KCP Intensive Japanese Language and Culture Program in Tokyo, Japan

Video and Photos

Exploring Ikebukuro with fellow KCP students!
Selfie from a KCP field trip to the Imperial Palace
Tokyo Disney Sea with an Old friend from Kobe Japan .
Making good use of my time and studying .
Out for a hike with some friends .

About

Head over to Tokyo to study Japanese! The KCP International Japanese Language School is multicultural and offers an Intensive Japanese Language course and a Japanese Culture and Society course. Between classes, students can take part in cultural immersion activities. These may include a tea ceremony, learning to play traditional instruments, cooking Japanese food, and more. Connect with students, explore Tokyo, and practice your Japanese today!

Highlights
  • KCP is in Shinjuku but it’s off to the side in a quiet neighborhood. So you get both the extreme excitement of Tokyo’s busiest spot and a serene corner near several parks, all in your daily commute.
  • KCP is a Japanese school, run and staffed by Japanese—so it’s steeped in the Japanese way of life. What better way to immerse yourself?
  • The Culture and Socitey course, combined with the dorm or homestay context and with the extracurricular clubs, all make for a varied blend of experiences.
  • Teachers and staff at KCP are exceptionally dedicated and highly skilled at teaching you Japanese.
  • Class is very intense. In 11 weeks, you can earn more Japanese credit than you would earn in an entire year at your home school.

Questions & Answers

All class instruction is in Japanese, but supplementary instruction may take place partly in English if needed.

Based on the eligibility page of their website, the only requirements are that you have to be at least 18 years old, you must be prepared to spend 3-6 hours to study outside of each class, and you must have completed high school.

Hi Nathan, KCP (strongly) encourages you to learn the beginning 2 syllabaries, hiragana & katakana, before you attend, but they have a Level One class for beginners. They still go over hiragana & katakana in Level One, but it's only for the first few days, so either you study it ahead of time or you do lots of memorization that first week. If you're curious, the textbook we used when I attended...

Reviews

96%
based on 34 reviews
  • Academics 9.5
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9.8
  • Impact 8.7
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.3
  • Instruction 8
  • Support 9
  • Value 6
  • Academic Rigor 8
  • Job Assistance 9
  • Growth 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 16 - 25 of 25
Nathan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent School

I was very impressed by how much my Japanese language skill increased during my time at KCP. It was always fun to go to class and I received help whenever I needed it. The culture class was very interesting and exciting as we got to go on class trips throughout Tokyo and experience the culture first hand. My favorite memory from the culture class was our trip to Kamakura because we got to experience so much in the short time we stayed there. After completing KCP I now want to continue advancing my Japanese language skill and also want to return to Japan to visit my friends that I have made throughout my study.

James
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Time in Japan

While I was only able to stay for 3 months, my time in Japan learning at the KCP Institute was probably one of the most (and will continue to be) memorable events in my life. While the program was difficult, having acknowledged this beforehand was what I feel was the key to my successful trip. I feel that it is necessary to schedule out your time, ensuring that enough time is dedicated to school work, to get the most out of this program. If you are able to do this, everything should go quite smoothly and you will be able to enjoy your time there. Beyond the classroom, being able to explore Tokyo was amazing. Even if you are a person who prefers to stay inside, try to get out at least 2 times a week. Being in the biggest city in the world is not a chance you should pass up. What I found that really helped with this was to make friends and make excuses to go out to eat, check out an arcade, or just walk around. Ultimately, make sure you don't end up leaving with regrets. Partaking in this program is a great chance to become more independent and learn about yourself.

