Common Rules for Japanese Language Schools

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Are you planning to study at a Japanese language school and immerse yourself in the culture and education of Japan? Understanding and adhering to the common rules, such as attendance rate, can significantly enhance your study experience. Let’s explore what it takes to succeed in this unique educational setting.


Good Attendance Rate

In the realm of Japanese language education, the emphasis on maintaining an impeccable attendance rate is paramount. Not only does this requirement stem from a commitment to educational excellence, but it is also a critical compliance measure with the stringent regulations set forth by the Immigration Bureau of Japan. Understanding the nuances of these attendance requirements is essential for international students aiming to harness the full potential of their study experience in Japan.

Attendance Expectations

The Immigration Bureau of Japan has established a baseline attendance requirement for international students, mandating that their attendance rate should not fall below 80%. However, many Japanese language schools, in pursuit of higher educational standards and to ensure the success of their students, have set even more stringent criteria, often requiring an attendance rate of more than 85-90%. This heightened expectation underscores the schools’ commitment to academic rigor and the holistic development of their students.

Falling below the 70% attendance threshold has serious implications. Such an occurrence not only puts students at risk of expulsion from their respective language schools but also triggers a report to the Immigration Bureau. This action can lead to the revocation of the student’s visa, typically within a 30-day period, underscoring the critical nature of maintaining a high attendance rate.

Effect of Attendance on Future Opportunities

The significance of a robust attendance record extends beyond the immediate academic requirements. It plays a pivotal role in shaping the student’s future opportunities within Japan, influencing applications for higher education, employment visas, and even the perceptions of potential employers or educational institutions.

Students contemplating progression to a Japanese university, vocational school, or engaging in employment opportunities within Japan must present a certification of attendance alongside their academic transcripts. A subpar attendance record can diminish the chances of visa extension, impact the duration of stay permitted under a visa, and, in some cases, may result in the student needing to return to their home country.

Furthermore, Japanese educational institutions and employers view attendance as a reflection of the student’s commitment, reliability, and adaptability to the rigors of Japanese academic and professional environments. An exemplary attendance record may also position students as preferred candidates for scholarships, select programs, and employment opportunities, given the competitive nature of these applications.

Cultivating Mindset for Success

The decision to study at a Japanese language school is a significant commitment that requires a proactive and disciplined approach to attendance. Prospective students should reflect on their readiness to adhere to the daily requirements of their studies, recognizing that consistent attendance is a cornerstone of not only academic success but also cultural and linguistic immersion.

When a significant number of students at a Japanese language school consistently show low attendance, the consequences extend far beyond individual academic setbacks. Such trends can jeopardize the school’s accreditation and its authority to sponsor visas for new students. This means that maintaining a high attendance rate is crucial not only for your own success but also for the well-being of your peers and the aspirations of future students eager to experience life and education in Japan. It’s a collective effort, where every student’s commitment contributes to sustaining the school’s reputation and ensuring that the doors remain open for others to share in the unique journey of studying in Japan.

Passing Exams

Progressing in a Japanese language school hinges not just on attendance but on proving your linguistic prowess through structured examinations held four times a year: usually end of the term in March, June, September, and December. These exams are comprehensive, covering everything from Kanji to grammar, and are crucial for students aiming to advance to the next level.

Achieving a promotion requires a minimum overall score of 60-70%, with particular emphasis on grammar, recognizing its foundational role in mastering the language. The criteria vary slightly between levels; beginners might find a bit more lenience in grammar scores, reflecting the initial learning curve, while advanced students are expected to demonstrate deeper grammatical comprehension.

However, the examination system is strict in most of the schools; there’s no room for retakes if you fail. Latecomers can still participate but face a penalty in their performance score and missing out on the listening test. This approach underscores the importance of diligence and preparedness, with the exams serving as critical milestones in the language learning journey.

Class Manners

In Japanese language schools, the classroom is a place of respect, focus, and discipline, reflecting broader cultural values. To ensure a productive and respectful learning environment, certain behaviors are strictly prohibited during class. Here’s a refined overview of essential class manners and the acts deemed unacceptable.

Prohibited Behaviors:

  • No Whispering or Chatting: Silence is golden. To maintain focus and respect for everyone’s learning experience, chatting or whispering, especially in your first language, disrupts the immersive Japanese learning environment.
  • Eating and Drinking Forbidden: Keep snacks and beverages for break times. Eating or even chewing gum during class is considered disrespectful and can distract others.
  • Unauthorized Questions: Direct all questions to the teacher. Asking peers without permission can interrupt the flow of the class and hinder the learning process.
  • Mobile Phone Usage: Phones should be out of sight unless explicitly allowed by the teacher for educational purposes. This ensures attention remains on learning, not screens.
  • Headgear Not Allowed: Wearing caps or hats in class is seen as disrespectful. Please remove them before entering to show respect to the teacher and the learning space.
  • Sleeping is Off-Limits: While studying can be exhausting, sleeping in class is inappropriate. If you’re feeling unwell, inform your teacher rather than nodding off at your desk.
  • Classroom Entry and Exit: Enter or leave the classroom only with permission. This minimizes disruptions and maintains the sanctity of the learning environment.
  • Textbook and Material Management: Leave no trace. Ensure all textbooks and materials are collected and not left behind post-class, demonstrating responsibility and respect for shared resources.
  • Electrical Outlet Use: To prevent misuse and maintain safety, refrain from using classroom electrical outlets without explicit permission.
  • No Game Devices: Class time is for learning, not gaming. Keep electronic entertainment devices tucked away to avoid distractions.


Studying at a Japanese language school offers a gateway to both language proficiency and deep cultural immersion. Success in this endeavor requires more than just academic diligence; it demands respect for the rules and norms shaping this unique educational experience. By maintaining a strong attendance record, striving for academic excellence, and embracing classroom etiquette, students can fully realize their potential and lay a solid foundation for their future in Japan or beyond.

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