Standard Japanese Language Course with Hokkaido JaLS

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Hokkaido Japanese Language School’s Standard Course includes 15 morning Japanese lessons every week focused on speaking and day-to-day Japanese conversation. Classes are conducted entirely in Japanese and are limited to eight people, which allows for plenty of individualized attention and time to ask questions and practice speaking. We also have many Japanese volunteers who work around the school and participate in weekly activities, giving students the opportunity to improve their Japanese in a setting other than the classroom and to make friends and experience Japan from the inside, not just as a tourist.

Students also have the opportunity to attend our 3 weekly optional activities to enjoy all that Hokkaido has to offer, such as rafting in the summer, or our world-famous snow festival in the winter! Join us any time of the year and enjoy learning Japanese in the beautiful city of Sapporo!

  • Small Classes
  • Competitive Prices
  • Flexibility
  • Local Japanese Volunteers
  • Amazing Location

Questions & Answers


based on 24 reviews
  • Instruction 9.8
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.7
  • Value 9.4
Showing 1 - 15 of 24
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Learning a new language is always hard, you’ll never pick it up over night. There are also many ways to study a language too.

With JaLS Hokkaido Langauge School they create the perfect and ideal way of learning a new language. The school itself creates a sense of joy the is very intoxicating. It makes you want to learn and stay forever. Wether its the staff members or your new classmates or even meeting Japanese people, JaLS provides a safe and fun environment for you to be yourself and to study the languages in many new ways.

The Language School itself creates many opportunities for you to practisce your Japanese skills not only in the classroom but in extracurricular activities. For example: the school hosts many language exchange nights. These events are a great way to meet native Japanese speakers and become good friends. Another example is the school has each week multiple activities for you to opt into that help you get to know more about Japanese traditions, cuisines and way of life.

So wether or not you are old or young, knowledgeable or not, JaLS Hokkaido Language School accommodates to all people, so that you can have the best time of your life.

How can this program be improved?
Changing Test days from Thursday to Friday. Only because I had found it starnage to have a test in the middle of learning a new chapter, where that chapter was part of the test.

More interaction (teachers and students). For example have a day in the week where students can meet after class to further discuss the lessons grammar points.

Have more mini tests during the lesson to help memorise grammar and vocabulary easier.

Book rentals. For example: if you change books druing your stay you can rent the next book out every week. So you pick it up before class and hand it back after class.

Yes, I recommend this program
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A wonderful experience!

I went to Hokkaido JaLS for two months, staying in a share house offered by the school.
The school was simply amazing. The staff are all friendly and easy to talk to, the classes are fun and you learn a lot!
In my class, we used the Minna No Nihongo textbook, going through two chapters each week. The teachers were all very kind an knowledgeable, and although classes were all in Japanese, they used simple language to help us understand.
There are many activities you can sign up for in the afternoon some free, some for an extra charge. The activities are a great way to see the city and meet fellow students!
Living in the share house was so much fun. People from all over the world lived there, and it was a great way to learn about different cultures. We would sometimes have parties where we would make food together such as takoyaki and nabe. The public spaces in the house (kitchen, livingroom and bathrooms) were all kept neat and tidy.
I loved my time at Hokkaido JaLS, and I'm definitely considering going back!

Yes, I recommend this program

My stay at JaLS (April 2018-June 2018)

Often when you read things about a school on their site they exaggerate how good the school is and how great your experience there will be. So when I read the over positive information about JaLS on their website, I thought that it was an exaggeration as well. That the experiences I would gain there and the school certainly could never be as great as was written on their site. I have never been more wrong in my life.

