New edition of Genki Japanese textbook!

Posted on February 28, 2011 | evankirby

Genki Japanese

Good news everyone! The second edition of the Genki Japanese 1 textbook has been released!
It’s not a huge change from the first edition, but it’s been improved in a multitude of important ways. Perhaps the biggest change is that the book now comes with a 6-hour MP3 CD by default! The book is of course a little more expensive because of this, but so many students had requested this that we think it’s absolutely worth it.
There’s a lot of extra work for us in this, updating our beginner syllabus to match the new textbook, but it can only improve the quality of our lessons.
Now we’re waiting for the release of the updated Genki 2 textbook, scheduled for September. Exciting times!

The importance of good travel insurance

Posted on February 20, 2011 | evankirby

A somewhat serious post today, on the importance of good travel and medical insurance. We have always strongly recommended all students to purchase travel insurance, but we don't require students to submit proof of insurance. Not buying insurance can often seem like a simple way to save a little bit of money on what can be quite an expensive trip overseas. However in an emergency, medical care costs can quickly become expensive enough to ruin personal finances for a long time. In a situation like this, good insurance can almost literally be a lifesaver.
We're prompted to write this blog post because of the experience of a recent student, who took ill suddenly while studying with us. The student eventually had to have a doctor flown over from their home country to take the student home, the cost of which was completely covered by the student's excellent medical insurance. So, a reminder to all confirmed students, and anyone thinking of studying with us, that insurance really shouldn't be considered optional.

Some ways to buy insurance:
1) Often simple medical insurance is included if you pay for your flight by credit card.
2) If you have private medical insurance in your home country, there may be an option to extend this to overseas travel too, for a small extra cost.
3) There are many web sites offering comparison of multiple plans, for example Quotewright.com.

Fingers crossed that nothing bad happens to you in Japan, but make sure you also have a contract in case those fingers don't work!

Nagasaki day trip for Genki Japanese students!

Posted on February 15, 2011 | evankirby

Last Friday, the 11th, was National Founding Day in Japan, a national holiday. As there were no classes on that day, we took students to Nagasaki, to see the Lantern Festival, and of course the Peace Park.

Peace Park

Dragon

Lantern street

Genki Japanese involved in Guinness World Record!

Posted on February 15, 2011 | evankirby

For a few months last year, Genki students helped Fukuoka university students to fold origami cranes, as part of an effort to make the world's longest origami lei. They were successful, and the new world record was certified in September last year! Just recently we received our certificate from Guinness, so we post it here out of an abnormally large sense of pride:
Guinness World Record for Japanese school

Of course, GenkiJACS' name doesn't actually go in the Guinness Book of Records. At least not yet - we're still pushing them to implement the Most Fun Japanese School in the World category...

UNICEF Certificate of Appreciation

Posted on February 15, 2011 | evankirby

UNICEF were kind enough to send us a Certificate of Appreciation this week for our donations last year.

UNICEF

We're glad that our efforts at teaching Japanese can also positively affect people in the rest of the world, and hope that we'll be able to donate even more this year!

The omiyage to end all omiyage

Posted on February 09, 2011 | evankirby

There's been a surfeit, perhaps even a glut of chocolate omiyage (gifts) at GenkiJACS recently, so much so that more than half of the regular staff have abnormally high cholesterol (no joke!), but today we were treated to the most opulent omiyage we ever saw! Student Annie, who graduates today, brought this sumptuous spread for teachers today:
Cakes
This is actually only part of the whole thing! Thanks Annie-chan, the teachers won't forget this! And neither will their doctors :)