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KCP International Japanese Language School KCP International Japanese Language School

Learn Japanese in Tokyo, Japan!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

You get the chance to peek into how the Japanese think and feel

KCP is a wonderful program if you are looking to 1) see your Japanese abilities grow exponentially and 2) experience Japanese life and culture hands-on. Also, it’s really a program for those who don't want only to party. The program's very challenging and demands that you focus on your schoolwork, health, and managing time in between. Essentially, you eat, live, and breathe a Japanese lifestyle. It's fantastic.

The most interesting, effective element, in my opinion, is the fact that the classes are taught in all Japanese. There is no instruction in English, really. I mean, every now and again, you have to switch to your mother tongue—it’s unavoidable. But that is kept to a minimum. If it wasn't for studying in such an intensive setting that forced me to think in the language (not just translate in my head), I probably would never have improved as much as I did in Japanese.

I think it's very important to be aware of the essentials of Japanese culture before immersing yourself in it, and that's exactly what happens in the culture course. Not only do you learn necessary history and important events, but you get the chance to peek into how the Japanese think and feel. It's indispensable for living in Japan, I think.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

What a great way to develop discipline in studying

Takatsu-sensei is my best kanji teacher, by far: he draws all kinds of little pictures to help seal the meanings of the kanji into our memories, and it works! His kanji practice method is highly effective for me. Takatsu- sensei's pictures illustrate many important grammar points in a very interesting and unforgettable way.

Many people consider Suzuki-sensei to be kowaii (tough), but I like her approach very much: she doesn’t let us get away with being lazy, and she is very kind and patient when help is needed. What a great way to develop discipline in studying. She radiates strength, and I respect her very highly. I enjoy her sense of humor.

Komae-sensei is as sweet as sugar, if not sweeter! When I was having a hard time and becoming frustrated, she was always reassuring and very patient with me. I felt very comfortable coming to her with questions. She has a very motherly way. Class was absolutely fabulous; I learned a lot, very quickly, and I learned along with people from completely different cultures. It felt so international.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I was astounded by the quality of all my teachers here at KCP.

I was astounded by the quality of all my professors here at KCP. Their high level of ability and professionalism is really exceptional, and it’s the most important thing in a language program.

Kikuchi-sensei is great at explaining things or acting out scenarios to make them understandable.

Horikoshi-sensei is especially good at getting all of us involved and interested in what we were learning.

Konno-sensei uses her fine sense of humor to make learning fun and is especially skilled at drawing pictures that help us understand the language concepts in a visual way. Things like humor, acting out, and drawing make use of more styles of learning. That helped me a lot.

The dorm was neat and clean, the food was excellent, and my dorm mates were very friendly. The dorm was a great way to practice speaking Japanese with native speakers, since most of the other people living there were college students.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

Everyone makes sure you are heading straight toward your goals

The opportunity to apply my classroom learning outside of class right away every single day is something I will deeply miss. I won't be able to experience that often when I go back to America.

I recommend KCP to students who are serious: that means, willing to learn and use Japanese every day! Sometimes it’s frustrating, but everyone at KCP makes sure you are heading straight toward your language learning goals. It's definitely worth all the time and money you spend! I found pair work very helpful for improving my conversation skills; in the hatsuon (pronunciation)drills, we learned the correct ways of saying words and phrases—and how to correct ourselves. What a great tool!

My lodgings were very convenient. It was great to have everything in my own room. The ryo (dorm) was within walking distance of my station.

Utami-san and Tanaka-san are very helpful teachers, and they always check up on us to keep us on task! I'm very grateful for the English support services to help us with our questions or problems.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

It paid off for me

KCP seriously exceeded my expectations in all areas. After I took the placement test, the teachers and staff spent a lot of time talking with me to make sure I would be in the right level. The profs were always very kind and patient with us, both in and out of class. After class they’d almost always stay a few extra hours (!) to help anyone who had questions. Each teacher I had went out of his or her way to help me understand the class material, and it paid off for me.

