Grants for Swedish Students

Posted on October 26, 2009 | evankirby

CSN logo

As GenkiJACS has become a full member of IALC, Swedish students can now receive financial assistance from the Swedish government to study with us! This is part of the CSN (Centrala studiestödsnämnden) program to provide aid for students studying a language in another country. You must plan to study with us for 13 weeks or more to be eligible for aid. If you meet this requirement, you can apply directly to the CSN. It seems that this would provide for a 671 kronor per week grant, plus loans if required. This of course makes the cost of studying with us significantly cheaper!
For further details, contact CSN directly!

Japanese "obake"

Posted on October 25, 2009 | evankirby

Here's a great website with information about some of the huge variety of different ghosts and monsters in traditional Japanese mythology, all explained in English with lovely illustrations:
The Obakemono Project

"Obakemono" (お化け物) is the honorific "o" plus "bake" (to change or corrupt) and "mono" (thing). Some of the monsters from traditional tales are more humorous than scary-seeming, but this site is a great resource for those of you interested in the mythology!

Former student blog

Posted on October 25, 2009 | evankirby

One more blog from a former student, M., who finished her second time with us last week. Hope you can come back soon, M. We miss you!

Click here for the blog itself.

Should give you some ideas of what to do in Fukuoka!

GenkiJACS Long-Term Study Course

Posted on October 20, 2009 | evankirby

One of the big problems we’ve always struggled with is that students can’t stay in Japan for more than six months out of a year on a tourist visa or visa waiver. This means the maximum length of study we could offer most students was six months, even if the student wanted to study for longer. Our other alternative was to apply for Ministry of Education accreditation, so that we could offer student visas ourselves. However, the barriers to this accreditation are incredibly high. At a MinEd information session we attended recently, they said new schools would need to both own the school’s building (renters not allowed), and have at least one billion yen in assets! We quickly gave up on that option, so instead, we’ve done the next best thing: partnered with a local school that offers visas, to run a combined course.
There are more details about this course on our website proper, but basically, you would study with us for 2-6 months, during which time we apply for your student visa. Then, in April, you switch to our partner school to study for a year or so with them.

Our partner school is one that we’ve worked with in different capacities for some time now. They’re also a relatively new school, and should be a good fit for our students. They mostly handle Asian students currently, but are interested in increasing the number of Western students they teach to. They’re also in the central area of Fukuoka, so pretty convenient.

The big advantages of this plan are of course the student visa (which also lets you work part-time), and that our partner school’s low costs make the whole trip more affordable.
If you’re interested, fill out or short form now for a no-obligation estimate!

Anti-influenza precautions

Posted on October 14, 2009 | evankirby

新型インフルエンザ ("shingata infuruenza", swine flu) is spreading throughout Japan quickly now, and while there are few fatalities, people are being very careful. At GenkiJACS, despite taking in students from 50 or more countries, we've been lucky enough to have no cases of swine flu yet! To make sure it stays that way, we're taking precautions.

Ion filter
Our ionizer, which supposedly is effective in removing viruses from the air and mercilessly killing them.

Hand cleanser
Alcohol-based hand cleanser

Face masks
A giant box of surgical masks!

With a little luck and a lot of hard work, we'll be able to make it through the winter without any major outbreaks...

What's included in your GenkiJACS tuition?

Posted on October 13, 2009 | evankirby

We get a lot of emails asking us for details of what exactly is included in the Japanese study tuition at GenkiJACS, so here's a quick list:

All textbooks and materials needed for your study
Wordcard papers for vocabulary study
20-26 group lessons per week
Counseling session with school staff
Unlimited use of school Internet/computers
Welcome pack with city maps, magazines, guides and more
Weekly city tour
Graduation certificate
Continuing study guide
One free online lesson with GenkiJACS
25% off at JapanesePod101
4 lessons for 900 yen at Japan Online Institute
One free private lesson at Japan Online School
Women only: rental personal alarm
Unlimited photo sessions with Astroboy!

More University Accreditation!

Posted on October 11, 2009 | evankirby

One more university offers credits for study with Genki Japanese School. Now students of University of Delaware can receive credit for study with us. Confirm with your program coordinator before you come, though!
For the current full list of colleges and universities, click here.

Online Video Chat Lessons

Posted on October 11, 2009 | evankirby

Skype screenshot

GenkiJACS has (finally!) started online lessons. Former students have been asking for this for the last couple of years – sorry it took so long! Currently we support the four major software choices, including of course Skype, but we’re willing to use other services too, if there’s demand.
Pricing is two-tiered: 3000 yen per class for new applicants, or 2000 yen per class for anyone who has studied at our school before or is registered to do so. Everybody gets one free trial lesson too, so you might as well give it a try!
Detailed info is here.

The major sticking point, of course, is the time difference. If you’re in the UK, for instance, we’re only online for you between 1:30am and 11am, so it might be tough to schedule a lesson. We’re looking at adding classes on the weekend or later in the evening for us, so if you’d like us to do that, drop us a line and we’ll see what we can do for you!

