When can I enroll in NILS programs?

[Intensive program]

Programs Starting month
12-Month Program April and October
15-Month Program January
18-Month Program April and October
24-Month Program April

[Short-Term Program]

Regular course (April-August) : Twice a month. Check the dates

Special course (September to March) : Once a month. Check the dates.

Please note: if you would like to start Short-Term Program except above starting date,
we will arrange the program for you. Kindly contact us.

How do I apply for NILS?

[Full-time Intensive program]

The school will email you the required documents.
Prepare the required documents and submit them to us before the due date. After we examine all your documents and if they satisfy our requirements and legal issues, we will issue an Eligibility Application for you. Your documents and the Eligibility Application will be submitted to the Immigration Office.

[Short-Term Program]

If your passport country is one of visa waiver countries, the required document is only an application form. You can either post the form to the school or e-mail us at admissions@nilsjapan.com
You just travel to Japan before your program starting date. You do not need a visa process.

If you need a visa to enter to Japan, please contact us.

More information how to enroll in NILS : please check this page.

What documents do I need for applying?

[Full-time Intensive program]
Here is the required documents.

1)Program application form
2)Bank statement ($10,000-$13,000)
3)Copy of your diploma (Highest degree completed)
4)5 photos, each 4×3 centimeters

However, the documents that you finally submit to us may depend on your passport country. We will be glad to help you. Please consult with us while you are preparing your documents.

[Short-Term Program]
Documents necessary to apply for a Short-Term Program are following.
1) Application form
2) Copy of your passport

How proficient do I have to be in Japanese?

[Full-Time Intensive Program/Short-Term Program]
We do not require any particular level of proficiency in Japanese for the application process; however, we recommend that you master Hiragana and Katakana before coming to Japan. Both Hiragana and Katakana are phonetic alphabets. Knowing these characters will greatly help you learn Japanese. We will send you educational tools with instructions once you submit your tuition payment.

[Note to Full-Time Intensive Program students]
For those applicants from the countries listed below, you need to have passed the N5 level on the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test. It typically requires 150 study hours to achieve this level.

Countries in Africa, China, Nepal, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Mongolia, and Myanmar

How much does it cost to attend NILS?

[Full-Time Intensive Program]
Annual Full-Time Intensive Program tuition, fees and average room & board cost about 1,500,000 to 1,800,000 yen. Full-time students can work as a part-timer for 28hours/week.

[Short term Program]
It depends on which course you will be join and what type of housing you will choose. For Regular course, it will be 150,000 to 200,000 yen.
For Special course, it will be 200,000 to 300,000 yen.

How long does it take to obtain the student visa?

After the official documents are submitted to the Immigration Office, a Certificate of Eligibility is issued in approximately two and a half months. The school will mail your Certificate of Eligibility to your address. You need to apply for a student visa along with your original Certificate of Eligibility to  a Japanese embassy or consulate.
Results are usually available in about 2 to 4 weeks, prior to your intended entrance into the school.

(Therefore, the total length of time it takes for you to obtain your student visa is about 3 or 4 months after we submit your documents and the Eligibility Application.)

When should I buy my airline ticket to go to Japan?

[Full-Time Intensive Program]
Please wait until you receive your Certificate of Eligibility. We will let you know once we schedule the pick-up (at the airport) dates. Please make your flight reservation so that you can arrive on one of those pick-up dates. You do not need to worry about the arrival time. Just let us know of the expected arrival time after you make your reservation.

[Short-Term Program]
Please plan on arriving at least a day before your classes begin. If you think you need to recover from your jetlag, we recommend that you arrive 2 to 3 days prior to the start of your classes.

What should I do on my arrival?

A staff member of our home-stay agency or your host family member(s) will pick you up at the airport and take you to their home on your arrival. They will also show you how to get to the school on the first day of your program. You may need US$4-10 per day for your commuting expenses.

[NILS Dormitory (Full-Time Intensive Program)]
NILS staff will pick you up at the airport on your arrival. It would be appreciated if you could book your flight on the date we set.


[Full-Time Intensive Program]
NILS staff will pick you up at the airport on your arrival. It would be appreciated if you could book your flight on the date we set.

[Short-Term Program]
It depends on whether you want pick-up service or not.
Please consult us.

Does NILS have student services?

-NILS provides airport pick-up service on your arrival in Fukuoka.
-NILS provides free Wi-Fi at school.
-NILS helps you to open a bank account (Full-Time Intensive Program only).
-NILS can assist you in obtaining a smart phone or a cellular phone (Full-Time Intensive Program only).
-NILS can help you locate a college/university/vocational school for your further study in Japan
-NILS can assist you in finding a part time job (Full-Time Intensive Program only).

Can I enter Japan and study for 3 months with a tourist visa (without a student visa)?

Yes, our Short-Term Program is designed for those who wish to study Japanese while engaging in a variety of cultural activities. This is an excellent option for those who want to explore the Fukuoka City.

If your passport country is one of visa waiver countries, you can attend our short term program for 3 months. If you have a working holiday visa, it is fine that you attend more than 3 months.