KCP provides extra support for English speakers, so even if you might find in-class instruction hard, there is always extra help. It can be in English, too, if needed.

The English support staff is fantastic as well. They always hung around after class to check in with us and make sure everything was going well both at school and otherwise.

Overall, I found KCP to be an awesome experience!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

Everyone is genuinely interested in helping you succeed

KCP was fantastic. My room in the Ikebukuro dorm was larger than some in the US, and the location is unbeatable only a 2 minutes' walk away from two great places to eat (fish place up the street and Indian restaurant just around the corner are both awesome and cheap), and less than 10 minutes from the train and the happening center of Ikebukuro (pretty large, plenty to do).

The Japanese program itself is a blast. Most classes had about 30% US students and the rest a combo of Chinese, Korean, and some Vietnamese students. Learning to speak Japanese in that setting—where there is no other language in common, and in order to talk with your classmates, you must learn it in—is very satisfying, and being able to practice with people at your same language level is very helpful. (People on the street sometimes talk so fast or with such a rich vocabulary that they're hard to understand.) Class pursuits are a good, workable blend of student-to-student, student-to-teacher/class, and individual practice. Language class is very interactive and appealing. Having to listen and speak in Japanese all of the time—really!, you learn a lot.

The curriculum is clear and effective (if you speak little or no Japanese and might be placed in level one, though, be sure to learn katakana and hirigana, and know just a little basic vocab and some typical sentences. If you come in knowing no Japanese at all, the initial learning curve is *very* steep). I can't heap enough praise on the professors and staff. You really get the sense that everyone there is genuinely interested in helping you succeed and enjoy the program—and enjoy your stay in Japan. They go to great lengths to run everything smoothly and comfortably for students at the school. You come away feeling that everyone working there is your friend.

I recommend this program very strongly if you are considering studying Japanese in Tokyo for a term. My only issue was that during term I had just a few really free weekends to explore outside of Tokyo. You are in class for only a few hours a day, but to visit, say, Osaka, you'll have just one or two three-day weekends per term free for that, especially if you enroll in the culture class, which happens mostly on Saturdays. (If you signup for two terms, though, like many do, then the break in between is about two weeks, and you can do lots of exploring). Be sure to make good use of your time.

I'm a vegetarian, so my food choices are limited. The food I did find was mostly pretty good—some great and only a few not very good. Of course I ate a lot of rice, beans, and eggs from the grocery store. You can eat quite well if you've got the budget.

The Indian restaurant right near Ikebukuro dorm is wonderful—the owner’s really nice and usually gives free coffee or appetizers or something.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • The Campus

    10

  • Academics

    10

If you are serious about wanting to learn Japanese, GO TO KCP.

If you are serious about wanting to learn Japanese, GO TO KCP.

While comparing study abroad prospects in Japan, I couldn't find a single bad comment about KCP. It really is that good. And now that I’ve been there, I know why!

1. Location. It’s right in the middle of Shinjuku, Tokyo: lots of stores, arcades, bars, shrines, and so on.
2. Direct approach. If you are serious about wanting to learn Japanese, GO TO KCP. Even if you KNOW NO JAPANESE, trust me: you can do this! Don't be daunted; one friends here knew absolutely nothing and now we talk together in Japanese.
3. Best administrators. Tanaka-san and Michiko-san are available for you all the way. They really care about us students, that’s clear.

This program lives up to what it promises. And it’s amazing. I completely recommend it. Several people are here for the second or third time. No question that I'd love to return!

Over and over again, their website says it's INTENSIVE, but I say it’s sooo worthwhile. Don't be put off by the direct approach (students and teachers alike speak only Japanese). The teachers are definitely make sure you understand what's going on and help you out when you need it—they’re masters at that, actually. Plus there's extra help sessions where you can go over the lesson in English, guided by a teacher who provides all the explanation you need—in English.
The program started really well. I could tell by the first day, orientation, that teachers and staff thought of everything. KCP keeps you well informed and is highly organized.

