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

Summer Intensive Japanese Program (Culture & Activities)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • The Campus

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

Best summer ever!!!

I went to study at Hokkaido Jals on 6 June 2016 until 29 august 2016. I was joining that school for holiday purpose, and it turned out to be the best summer ever!! Actually the learning method was so fun that made me finally willing to study. I went there with no japanese skill at all and after i finished 3 months course i'm able to speak basic japanese and it is more than i expected, i can talk about my life and things i like to do with japanese people, they understand me!

The program was amazing because they had so many cultural and fun activities to offer from making sushi to rock climbing. This school is a great place to build international relationship because the school attended with students from all over the world, from indonesia to russia, even iceland. It was like a little united nations!

As a conclusion, if you want to study japanese while making friends and having fun, Hokkaido JALS is a right place for you, just go online and apply now!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • The Campus

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

An immaculate season

One of the best decisions I’ve made was studying at the Hokkaido Japanese Language School (JALS) for 8 weeks. Looking back, my experiences in Hokkaido all feel like a really good dream that I didn’t want to end. If you want to learn real Japanese, there is no better way to do it than here. I have seen students who spoke zero Japanese come to class each day, and by the end of their summer session, were able to write, read, and speak easily! My personal progress has been no less amazing, but even more, I left Sapporo with the drive to keep studying Japanese, to keep pushing myself forward in life, and to work towards my goals each day.
Learning Japanese is just one small part of the experience though. After morning classes, the day belongs to the students. JALS always has an activity lined up after lunch for those who are interested, and if not, there is always something to see and do in Sapporo! This brings me to the most memorable and important part of my journey—my friends. I made so many friends during my time in Sapporo between the students of JALS and the Japanese residents of the share house that JALS arranged for my stay. These people that I call my friends made Sapporo feel like a second home. We shared food, drinks, stories, embarrassing karaoke performances, and so much more. And no matter what background anybody was from, we were all equal and in this adventure together. Each weekend JALS had a new weekend excursion lined up for the students and it was these outings that were my most memorable. I had the chance to see the expansive lavender fields of Furano, Biei lake—a lake that echoes that beautiful teal color of Caribbean shorelines, Rusutsu Resort—an amusement park and ski resort in the mountains with breathtaking views and rollercoasters, Otaru—a well-known seaside town with a scenic canal reminiscent of Venice, and much more! If you’re thinking about visiting or vacationing in Japan next summer, consider the Hokkaido Japanese Language School! You’ll do more, see more, and make many unforgettable friends along the way. And don’t forget to bring your camera!

  • Hokkaido Japanese Language School responded to this review August 31, 2016 at 10:47 PM

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! :) You did so well on your studies here, so keep up your Japanese and come and visit us again one day :)
    Take care, The JaLS Team

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

My experience at JaLS.

Hello, my name is Elísabet and I'm a seventeen year old girl from Iceland. I am now reporting for duty by writing my review of Hokkaido Japanese Language School. The following letter you will read has been written in all honesty, sugarcoating no truth whatsoever. You may now proceed to the review.

I had a fantastic time while I stayed at JaLS. The staff were always friendly and ready to assist you whenever you needed anything, whether it was outside of school or not. In my class we were all from different countries and varied in ages, I was very surprised when I found out I was the youngest one there (17years old). The activity's the school offered were always fun and I never felt lonely since they seemed to make sure you were always with someone from your class. The teachers changed depending on what day it was, which I liked since their teaching methods were different. I was too young to stay at a share house, which I was a little bummed out about. But the school placed me in such a wonderful host family that I wouldn't have wished for anything else. Sapporo was such a wonderful place to stay at, I think almost all of us were surprised by how clean Hokkaido is! I made a lot of new friends there, and seeing pictures of them make me miss them a lot (which is what I'm doing right now thanks to Peta ಠ_ಠ). The two months I spent in Japan will always be stuck in my memory, I already feel nostalgic when I think about it. The people I met during that short time had created a tiny space in my heart marked as 'The weird people from JaLS, summer 2016'. And the 'summer 2016' part is important to note since I will be coming back. And I will be broke again lol(the price is very reasonable though! I just have no money :-)). But I know it will all be worth it because this summer left me in a M.E.S.S once I got home because I miss the people and the location so much. If this review wasn't enough to convince you to sign up for JaLS I hope the following photos will. But apparently I'm only allowed to post 3 photos, which does not give the experience it's justice.