Short-Term Program

Can I study at NILS with a student visa?

Yes, you can if you apply for one of Full-time Intensive program.
NILS is listed on the official bulletin of the Ministry of Justice as a certified Japanese language school. We accept paperwork from applicants wishing to study in Japan and submit their applications to the Fukuoka Immigration Bureau to obtain the Certificate of Eligibility.

What is a working holiday visa?

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website, “the working holiday programs are based on bilateral arrangements, intended to make it possible for the youth of Japan and its partner countries to enter each country primarily for the purpose of spending holidays while allowing them to engage in employment as an incidental activity of their holidays for the purpose of supplementing their travel funds.” As a general rule, one can obtain such permission once in his/her lifetime per each country with which Japan has bilateral agreements. The participating countries are listed below.

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • England
  • France
  • South Korea
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Portugal
  • Poland
  • Taiwan
  • Hong Kong
  • Germany
  • Ireland


An applicant should be between 18 and 30 (in some cases 25). Please inquire at the Embassy of Japan or Consulates in your country.

You can enroll in NILS and study Japanese with a working holiday visa.

I studied Japanese for a year at another language school in Japan a few years ago. Can I enroll in NILS?

For Full-time program, you are allowed to study at a Japanese language school in Japan for the total of 2 years. Even if you went to another school, the total permitted is still 2 years.

For Short term program, you can enroll in NILS anytime.

How long are you allowed to stay in Japan?

[Full-Time Intensive Program]
Regardless of the particular length of the program, students enrolled in the Full-Time Intensive Program are entitled to stay for 12 months when they enter Japan. If you are enrolled in the18-month or 24-month options, you need to apply for an extension of period of stay with the Immigration Bureau. If the extension is granted, students will be entitled to stay 6 more months or another year.

[Short-Term Program]
Except for some countries, you are entitled to stay in Japan for 90 days without any visa (if your country has an agreement with Japan) or with a tourist visa (if Japan requires a tourist visa from your country). Please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Visa exemption

Tourist Visa:

What is your refund policy for Full-Time Intensive Program?

[Full-time programs]

Students wishing to withdraw from a program must notify the School in writing.

The date of withdrawal for refund purposes is the date of receipt of the refund form.

Refunds will be made within sixty (60) days of a request, which should be made in writing.

The amount will be refunded by bank wire transfer to the account designated by the student

The student’s failure to notify the principal in writing of his/her withdrawal may delay the refund process.

The school does not owe any bank charges.

When the cancellation by the student occurs: Program fee Accommodations
before the student’s Certificate of Eligibility is approved, The student will be refunded the entire amount paid except the processing fee and admissions fee below. The student will be refunded the entire of amount paid.
The student’s Certificate of Eligibility was entire of amount paid. rejected
after the student received the Certificate of Eligibility, but before traveling to Japan The student will be refunded 50% of class tuition fee + 100 % facility fee and textbooks fee. The school will keep processing fee, admissions fee and 50% of class tuition fee. The student will be refunded the entire of amount paid.
Withdrawal after starting the program or after entering to Japan No refund will be made. No refund will be made.


Please note : [Required document]

Your Certificate of Eligibility must be returned to the school. The refund process will start after NILS receiving your certificate.

Fraud Protection policy

If you paid the program fee or accommodations fee by credit card / paypal, the following documents are required.

◼ Your passport copy

◼ credit card copy (front and back) and the recent credit card.

Full-time program fee breakdown

Note: Discount campaign applies to class tuition fee.

What is your refund policy for Short-Term Program?

Students wishing to withdraw from a program must notify the School in writing.  The date of withdrawal for refund purposes is the date of receipt of the refund form.  Refunds will be made within sixty (60) days of a request, which should be made in writing.  He amount will be refunded by bank wire transfer to the account designated by the student.  The student’s failure to notify the principal in writing of his/her withdrawal may delay the refund process.

  1. Cancellation by a student before entering to Japan, the student will be refunded entire amount paid.
  2. Program cancelled by the school due to the following reasons:
    (1) Natural disaster
    (2) War
    There is no refund.
  3. Withdrawal after starting the program;
    No refund will be made.

    Please note : Airport pick-up service fee is non-refundable after your arrival in Japan

What do the NILS graduates do?

Most of our graduates go on to college or vocational schools. Those who choose to return to their home countries also find meaningful employment utilizing their Japanese language skills. Some of our graduates go to Japanese colleges, and upon graduation, find employment with Japanese corporations. Typically, those college bound students are enrolled in our 18-month or 24-month programs. However, it depends on your proficiency in Japanese. Please inquire at our guidance department.

How can I select the best college for me?

We advise that you find out what you would like to do in the future or which fields of studies attract you the most. We at NILS consider each and every student’s proficiency and his/her areas of interest when we provide college/career guidance. This includes helping students with each step of the college application process.

If you are interested in moving on to college, our college guidance counselors and homeroom teachers provide guidance regularly: at the beginning of the NILS program, as you move up to the next level, before the summer break, and at the beginning of the 2nd semester.

