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What kind of school is WAHAHA?
WAHAHA is a small school that offers short-term study abroad programs. The founding purpose of our school is to give each and every student who has chosen to study in Fukuoka the chance to learn Japanese in a simple yet warm and productive environment by giving lessons in extremely small class sizes. There is no age limit and we design and adjust the curriculum based on individual students’ needs.
Are WAHAHA teachers licensed to teach Japanese?
Yes. Not only are all of our teachers licensed to teach Japanese as a foreign language, some also speak English and are therefore able to provide explanations in English (only when needed).
How does WAHAHA make students feel less nervous about studying abroad?
With little confidence in their Japanese ability, for many applicants it is important to choose a school with staff that speaks their native language. WAHAHA staff members are available to assist you in English, Korean or Spanish, so you can rest assured that you will be able to communicate any problems which may arise. Staff and teachers alike are available to assist you with any issues you may have while in Fukuoka, not just with your classes. As a small school with a family-like atmosphere, you are more than just a number or name on a roster.
What countries are represented among WAHAHA students?
Anyone with a valid visa to enter Japan (including tourist visas) or who is eligible for the visa waiver program can enrol to study at WAHAHA. WAHAHA has welcomed students from all over 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; and Argentina, Peru and Brazil in South America.
When is tuition payment due?
Payment is due in full two weeks prior to the start of your course.
How far in advance do we have to choose and pay for our curriculum and accommodation? If there are any changes, will the school provide a refund?
Course fees are due two weeks prior to the start of your course. Students can choose their main classes beforehand and add additional classes if they wish upon their arrival at the school. For accommodations we recommend you make your decision and reservation beforehand as we need to make the appropriate arrangements. We understand that students may under certain circumstances have to make last-minute reservations or changes to their reservations. The school will do its best to accommodate in such situations. However, please note that whether or not we are able to accommodate last-minute changes is dependent on availability. 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 you have paid for your course and/or housing, the school will keep 10% of your payment as well as the remittance handling fee and then refund the remaining amount to you. (Please feel free to consult our staff via e-mail if you wish to make any changes and/or cancellations).
Other than the official curriculum, are there classes you can recommend for personal enrichment?
Other than the basic Japanese classes, students can add additional classes like Japanese Proficiency Test prep or Business Japanese depending on their needs. Students can also add one-on-one lessons if they wish to improve their oral communication skills. (Please feel free to consult our staff for more information!)
This will be my first time studying abroad in Japan. What is the cost of living like in Japan?
We recommend bringing cash and at least one credit card with you (we do not recommend traveler’s checks as they are not widely accepted in Japan). Please note that the Japanese customs allows travelers to bring up to 10,000 US dollars worth in cash duty-free. On average, personal expenses are about 1,000 to 1,500 yen per day (a bottled drink is about 150 yen; a lunch box is about 500 yen; a one-way bus/train fare starts at 220 yen). Depending on how long you are planning to stay in Japan, cooking at home can save you some money.
This will be my first time studying abroad in Japan. 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.
Does the school have bicycles and cell phones for rent as well as airport pick-up service?
There are a few bicycles and cell phones available for rent. The rent is 500 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 member can pick you up at the airport for a 3000 yen fee. 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 our staff).
Can the school prepare my visa and reserve plane tickets for me?
For visa information, please refer to our “Students applying for a Temporary VISA” page. As for plane tickets, it will likely be easiest for you to reserve them on your own online so you can plan your own dates. If needed, the school can recommend a few travel agency websites.
How long will it take to commute from my accommodations to the school? Is there a homestay option?
Private apartments are recommended if a short commute time is important to you. There are various options students can choose from, e.g. apartments within a 10-minutes walk to the school or within a 10-minute bicycle ride. We have a variety of accommodation options within a 15 to 20-minute subway ride (30 minutes by bicycle). We have student residence (dorm) options separated by gender. There is also a homestay option. However, the commute time from homestays may be about 40-50 minutes. So if you just want to get the feel of a homestay, you can also choose the weekend homestay experience where you just stay with a family for two days on the weekend.
For those entering Japan on a working visa, what paperwork must be completed upon arrival?
Those with a working visa will need to go to the ward office to apply for an alien registration card and sign up for 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 surface/air mail to my accommodations before I arrive?
Because people are constantly moving in and out of the accommodations, we do not recommend that students send anything before they arrive to avoid missing packages and similar problems.
Can we stay at the accommodations arranged by the school even after our study program is over?
Current students are given priority for any accommodations arranged by the school. However, the school can provide information and help you look for alternate accommodations once your program has ended.
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 cell phone companies require you to sign a long-term contract. If you cannot find a provider with a short enough contract term, we suggest getting a pre-paid type cell phone. (You can also rent one from the 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 costs vary depending on where you live, but they typically average 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 (if you are covered for care received overseas), but seeing as this paperwork can be troublesome, 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 700~900 yen.