Wow, Is this a sort of viral marketing? Sounds like an online advertisement via forum posting.
As a non-spammer, I for one appreciate the recommendations (and any others that forum posters want to make). I've been wanting to do an immersion program in Japan for a long time, but hadn't done the deep research. Programs like Middlebury are out of my reach economically, but the prices listed on on the genkijcas site don't look bad at all considering that some include accommodations for extended periods (plus, you get to spend your off-time hanging out in Japan). Bookmarking, thank you!
Edited: 2017-03-12, 9:59 am
Yamasa are another language school that offer a similar small group course setup with short minimum duration, and accommodation provided -- it's been some years since I was there and that wasn't the course I was in, but the people who were seemed to like it. So that might be worth comparing. (They're not in Tokyo though; but Okazaki's a cheaper place to live and I liked it...)
if you're looking for an immersive vacation, why not just go on vacation?
classes seem to be kinda missing the point...
and boring lol.
i went snowboarding in hokkaido for 10 days this winter, had a blast.
Yes. Things I've gotten out of long and short stays at language schools:
* the time and space to concentrate just on learning Japanese
* interaction with a group of people who are there basically for the same thing
* the opportunity to just live somewhere (going to local supermarkets, etc) rather than touristing through it
* a legal reason to be in the country (student visa, for longer than 3 month stays)
* the psychological nudge from having to turn up every day to actually work on my Japanese rather than putting it off
* ditto, from having paid actual money to be there
* an environment where you're regularly expected to speak Japanese
* a structured course of learning
As with private lessons, I think that you get the most out of them if you figure out in advance what you want to get out of the experience.
The prospect of having reasonably priced accommodations for a month or more is especially attractive. If I can save up enough money, I have time off from teaching in the summers, and my next sabbatical is a couple of years away.
My time off teaching is generally devoted to research but I'm using Japanese in my research more and more, so it's a business investment, kind of...
As anyone who has ever asked me will know, I will shill for Yamasa on command. I've gone twice, once for 2 weeks, and once for 3 months, and both times I got a lot out of it. The two-week trip was just enough to get my Japanese jump-started again, and the 3-month trip got me comfortable with speaking/writing.
Okazaki isn't the most happenin' town in Aichi Prefecture, but it's a quiet-ish place to study that's not too expensive. Also, the staff and at Yamasa will do just about anything to make sure your stay is reasonably pleasant. (And the pricing wasn't bad, either.)
Crap, now I want to go back for a bit. I had fun studying there... I also had fun hanging out there, too.
You might try to find a cheap ryokan or minshuku where you can just study and then practice conversation during meals. In small places everybody eats in the same room, so you can try talking to some other guests (hopefully Japanese ones!). However they sometimes stagger the serving times.