Elísabet tuning out.

  • Hokkaido Japanese Language School responded to this review August 30, 2016 at 9:57 PM

    Elisabet!!! Thank you so much!! We really miss you too!!
    Don't forget any of your Japanese ;) and come back again.
    Take care always,
    The JaLS Team :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Summer course 2016

At first, it was my friend who recommended this school to me. But I did do some research on my own, and through comparison, I realized that JALS has an awesome location, teaches in small classes, and offers diverse activities.
With little knowledge of Japanese, I joined a class that had already started for a month. I knew that would happen beforehand but didn't prepare for it. However, I gradually caught up with the class because the teachers patiently gave me extra help and the staffs would assist me in studying after class at the school.
All the activities are fascinating. And I highly recommend the FIREWORK festival in late July. The school knows a good spot to watch the firework. We went early, saved the sport, and then grabbed some foods together to wait for an amazing night.
In all, I don't have any complaint about this experience. I made friends with people from all over the world. It was the best summer ever, and I would definitely go back again.

  • Hokkaido Japanese Language School responded to this review August 25, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    Jack, thanks so much for writing! You did really well over your time here to catch up! Hope you can come back again one day :)
    Take care!
    The JaLS Team :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing experience

Hokkaido JLS is a great language school where you can learn a lot about Japan and its culture as well as make a lot of international friends. The teachers and staff are very friendly and are always willing to help. The school itself is very nice and the teachers really focus on you because of the smaller classes. It is also in the middle of town (5 min from sapporo station), so there was always a lot to do after school. There were also many cultural activities after school and on saturdays where I was able to do things I would have never been able to do on my own. The school also set me up with a very kind host family. They were very accepting and really made you feel like part of the family. At this school I was able to: improve my japanese quickly in a short amount of time while learning about the culture at the same time, make many new friends from around the world, and experience life in Japan instead of just traveling. Overall this was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. I highly recommend this school to anyone planning to study in Japan.

  • Hokkaido Japanese Language School responded to this review August 25, 2016 at 2:56 AM

    Thanks so much Jacklin! Come back and study here any time :) We are waiting in Sapporo!!

    The JaLS team :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Summer course

its been my home for the last 1 month everything here is very good we find many friends here and there and the teacher here are very nice and friendly too. the host family that has been organized by the school also took care of me as if i was their child which makes me feel even more comfortable as a student

  • Hokkaido Japanese Language School responded to this review August 25, 2016 at 2:59 AM

    Thanks so much Leng!
    Keep up the Japanese study, and we're waiting for you guys to come back :)
    The JaLS Team :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Studying in Sapporo

This is experience was really helpful, going to JaLS in order to understand the Japanese language, was a really good choice. The staff and teachers at Jals, are extremely kind hearted, always there whenever you need them. They are very reliable and swift in helping student with concerns or questions regarding school and daily life. My favorite feature in Jals is the private class, i felt that as soon as i started attending to private classes, it really helped out with my studies and i began to have confidence in a speaking gradually. Overall, I enjoyed this experience and i definitely want to come back to Sapporo.

  • Hokkaido Japanese Language School responded to this review August 25, 2016 at 2:59 AM

    Thanks so much Nathan! Keep up the Japanese study and we hope to see you again when you're really fluent! :)
    Take care,
    The JaLS Team :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Perfect balance of study & play

OVERALL: 10/10 -- I could not have asked for a better or more fun first experience in Japan!

ACADEMICS: 10/10 -- Every morning there were three 50-minute lessons with 10-minute breaks in between each lesson. Each week was split halfway between two teachers (so for example teacher A for Mon, Tues and teacher B for Wed, Thurs, Fri) although they always followed the same curriculum. In the beginner classes, they used the Minna no Nihongo textbook series.

