February 21, 2020 at 8:48 am #6327
I’ve been researching Universities in the Tokyo area for a potential Fall 2020 semester start. I’ve been looking for various degrees, but definitely want to improve my Japanese Language ability. So, I’m considering Japanese Language Schools as an alternative to Universities as long as I can get a student visa anyway. I’m looking for a 1-year Japanese Language program option. I do use a motorized wheelchair for mobility and require assistance for many things, so ideally the campus will be accessible and have some disability assistance.
I’m looking for any information on Language Schools or Universities in the Tokyo area that anyone may have attended or can recommend. Although as for the location, I’m open to other areas, so long as government support for my disability may be available. If you’re unaware of the campus wheelchair accessibility but recommend it for its academic excellence, I’d like to hear about that as well so I can inquire with them about accessibility myself.
I’m continuing to look on my own, but any first-hand information is greatly appreciated. I hope to be in Japan by end of year, in school or working, and experience the day to day life there myself.
Thank you in advance,
February 24, 2020 at 10:19 am #6334
February 24, 2020 at 11:36 am #6335
I am open to consider other areas, Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe areas were very nice when I visited. I’m not opposed to going there or other areas, disability support is really my most concerning issue when selecting a specific place. :)
February 26, 2020 at 8:08 am #6345
I studied at Arc Academy Osaka for 9 months. It was a very nice experience. The teachers, in general, were quite nice (I’d say around 70% were good, 20% were ok and 10% were pretty bad), though the methodology was quite standard. Grammar, kanji, reading, listening, conversation and pronunciation. I think that most academies work the same in Japan, though. Personally, from third grade on I found that kanji study took a lot of time and was a bit overwhelming if you wanted to have time for other activities during the week, which is totally recommended to practice your Japanese. We learned 8 new kanji per day and we had weekly exams on how to read them and how to write them. However, if your main goal during the year is learning Japanese, then it’s the way to go (plus the extra conversation practice that you’ll have to find outside the school). Classes were in the afternoon for lower levels and in the morning for upper levels, though it may have changed.
As for accessibility it was pretty good. They have a ramp at the entrance (though it leads to automatic doors and sometimes I had to wait for someone to come in or out to be sure that they’d open). The ramp was quite steep, but I think that on an electric chair it should be safe.
Inside it’s a bit narrow, but feasible I’d say. My chair is quite narrow and short, but I think that a normal sized wheelchair should be ok too. Actually, they were really nice and put me on the biggest classroom all the time, so they can make this kind of arrangement even if usually each group changes classrooms everyday. I’m sure that they’d rearrange the tables too, if needed be. There was a step (less than 10cm) just after the reception too and they put a very small ramp so that it’d be easier to climb. Anyway, they were very kind, so I’m sure they’d be happy to hear from you.
As for accessibility in the surrounding area it’s very good. There’s train and subway both accessible, though the elevator entrance for the subway is a bit far away (around 600m I’d say). There are also accessible combini and restaurants nearby, so it’s a pretty convenient location. Personally, I think that Osaka is a nice place to live and a bit cheaper than Tokyo. When I have the chance, I’ll definitely go back!
Regarding helpers, Osaka city definitely offers helpers for disabled people, though, as I didn’t have the “shogaisha techou”, I was not entitled to any. Actually, I volunteered as an English teacher in an association that managed the helper service for Suminoe Ward. I’d definitely recommend doing the paperwork to get the “techou”. With the student visa you’re entitled to, so it’s just a matter of time. I was a bit at a loss when I got there and once I finally got to know how to do it more or less, I decided not to do it as I’d have gotten the certificate just a month or two before going back.
Anyway, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Here’s the link to the school’s site:
February 26, 2020 at 8:57 am #6346
Thank you for the info Joan!
Justin, if that works for you there is a Independent Living Center called Muchu (https://www.npo-muchu.com/) in Osaka that you should definitely get in touch with. They can provide helpers (or direct you to the closest place based on where you live) and I think they have a strong interest in international work. (One of their founders studied in the States recently so would totally understand the challenges of moving abroad with a disability.)
February 26, 2020 at 10:07 am #6347
Thank you Joan for the information, very useful and the price seems more reasonable then some of the places I’ve found. I’ll definitely be considering Arc, they have multiple locations too so having options with them is good to see. I also saw that they use a textbook I’m familiar with from my lessons with a Japanese tutor, so win-win there. :)
Also thanks Accessible Japan for the info on Independent Living Center: Muchu, that will be an excellent starting point if I do pursue study in the Osaka area.
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