When I went to Sapporo all on my own to study at JaLS, I was very scared. I had been there before, but I had never gone there alone. Plus, I was feeling down because of a recent experience. I was not happy. I was not enjoying life. However, being at JaLS really changed that. I started feeling happy again. I started smiling again. I have met so many amazing people during my time at JaLS and I have gained so many valuable experiences. At the sharehouse, at the school and during the breaks with my classmates I spent so many wonderful moments with so many people. And I finally discovered what I want to become in the future. I struggled with that for so long, but thanks to JaLS I finally found it out. I know now that I want to become an English teacher in Sapporo. I already obtained a TEFL certificate for that during the last few months. And I also took the TOEFL. My dream is to return to JaLS one day and to become an English teacher there. I love the warmth and kindness and the overall atmosphere at JaLS. It makes you feel welcome and it lets you feel at ease. I’m really glad that I decided to do an internship and study Japanese at JaLS. I will never forget all the amazing moments I spent with everyone there. JaLS is like a second family to me. And it made me love Japan again. I had started to hate Japan because of previous bad experiences, but thanks to my experiences at JaLS, I started loving Japan again. I’m eternally grateful for all the things I gained thanks to JaLS. I will certainly come back one day and become an English teacher there. I would recommend this school to anyone. JaLS will change your life in a way that you would never expect.

Marion Meester (23), The Netherlands

How can this program be improved?
I do not think that there is anything which needs to be improved.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Incredible experience studying at Hokkaido Japanese Language School

I studied at Hokkaido Japanese Language School for 10 weeks in the spring and stayed at a share house organised through the school. Sapporo is a great city and it’s easy to get out into the countryside, definitely a good choice if you’re looking for a quieter alternative to Tokyo or Osaka.

The lessons at the school were excellent, the learning materials are good and the teachers are very helpful. You are placed in a class that is right for your ability and the classes progress at a fast enough pace to learn plenty of Japanese but still leave you with time to explore the city.

Hokkaido JaLS also organise many activities for their students and they are good value and a great way to socialise with your classmates and experience Japanese culture. I was very happy with the share house as well, it was clean and sociable with a mixture of JaLS students and Japanese people living there.

I had a fantastic time in Sapporo and so much of that is thanks to JaLS, the staff and teachers were very supportive, the school itself is a great place to study and meet people and the activities really added to my experience. I would highly recommend studying there!

Yes, I recommend this program
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A great month at Jals

My boyfriend and I really enjoyed our time studying Japanese at Jals.

All the teachers are enthusiastic and encouraging. They made me feel completely comfortable to speak up and make mistakes in class. I think this is really important when learning a new language.

It's more expensive than some other language schools in Sapporo, but the classes are guaranteed to be small so it's worth the cost.

The Jals staff are really helpful about organising accommodation and giving advice on setting up your life in Japan (subway cards, directions, bank account, phone etc). This was critical when we first arrived and couldn't understand the language at all!!

There is a beautiful library/cafe in the building which is a great place to hang out, meet people and do your homework after class.

We are heading south later in the year and already thinking about enrolling at Jals Kyoto.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Awesome Experience

really grateful for the chance to study here, the teachers are very great, they use a very great method to teach, so japanese language feels so fun to be learned, the staffs are really nice, the school provided many facilities. also we can make new friends here. the accomodation was also really clean and nice. i went there not knowing any japanese conversation and after 6 weeks, my speaking skill is improved a lot. thankyou jals!

Yes, I recommend this program
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One amazing month in Sapporo

I went to Sapporo Jals last year during one month. I don't know how to explain how incredible this experience was.
As a real Swiss person, I am not afraid of the cold but I didn't expect to see that much snow in Sapporo. It was totally magical, with these snowy streets. Sapporo is a recent and cold city but the inhabitants are so warm and nice. They will not hesitate to help you if they can.

About Sapporo Jals, I would like to say that it was love at first sight. The staff is lovely and amazing, very kind and helpful. Teachers are really cool and competent and you will learn Japanese in small classes, which is better to improve faster. Do not hesitate to ask them if you need something.

Moreover, the school proposes so many different cultural activities. You will have the opportunity to speak Japanese with local Japanese people and visit this fascinating city. You will be immerged in a different Japan.
So, even more than one year after, I still remember this month as if it was yesterday. I met friends for life.

Now the only thing I want is to come back. See you soon everyone, and one more time, thank you for everything!

Yes, I recommend this program
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This was the second time I went to sapporo jals.
First time I made the winter course, and the second one just the course without the activities.
Teachers are friendly and helpful, And classes are made from few students, in this way lessons are intense, and you can improve your Japanese very fast.
I went two times to the sharehouse buie asabu. The keeper is willing and friendly, and the house is comfortable.
I hope I will able to come back as soon as possible.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Hokkaido JaLS felt like my home! A great school to learn Japanese effectively

I studied for 6 weeks at Hokkaido JaLS in their standard course. I picked JaLS because of its flexibility, and helpfulness after the many emails I sent through to the school. A reassuring fact for me was its high teaching quality as demonstrated by awards the school has won.