I was at JALS for six weeks and over this course of time, I got to experience four different teachers and I honestly enjoyed and learned a lot from every one of them, despite differences in teaching styles. I know among my friends that not everybody enjoyed every teacher, but I personally loved all the teachers I had. I was always surprised by how quickly lessons flew by; the classes were really stimulating and engaging and my Japanese improved a lot.

LIVING CONDITIONS: 9/10 -- I stayed at a share house about a 30 minutes (walking + subway) from JALS (I biked to school to save money. Biking takes about 35 minutes). Everyone in the share house gets their own room while bathrooms, washing machines, the kitchen, etc is shared. Residents are a mix of foreigners and Japanese natives. This was a really cool way to get to know Japanese people, as well as bond with other JALS students. If you stay at a share house, I definitely recommend you to invest in getting to know some of the Japanese people that also live there!

CULTURAL IMMERSION: 9/10 -- I will be talking about the cultural activities that JALS organizes for its students. This will vary depending on your personal tastes and interests. Most of the activities I liked, but there were a few that I thought were so-so. As it was my first time in Japan though, I do not regret going to any of them (even the ones I thought were boring) because each was a unique experience. If this will be your first time in Japan, I definitely recommend choosing the Summer Course option (which includes many of the cultural activities)! Some of my personal favorites: kimono, yukata/summer festival, baseball game, all the sight-seeing trips.

PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION: 10/10 -- Easily one of the best aspects of JALS is their staff and teachers. Super friendly, super nice, super lovable. If I were to return, that would probably be my top reason (along with the academics). They made the experience so much more enjoyable and were always genuinely invested in the students. They went above and beyond every time I had a question or situation, and all-in-all they are a very efficient and organized group.

  • Hokkaido Japanese Language School responded to this review August 25, 2016 at 3:00 AM

    Thanks Joy!!
    We're waiting for you to come back next year :)
    Keep smiling always!
    The JaLS Team :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

A summer to remember

This summer, I studied abroad for 8 weeks at JaLS, and it was quite a lot of fun! I was looking for a school that could teach me Japanese grammar and help me practice speaking, as I had already studied a lot of vocabulary and kanji. What I found was exactly that, and a lot more besides. Not only were the staff very nice and friendly, they took us on various exciting activities every week. The teachers were also very helpful, and being in small classes allowed us to ask a lot of questions and easily get feedback.

As I wanted to experience the Japanese lifestyle as much as I could, I stayed with an amazing host family that the school found for me. We got along right from the start, and living with them allowed me to practice casual Japanese, which I very much wanted to learn more of. Furthermore, the home-cooked meals I got to eat everyday were always delicious.

Going to this school allowed me to make many new friends and meet people from all over the world. I cannot recommend it enough. It has been without a doubt my best summer yet :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Best Trip Ever

The trip to Japan this summer was my first solo trip to another country, and I feel like the application process to JalS was well managed. Being able to apply for both the Japanese course and a place to stay made it very convenient, and the quick replies to e-mail queries made the process smooth.

Class sizes are small (maximum of 7-8 students) hence there are a lot more chances for class participation, such as taking part in conversations with your class and teacher. This brings me to my next point – there is a lot of emphasis on speaking during lesson time, which makes learning Japanese more effective. Personally I felt more confident in my conversational skills at the end of my trip.
I thoroughly enjoyed the school’s activities as it gave me a deeper insight into what Japan culture is like and made great friends at the same time. You can even become friends with the staff in JalS, and you can tell that they genuinely care for your wellbeing and are willing to help if you have any problems.

I strongly recommend going to JalS because it was a great experience for me and I’m sure it’ll be a great one for you too :-)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

The best summer ever.