I stayed in Ikebukuro dorm—nice and close to the train statin, only about a 10 minute walk away. The commute takes only like half an hour to get to school, which is a short trip compared to some others. Really not bad at all! And I love the beautiful walk from my dorm to the station. Ikebukuro doesn’t have a meal plan, but a 7/11 very close has almost everything you need.

I attended only the KCP summer short term (8 weeks), but we still had great excursions like kabuki theatre; a bus visit to a castle, natural hot springs, and a shrine; a classical tea ceremony; a tour of Shinjuku, very helpful; plus Ryuhe-san, Michiko-san, and Tanaka-san are totally willing to help with any task! (They helped some of us buy bus tickets to Fuji-san, and book a place to stay, too.)

A place in Shinjuku not far from KCP has specials on beer for the price of the current month. (e.g., for July, month 7, beer was only 70 yen, which is 70 cents. August: 80 yen, etc.)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Academics

    10

Couldn't Have Asked for a Better Study Abroad Experience

KCP is amazing—they made my study abroad experience exceptionally great. I was placed in level 4 (after a few years of college Japanese) and felt my placement was right on target. Clearly, the program is very demanding but also very rewarding. I was learning so much more than I had been in my Japanese classes in the U.S. My classmates were mostly from other Asian countries, so I explored not only Japanese culture, but Korean and Chinese culture as well!

The school teachers and staff are all wonderful and enormously helpful. If I ever had any problem or had a question, they gladly helped me out of my bind. They also do a fantastic job setting up the weekend classes and trips. The events might start early in the morning, but they are absolutely worth getting up for them!
Tokyo is very safe. I never felt vulnerable or afraid. I just practiced common sense—like not walking around alone at night—and I was fine.

KCP is in the lively Shinjuku part of Tokyo. When not in class, I made a point of checking out nearby eating places and shops—I was not disappointed! Each weekend, I explored other Tokyo. Odaiba is worth a day trip—it’s an amazing place! When I had the time, I wandered around the neighborhoods of all the stops on the great Yamanote line.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

KCP greatly exceeded my expectations

I researched Japanese study abroad programs heavily and made a spreadsheet to compare them. KCP came out superior, and it truly was. KCP greatly exceeded my expectations. Really, this school is for the serious student. If you want to attend a Japanese university some day or become a fluent Japanese speaker, this program is for you. The workload is demanding (at least it was in level 3), but the benefits are definitely worth it. The teachers speak only Japanese in the main class, but they excel at explaining vocabulary and grammar so that you can understand. The teachers incorporate pictures, gestures, drawings, and other examples to help clarify the meaning of a grammar point. Overall, for how much you get out for the price, this is the best Japanese study abroad program.

The classes are tough and demand a lot of effort, but you learn so much! I learned a whole lot more in my 2 months at KCP than in 2 semesters back home. Some teachers only speak Japanese—they don't know English—so this really is the perfect chance to increase your speaking skills.

The student coordinators speak many languages, so regardless of what language you speak, someone at school can help you in your native language. There are quite a few English-speaking coordinators, and they are all hugely helpful, kind, and intelligent.

I absolutely loved my experience staying with a host family. Amazingly, KCP was able to pair me with a marvelous family who could honor my food allergies very well. Thanks to my stay with them, I have a second family now! Splurge on the extra cost so to stay with a host family—I benefitted so much more than my classmates who chose dorms.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Moronaga-sensei gets top accolades from me.

Moronaga-sensei gets top accolades from me. In terms of helpfulness, approachability, concern for student welfare and participation, and overall effectiveness at classroom management, she was unequivocally the very best there was.

