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Kobe Institute of Computing Special Edition: Become an international students who can thrive in Japanese society

“This is not a place to study the Japanese language,” says Professor Morioka, head of the International Communications Department at the Kobe Institute of Computing.

“We help students to study for certifications, general computer usage in a Japanese-language environment, and Japanese culture and business manners, to help our international students realize their dreams of working or continuing their studies in Japan. Our goal is to help international students acclimatize to Japanese society, and to gain the communication skills they’ll need to have positive relationships with Japanese people.”

The school is located a 10 minute walk from Sannomiya Station, near the quiet Kitano Ijinkan (Former Foreign Settlement)

With a variety of specialized subjects like games and programing, the International Communications Department at the Kobe Institute of Computing was established two years ago in 2020. Due to a lack of sufficient Japanese language ability, there was an increase in the number of international students who weren’t able to adapt to Japanese society. On the other hand, more international students were coming to Japan to study CG or programming as the popularity of anime, IT, and games grows in other countries. The department was created for this sort of student, who wouldn’t be able to keep up with classes conducted 100% in Japanese with their studies in Japanese language school alone.

You can see the sense of trust between students and teachers in this friendly environment

“Still, Japanese language ability is also necessary for students’ post-graduation goals, so we have them demonstrate their ability in their Japanese classes, and aim to get N2 on the JLPT. In their other classes, students have a lot of practical work and presentations, and gain a lot of the practical skills they’ll need for continuing their education or finding work. We also offer a class to help students get certified in the JapanBasic test, which covers Japanese business manners, so they can include it on their resumes.”

Teachers here are so concerned about practical learning because of their desire to help students reach their goals and realize their dreams. In the International Communication Department, students are asked in detail about their goals and aims for entering the school during entrance exams, and many of them expressed a desire to work in Japan after graduation. In order to achieve this, they’ll need more than just Japanese study alone – it’ll take an understanding of Japanese society and manners, and some polishing of specialized skills, too.

It’s an bright, open space with a high ceiling

“The first difficulty the first year students run into is time. It’s especially hard for them to follow deadlines. Each of their home countries has its own way of thinking about timeliness, but in Japan, being on time is much more important than elsewhere. If they don’t make a habit of managing their time well while they’re in school, they’ll be stressed as students, and it may become difficult for them to get by in Japanese society.

“In fact, there’s a phrase used within the International Communication Department: “3 Promises.” Students are taught to be on time, to follow rules, and their attendance rate is almost 100%. There are almost no tardies, either.”

To help support these students in their search for employment, the Kobe Institute of Computing’s International Communication Department offers international students extra support in writing their resumes and preparing for job interviews.

Open campus at the 3DCG course, which is also popular with international students

Classes in the International Communication Department should ordinarily be completed in two years, but depending on students’ Japanese ability, they may finish in one year, and even move on to another department in the school. Popular departments among international students include the IT, anime, and gaming departments. While about 10% of the school’s total student body is comprised of international students, depending on the year, international students may account for nearly 30% of the Anime Department. The campus includes a recording studio, hall, and sound equipment – an environment that’s equipped to help students reach towards their dreams.

When we visited, the thing that left the greatest impression was the closeness between students and teachers. Some of the students would look to the teachers more than their parents for support, and some teachers offered students support even on the weekends – it was clear that they both had great trust in one another.

Thank you to the people of Kobe Institute of Computing for your time!

On the Kobe Study Abroad website, you can also find interviews with other international students and school information, too. Please take a look!