Do you have to know how to speak Japanese to apply for this?

Posted by Kelli Blechle 7 years ago


Yes, there is a 2 semester Japanese language prerequisite requirement for this program.

No, you absolutely do not have to speak Japanese to be apart of the program! Actually, the beginner level was one of the biggest programs my year.

I'm afraid I don't have a straight-forward answer to this question. To my memory, previous study of Japanese is not a prerequisite for the Nagoya program, but of the two IES Japan options, it is definitely far more language intensive than the Tokyo program. Nanzan University puts everyone through a placement test process during orientation, and you will not be placed in a level above your capability, but the language classes are rigorous and can really be a challenge without at least some basic knowledge of the language and the three syllabaries (Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji). The class levels range from 300 to 700, and even though I had three years of language study under my belt, including another study abroad experience in Japan, I was placed in the 400 level. In the end I was glad for this, because the review was exponentially helpful and the 500 level class -which I entered during my second semester at Nanzan- was a bigger challenge in terms of coursework and complexity than I had expected.

Overall, I would recommend at least two semesters of previous study before applying to the Nagoya program. Apart from some added confidence in the required language courses, knowing some Japanese offers a little more freedom when selecting elective courses, especially as many of the arts and culture classes are predominantly taught in Japanese. IES Nagoya is a language-intensive program, and Nanzan will put you through your paces in the effort to ensure you receive the best language education possible. If you do not feel prepared for that, I would recommend looking into the Tokyo program instead. However, if you are still interested in applying and your college or university does not offer a Japanese curriculum, I recommend investing in the Genki Level I textbook and workbook and engaging in some self-study. When I was there this was the textbook we used and it's a very helpful and intuitive learning tool.

To an extent, yes. The minimum requirement is that the student be able to read and write all hiragana and katakana characters. That is the requirement to place into the 300 (lowest level) New Intensive Japanese course. All international students enrolled in Nanzan University's Center for Japanese Studies are required to take the New Intensive Japanese classes and will take a placement test upon arrival at the university. Levels range from 300 (lowest) to 700 (highest level). Other elective courses offered can be in either English, Japanese, or a mixture of both.