The KCP teaching staff is phenomenal. Without question, this is THE best group of Japanese instructors I've yet come across in my years of grappling with the language. The staff go above and beyond to make our experience smooth. My experience with KCP from start to finish has been nothing short of fantastic.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

KCP’s greatest strength is its teachers

I think KCP’s greatest strength is its teachers, and that’s the most important thing to get right. The professors truly care about each student's improvement in Japanese language skills. The classes themselves were very productive, but I was really surprised by how readily available the teachers made themselves to us before and after class. I was able to practice fairly long conversations regularly with teachers, and that kind of dedication to teaching was critical to my improvement in Japanese. It was just what I needed. Of course, students need to contribute equal amounts of effort in order to to reap the full benefits of such a dedicated collection of faculty. Also, the administrative staff were very prompt and quite helpful in answering any questions I had, everything from how to get somewhere to buying gifts or what some foods were made of. The only thing I would do differently is to look for my own lodging, rather than stay at the dorm. I like my independence. All in all, however, I enthusiastically recommend KCP to a student hoping to improve in Japanese by leaps and bounds.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

My expectations were hugely exceeded.

All of my teachers were very good at what they did. Kamisaki-sensei was one of my teachers during the week-long preparation/review period, and even then she always made class interesting. We were totally involved.

Konno-sensei was my Wednesday teacher. I enjoyed her every class every time, thanks to the way she brought her great sense of humor to us and let us have fun with the Japanese language points we were learning. When you tie fun to learning, it stays with you better.

The pair work was most helpful, because it gave us an opportunity to practice our new grammar structures in a smaller environment. We were all at the same level, so it was less intimidating. The one-to-one is a great, very focused way to practice things.

I expected to improve my Japanese communication skills in an immersive environment. My expectations were hugely exceeded. I learned far more than I could have imagined learning in any other setting.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

The direct method was a great help

The three instructors I had, Tozawa-sensei, Suzuki-sensei, and Sugimoto-sensei, were all excellent in their different ways. They were able to involve the whole class in every session, creative in explaining meanings, and very patient with us when we needed time to understand fully.

I had never experienced a class of Japanese in the direct method (only Japanese is spoken) in America; KCP’s method of teaching required us to think in Japanese all the time, which is extremely important here. Because I had to speak Japanese every day to get around, thinking quickly in Japanese was imperative. Having someone continually translate things into English in class would not have helped me. The direct method was a great help.

In Culture Class, I enjoyed learning from experts about cultural topics as they shared their knowledge, in addition to the excursions. The excursions were valuable, fun, and very interesting—but hearing the culture analyzed by those who really know was also important to me. I grasped insights on Japanese culture that I didn't understand before coming to KCP.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

I got very good at taking in new language, processing it, and building on it, over and over

Basically any and all time spent in the language classes has felt very productive to me. I get a degree of application of learned material here that simply was non-existent where I had previously studied. I got very good at taking in new language information, processing it, and building on it the next day, over and over.

Imai-sensei is by far the most interesting and enjoyable of my instructors—very animated and quick-witted, while still accomplishing our language goals very efficiently.

Overall I have been very pleased with the lodging arrangements. The particular dorm I was in has felt almost like a host-home with our Ryouchou feeling sort of like a host mother. We could talk about our day with her, and she was genuinely interested, which helped our conversation. The dorm location is also very convenient. I have actually been able to walk to and from class each day with no problems.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

From my window I could see Mount Fuji!

The pre-departure packet was thorough. It allowed me to make sure that I knew what needed to be taken care of beforehand without worrying that I had missed a form or a piece of information to send in. When I got there, I felt totally ready. The orientation went further to get us set for what to expect during the program.

The professors at KCP are so dedicated. Komai-sensei was a great teacher. She was very kind, and gave good feedback. I thought she was great at answering our questions. She gave us all the extra help we needed, too.

Pair work was helpful in speaking and figuring out conjugations.

