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Hokkaido Japanese Language School students with their certificates Hokkaido Japanese Language School students with their certificates

Japanese Language School Internship

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A self-driven internship experience

I have attended the Hokkaido Japanese Language School for two consecutive summers now, and both times have been more rewarding than I'd ever imagined. I spent all of my first summer there as a student - I came in with absolutely no background in Japanese Language, and by the end of 12 weeks, I had completed what my college considered a full year's worth of college-level Japanese.
During my second summer, I continued language classes in the mornings and also participated as an intern in the afternoons. I had the unique chance to see what a growing organization like Hokkaido Global Linx does behind the scenes, and was even able to contribute with my own ideas and experience. By staying at the language school in the afternoons, I had the chance to practice the Japanese I'd learned every morning with the Japanese students who came in for their foreign language classes, giving me immediate firsthand experience in using business-appropriate speech. I also got to help organize field trips for the foreign students, teach Saturday classes in English, and give a presentation on Harvard University for interested students.
This internship was also unique in the amount of control I had over my projects: in addition to my regular responsibilities, I could choose my own hours, and I even got to explore social media outreach by creating weekly posts from interviewing both students and staff members of the school.
All in all, it was a great experience, and is especially valuable for those who come in with ideas, a good attitude, and an open mind.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Internship Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

An unforgettable 6 weeks at a warm, friendly, amazingly multicultural school

I was at Hokkaido JaLS in the summer of 2016, as both a foreign student studying Japanese and a young intern for the company. Through the 6 weeks I was there my Japanese improved a hundredfold – my Japanese friends were so surprised when I returned and we could just talk in Japanese for hours on end! What's more my Japanese level wasn't even high to begin with - I arrived there a "pre-intermediate level" and am probably now an "intermediate level"; it doesn't seem like much on paper but I feel so natural and much more effortless speaking Japanese now! It's thanks to the 50/50 split of international students and Japanese students studying English at JaLS: there were so many opportunities to speak Japanese with others, and I made many lasting friendships with people of all sorts of ages and countries.

As for the internship, the experience will vary for those between those who are native Japanese speakers and foreign interns. The amazing thing was that JaLS so flexible in offering types of things I could do for the company, even though I wasn't a native Japanese speaker. I hosted my own Language Exchange event, took students to festivals, baseball games and activities such as Japanese Taiko drumming lessons! I even learned how to operate a cafe and cash register, and shadowed some of the English teachers' classes with Japanese students learning English (as I have an interest in education).

Finally, JaLS allocated me a share-house in which I stayed - which was an incredible experience. There were about 40 people living there, 50% International and 50% Japanese - we each had our own rooms and a giant shared living room/kitchen space. It was another great opportunity to learn Japanese and I really enjoyed spending time and being taken around the city by my Japanese share-house mates - we went to hot springs, spent whole nights at Round 1 and even slept on the roof together! Incredible.

A truly unforgettable 6 weeks of my life, I miss JaLS and Sapporo already!! Plus, the school will come back better than ever in October 2016, bigger and with even more possibilities in store!
12 out of 10 points!!

  • Hokkaido Japanese Language School responded to this review September 25, 2016 at 6:47 PM

    Thanks so much Robbie!! We all miss you too!! Come back and see us again and good luck with your studies :)
    The JaLS team!