Here you can find frequently asked questions and their answers.

Could you tell me the deadline for each term?

<Student Visa Application>

  • We have four admission dates in a year (January, April, July and October). * Nagano campus is in April and October.
  • For those applying for a student visa, each term has its own deadline. Please contact us well in advance.
  • Time of entry and application deadlines are below (When number of applicants is full, we will close application).
    Enrollment date January April July October
    Approximate Application Deadline Early August Previous year Late October Previous year Early February Late April
    Application Submission at Immigration Mid September Previous year Late November Previous year Late March Early June
    Result will be announced by paying fees. sending the COE* issued by the Immigration Bureau of Japan Early Nov. Previous year Late February Late May Late August
    Apply to visa at Embassy/Consulate Early Dec. Previous year Early March Early June Early September

    * COE : Certificate of Eligibility

<Other types of visa>

  • If you are enrolled Students not holding a student visa, may enroll mid-semester, contingent upon the level check test results and class availability.
  • The application deadline is 30 days before the semester start date (for those enrolling mid-term, the course start date is the first day of class).

How many students are in one class?

The maximum number is 20 students per class. However, if the class level is unbalanced, the class number may be slightly over 20 per class, but these adjustments will be made early on.

Could you tell me the class hours?

  • Class hours are determined according to class level, so students may not select a preferred class time.
  • Generally, beginner to intermediate I levels are offered in the afternoon, and intermediate II to advanced classes are offered in the morning. (However, this may depend on the period and class make up.)
  • Class hours at each school are as follows.
School Morning  Afternoon Lesson length
Takadanobaba Campus 8:50~12:00 13:00~16:10 90mins×2 Lessons
Ikebukuro Campus 8:50~12:00 13:00~16:10 90mins×2 Lessons
Harajuku Campus 8:50~12:00 13:00~16:10 90mins×2 Lessons
Kyoto Campus 8:50~12:00 13:00~16:10 90mins×2 Lessons
Nagano Campus 8:50~12:00 13:00~16:10  90mins×2 Lessoons

Although I have never studied Japanese, can I still join ISI?

  • Even those who are new to Japanese may enroll. However, if you are able to study hiragana prior to your arrival to Japan, your experience in the classroom will be much easier.
  • Enrollment is open 4 times a year at the start of each semester (twice at Nagano), so it is recommended that you complete admissions according to the schedule. If you are enrolled without a student visa, you may enroll midway into the semester depending on the results of the level check test, and class availability.

Can I enroll in the middle of a term?

You may enroll mid-term if you have already studied Japanese, and it is determined that you can sufficiently comprehend class content. Please contact the school for details.

When can I start taking elective classes?

  • Normally, elective classes are available for those students that are placed in IntermediateⅡ level above.
  • The classes that can be selected vary depending on the location and your purpose, so please be careful when choosing which school to attend.

Do the teachers give explanations in other languages during class time?

Students from various countries live and learn together in our classes. Therefore, as a rule, our teachers teach using only Japanese. The lessons are designed using picture cards and photos… even beginners can learn.

As students become accustomed to this method, they will soon be able to speak Japanese more quickly, as they will be thinking in Japanese as well. You’ve come all the way to Japan, by all means… take advantage of this opportunity.

I am a high school student; would I be studying with students that are over 18 years of age?

  • Since we assign classes according to the student’s level, you will be studying together with other students no matter their age, length of study or type of visa. You will be placed in a class that is suitable to your level.

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 of extending the visa.

Would there be quizzes and homework?

Additionally, an achievement test is administered following every two to three sections of the textbook, and kanji tests are also performed regularly. At the end of the semester, students will know their level of proficiency after the final tests in conversation, listening, reading, and writing.

Would I earn a degree or a diploma after completing Japanese Language School?

If you complete a course of one year or more with a student visa, a diploma will be awarded if your attendance and grades meet the minimum criteria.
If you are enrolled in a short-term course, and your attendance rate meets the criteria, you will be awarded a study certificate.

