I participated in the Kyoto JaLS Standard + Internship course over Winter and Spring 2020. I had an amazing time, both in class and outside of it. I was able to meet so many people from different parts of the world, and I made a lot of new friends. The school found me a really great apartment near Sanjo Bridge, about 15 minutes by train from the school. After classes ended for the day, there was a huge variety of activities to sing up for. I was able to try making lots of traditional Kyoto style crafts (kumihimo, yuzen, karakami, etc), and I even got to make Soba! One of my favourite events were the Japanese Conversation classes. We students got the chance to practice our conversation skills with locals, who had some really interesting stories about the city.
The classes were very small, with a max of 8 students, but the average was more like 5 per class. The placement test was fairly accurate, though getting into the swing of things the first week was really the only confusing thing. The teachers were amazing! They were very friendly, and extremely patient - especially when it came to difficult concepts. My Japanese skills improved a lot while I was learning with them, and I don't think I would have advanced as quickly without them. By the time you graduate, the teachers feel more like old friends.
The Internship course was the first time I had done an internship. The staff members were very welcoming, and constantly made sure I could understand what I was doing, since most of the instruction was in Japanese. They arranged for me to take a private Japanese Business Etiquette class, and helped me practice interacting with customers. Part of my responsibilities included running and hosting student events, working in the on-site cafe, and coordinating social media. The staff constantly checked in with me to check if I wanted to try learning something new, or if there was something specific I wanted to learn from them. If you are interested in taking the Internship course, I would recommend already knowing some conversational Japanese, since most of the internship takes place in that language.
I would definitely recommend Kyoto JaLS to anyone looking to improve their Japanese. The facilities are excellent, and they have a free resource library to help you study. Both the teachers and the staff are amazing, and are really invested in giving each and every person the best experience possible.