This turned out to be the best decision I made! I was a beginner when I started but I was encouraged by my teachers to learn Hiragana and Katakana quickly, and the teaching quality was indeed of a high standard. AND you get to enjoy this in the comfort of a small class (The most any of my classes had was 5 and my course coincided with the Winter course!).

The location of the school is fantastic - only a very short walk away from Sapporo Station (one of the main stations). The school itself is also nice and warm (especially in Winter) and is a relaxing place to study if you need a place away from home.

In terms of a home, the school offers a variety of accommodation options. I went with a host family for my first week and for the remaining time, I stayed in the sharehouse the school manages. Both were extremely positive experiences. The sharehouse in particular was a great way to meet other people.

I enjoyed every lesson I had. The teachers made learning fun and combined a variety of strategies to facilitate deep and meaningful learning. I learned so much from the 6 weeks I was at the school. Not only were the teachers amazing, approachable and friendly, the administration staff had the same attitude and demeanor to every student. Each staff member was so helpful and were always willing to have a chat to see how you were going.

I made so many friends here from all over the world (including Japan of course). Everyone is so easy going as at my graduation ceremony, the school allowed me to give a speech!

The school offers many after-class activities which might comprise of sightseeing or cultural experiences, all planned for by the school. These were a great avenue to make friends and explore Hokkaido with other students learning Japanese.

I'm in Japan for the remainder of 2018 and every time I'm in Sapporo I visit the school and say hello to the staff. They are always so welcoming. I could not recommend this school enough! Each lesson and each activity is a fantastic memory.

Yes, I recommend this program
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The perfect mix of studies and experiences

When i made my decision to go study japanese in Japan, i directly aimed to live in Sapporo.
In many ways a city that did fit my preferences with it's closeness to nature and mountains, it's a big city without all the rush and stress you can experience in Japans other major cities.
For me it was the perfect mix of japanese studies and culture experience, even though class is only 3 hours per day you will learn and progress alot since it's small classes and you get alot of attention from the teachers.
This was my first time leaving my home country alone, but i went back home with so much awesome experiences and awesome new friends!

Yes, I recommend this program
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JALS 2016

I spent four weeks studying Japanese in JALS and had such an amazing time. The class sizes are small, and learning for three hours a day really lets you improve your Japanese ability really quickly - but I never felt stressed out at all. The lessons are very well-structured and focused on conversational ability, and it was really fun to go out every afternoon and practice whatever I'd learned that day on unsuspecting wait staff and my host family.

The activities after classes are all really interesting as well (e.g. sushi-making, clothe dyeing), but the best part was meeting so many different people from all over the world and making new friends, hearing a huge variety of different languages, and going out for dinner, drinks, or karaoke in the evenings. I had friends from Europe, Taiwan, America, and a load of other places. It's really a mixed bag of people but everyone is really fun. The staff and teachers are all really amazingly nice and helpful as well and felt like friends too :)))

Living in Japan is also super interesting. I stayed with a host family and got to experience life like a local - speaking Japanese at home also does wonders for your language abilities, although my host family also spoke perfect English, if anyone's worried that it might be too difficult. We went out a lot on weekends to do things like cherry-blossom viewing, and visiting nearby towns :) Sapporo itself is probably my favourite city in Japan - it's like Tokyo without all the horrible overcrowding and insanity, and I highly recommend living there. I will definitely try to come back to do more time at JALS at some point in the future :)

Yes, I recommend this program
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An Outstanding Japanese Language Program!

My younger brother and I both studied at Hokkaido Japanese Language School together during the summer of 2014. It was our first time traveling internationally without any other family members with us and we were a bit nervous. The school was extremely accommodating and arranged everything upon our arrival to Hokkaido. They scheduled a taxi to pick us up at baggage claim and had us dropped off at our host-family's house. Any worries we had the school had it covered!

Everyone at the school was so kind and friendly. The teachers and staff have a great sense of humor and truly make you feel welcomed. The language lesson instructions was very interactive and there was never a dull moment in the classroom. The school also offered great activities like kendo, taiko and trips to the lavender fields.

