Yamasa Student Housing and Homestay Program
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Every year, thousands of international students who come from many different countries and backgrounds to study Japanese in Japan encounter one common problem. The fact is that obtaining good convenient housing is impossible for most students. Most students cannot afford high rents and end up living in substandard housing while spending long periods standing in expensive and congested trains, subways and buses during their commutes.
In Japan and especially in Tokyo, these 60-90 minute one way commutes are considered normal and are virtually impossible to avoid. It is something to consider carefully - the fact is that long commutes and poor accommodation will affect your studies. Expensive too! In Tokyo that is an extra 16000- 30000 yen per month.
Public transport in Japan is usually crowded as well as expensive. Housing is often very difficult for foreigners (especially students) to obtain and Japanese guarantors plus a lot of expense are usually required. Furthermore, even if they are willing to provide a guarantee for their students, many Japanese institutions including universities rely heavily on private vendors for accommodation over which they have no control. Most real estate agents will charge you 3 months or more of shikikin ("key money", used to cover the cost of cleaning, repairs, and any loss of income incurred on your departure. Unlike a bond, it is rarely returned to you at the end of your stay, regardless of how clean you keep an apartment), and 1 month or more of reikin ("thank you" money, more like a commission. This is kept by the real estate agent. Most agents will also charge reikin again if you renew the contract).
By comparison Yamasa has its own (not leased) student housing within easy walking distance of the Yamasa campus. All Yamasa owned student housing is located in quiet, safe, residential areas with shops, restaurants and other facilities nearby. There isn’t a single student staying in student housing who needs to budget for the cost of public transport commuting to classes. You can leave the rush hour to others and stroll down to the Institute 10 to 15 minutes before your first class. At Yamasa substandard housing and long uncomfortable commutes are considered neither normal nor desirable. For transport to other areas of the city or for weekend and holiday travel, there are bus stops located close by and the station (JR Okazaki on the main Tokaido line between Tokyo and Osaka) is a short bicycle ride away. Access to student housing is guaranteed. Put simply, every student who enrolls in Yamasa is guaranteed appropriate, safe, affordable housing.
In addition, at Yamasa, there are not only a number of options in Student Housing as well as the Homestay program to choose from, but it is also possible to move from one option to another after enrollment. Many of our students move from Studio Apartments to Homestays or the Student Village and vice versa.
Please note that sheets and blankets are not provided. This is mainly because of the cost of western style mattresses in Japan. Students buy or rent futons through Yamasa or borrow from friends instead. Students studying for 6 months or longer will find it cheaper to buy futons rather than rent. Futon rental and purchase can be done in advance when you enroll in a Yamasa program. If you arrange the futons through Yamasa, our staff will ensure that the futons (one set consists of the mattress, the quilt part, and covers and pillow) will be in your room from the first night you spend in Okazaki. It is of course OK to make your own arrangements for futons or other bedding. If you are borrowing from friends, ask them to send the futons to Yamasa so that we can store them in your apartment. There is no charge for this service.
All accommodation comes with a desk, chair, desk lamp, bookshelf, wardrobe and ethernet jacks for internet access. Studio apartments also include fridges and televisions. Cooking facilities are provided too. However, you will need to bring or buy your own plates, bowls, knives, forks, chopsticks, etc. in apartment style accommodations. These are easily and cheaply obtainable from local discount stores. These utensils are provided in communal accommodation.