Hokkaido Japanese Language School
99% Rating
(22 Reviews)

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 cultural and social activities. Every week you will have the opportunity to meet local people, make new friends, explore the city, and learn a range of new skills and abilities.

We are based in the heart of Sapporo, with easy access to shopping, restaurants, and tourist attractions, but we also believe that Hokkaido is one of the most beautiful and vibrant parts of Japan in every season. Our school hosts modern classrooms and facilities, including a cafe, theatre room, and plenty of space to relax when you need a break from your studies!

We are looking forward to meeting you! Let's study Japanese together!


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super convenient, the classrooms show that the school is serious about small classes (not more than six students during the winter course), the 2nd floor lounge is a wonderful place, an open work space, where people can meet or focus on their work

everyone is very friendly and offering help all the time with whatever problem that's bothering you. Besides they make excellent coffee, great pizza, both come with free smiles and often a free extra mini-lesson in Japanese communication!

the teachers are very professional, very dedicated and really kind and encouraging - do your homework and fast progress is as inevitable as the next snowfall, The smart and interested classmates from all around the world also contribute to a great study atmosphere.

culture program:
experiencing different aspects of Japanese culture and excursions are a great extension of learning into the afternoons and weekends (I strongly recommend participation) - test your Japanese and meet interesting people.

A sincere "Thank you" to all the people at JaLS Sapporo who helped to create a truly wonderful learning experience!

How can this program be improved?
1. Using some media - video in class, additional audio online for self-study purposes and homework - might help diversify the learning experience.

2. The cultural activities are sometimes a little bit hurried due to a lack of time. Adding a bit more depth would necessitate more time (and maybe some preparatory reading about the subject).
Yes, I recommend
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JALS was probably the best experience of my life abroad!
It was a very engaging school which helped my Japanese language skills improve from none at all to average conversation within 3 months. The staff at JALS are incredibly friendly and definitley improved my experience as it helped me feel more comfortable in the school.
The winter course was definitley a wise choice in my opinion, because it allowed for me as a student to see some of Hokkaido's claims to fame, such as the snow festival in Sapporo city, or the popularity of skiing (which I'm not good at.) It also had less students at a winter time which allowed for the classes to be more personal as a group. I am definitley looking forward to returning to JALS in the future.

Yes, I recommend

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! =)

Yes, I recommend
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I was at Hokkaido JaLS in the summer of 2016, as both a foreign student studying Japanese and a young intern for the company. Through the 6 weeks I was there my Japanese improved a hundred-fold – my Japanese friends were so surprised when I returned and we could just talk in Japanese for hours on end! What's more my Japanese level wasn't even high to begin with - I arrived there a "pre-intermediate level" and am probably now an "intermediate level"; it doesn't seem like much on paper but I feel so natural and much more effortless speaking Japanese now! It's thanks to the 50/50 split of international students and Japanese students studying English at JaLS: there were so many opportunities to speak Japanese with others, and I made many lasting friendships with people of all sorts of ages and countries.

As for the internship, the experience will vary for those between those who are native Japanese speakers and foreign interns. The amazing thing was that JaLS so flexible in offering types of things I could do for the company, even though I wasn't a native Japanese speaker. I hosted my own Language Exchange event, took students to festivals, baseball games and activities such as Japanese Taiko drumming lessons! I even learned how to operate a cafe and cash register, and shadowed some of the English teachers teaching Japanese students English (as I have an interest in education).

Finally, JaLS allocated me a share-house in which I stayed - which was an incredible experience. There were about 40 people living there, 50% International and 50% Japanese - we each had our own rooms and a giant shared living room/kitchen space. It was a great opportunity to learn Japanese and I really enjoyed spending time and being taken around the city by my Japanese share-house mates. Incredible.

A truly unforgettable 6 weeks of my life, I miss JaLS and Sapporo already!! Plus, the school will come back better than ever in October 2016, bigger and even more welcoming! 12/10 !!

Yes, I recommend

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!

How can this program be improved?
Weekday activities felt inaccessible for people who did not prepay for them in advance due to their cost. I also feel that the homework was sometimes a bit repetitive for what you gain from it. Studying the grammar handout and vocab was a much better use of my time personally.
Yes, I recommend

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