Hokkaido JaLS Standard Course
99% Rating
(15 Reviews)

Hokkaido JaLS Standard Course

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
Asia » Japan
Host Family
Weekly Classroom Hours
Weekly Fee
Weeks Min.
Age Min.
Application Fee
Starting Price

Program Reviews

  • Instruction
  • Support
  • Fun
  • Housing
  • Value

Program Reviews (15)

23 years old

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!

21 years old

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 :)

19 years old
San Diego, California

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!

32 years old
Seattle, WA
University of Washington

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.

24 years old
Chesterfield, Virginia
University of Virginia

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. :)

42 years old
Vancouver, BC
University of British Columbia

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.

24 years old
San Mateo, California

My JaLS Family!!


I went to study at JaLS for 6 weeks last summer (2014). The classes were great and the teachers were very engaging. I learned a lot and really want to come back again.
I made lots of friends from around the world and we all became like a family.
The housing was really nice and the people who lived there wanted to help with homework and anything we might be struggling with.
i had a lot of fun with the cultural activities after school (such as taiko drumming, making sushi, and wearing kimono) and the weekend trips (rafting, Otaru, onsen).
Overall this is an A++ course and you should check it out!!

24 years old
Chiangmai, THAILAND

Vivid and Memorable time at JaLS


My time at this school was my first time travelling to Japan. I thought it would be a normal dull language school and a good class, but what I had experienced was far beyond my expectation. My first impression of the school is that the decoration and environment was very nice. All the classrooms and living area is beautifully renovated and give a warm and welcome feeling. The staffs and teachers are very kind and helpful. I almost feel like they are my own family. The class is taught in a small number of people so I learnt Japanese really fast and got to talk and have fun a lot with my teachers and my friends. The principle said he will always keep each classroom with small group of students to create a great learning environment. He is very kind and often come to talk with us whether we have any problems or issue. Moreover, I had made a lot of good friends from all over the World including France, Germany, England, Hongkong, Macau and definitely Japan. We are still good friends and always keeping in touch(also with my teachers and the staffs!). My first Japan trip become vivid and memorable time I will never forget. I highly recommend Hokkaido Japanese Language School for anyone who seeks for great study and experience in Japan.

How can this program be improved?

I strongly disagree with the quote "No program is perfect." because everything seems to be wonderful in JaLS. If I have to change something, it would be that when there were many students from the same country they kept talking in their own language and always hang out together. It was sad for everyone else because it is hard to make friend with them. I suggest the school choose not to accept large group of students from the country at once, but try to even students from various countries instead.

42 years old
Regensburg, Germany

Amazing experience


I took the summer course last year and I have to say it was an amazing experience. The lessons were always fun - but also a lot of content was taught. The cultural lessons were amazing and something to always look back on. A great way to meet people from all over the world and to form new friendships.
The staff and teachers were awesome and made those 4 weeks very special.

24 years old
Arizona, USA
Arizona State University

A great school and great experience


In just 6 short weeks of studying at Hokkaido JaLS, I learned a whole college semester's worth of material -- and without all that much effort. Every day you have class in a relaxed environment from about 9 - 12:30 with a few breaks in between. There are often activities after this if you wish to attend them, or otherwise can spend the rest of the day travelling around on your own. The classes are kept down to a size of around 6 students, which means that interaction between the students and the teacher is very good. The classes are taught entirely in Japanese, but the teachers are very good about explaining things through drawings or other methods if the students aren't able to understand.

All of the students at this school come from all over the world, and it gives you the opportunity to meet all kinds of different people. The school also provides tons of activities for travelling around Sapporo and Hokkaido, and experiencing various aspects of Japanese culture.

Naturally, since the school is located in Sapporo, the lessons in addition to daily life experiences in Japan come together to enforce what you are able to learn in classes. Before coming to Japan, I had little confidence and was afraid to speak Japanese, but after leaving the program I found myself very far ahead of my classmates at home.

The dormitories are all very clean and nice, and filled with friendly people. Some of them are more socially oriented and others are more of just a place to stay. When you make friends with students at the school, you'll be able to visit various other housing locations.

On top of all this, the program is very inexpensive. I chose to return to this school a second time this year because aside from the program being great, I'm able to stay in Japan for nearly 3 months and still have a lower cost than my university's study abroad program for just 5 weeks. I highly recommend this school!

