KCP International

Program Reviews

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Owen
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This was my first time in Asia. So everything was exciting and new. KCP is a great school which focuses on the language. That maybe sounds obvious, but it's not so much a "good to Japan and have fun" kind of school. If you're looking for that, I'd go elsewhere.

If you'd like you learn Japanese, and meet interesting people, go here. Keep in mind you'll have to make an effort to meet Japanese people, as the school is obviously, filled with non-Japanese.

Recommended if you want to learn Japanese.

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Samuel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My time at KCP International Language School is something I still think about, even months after the program has ended. While there, I was able to accomplish so much that I had never expected to. Not only did I improve my Japanese language proficiency, but I was given the opportunity to explore a new country and make international friendships. Tokyo is such an amazing, accessible city that it's hard not to miss it once you leave. The school itself is in a great location, right in the heart of Shinjuku, and has plenty of great restaurants and cafes nearby. I spent a lot of my time with friends in the school cafeteria, studying for upcoming tests or helping each other with the homework. The school is also a great place to practice conversational Japanese with the other students.

KCP offers a lot of amazing experiences outside of the classroom, too. If you opt in, you'll be escorted through the different parts of Tokyo almost every weekend, giving you plenty of opportunities to see famous landmarks and historic locations. Another perk of being in the US program is the chance to spend a weekend in the Mt. Fuji area. The time I spent in the ryokan there is something I still think of fondly.

If you're able to go abroad and have real interest in studying language and culture, I highly recommend choosing KCP International. If your experience is anything like mine, you'll gain newfound confidence in speaking Japanese and many long-lasting friendships.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The most unfamiliar thing I ate in Japan was actually Chinese cuisine. A night before final exams, some of my Chinese classmates took me out for Chinese hotpot. They showed me what to eat and how to cook it, which was pretty amazing in itself. I ended up trying duck feet, cow artery, and sheep brain (among other things)! Definitely an unforgettable meal.
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Sergio
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This program was amazing. For starters, this program is cheaper than the majority of other study abroad programs. You will also learn more Japanese than other study abroad programs because KCP focuses on language. You will be able to converse to a certain degree within 2 months tops! Accommodation wise, it was phenomenal. The dorms were clean and had everything you could ask for. Not to mention how close it is to the train station. Did I mention this is in the middle of all the great parts of Tokyo?! I do have to say that the workload can be busy, so I encourage potential applicants to prepare to study as the Japanese classes here will require it. The KCP staff were really helpful and helped students get into the Japanese lifestyle. They are more than willing to help but you have to ask them! Students are from all over the world and you will have a blast meeting them. Overall I had a great experience and am grateful for all the friends I made in Japan!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Unlike other programs, this one is very serious on teaching you the language, so I encourage people to make sure that they are prepared to study a decent amount of time. You will be able to converse to a degree after a few months and you might wish to stay longer, I assure you!
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Evangelina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

For the 8 week program, I learned a lot about Japanese culture and language. This was the most intensive language class I have taken and I loved every minute of it. Also in the first two weeks, the program took us on a bus trip to the next prefecture over to visit shrines and a peach farm!
The classes were intensive. In the beginning, I was unsure and not confident in speaking Japanese despite learning for 2 semesters already. The teachers are really encouraging and I learned a lot from grammar, to speaking, to Kanji! Since I already knew Chinese, it was really interesting to see the different way Kanji was written to Chinese. In the end, however, I was able to even converse at a local thrift store with the salesperson!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Tokyo is full of never-ending adventures, so I definitely wished I explored more.
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Keira
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spending the summer in Tokyo, Japan was a life changing experience for many reasons. The KCP International Japanese Language School is a true gem and I consider myself incredibly blessed to have had this opportunity.

KCP provides an intensive language course (which is very manageable if you put the work in!) and many culturally immersive experiences. This school is a great way to learn the Japanese language thoroughly at a quick rate and gain a better understanding and experience of Japanese culture.

On top of the school experience, Tokyo in general is an amazing place to be. Every day in Tokyo was a brilliant new adventure and I cherish every moment I had there. I would recommend anyone to go to Tokyo.