Can you give me an example of college guidance?

In addition to college counseling at NILS, we accompany our students to various college fairs where a number of colleges conduct information sessions. Our students also attend open campus days at nearby colleges. We recommend you take advantage of these opportunities to find out more about your area of interest. We also provide workshops on interviews, completing applications, etc. We cover it all.

How can I prepare myself to apply for college in Japan?

Whether you are applying for college or a vocational school, the biggest factors are your Japanese proficiency and attendance record. If you wish to go to college, try to score the N1-2 level in the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)*. For vocational students, we recommend the N2 level of proficiency. It’s best to decide which schools to apply to by the summer and submit applications in the fall.

* The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) started in 1984 as a test to measure and certify the Japanese-language proficiency of those whose native language is not Japanese. It has five levels: N1, N2, N3, N4 and N5. The easiest level is N5.

Can I get a diploma when I complete my program at NILS?

You will be awarded a Certificate of Completion when you complete your course. If you are enrolled in one of our Full-Time Intensive Programs (12 months or longer) and graduate in March, you will receive a diploma. However, this diploma is not the same as getting a bachelor’s degree from college or a professional degree from a vocational school.

Can I find employment in Japan after graduating from NILS?

You have to meet the following requirements in order for you to find employment in Japan and to apply for a working visa. The Immigration Bureau will make the final decision.

  1.  You have a college degree from your home country.
  2.  You already have a contract with your employer.

Even if you do not have a college degree from your home country, you can still meet the requirements if you receive a degree from college or a vocational school in Japan.

Is my attendance record important?

Yes, whether you apply for college or an extension of stay in Japan, the attendance record is considered very important. If your attendance record falls below 80%, you may not extend your stay or change your status. On the other hand, if your attendance record is excellent, you may be able to take advantage of a guaranteed admission slot to college and perhaps receive some scholarship. We, at NILS, take your attendance record seriously. If your monthly attendance record is below 80%, we request a written explanation from you. If you continue to miss school despite repeated calls, you may be expelled from the school.

How many hours of lessons are there per day?

[Full-Intensive program]

Each class has four lessons per day, each lasting 45 minutes. A total of 800 study hours are spent over the course of the year. Morning classes are conducted from 8:40 to 12:10 and afternoon classes from 13:00 to 16:25.

[Short-Term Program]

Each class has three lessons per day, each lasting 45 minutes. Only morning classes are available (from 9:00 to 12:25). There are no classes on national holidays and some designated school holidays such as the “Obon” period and the “Shogatsu” period.

At which campuses do I take classes?

[Full-Intensive program]
Student in Intensive programs takes classes at etiher the Ogori campus or NILS Anex Shiroz campus. Ogori campus takes about 30 minutes to get to Fukuoka City by train (Nishitetsu Omuta Line)
Shiroz campus takes 15 minutes to get to Fukuoka City by train.

[Short-Term Program]
Students in Short-Term programs take classes at the Ohashi campus, five minutes from central Fukuoka by train (Nishitetsu Omuta Line).

How do you determine the class level for new students?

[Full-Time Intensive Program/Short-Term Program]
We administer a placement test to all new students in order to determine the best level for each student. The test is consisted of an interview and a written test. We have 3 levels – the advanced, the intermediate, and the beginner’s level. We take into consideration your educational goals, length of stay, etc. and this enables us to place you in the most appropriate class even if you have never learned the Japanese language.

I have never learned Japanese. How long does it take for me to understand the language?

[Full-Time Intensive Program]
It usually takes 3 months for a complete beginner to reach the N5 level in the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test. It takes about 6 months to reach the N4, and a year to reach the N3. Needless to say, you can achieve these results only if you attend all your classes and do your homework. It’s also important to try to speak Japanese in your daily life routine.


What is your average class size?

[Full-Time Intensive Program]
It differs depending on the class, but we have approximately 15 students in each class.

[Short-Term Program]
It depends on the level and the starting date of each session, but our class is small – between 3 and 8 students(Average is 4-5). We offer the perfect setting for students who wish to learn the Japanese language in a short period of time.

Can I take classes in English or another language other than Japanese?

We teach all our classes in Japanese. Even if you have never been exposed to Japanese, we can effectively teach you using our proprietary teaching method. Our experience shows that this teaching method greatly improves one’s ability to learn the Japanese language compared to using both Japanese and another language. You are welcome to ask questions in English.

Can you tell me my level if I email you my proficiency test results?

No.Our level placement is both a written test and a speaking test. A written test is available on line. Therefore you can take it prior to the starting date.

However, a speaking test will take place at the first day of your program. The school will determine your final level after checking the total score.


Which program is better for further studies at Japanese colleges, universities and vocational schools?

For further studies at Japanese colleges/universities/vocational schools, you will be required to reach the JLPT N2 level. Therefore, we strongly recommend you take the 18- or 24-month Intensive Program. This program includes the JLPT and EJU preparation.

You do not need to sign up for another programs that are JLPT/EJU preparation courses.