What would you improve about this program?
I would say the chance to talk with more locals or maybe other Japanese students could really help in learning the language, but other than that, not much else.
Vivian
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

KCP Japan

I spent Fall 2016 in Japan with KCP, and it was the best choice for my study abroad! If you want to learn Japanese, I highly recommend this program. You will be living and going to school in the middle of Tokyo, which makes the immersion experience so much more interesting. You will learn a lot in the intensive language program, so you will have to study a lot outside of school. This program is not for people who just want to goof off. However, I managed to balance my studies and still go out and see everything Tokyo had to offer as well! The teachers are kind and understanding, and they genuinely want you to succeed. I also recommend making use of the English Support lessons, where everything you learn in regular class can also be explained to in English, just to make sure you understand. The administration is also wonderful, and they will not hesitate to help you with any aspect of life in Japan. For my entire time in Japan, I felt supported both in my academics and in daily life. As for other activities, KCP has a variety of clubs that you may take part in as well. I was in the Koto club, where I took lessons every week. I never expected to get the chance to be able to learn a traditional Japanese instrument as well. KCP was a rewarding experience, and I've already begun signing up to go back fro an extended term next year. This program is for anyone who is willing to put the work in and who wants to learn Japanese in the most efficient way.

Sophia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Unique Experience!

Through KCP I got to meet a bunch of international students and converse with them solely in Japanese. My language skills improved a lot through the rigorous yet rewarding course. While only taught in Japanese, the teachers (I had Kimbara, Yamada, and Kohiyama) are great at explaining new concepts for even beginners to the language. While I made time to study, it was easy to find a balance to have fun. My favorite aspect was getting close with my host mother; we would drink together and watch sports on TV. It was the absolute best! For those really wanting to improve their Japanese and maybe even attend Japanese university, go to KCP!

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe shorter lectures for the culture classes.
Kailin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Great Experience

I went through 3 levels, with 10 different teachers, and I never had a teacher I didn't like! Every single person who works at KCP is willing to take time out of their day to help you. I had friends who struggled with conversation skills and our teacher would stay after class just to practice with them for 15mins a day or so. When I had a cold I was afraid to go to the doctor's by myself, so someone from KCP escorted me. I lived in a dorm, and my dorm manager was super nice! She always threw small parties at the dorm and invited me. I've studied abroad twice before, and KCP is the best experience I've had.

What would you improve about this program?
When I got to Level 3, we started doing reading practices. We'd read a short story, and then answers questions based on it. Most of these stories were nonfiction and some of them were historical/scientific. They used a ton of vocabulary that seemed like it was a bit above my level. I wish they'd chosen easier readings.
Marilou
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

First time abroad: a memorable experience

When I was trying to decide which study abroad program to enter, I had a hard trying to decide where to go. I knew I wanted to go somewhere in Tokyo but I had no idea how to go about it. The American support staff were incredibly helpful in answering my questions and solidifying my choice with KCP. When I came to Japan, the Japanese staff was very welcoming and kind and made en effort to make me feel comfortable and welcomed.

I chose to do the Short Summer Program, which consists of two weeks of intensive study and field trips. Afterward you are mixed into regular term classes with international students. The program is very intense and you will definitely learn a lot from it. You need to be on your game all the time and keep up with your studies or it will definitely be difficult to pass classes. But, your teachers are also super willing to help and work with you as well.

There are two pieces of advice I would like to give for students who are coming to KCP:

First, expect to spend a lot of time studying. You get what you put into it, and so if you really want the best learning environment you should take advantage of all the programs and support KCP offers.

Second, you'll be giving a lot more time to schooling than you'd expect. Which means staying after class, making up exams, talking with teachers, etc. So keep in mind you might have to stay a little longer than you'd think.

Over all, I had an excellent time and I loved the people I met through the program. I highly recommend it!

What would you improve about this program?
Warn students about how much extra time they might be giving to the program (aside from allotted class time). There are times when I had plans but had to put them off because I needed to do other things for class.
Howard
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great program no complaints

- Staff extremely helpful:
reading/understanding maps, etc
struggling with classes
etc.

- Really helps improve mastery of Japanese
Japanese immersion

- Safe area
Also very popular area.

What would you improve about this program?
Provide even more events that allow us to socialize with Japanese students.
Spencer
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic

Incredible program at a super reasonable price. I can't imagine any other study abroad would be better.

Great Teaching - I am generally very critical of most foreign language education (and I have experienced many approaches) but I was very impressed by all of my teachers and the teaching methodology. They were very effective and still managed to have class be a lot of fun.

