Find the right Business Japanese Course for you
Business Japanese courses are the finishing touch that lets you hit the ground running on your first day in a Japanese office. There’s only one problem: Which course to pick among all the different options?
Which Business Japanese Course is right for you?
Setting out to study Business Japanese is quite a daunting task. Students who want to rise to the challenge can choose from a variety of Business Japanese courses that help them along on their study journey because let’s be honest, all these polite expressions and Japanese manners are confusing and don’t always seem to make a whole lot of sense.
But when looking for Japanese courses one quickly notices that while they all teach you “Business Japanese” duration and covered contents can vary widely.
Is the cheap 2-week course enough or should you invest in the full-time course? Which of those two is the better choice depends on what it is you want to get out of the course.
Answering the questions in this article will help you find out which course offers the best learning experience for you.
Before you get started, just keep in mind two things:
Application deadlines are early: Look for a school at least 6 months before your desired starting date.
Intermediate Japanese: Many schools require N2 of students to make sure they can keep up with the contents.
What is your goal?
Why do you want to study Business Japanese? Is it to do job-hunting in Japan, do you want to improve you
Job-hunting in Japan
When you want to take classes to get ready for job-hunting Japan, look for schools that actively support their students in their job search. Check their website, look for reviews, and get in touch with staff to directly ask them about how they can help you.
Improving Business Japanese
When your goal is to be able to better communicate in Japanese at work look for courses that match your level and what you want to learn. Are there conversation practices during class? What is the teachers’ background? Do they have experience in these types of business situations, maybe even in the industry you are aiming for? Especially if you already have some previous knowledge, talking with schools about your expectations and what they can offer will help you create the learning environment you need.
How much time do you have?
Do you already have a start date at a new company? Or maybe you have a deadline by which you want to find a job? Whether you have weeks, months, or a year there’s a course that can help you make the most of this time.
Looking through course descriptions any course whether 4 weeks or 1,5 years teaches “business Japanese”. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the amount and depth of what you can learn on these courses vary a lot so it really depends on how much time you have and what you want to get out of the experience.
More than 6 months
If you take full-time classes for one year, you don’t only get a solid foundation but will learn how to communicate and behave in a variety of business situations.
Less than 6 months
Even just a few weeks are enough to teach you the basics of Business Japanese, learn about polite speech, and how to interact in a few common situations.
If you already know some Business Japanese, taking focused classes that cover points you want to work on will you will also see improvements.
When do you have time?
Commonly, Japanese classes are taught 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, with courses either held in the morning or afternoons. If you can do this, great! Frankly, if you are taking intensive classes or really want to make progress, investing the time to take full-time courses will pay off.
With part-time classes, Business Japanese won’t be the center of your life, but you can still make steady progress. Classes are often held 2 hours per session, on 1-3 days per week.
Similar to part-time classes, weekend and evening classes are especially good if you have another full-time occupation that takes up your weekdays.
What’s your current Japanese level?
N2 or above
Most Business Japanese courses require candidates to have at least N2 level. This is especially true for short-term or elective courses. At this level, you can have your choice of courses.
N3 or below
Even if you are not at the N2 level yet it doesn’t mean that you have to postpone learning business Japanese. On the contrary, especially if you want to look for a job in Japan, starting early will increase your odds during the job-hunting process.
The most common option is to focus on your general Japanese skills and attend a Japanese language school and take their electives.
If this takes too long for you, some schools accommodate N3 level students or can work out a study plan according to your current level.
Types of Business Japanese courses
The Japanese courses you can find usually can be split into three types.
Business Japanese Courses
Various Japanese language schools offer Business Japanese courses to those who want to work on their Japanese for job-hunt or work. This is currently the most common option, as applicants only need to meet the language requirements and the variety makes it easy to find a course that fits your schedule.
Course types: full-time, part-time, intensive, short-term, private, weekend/evening courses
Japanese level: from N3/N2
Example: Coto Academy
Specialized Business Japanese Schools
While uncommon, Business Japanese Schools don’t offer general Japanese classes but instead focus on integrated courses that teach language skills, business manners, and job-hunting skills and are a good choice for those who want to find work in Japan. Classes are typically full-time, held 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Course types: full-time, long-term, short-term, private
Japanese level: from N4/N3
Business Japanese Electives
These courses are only available to students enrolled in general Japanese courses and can be taken by upper-intermediate and advanced students. Electives may be taught for 2-10 hours per week on a by-term basis and teach basic business Japanese and Keigo, as well as job-hunting essentials like how to prepare a Japanese resume.
Course types: elective
Japanese level: from N2
What does it cost?
Prices for Business Japanese courses depend on a variety of factors like course duration, number of classes, length of one class hour, class size, etc. As a rule of thumb, expect prices to start at 1,000-2,000 Yen per school hour for class lessons.
Full-time: When you plan to take a full-time course at a Japanese language school, prices start at around 400,000-450,000 for 6 months or two terms. This sounds like a lot, but considering that you will be taking 20 classes per week the long-term classes tend to have the lowest cost-per-class.
Part-time: A 2-month course in a small group (up to 8 people) can cost 240,000 Yen, while a 16-hour introductory course could be as little as 15,000 Yen. Private lessons start from around 4,000 Yen per hour in many places.
Attending a Business Japanese School for most is an investment in their future, so take the time to research some schools for the best fit.
Research some Business Japanese Schools
Now that you know what to look out for, it’s time to do some research. You probably already tried searching online for business Japanese courses. Often it can be difficult to compare courses in terms of costs per class hour or study contents, as the information provided changes from school to school.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to the schools directly and ask for additional information that might help you make the right decision for yourself.