Studying abroad in Japan changed my life for the better - if you get the chance to, go for it!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Find a balance! The school work can be intense, but it is manageable. You don't want to spend your whole time in Japan with your face in a textbook. Make sure you also take plenty of time to explore and meet new people. Japan is full of adventures!
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Alexandra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

KCP was absolutely incredible as far as academics and just general experience especially, even though, as everyone says, it is a lot of work, in class and outside of class. Realistically, though, learning language takes a lot of work, so I think it's appropriate. The teachers and staff are, for the most part, absolutely incredible, and genuinely care about you. Most of them make class entertaining, even, which I think takes a lot of effort, and without taking away from the lesson. They put in so much time, and most of the teachers really make sure all of the class is engaged and speaking for the majority of the class. Don't be afraid to ask questions after your classes! I found some of the most helpful times were when I did.

Most of your classmates will be from Asian countries. My class was primarily from Korea and China, with one guy from Taiwan, which means you will really need to use your Japanese, because even though a lot of them know some English, it's limited. If you test into any level above 1, then I think you have to put more effort to connect to your classmates who are not English-speaking, because a lot of them are already friends from level 1. However, I was able to hang out with them outside of class eventually, and it was really a rewarding experience! Both just for having great friends and fun, as well as helping with my Japanese. I even had to learn more kanji to get my Chinese-speaking classmates to understand what I was saying in Japanese, because sometimes, if they didn't know the word I was using (or if I was mispronouncing it or something), I would write the kanji, so that was kind of a fun challenge.

The way the classes are organized, is Monday through Friday, you meet with your regular classmates, which are primarily from Korea and China, and on the weekends you have the option of the culture class, which includes school trips, which is only English-speaking students. Since you have a lot of time outside of class on the trips to bond with English-speaking students, it's easier, but getting connected with your non-English-speaking classmates Monday - Friday, especially if you are higher than level 1, is difficult. KCP knows this, so they host the BBQ, during school hours, a couple weeks after class begins. This is the only school-required trip/bonding opportunity that you'll have outside of class with your classmates that don't speak English. Initially I was dreading this BBQ, but, it actually really helps with connecting with your classmates who are non-English-speaking. Keeping this in mind, you get out what you put in. I had an English-speaking classmate who didn't speak as much to his classmates who were not English-speaking, and I feel, he kind of missed out on connecting with some of his classmates for the rest of the time in class.

I found my own housing, because for me, I thought KCP housing was pricey. However, this decision also will change your experience a lot, because for me, I had to work pretty hard to get community, whereas a lot of the students who lived in the dorms had a lot more community. When you're in Japan, the community doesn't come to you, so you really have to seek that out. Some of the people I knew who had host families had a great experience with it, and others, not the best, so it's kind of hit-or-miss with that. As for the people I knew in the dorms, they definitely had more community, but some of them also had more drama, so...I guess you have to pick and choose.

The culture trips were loads of fun. I audited the culture class, because I didn't need the credits, so I just went on the trips. They were really incredible, and pretty well-planned! The only thing that is a bit funny, is they only pay for your fare (train, subway, etc.) one-way, so sometimes I would walk home to save money, and I lived pretty far. (Japan is a lot safer, so even for females, so you can usually do this, but be careful regardless.) Definitely the favorite of most people was the overnight Yamanashi trip. I would say be careful with spending money, because a lot of my classmates spent too much in the beginning, and were tight on money at the end of the three month period, and most of us didn't have a visa, so we were unable to work.

The one thing I wish I had maybe done more was take advantage of some of the clubs that KCP offers outside of school. They have a whole bunch, some of which you have to be in a certain level to be in, because the vocabulary is more difficult. KCP tries to make extra opportunities for Japanese speaking, too, such as a Japanese cooking class, where we teamed up with local Japanese university students, and learned how to make oyako-don.

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe a way to help students who are discouraged. Some of my classmates definitely got discouraged, and some of the English-speaking students felt pretty lost, having it be their first time in another country. Some of them it was even their first time living on their own.
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Kaisu
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

KCP's Japanese course is an intensive learning experience with more emphasis on learning Japanese than having lot's of free time - however, if you spend your time wisely you can both learn Japanese and get to know Tokyo while studying at KCP International Japanese language school. It came to me as somewhat of a surprise that the pace of the course was so intensive and that I, with minimal Japanese skills was at class with students some of whom had studied Japanese for two years in China or Korea. Then again, had this not been the case I don't think I would have learned as much as I did.

