

You can have the same teacher for all lessons or a different teacher on different days.

Can I change the teacher?

Yes, you can.

Can I change my lesson schedule?

Yes, you may change the lesson schedule up to 1 day by 14:00 o'clock before the lesson takes place.

Do you offer Group Private lessons?

Yes, we do.

How can I cancel? Can I get a refund?

If you would like to leave school in the middle of your course, please refer to our Refund Policy.

Before arriving to Japan

When should I arrive in Japan?

Please arrange your flight ticket so that you’ll be arriving the day before the orientation session at the latest.

Do I need to study Japanese before arriving in Japan?

We have classes for the absolute beginners. However, you should at least know Hiragana and Katakana before coming to Japan.

Living in japan

Are there any administrative requirements when I first arrive in Japan?

Yes, if you have a student visa, you have to register your residential address and apply for a National Health Insurance within 14 days of your arrival at the City Office of the district where you reside.

How much would the monthly living expenses be?

It depends on your lifestyle and type of accommodation. Monthly expenses could be from ¥ 70,000 to ¥ 170,000 in Tokyo.

How can I get a mobile phone in Japan?

If you are on a student visa, you can get a mobile phone contract with a telecom provider.

If you are on a temporary visitor visa, you can use a pre-paid mobile phone, WiFi router or pre-paid SIM cards if you have a sim-free mobile phone.

Can you tell me about health insurance in Japan?

By law, every person that will stay in Japan for more than 3 months, must get the “National Health insurance”. Once insured, if injured or sick, you would only pay 30% of the medical costs, however, when you join Shibuya Gaigo Gakuin under a Student Visa, you are automatically enrolled in an additional health insurance plan which provides coverage for the remaining 30% in order to provide you with a 100% coverage.

However, if you are coming under a tourist visa, you will not be able to get the national insurance. Therefore, it is essential that you have a traveler insurance or other insurance coverage from your home country that can cover your costs in case of illness or other unexpected events.

Can I work part-time?

With a Student Visa, you can work for up to 28 hours a week after receiving your “Permission to engage in activity other than that permitted”.

You are not allowed to work if you are on a temporary visitor visa.

How can I receive permission to work Part-time?

We will provide you an application form that you should fill and give to the Immigration Officer at the airport upon your entry to Japan.