Does the school have Wi-Fi available?

  • Yes, all campuses have Wi-Fi access.
  • Also there are computer stations at every campus for the use of the students during break time and after classes.

How many months can I secure housing?

  • We accept applications for a minimum of two weeks, or one month, depending on the location. We recommend applying for a maximum of 3 months.
  • If you wish to extend your stay, you may do so only after consulting with the staff at your residence.
  • Please not that if you wish to leave your residence prior to the end of your contract, the remaining portion of your stay will not be refunded.

Is the internet available at the housing?

Our school dormitories and recommended housing have Wi-Fi or internet connections available in the rooms. There is no need to worry about provider contracts or installation.

Please tell me about the facilities and furnishing at the accommodations.

The facilities vary by location. Please refer to the link for more information.
Bedding, desks and chairs are provided.

How far from campus are the dormitories, homestay, guesthouse, or weekly mansion?

  • Takadanobaba, Ikebukuro, Harajuku and Kyoto Campuses are all located in the center of the city. A timely train is useful for traveling around the city. Japan’s transportation system is well-established, so it is very convenient if you use. (Average commuting time: 30-60 minutes).
  • Most homestays take 50 to 90 minutes to the school. Please refer to the accommodation section for your lodgings.

Can you explain what kind of facility the Guesthouse?

  • There are a number of shared housing facilities in Tokyo. The Guesthouse is similar to those.
  • There are no restrictions such as needing a Japanese guarantor, and multinationals may stay long-term.
  • They have private rooms, however the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facility is shared. There are also shared areas such as the dining room and TV room. You are responsible for you own meals.

I am a vegetarian, have pet allergies, and am a non-smoker. Are you able to introduce a host family that meets my needs?

On the homestay application form, you will find a column which will allow you to list any dietary restrictions or allergies. From your information, we will find host families that meet your conditions, to the best of our ability.

Can friends or family stay at the dormitory, homestay, guesthouse, or weekly mansion?

  • There are certain rules at these facilities. Unfortunately, guests are not allowed to stay there.
  • In the event that a family member or friend visits Japan, he / she is requested to arrange other accommodations such as a hotel.

May I contact my host family just prior to coming to Japan?

  • Two weeks prior to your arrival to Japan, we will send you contact information and your schedule to your host family, so you will be able to make contact with your host family.
  • Please understand that a response from your host family may not come right away. However, if there is a delay, or your flight is cancelled, please contact the emergency contact rather than your host family.


How much would the monthly living expenses be?

The cost of living in Tokyo (rent, food, and utilities) ranges from approximately 70,000 to 170,000 yen per month. In Kyoto / Nagano, please anticipate a cost of around 55,000 to 130,000 yen per month.

(Prices in JPY)   
Food ¥​25,000 ~ ¥​50,000 ¥​21,600 ~ ¥​40,000
Transportation ¥​5,000 ~ ¥​30,000 ¥​2,000 ~¥​​10,000
Communications Expenses ¥​4,000 ~ ¥​10,000 ¥​4,000 ~ ¥​10,000

Approximate costs to eat out.

(Prices in JPY)   
Eating (type of meal) Price
Hamburgers sets (with fries and a drink) ¥​500~¥​800
MacDonald’s Big Mac combo ¥​690
Beef Bowl (GYUDON)  regular size ¥​320~¥400
Starbucks Tall Latte ¥​418

How can I get a mobile phone in Japan?

  • Students with a student visa can get a mobile phone, if you have your residence card and a Japanese bank account.
  • Those coming to Japan with a short-stay visa can only purchase prepaid mobile phones. Please refer to the link below regarding mobile phone contracts. You can also rent a cell phone at the airport for a short period of time. https://www.softbank.jp/mobile/products/prepaid/

How should I bring money into Japan?

