Whether you have considered it fully yet or not... your chances of successfully learning Japanese will depend very heavily on where you live. Most students in Japan cannot afford high rents. They often end up living in small substandard housing and spend long periods standing in congested trains, subways and buses during their commutes. If your accommodation is unsuitable, or crowded, or requires a long commute, or the duration of the contract cannot be altered easily and without fees, then you are going to find it more difficult to learn Japanese.
For students at Yamasa, there are a number of options in Student Housing. Not only is it possible to choose from a wide range of options, it is also possible to choose a combination of options, all of which are carefully managed by our full time Housing Office staff. To view each of the housing options currently available, please click on the links at the left side of the page for full details of facilities, floor plans, maps and photographs.
If your accommodation is expensive, of poor standard or a long distance from your school, then the odds will be stacked against you. To be able to concentrate on learning the language, you need a reasonably comfortable standard of living. In most Japanese cities and especially in Tokyo, 45-90 minute one way commutes are considered normal. However for students, long commutes are neither practical nor desirable.
Good housing can be difficult for foreign students to obtain, and most real estate agencies will insist that a foreign student have a Japanese guarantor. Many Japanese institutions including universities rely very heavily on private vendors for accommodation as very few have invested in suitable accommodation for foreign students. Even if they are willing to act as a guarantor for foreign students, they have no day-to-day management control over the quality, cost, security, hygiene and cleanliness of the accommodation or over who the other residents are. To study effectively, you need a supportive environment. A "gaijin house" or mixed use dormitory is very unlikely to have residents with similar objectives or lifestyle.
Cost is also a problem. Please note that in Japan it is standard practice for most real estate agents to charge 3-6 months rent worth of 'key money' known as Reikin/Shikikin Usually this money is not returned at the end of the stay - so a student intending to study for 6 months will usually end up paying 9 months worth of rent or more. It will usually be very difficult and expensive to move accommodation due to lease agreements and non-refundable deposits.
Figures from the Japanese Language Education Information Center indicate that international students in Tokyo and Osaka pay between JPY123,500 to JPY168,800 in public transport to and from their classes alone if they study for 1 year.
By comparison Yamasa has its own (not leased) student housing within easy walking distance of the Yamasa campus. At Yamasa we have a full time Housing Office with the time and resources to look after your needs. These housing resources currently include fully furnished studio apartments, 2DK and 3DK apartments, and a 50 room custom built Student Village.
All Yamasa owned student housing is located in quiet, safe, residential areas with shops, restaurants and other facilities nearby. All accommodation provides at least double the amount of private space per student compared to similar expense accommodation in Tokyo or Osaka. There isn't a single student staying in student housing who needs to budget for the cost of public transport commuting to classes. Access to student housing is guaranteed.