What kind of school is WAHAHA?
WAHAHA is a relatively small school that offers short term study abroad programs. The founding purpose of our school is to let every student who comes to Fukuoka to be able to learn Japanese in a simple, but warm and productive environment by giving lessons with small numbers of students. There is no age limit and we design and adjust study contents according to students’ needs.
Does every teacher at WAHAHA possess teaching license for Japanese?
Yes, not only every teacher has a license for teaching Japanese, some also speak English and therefore when needed, English explanation may be provided. For Taiwanese students, you may ask the Taiwanese staff for help.
How does WAHAHA make students feel less nervous about studying abroad?
With little confidence in their Japanese ability, applicants tend to put the fact whether a English and Chinese speaking staff exists when choosing their schools. WAHAHA does have staff can assist you in English, so there is no need to worry about any problems in communication. As a result, there are more and more applicants from around the world. Currently, there are several students enrolling in our two to three month program and other than that, we receive more and more inquiries about working holidays in Japan. As of now, WAHAHA is the only school in Fukuoka that has a staff who can correspond in Chinese, English, and Korean.
What nations are the students at WAHAHA from?
Anyone who holds a sight-seeing visa is able to become a student at WAHAHA. Students at WAHAHA are from various of countries in the world. For example: Taiwan, Korea, and Indonesia in Asia; the US, and Canada in North America; the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Turkey, Belgium in Europe; Australia and New Zealand in Oceania.
About remittance, do we have to pay the full amount in once or can we make down-payment first and pay the rest of the amount after we arrive to school?
Basically, school allows both in the method of remittance (as for separate payments, we ask it to be done only in two payments - 10% down-payment and 90% for the remaining). However banks charge handling fees (4000 yen and plus another 3000 yen IF it has to go through a third-party bank for every remittance). Therefore, we ask the students to take into consideration when paying due to expensive bank handling fees.
How far in advance do we have to choose and pay for our curriculum and accommodation? If there are any changes, will the school refund?
Basically, remittance is asked to be done two weeks before the classes start. For curriculum, students can choose their main classes before-hand and add additional classes if they wish to after arriving to school. For accommodation, as we need to make arrangements, we recommend you to make your decision and reservation before-hand. There had been cases where students need to change or make sudden reservations. In situations like that, school will do its best to cooperate. However, please note that the result will depend on real-estate circumstances. Please inform us two weeks in advance and/or as soon as you know that you have to change your itinerary in order to avoid cancellation fees. If you have to cancel after your payments, the school will claim 10% of your payment, collect the remittance handling fee and then refund the remaining amount to you. (Please feel free to consult with our staffs through e-mails if you are making any changes and/or cancellation).
Other than the official curriculum, are there classes you can recommend for personal advancement?
Other than fundamental Japanese classes, students can add additional classes like Japanese Proficiency Test Class or Business Japanese Class depend on students needs. Students can also add one-on-one lessons if they wish to improve their oral communication skills. (Please feel free to consult with a staff).
This will be the first time for me to join a Japanese study program. What is the living cost like in Japan?
Please bring cash and at least a credit card with you (we do not recommend traveler’s check as they are not widely accepted in Japan). Please note that the Japanese customs allows travelers to bring in cash less than 10,000 US dollars as duty-free. On average, personal expenses are about 1,000 to 1,500 yen per day (a bottle of drink is about 150 yen; a lunch box is about 500 yen; a one-way bus/train fee is from 220 yen). Depend on how long you are planning to stay in Japan, basically self-cooking is most economical.
This is my first time to join a study abroad program. What study supplies do I need to bring with me?
An electronic dictionary would be helpful. You can also purchase one here. Textbooks will be ordered and given to students after their assessment test on the first day to match students’ levels. It would be a good idea for students to pre-study/review some basic Japanese before coming. For beginners, you can try to memorize and learn how to write Hiragana and Katakana before you come.
Will school lend us bicycles and cell phones and pick us up at the airport?
There are a few bicycles and cell phones available. The rent is 250 yen per week for each. For cell phones, you will have to buy pre-paid cards. Each card is 3000 yen and the card will expire in two months. A staff can pick you up at the airport with a charge of 3000 yen. However, transportation is convenient in Fukuoka, so sometimes going by yourself might be cheaper. School will provide a detailed map and you can choose either to take a taxi (around 2500 yen) or public transportation and meet the school staff at the accommodation. (If you have further questions, please feel free to ask a staff).
Can school prepare visa and reserve air-tickets for us?
Please check “Students applying for a Temporary VISA” page. As for air-tickets, it might be easier to just order one on your own through Internet websites, so you can plan your dates. If needed, school can provide a few travel agency websites.
How long will it take to commute from our accommodation to the school? Is there a homestay option?
We recommend students to stay in single rooms because they are more convenient. There are various options students can choose from, e.g. 10 minutes walk from your accommodation to the school; 10 minutes by bicycle. Currently students are assigned to places within 15-20 minute by subway (30 minutes by bicycles). Females and males are separated. There is no bathroom unit in each room, but there is a shared bathroom. There is a homestay option. However, commute time is about 40-50 minutes. So, if you just want to get a feel of homestay, you can also choose the weekend homestay experience where you just stay with a family for two days on the weekend.
For people with working visa, what procedures do we have to make after entering Japan?
Please go to the ward office to apply for an alien registration card and join the Japanese National Health Insurance. You can only open a bank account and get a cell phone after you receive your alien registration card.
I have a working holiday visa, can I send a surface/air mail to my accommodation before I arrive?
Because people constantly move in and out from the accommodation, we recommend students not to send anything before they arrive to avoid missing packages and other troubles.
Can we stay at the accommodations that are arranged by school even after our study program?
Current students have the priority to stay at accommodation arranged by the school. However, school can provide information and help you look for other accommodation.
I have a working holiday visa. Can I open a bank account and purchase a cell phone?
Please go to the ward office to apply for an alien registration card BEFORE you open a bank account and get a cell phone. Most of the suppliers ask people to sign a two year contract, therefore, we suggest students to get a pre-paid type cell phone. (You can rent one from school).
Is the cost of medical care expensive in Japan?
When you go to the ward office to apply for your alien registration card, you can join the National Health Insurance and ask questions about medical care. Insurance fee differs depend on living area, but basically they are around 2000 yen per month. Medical expenses will be very high if you don’t have insurance. You can also keep your receipts and get refunds when you go back to your country (it depends on your country though), but procedures are troublesome, so if you do not plan to go back to your country soon, enrolling in the Japanese National Health Insurance might be the best option.
What’s the average hourly rate for part time jobs in Fukuoka?
Common jobs are catering and services and the average hourly rate is around 680~750 yen.