  • Many financial institutions will not open a bank account for you in until six months have passed since your arrival in Japan.
  • The simplest method is, prior to your departure; create an account at a bank that has a branch in Japan, such as Citibank. You can withdraw cash at a Japanese branch or ATM.
  • Many mainland Chinese students create a “Ginren” card in their home country and can are able to withdraw cash from a Japanese ATM. We recommend that you bring a credit card just in case. Cash can be withdrawn at ATMs in Japan with cards having “Plus”, “Cirrus”, and “Visa” logos.

Please tell me about the climate and temperature in Japan.

  • Japan has four seasons, where the climate and temperature vary greatly depending on the location and season.
  • You can see the climate and temperatures from this site:

How does the public transportation system work in Japan?

  • In Tokyo and Kyoto, trains, buses and subways run throughout the city. Most people are use commuter passes and charge-type IC cards for convenience and to save money.
  • If you are enrolled in Nagano School, the most common means of transportation in the city are either trains or bicycles.
  • Rechargeable IC cards can also be used on the many forms of public transportation throughout Japan, so it is recommended that you obtain one when you enter Japan
  • A deposit of 500 yen will be charged when you get the card, but the deposit will be refunded when the card is returned.

Please tell me about the insurance system in Japan.

  • According to the law, visitors staying in Japan for 3 months or longer, holding a student visa, are obliged to join the National Health Insurance plan.
  • If you visit the hospital for illness or injury, you will be responsible for 30% of your medical expenses.
  • Upon arrival to Japan, you will need to apply at the municipal office where you live. Insurance premiums may vary depending on the municipality and income.
  • Nevertheless, if you come to Japan with a short-term visa, you are not permitted to join the National Health Insurance. Please be sure to purchase overseas travel insurance prior to coming to Japan to deal with unexpected illnesses or accidents.

Can I get a part-time job?

  • Students holding a student visa may work part-time, up to 28 hours a week, after obtaining an “Unqualified Activity Permit” at the airport upon arrival.
  • However, there are restrictions on the type of work, so please contact the school for information.
  • If you have not applied for a “non-qualified activity permit” or if you have a short-term visa, you cannot work part-time.

How long does it take to get a Student Visa?

It takes approximately 6 months to apply for a Student Visa. Please contact us as soon as possible.

Click on the link for more details.
Application Process – Student Visa

How do I apply?


How should I pay for Tuition and Fees?

We will issue an invoice when the application details are confirmed. You will be given information regarding payment by Flywire or bank transfer. For details, see the link.
Payment Methods

Do you have any scholarships or fee reduction system?

Yes we do. We have various awards and external scholarships available. For details, see the link.

Would I get to know on what level I’ll be placed when I submit my application?

Classes will be announced the day before the class begins.  Class placement is determined by a level check test prior to admission. If you do not take the test, you will be placed at the zero level, so be sure to take the test. A level check by the teacher in charge will determine the best level class for you.

Would it be possible to visit or audit a course, prior to enrollment?

Yes, this is possible.  Please contact overseas admissions to schedule a tour and audit at the school you are interested in.

When should I prepare to purchase a ticket to go to Japan?

  • You should book your air ticket so that you will come to Japan by the day prior to the first day of enrollment (orientation).
  • As soon as your ticket is booked, send a copy of your e-ticket to Japan to the school representative you have been in contact with.
  • If you are planning to request an airport transfer service, please be sure to send the e-ticket at least 7 business days prior to your arrival date. Please understand that we may not be able to make arrangements for late arrivals to Japan.

How much cash should I bring with me to Japan?

If you arrive at the weekend, you may withdraw cash from an ATM. However, it can take up to 6 months to open a bank account. We recommend that you bring at least 200,000 yen, including the train fee upon arrival, the purchase of household items for a week, and food expenses.

Will I need to study Japanese prior to my arrival in Japan?

  • If you haven’t studied Japanese, you will be in the Beginner class. However if you are able to study Hiragana and Katakana prior to arrival, you will certainly be able to understand the classes much better.
  • Hiragana and Katakana are similar, in function to the alphabet in English. Reading and writing hiragana and katakana can be extremely useful. We highly recommend that you try to learn them before coming to Japan.