How can this program be improved?

I can't think of a lot of ways to improve this program. Last year when I went, my timing was a little poor and I left before some of the activities I wanted to attend happened. I recommend looking at the website and checking the dates for different activities before planning when to go, or making sure to put time aside on weekends to enjoy different things by yourself or with friends.

24 years old

Great Environment to Learn !!


you won't just pay for a course just to study japanese abroad, right ?
i've been taking 2-month japanese cultural course and it was awesome !! i had 3 hours for lesson every morning (mon-fri) and some afternoon we joined an event held by school. we've lots of opportunities to try many things / join most of the festivals during that time together. it was one of my best time in my life coming to jals !

24 years old

Fun Educational Experience


- Standard lessons with experienced teachers, learning by playing, talking, and have fun
- Friendly teachers and staffs, the atmosphere is warm
- Many fun activities to do with schoolmates and staffs, including many Japanese traditional activities
- An opportunity to help others with learning, we all can be the teachers
- Many choices of accommodation, I chose "sharehouse" and it brought me a lot of good memories and friendship :)
- The location is not far from subway station and there are plenty good restaurant nearby XD
- Meet new friends from another part of the world, it's gonna be fun for sure!!

19 years old
Derry, Northern Ireland

Absolutely amazing experience


I spent a month in Hokkaido JaLS in July 2014 on their standard course, and I loved every minute of it. I was nervous at first, but the friendly teachers and relaxed atmosphere helped me settle into the place very quickly.

We had two teachers who took us on different days during the week. Both of them were super friendly and funny, and very able to make learning Japanese a very easy and fun experience. We used the 'Dekiru Nihongo' textbook in combination with various other learning resources. The textbook can be a bit dry on its own, but the teachers made a great effort to transform lessons into group activities and as a result I got to practise spoken Japanese every day. Writing and listening was also thoroughly practised. Although I had some difficulty writing my first essay, my teacher Haruka-sensei helped me with my Japanese and I improved massively as a result. Lessons lasted from After school there were often other activities that gave us the chance to meet Japanese people and practise Japanese with them. Almost constantly there were activities over the weekend which you could opt into, and these provided the perfect opportunity to mingle with other students. I made many friends in the school who I'm still in contact with and my teachers even still help me over the internet!

The accommodation arranged through the school was not only affordable and comfortable but had a brilliant atmosphere and I made many life-long friends while living there.

I was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

How can this program be improved?

If you think a class is a bit too easy, I would like to be able to see the sort of work the class above you is doing to see if you could handle that.

32 years old
Sapporo, Japan

JALs Private Lessons


I am currently a student at the school who is taking private lessons only. I moved here from a different school as I wasn`t achieving my desired results. The progress that has been made over the last 6 months has been amazing (went up one JLPT level). My teacher really pushes me to learn more, in a Japanese only environment. Everything from the course material to the homework set changes with my needs - the bonus of being a private student! The materials are matched well and I will stay here to continue my language journey!

I`m a little biased with my opinion on Sapporo due to me living here. The winters can get cold and the roads slippy but it`s worth it, for the awesome Summer weather. Summer in Sapporo is fantastic. There`re so many festivals and fun things to see and do.

The school trips are well put together and help students not only see more of Hokkaido but meet some good people and share some fantastic experiences!

All in all the school is fantastic. The whole experience from dealing with the office staff with my countless queries and schedule changes, to being taught are effortless regardless of Japanese ability!!

32 years old
Sapporo, Japan
University of Aberdeen

Brilliant, fun and well taught :)


My time at Hokkaido JaLS as a student included morning group classes, afternoon 1-1 lessons, and activities. Everything was brilliant! I had a great time, made some amazing friends and gained confidence in my Japanese!

The morning classes are a maximum of 6 people so there's loads of time to talk and ask questions. The 1-1 classes were great for helping me learn the Japanese I needed to at the time (I was writing a thesis on the Japanese education system for my Masters!), and my teacher was really supportive. The active social environment of JaLS also made it easy to make friends, meet local people and just have the best time.

Normally, each week there were at least 4 social activities or planned trips which meant there was never a boring moment!

I would really recommend studying here, whatever your Japanese level!!

How can this program be improved?

I would find a magical way to make learning Japanese grammar easy!!

About The Provider


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 cultural