I went with EF for 6 months to Tokyo in Japan and I had a great time. Japan is an interesting country with many beautiful sites to see with a beautiful language and culture to learn about. Since I was there when Corona broke out, I did not go to all the places I wanted and many things did change/happen, but the school can't be blamed for that.
Overall, even with Corona, I had a very smooth trip.
The teachers at the school are very good at what they do. The classes are immersion style classes so the class is conducted fully in Japanese which can take some time getting used to if you are an absolute beginner, but the teachers, staff and the other students are extremely helpful and friendly if you need help. The teachers also make an effort to plan activities that are more interactive so you do not just have to sit and listen for an extended amount of time (but there are some days where that is the case). The other school staff also are very friendly and can all speak English so if you are having a hard time or something is bothering you, you are able to speak to them comfortably.
I personally decided to live at the Residence instead of a host family. The residence is not owned by EF instead EF works with the residence to reserve rooms for EF students. Due to this, you get to meet many different people if you live there as other foreigners live there as well as native Japanese. I found the residence to be a lot of fun as you are surrounded by your friends and you have as much freedom as you want. The RAs are very helpful if you have any issues regarding residency. The downside, however, is that you do everything by yourself like buy or cook your own meals, buy your own bath products, clean up after yourself, etc so I would recommend the residence for those that are able to take care of themselves. Another thing to note is that it is sometimes to connect with the native Japanese that live there due to language and culture barrier, but eventually they warm up to you if you keep trying.
Tokyo is a busy and exciting city so there was always somewhere to go, something new to see, or something new to try. The school also has activities planned everyday and those range from TeamLabs museum to visiting the shrine from "Your Name" so I would recommend trying to go to those if you are interested. Outside of those, the upper class men usually can recommend places to go to or you can just grab your friends and go spontaneously.
All the students and school staff are so open and friendly. It is very easy to make friends with others even if you are more introverted. Also most students are from different countries around the world so you are able to learn a lot about different cultures along with Japanese culture. Japanese people can be a bit cold and standoffish which is just how their culture is sometimes, but mostly they will be nice to you.
What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
1. Don't be afraid to be friendly. All the students there are in the same boat as you; they are in a foreign country where they probably don't know anyone. Due to this, all the students are willing to be your friend if you are simply just go up to them and talk. Most students speak English so that is not an issue most of the time.
2. Accept the culture. Japanese culture is very different from Western culture and many western people I knew struggled to adjust to the difference. In my experience, I think if you are just open minded and more easy going when it comes to accepting cultural differences then your trip becomes more fun.
3. Don't be afraid to try new things, New country, new people, new activities so don't be scared to try new things whether that be skiing in Nagano or trying natto.