I had such a great time at JaLs. I stayed at JaLs and Sapporo for 6 weeks and it was one of the best summer I had. At first I was homesick but after about 5 days at JaLs, I knew I was going to cry so hard when I leave. I met so many amazing friends. The school is very cozy and I felt like home not long after. The staffs and the teachers are so nice and friendly. They would help you with anything. I really appreciate them. I learnt a lot from JaLs. A lot of cultural experiences as well as academic stuff. I had a lot of fun and I didn't want to leave. I cried a ton on my graduation day. I wish I had more time there and I will totally go back if I have a chance!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I Give JALS An A+

This was the first time I had ever been on my own, away from home. And I have to say, this was the absolute best experience I could ever have asked for. With people from all around the world coming to the school, not only did I learn about Japan's culture, but countless others' as well. The class sizes were at most six people, which really helped me concentrate on the material and getting to know my classmates as well as my teachers. The activities they had planned for us were some of the funnest things I have done in my life! In my eleven weeks of study, I went from knowing almost nothing, to being able to show my parents all around Japan, convey ideas that I wanted to get across, and have intelligent conversations with the sushi bar chefs! Everyone was extremely respectful and lovely, and I can't wait to come back and see them all again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Academics

    10

Summer in Sapporo 2014

I spent 10 weeks studying at this school in summer 2014. I must say I could not be more fortunate in my choice, the school teaches Japanese in small groups of six people, effectively allowing everybody to personally interact with the teacher and learn as much as possible. The school also organizes various events where you can meet native Japanese speakers, make friends and improve your Japanese practicing with them. When I was there it felt like one big family where everybody would go the extra mile to help each other, I made many valuable memories with these people and I would definitely recommend this school to anybody who wants to learn Japanese or understand the Japanese culture.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Spectacular Summer

I spent 8 weeks during the summer of 2014 in Sapporo studying Japanese at JaLS. Yet, I was doing more than just that. I was learning about a new culture, experiencing a new way of life. Most study abroad programs focus solely on a particular language and that's fine if that's all you care about. But I'm of the opinion that language is a foundation of a culture and if you don't understand the cultural context, the language itself doesn't really mean much. JaLS does a fantastic job of integrating the language it teaches as well as the culture in which that language is embedded. The countless opportunities that they provide are unique in that many of these opportunities would never be possible if you were just trying to explore the culture on your own. JaLS has developed a vast network of connections in Sapporo that are invaluable. On a different side, the faculty and teachers at JaLS are top notch and do a fantastic job of working with you as an individual. The small class size, no more than six, makes each lesson personalized. All in all, I couldn't imagine a better place to get a full bodied education in language and culture.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Most wonderful experience

As I wrote at the end of the summer, this is how I felt when I got back home, still feel now, and probably will ever feel about my time at JaLS:
There are no words to express how grateful I am for having spent the whole summer with this amazing group of people. This was the experience of my life and you made it happen. I finally know where I want to go in my life and it's all thanks to the big family that JaLS is. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I really wish to come back again! And soon if I can!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Best school in Hokkaido!

Having been to several language schools in Japan, Hokkaido JaLs is definitely my favourite. The location is superb, just in site of Sapporo station, and is surrounded by must-see spots for anyone visiting Sapporo. The school is chic and exceptionally welcoming, with small class sizes, friendly students and staff. Even if you don't have class, they are always welcoming and love to just hang out. You can tell the teachers really love their jobs, and go out of their way to help students out. Each class is no more than 6 people, allowing for a low-pressure teaching and learning environment. The program is structured but not generic, allowing plenty of wiggle room for individual needs and fun. The school also offers daily after class activities for those who are interested in learning more about Japan or might be too shy to ask. Also, for people looking to make Japanese friends, the school also offers English classes to locals. All you have to do is stick around to meet some of them!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

A great experience

I had such a great time there, classes were small (ranging from 4 to 7) which made it more effective for learning Japanese.The teachers are very caring and patient, we had a lot of fun in class. The location is great, it's in the center of the city, close to a fun park and Tanuki Koji, it's also close to the station, perfect for spontaneous trips to the beach after classes end (half an hour by train). The assignments and Japanese conversation lessons really helped consolidate what I learnt in class. Immersing myself in this beautiful culture was an amazing experience, and I hope to explore more of Japan later!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Reveiw

My experience in japan was amazing. After 5 hours from New York to California, I finally met a few of my fellow experimenters, and I was so surprised that a few of these people would become some of my best friends. We traveled to Tokyo, Sapporo, Nanai, and Kyoto. All of these places influenced me in different ways. This was the greatest experience of my life and I hope that other enjoy

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • The Campus

    9

  • Academics

    8

Best of two worlds … and so much fun

The program consists of two parts: three hours of intense japanese language classes a day and immersive and fun activities.