During our stay in Hokkaido, we lived with a host family. Our host family was great and surprisingly they used to live in California which is where we're from! They were very welcoming and made us feel part of the family. It was a great way to experience the Japanese culture and it was a lot of fun to do things with them.

It has almost been a year since we studied at Hokkaido Japanese Language School and we still are in contact with the school staff and our old classmates!

How can this program be improved?
Everything was great. The only thing I would have liked to see more of would be more after class language games with the teachers; they were a lot of fun!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Quality language instruction with a unique cultural experience

I did a 9 week winter course, taking group lessons which lasted 3 hours every weekday morning. The small class sizes (max of 6) allowed plenty of personal attention from the instructors to help practice and improve my language skills. My instructors were extremely helpful in teaching Japanese not only from the course curriculum, but also incorporating new material when the students asked to learn about a particular subject or scenario. In 9 weeks I feel that I learned the equivalent of a university semester course (if not more).

Beyond the classroom JaLS offers a full cultural experience. My afternoons were filled with optional activities; a few I took part in include making sushi, taiko (Japanese drumming), and learning a traditional tea ceremony. I also attended several conversation lessons, in which Japanese locals mingle with students to play games and practice conversational Japanese.

The school is located in the city center, which gave me plenty of opportunities to explore on my own with easy access to shopping, dining, and sightseeing. I also found it very easy to take day trips and overnight trips to other parts of Hokkaido on the weekends. I took advantage of Hokkaido’s legendary snow and went to several nearby ski resorts, including a couple adventures with JaLS students and staff.

The JaLS community is what made my time in Japan an amazing experience. I quickly bonded with many of the other students who came from various corners of the world, united by a common interest in learning Japanese. I made many friends and was happy to have new companions to explore Hokkaido with while practicing Japanese.

The JaLS staff is the core of creating a positive community atmosphere. The friendliness and support of the staff is outstanding! I was comfortable in their presence and confident in their ability to proficiently run a language school. And beyond school business I was constantly impressed by the genuine outreach they made, often going out of their way to organize group events, assist with logistics (reservations, housing, travel, etc.), or just joke around with between class.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Five and a Half Weeks, Loved All of It

The staff is incredibly nice and good at teaching. My time there prepared me for over a semester's worth of intensive 2nd year Japanese at my university, and I still had most of the day to freely explore Sapporo and its surroundings with my new international classmates and friends. I stayed at one of the hostels JALS recommended, and it was a great place to stay long term; if you're imagining ten bunk beds and one sink in the same room, don't. We all had spacious rooms to ourselves, and there were several well-maintained communal bathrooms on each floor. There was a kitchen downstairs with plenty of cabinet space and appliances for cooking, as well as a TV area with 3 sofas. The residents were very friendly, as are the residents of Sapporo; the city itself is beautiful, clean, and there's so much to do. I was fortunate enough to choose a great school in a great area, and I had a wonderful experience. (Can't wait to go back!)

How can this program be improved?
I honestly can't think of anything to change. :)
Yes, I recommend this program
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A great way to spend a month in Hokkaido

I had the great privilege of taking a month off of work and spending it in Hokkaido. My wife and I picked JaLS because of its summer program with all its cultural activities. Classes are 3 hours in the morning and then optional cultural activities take place in the afternoon. The line up of activities was a lot of fun. There was kendo, soba making, and kimono experiences. There were special activities like trips out to nearby Furano and Otaru.

If I had the time and money, I would go back again. I made a lot of new friends through the program. Many of whom I still keep in touch thanks to social media.

How can this program be improved?
There's not much that needs improvement. The facility felt small at the peak of the summer, but that's when you we met the most people.

I got mostly photocopies of the English version of our text and I received a Japanese work textbook. It would have been nice to have the actual English version of Minna no Nihongo to go home with me. However, the lack of the English version did not take away from a great experience.
Yes, I recommend this program


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About Hokkaido Japanese Language School

At Hokkaido Japanese Language School you can not only study the Japanese language, but also have fun and use Japanese in real life situations! We have small class sizes and flexible teaching styles, and we combine this style of study with a range of...