The housing arrangement was fine. I lived in a dorm, and it was beautiful. The dorm-mother was excellent! Great at helping us and just having conversations with us. The dorm itself is in a quiet neighborhood, which made it a nice retreat at the end of the day. From my window I could see Mount Fuji!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • The Campus

    9

  • Academics

    9

The staff is wonderful

I highly recommend Kamisaka-sensei as a teacher. Out of all the professors I had, I enjoyed her class the most. She related to us students well. She remembers what happens with individual students and so she is able to be current with our news. She also had a really fun sense of humor. Of course, she was always very well prepared for class and helpful in responding to our questions. I found that I had the clearest understanding of new content from her teaching compared to the other instructors’ classes. I looked forward to Kamisaka-sensei’s classes, and I feel that when a person is just starting to learn a very difficult language, it is important for that student to have fun as a way to defuse stress and keep learning.

I found the class pairs exercises the most valuable as I learned Japanese grammar. Once I used the grammar points several times, my mind began to build logic around them, and I started to understand the structures and memorize their usage.

The support staff is wonderful—very friendly and approachable. They are genuinely interested in our well-being and in how we are adapting to living in a new country.

I particularly enjoyed the excursions because I think the best way to experience Japanese culture is to throw yourself into the thick of it. The Edo Tokyo Museum excursion and Kamakura trip were the ones I enjoyed the most.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Made me a stronger student and a stronger person

It’s an understatement to call KCP’s teaching philosophy an intensive way to study the Japanese language. With 15 classroom hours per week, new kanji and grammar every single day, and entire chapters covered in the blink of an eye, KCP clearly provides a demanding path to studying Japanese. It’s rigorous and unrelenting, and I needed to be seriously determined. Sometimes, I even started to question my own motivation or whether I really had the ability to handle mastering this difficult language in the first place. Fortunately, the teachers were there with me every step of the way, supporting me and guiding me. Ultimately, all that self-doubt and questioning were important steps and experiences necessary not only to increase my enthusiasm about the Japanese language, but also to make me a stronger student and a stronger person. What a valuable experience.

In class, I found pair work and drill practice the most helpful. Pair work encourages creativity in students, in a comfortable setting; drill practice keeps us focused on memorizing the conjugations or grammatical forms we need to know, to build on the next things to learn.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Both Takatsu-sensei and Kamisaka-sensei are excellent sensei

Both Takatsu-sensei and Kamisaka-sensei are excellent sensei and I strongly recommend them to other students. Kamisaka-sensei has a vibrant energy that engages the whole class and encourages group activities that bring us closer to our classmates. Takatsu-sensei's sense of humor keeps our lessons light-hearted and enjoyable and makes it easy to retain what we learn.

In the culture course, the range of information presented gave us a solid idea of what is involved in Japanese daily life, cognition, and modern Japanese society. I enjoyed the fact that history, business practices, arts, and social science were all included.

Don’t expect your learning back in the U.S. to translate immediately into an ability to operate in Japanese society or guarantee placement into an advanced language level at KCP. The KCP program emphasizes many crucial cultural usages of the language not taught in most American curriculum. Come with an open mind and relish the challenges that come your way.

Don't try to do it all. There are countless things to see and do in Tokyo (not even counting the rest of Japan), and trying to do too much can add unneeded stress. Relax, enjoy the everyday, and allow yourself to take in the quieter details of Japanese life.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

I am very pleased with my progress

The teachers are highly dedicated, knowledgeable, and organized people who are always available for our questions. I loved knowing that my learning was truly important to the teachers. It helped me keep up my studying stamina.

There is no better place to study Japanese than a place where you are immersed in it, night and day; so, where could be better than in Japan’s capital? KCP’s classes are held entirely in Japanese, because most students come from non-English speaking countries like South Korea and China. Textbooks, tests, grammar explanations, and even school announcements are in Japanese. I am very pleased with my progress, and I recommend KCP to anyone who is serious about achieving a higher level of proficiency in Japanese.

I stayed with a Japanese host family, so I could develop my conversation skills at school, at home, and in between. The family spoke almost nothing but Japanese to me and helped me with all my informal questions in a very informative, friendly way.