The language classes are very classic and at my level we did one chapter of Minna no Nihongo a week.
The classes are very focused on speaking and listening. And yes, there is homework. All in all very solid and absolutely necessary even though it's not very exciting ;-)

The fun part are the many activities. Often joined by local volonteers, I could many times put into practice what I'd learned a few hours before. At the same time, I've made many new friends and had just a ton of fun.

Thanks again to the great team at JALS for being so very welcoming.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

A unique Japanese experience I will never forget

I stayed at this school in summer 2013 and really enjoyed my time there. The staff are very friendly and if you need anything they are very happy to help. The teachers are fantastic and they encourage you not to use any language other than Japanese in the lessons, so if you get stuck you need to try and ask what your problem is in Japanese first which really helps you to learn quickly.

The city of Sapporo and the surrounding areas in Hokkaido that are accessible from Sapporo are amazing. There are lots of things to do in Sapporo and plenty of unique foods to eat that are only available in Sapporo and Hokkaido. Examples of activities include onsen, lavendar fields, zoos, and much more.

The school arranges many cultural activities if you are interested in that, while I was there this included things like flower arranging, manga drawing, sushi making, and more. At other times of the year there will also be other activities, such as in the winter when the city is covered in snow as winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding are only a coach ride away.

In the summer the temperature is very nice in contrast to Tokyo and other areas of Japan which are too hot.

It is also worth noting that the price offered by this school is very reasonable because things tend to be a lot cheaper in Sapporo than the large city of Tokyo. Additionally every day costs such as food and rent are much cheaper than in Tokyo.

In summary I would say that if you are looking to go to a language school in Japan, this school is very very good. I encourage you to look outside of Tokyo and at this school.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Great experience!

The course at JaLS exceeded my expectations! Right from the beginning when I emailed some inquiries to JaLS, I could sense the staff's sincerity in replying me and answering any doubts I had. While I was at school, the staff were also very helpful in entertaining any queries I had, such as recommendations on food and travel.

The language teachers were also very professional and patient (and fun at the same time). They used many examples to illustrate new grammar to us so that we could understand what was being taught. They also gave us sufficient time to practise the new grammar/vocabulary during class.

I enjoyed the cultural activities very much too. I was blessed with nice classmates/schoolmates and we shared many fun times together! Really enjoyed every bit of my time in Japan! =)

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

The best month of my life with summer course in JaLS

The summer course is very good! I recommend it to everyone, who want to learn something more about Japan and not only study Japanese. You can learn a lot about the Japanese culture and make interesting things that probably you will never try again in your life :) There are a lot of activities during week so you have always something interesting to do and you can make a lot of friends, every day is fun ! Japanese lessons in the morning are enjoyable and you will learn a lot in few time. If you have any problem school staff is really helpful and i think everyone is friendly and kind.
I really enjoyed my month in JaLS, and hope I'll go again in future.

  • Hokkaido Japanese Language School responded to this review August 25, 2016 at 2:58 AM

    Thank you so much Silvia!
    I loved reading your review. Please come back and see us again!!
    The JaLS Team :)

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

Amazing school life

I was so happy that I chose Jals,because all of the staff in there are so nice and the teachers are so kind,interesting.I got a lot progress in this school and met a lot of friends who are from different country.It was a unforgettable and the best experience!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Fresh summer

As my first visit to Japan, I think this was a great choice. Rather than the intense heat and huge crowds of Tokyo (as I later got to experience), in Sapporo you get to immerse in the Japanese culture without rush, giving you time to acclimate to this whole new place. As for the school, I think the staff and teachers are the nicest people ever, and they really try to make you feel comfortable. I learned a lot from this program and I really wish to go back to the school and study more Japanese with them. I literally knew nothing and ended up being able to order and asking for directions without anyone (or anything) to help me. It was simply great.

  • Hokkaido Japanese Language School responded to this review August 25, 2016 at 2:57 AM

    Thanks Winnie!
    We're so glad you came, and keep up the Japanese study!!
    The JaLS team :)