More reviews of GenkiJACS online!

Posted on October 04, 2009 | evankirby

We're always happy to hear what students thought of their time at GenkiJACS. That's why we ask all students to fill out a detailed evaluation form at the end of their stay. However, that doesn't help you, the prospective GenkiJACS student, to decide if this is the Japanese school for you or not. So, we've collected a couple of recent reviews of the school from around the Internet for your edification:

Postcard from Asia
Choice quotes:
It is a fantastic language school (it has just been nominated for Language School of the Year). It is only five years old and came strongly recommended from a teaching colleague in Tokyo. It is truly fantastic. Well organised, well run, classes to suit students needs and interests, fantastic resources, superb teachers and a fantastic inclusive feeling. From the moment I arrived in Fukuoka the staff at Genki JACS have been so helpful. It is a great place to study and I would strongly recommend to anyone thinking of studying Japanese in Japan.
I love it here and wish this experience would never end!


My 2 Yen
Choice quotes:
The school had everything I was looking for. They took care of providing texts and accommodation.
Pros:
Studying everyday = good, and not something I would do on my own
They take care of housing
Excellent location
Offer planned activities
International students, often fun to hang out with

Great Things About Japan!

Posted on October 02, 2009 | evankirby

日本の「すごい」こと
We asked our students to “share what you think is great about Japan with everyone else!” Here’s what we got:

1. Traffic lights with jingles (Many pedestrian crossings in Japan play music when you can walk. In Fukuoka, there are two songs played at each intersection, so blind people can tell which direction is currently safe to cross. One is toryanse, a traditional Japanese song, while the other is Comin’ Through the Rye, by Robert Burns!)
2. Dessert Viking (In Japan, “Viking” means “all-you-can-eat”. Quite a few restaurants and hotels around the city offer fixed-price dessert buffets, with a wide range of different desserts and usually free drinks. A great way to fatten up!)
3. Super-huge ice cream jugs
4. Trains on time
5. “Sumimasen” (People say “sumimasen” a lot in Japan. Really, a lot.)
6. イケメン (“ikemen”, or handsome Japanese guys)
7. Convenience stores
8. たべ/のみほうだい (“tabe/nomihoudai”, all you can eat and drink. A popular choice for GenkiJACS parties, as everyone pays the same, so billing is easy. Usually for a set duration, for example 2 hours)
9. Ryokan / おんせん (“onsen”, hot springs. “Ryokan” are traditional Japanese inns, a great way to spend a night, and usually not too expensive. Here’s a recommended ryokan in Fukuoka!)
10. Sushi
11. Free tissues (Many companies hand out tissues on the street to advertise themselves.)
12. Yuji-sensei (of course!)
13. Mandarake!!!!!!!!!! (A giant manga and collector shop near GenkiJACS in Fukuoka)
14. Obasans with pink, blue, purple and yellow hair! (“Obasan” means old lady. A lot of older women dye their hair less-conventional colors, for presently unknown reasons)
15. Dialects / Hakata-ben (The local dialect of Japanese is quite a famous one in Japan, and people from other regions often say that it sounds cute.)
16. けいご (“keigo”, or polite Japanese)
17. Crepes (Japan has some really great crepe shops, for some reason.)
18. Engrish
19. Hawks! (the local baseball team!)
20. Nice people
21. Game Centers!! (Round 1, a couple of hundred meters from school, has all the entertainment you could ever want! Batting cages, bowling, automatic table tennis machines, a free-play arcade, karaoke and much much more!)
22. Gundam
23. Purikura (“print club”, instant photo machines designed for group photos)
24. Mika-sensei

GenkiJACS Partnership Deal with JapanesePod101

Posted on October 01, 2009 | evankirby

JapanesePod101

GenkiJACS has signed a deal with acclaimed Japanese study website JapanesePod101, to offer our graduating students a whopping 25% off any subscription!
JapanesePod101 is a podcast based Japanese study website. Every day they release a new podcast, with a host of related study materials, aimed at a certain ability level. Levels offered are Survival, Newbie, Beginner, Lower Intermediate, Intermediate and Upper Intermediate, so they’ve got pretty much everyone covered! Depending on your subscription level, you can also access all previous content, which means hundreds of podcasts at each level!
Each podcast comes with the audio, lesson notes/transcription, and kanji closeup. Premium subscribers also get extra reviews, and access to a learning center.
The podcasts themselves are very polished and well thought out from both an educational and content standpoint, and we don’t hesitate to recommend this site to our graduating students, as an affordable way to continue their studies after they finish with us. And as the podcast information is mailed to you along with study tips each day, it provides a great motivator to keep up!
We give information to all graduating students on how to access this GenkiJACS discount. If you studied with us previously, and would like to take advantage of this deal, mail us and we’ll be happy to pass the info on to you!