Intensive, Not Oppressive - I was worried about the workload going in, but it turned out to not be too bad at all for me. I personally did homework as soon as I got home each day, which took a couple hours. I then had several free hours every evening and totally free weekends (apart from when I had my US culture courses on some weekends). I did quite well in the class and I didn't really have to study much, though, so I probably spent a little less time on schoolwork than most.

Housing - I cannot speak to the housing provided by KCP because I arranged my own housing with a family I knew. I had sub-mediocre Japanese and lived with a host family who mostly didn't speak English, which was very difficult at times but overall very fun and much more rewarding than the dorms would have been.

Criticism - The only disappointing thing I found with KCP was the lack of language exchanges with Japanese students trying to learn English/Chinese/Korean/etc. In Autumn 2014, KCP only set up one such exchange and I couldn't go because they only allowed a limited number of students to attend. It's hard to meet locals on your own.

What would you improve about this program?
Set up more language exchanges with Japanese students. My study abroad program in Spain did this and it was hugely beneficial to learning the language, provided real immersion in the culture, and was a lot of fun. Great for both foreign and local students, seemingly little effort required by KCP.
David
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Different Perspective

The program is extremely well put together and allows for a member to get as much as they want out of the program.The staff is extremely responsive to requests for help and information, but do not expect to merely show up for class and learn the language. The staff has no problem letting you fail if you do not ask for it (You are the one paying...). I don't mean that as a drawback, simply that if you are going to pay the cost, I recommend deciding before you go what your priorities are going to be.

The teachers, course-work, and lectures are excellent. Class composition-wise, Americans are in the minority and the majority of the students are Chinese and Koreans that are attempting to get into Japanese Universities.

To be honest, the reason I choose KCP is due to the the all-inclusive American Program package. There are cheaper routes to go, but if you want a hassle-free experience then you cannot go wrong with this program.

If you have the time, definitely recommend you do six-months. One semester is just to short to get into a full-rhythm.

What would you improve about this program?
More challenging homework. This is obviously coming from an American education experience, but the level of difficulty for homework completed versus the tests was a fairly large gap.
Steven
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

KCP International Fall of 2014 experience

I really enjoyed my experience. The weather was great and I liked staying in Ikebukuro. I was able to go out and find places that I enjoyed eating at. Although the room itself was very small , it was fine for me. The benefits were being very close to the train station and being right in the heart of everything.
I enjoyed all the teachers and the support staff. I came in with 4 High School years of Japanese and managed very well. I enjoyed meeting many different people from different countries. , I was also able to use my Mandarin with new friends that I met. I would really like to go back again. This experience made me more confident to get on a plane and travel 15 hours from home. My world is now much bigger , and I have become a more well rounded person. Thanks KCP for a great experience .

What would you improve about this program?
Hello, Overall my experience was great I really enjoyed it. The only thing I may have done different was , keeping my level 3 instead of going to 2 . I tested into 3 but a few days into the course they suggested that 2 may be a better fit. I personally feel at this point because I am so quick to pick up on languages I should of stayed with 3 instead.

Besides having a few communication issues that were not exactly explained to me , I feel that I really enjoyed my total experience. I did feel it was a little bit hard for me to blend in and make friends, My goal was to become friends with people that lived in Japan but that was a little hard to do. The only way that I could really communicate was going into music stores and talking to the sales people. I did have 4 previous years of HS Japanese, but no University . But I felt I was ahead of most of the students that had University Japanese.

I am fortunate enough to know Mandarin so communicating with people from China was not an issue and I did make friends that way. I did at many times feel lonely. I guess it is all a part of the experience. I never at any time felt like I was unsafe. I felt very comfortable using transportation and making my way around to different areas. I am not one who drinks so many would go to bars and that was not something I was interested in. I do wish that they would of had some type of Gym or work out area for the KCP students. I did manage to find a local park that I could exercise in and I managed also in my dorm room which I stayed in Ikebukuro. I would recommend the KCP experience. I really wish I would of stayed longer then one semester. I felt all the teachers were very supportive and very nice.