I started with little to none Japanese skills and while my first three weeks were a little rough balancing between fun free time activities and sightseeing in Tokyo and catching up with the basic Japanese skills, studying at KCP was a good learning experience and I gained what I wanted: good basic Japanese language skills to build up on.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I really liked the visit the school organized to see Kabuki theater at the National Theatre as well as participating in a tea ceremony.
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Kumiko
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I feel like I learned more refined Japanese at KCP than 3 years at American school. KCP teaches you grammar that is useful in daily conversation and since it's located in Japan, you can use what you learn in class literally right after is school is over. Since the main classes is only in Japanese, it forces the mind to start thinking quickly in Japanese to only respond in Japanese. It sounds scary at first but I am honestly grateful for this style because the rest of the country is in Japanese so it's realistic.

Everyone at the school from the teachers to the office staff were willing to go above and beyond to make sure any problem was 100% addressed and solved to the best of their ability. There was a point where everyone started to become like friends or even family and I found myself enthusiastic every single day - even on weekend classes - to spend time with them.
I'm so sad that I was only able to spend a short time at KCP but so happy for the long-lasting memories I'll have of it!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would definitely hang out with the other international students more. Since the American program has a lot of other classes and programs outside of the regular classes, we tended to hang out a lot more. I wish that I made friends with my classmates more and hung out with them outside of school more. Hanging out with them made me understand other cultures besides Japanese which was an amazing opportunities.
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Jordan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I completed 6 months at KCP. I love the teachers, the staff, and the friends I have made here. One day I needed to visit the doctor and I was accompanied the entire way there and my appointment was fully set up by the school staff. This school will take care of any of your needs including doctors visits, discounted rail pass tickets, any mail that you receive that you have a question about, etc. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The classes are a small enough size that everyone can get enough attention and they are typically set up in a “U” shape to get everyone comfortable with speaking Japanese and becoming friendly with one another. I had a fantastic time at this school and although the classes weren’t a cakewalk, I came to Japan with no Japanese background and now feel comfortable speaking in conversations with people and will continue my study at home!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Study hiragana, katakana, and some kanji before arriving. Also, get familiar with the layout of your neighborhood, the train systems, and things near the school/your home before you arrive. It will make it easier to adjust and understand how to get around Tokyo!
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Sasha-Rae
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

KCP is not only an immersive Japanese language program, it is incredible teachers, unlimited support, opportunity, and lasting relationships that span beyond just the school time. For me, KCP gave me the opportunity to live in Japan and really choose if Japan was really where I wanted to be in the future and if Japanese was really one of the languages I would choose to pave that future. I lived in an apartment/dorm for three months and every morning went to the station pretty easily to get to school. School was a blast, I made so many friends in and outside of class and the lessons were more beneficial than any program or class I’ve ever seen personally in America.
Every lesson, and as a matter of fact in the whole school, you are only to speak Japanese. That alone helped more than I realized at first but instantly was grateful towards it helping my comprehension and speaking skills. Most every weekend, there were culture excursions that taught me more about Japanese culture, society, and history. Learning a language is not only about the language but about the society it comes from and KCP gives that opportunity to every student besides being able to live there in general and explore for yourself.
The work was challenging and definitely showed me where I need to improve to become fluent in Japanese as well and ALWAYS the teachers and staff were so eager to help. Even during our first school trip out to the park for a BBQ, everyone was so helpful and being shy wasn’t a problem at all. It actually gave me more reason to push myself so that I could make the memories I have today and will forever hold with me. I’m so grateful to KCP, so grateful for everyone I met and who helped me along the way, I’m excited to go back and actually live in Japan after I earn my bachelor’s degree.
Anyone who wants to learn Japanese honestly, you wil not regret KCP and what it can teach and give to you for life.

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe more culture excursions. Other than that, everything was already given to you and self-experience is up to you.
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