EF Gap Year or Semester in Japan
97% Rating
(6 Reviews)

EF Gap Year or Semester in Japan

Travel to Tokyo for a semester or year and learn Japanese in in Japan's buzzing capital city. Experience the soaring skyline and fast-paced culture while you practice your Japanese with locals in the trendy shops and sushi bars of the Shibuya District.

Join students from around the world on the ultimate study abroad experience. Achieve fluency, see the world, expand your international network - and launch your global future. Study for 6, 9 or 11 months and start in April, June, September or January. College credit and internship opportunities ensure you're always adding to your resume during the adventure of a lifetime.

You can globalize your future and boost your international career by preparing for the JLPT Exam with a Japanese Language Diploma from EF.

Asia » Japan » Tokyo
Asia » Japan
Program Tags
Hands-On Learning
Language Immersion
Study Abroad
Volunteer Abroad
6-12 Months
1 Year+
Host Family
Primary Language
Age Max
Starting Price
Price Details
Host family accommodations and a meal plan are included in the course price. Contact the Admissions Team for a personalized price quote.

Questions & Answers

I would recommend being able to at least know a few key phrases and be able to read hiragana and katakana. (Though if you're studying with EF, you don't need any prior knowledge of the language.)

Program Reviews

  • Housing
  • Support
  • Fun
  • Value
  • Safety

Program Reviews (6)

Default avatar
20 years old

Abroad with EF


The time in which I did my program, I was between going from high school to college, and due to wanting to attend a university in Japan, I decided to do a study abroad program in order to better prepare myself, and EF provided a great opportunity. Since I was over 18 at the time I was applying for programs, and had a few days in the year that I had to work around, EF was the perfect fit. It allowed me to set my own schedule and work around my own program. Living in Tokyo provided a great opportunity for independence, exploration, and simply felt ecstatic. Already being from a large city (San Francisco, USA), it simply couldn't compare to the rush and feel of Tokyo.

My host family in which I stayed was a little bit outside of Toyko, but the family was extremely accommodating and nice. Some nights we would even speak at the table for hours on end, for the sole purpose of helping my get acclimated to Japanese and to enjoy each other's company. They were also very understanding, and allowing me the freedom to go come and go at my leisure was very helpful in terms of a social life.

One of the most enjoyable parts of the school life was just being able to meet new people, most of which were people who came from places halfway across the world. It's super easy to connect with others and make friends as well, if you find yourself without a way to break the ice, just start with "Where are you from?" and go from there. While you are learning Japanese at the school, he most frequently spoken language between students outside of class is English—at least among the beginner students.

Overal, I found the experience to be something that was a necessary and beneficial part to my career and it helped my grow as an individual and gain a sense of independence.

How can this program be improved?

I think that if anything, the credit system could be done away with. It makes it a little strange to need to buy "credits" to participate in EF hosted events, when an amount in yen (in the case of Japan) is sufficient and doesn't give a weird "money making" feeling. Perhaps an addition to this would be listing what the EF event incudes and what the monetary value of those things are.

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29 years old
Orange County, California, USA

Once in a lifetime experience


My EF experience has been nothing but amazing. Even before I came to Tokyo all my questions and concerns were taken care of immediately. EF is a very well put together program. The location is great, and the residence set ups are very convenient. The friends that I've made here say that home stay host families are great too! As well as very accommodating. The school itself is an amazing experience. The teachers are super friendly, fun, and each have a unique way of teaching. It really feels like they enjoy teaching. Which makes asking questions much easier. As they are more than willing to answer anything, and repeat if necessary. I definitely had some fears coming here, but now I'm stress free and having the time of my life. The only thing I fear is leaving! In short, I'm truly greatful for everything EF has done for me. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I hope to do it again, one day!

How can this program be improved?

I honestly don't have any issues, nor ideas for how it can be improved.

Default avatar
19 years old

EF Tokyo


Living in Tokyo has been an eye-opening experience for me, as I've learned about myself and a different culture separate than mine. Being that this is the first time I have truly been on my own, I was incredibly nervous arriving in Japan, but the EF Tokyo staff and students were very supportive and helpful. I always knew that if I needed help I could go to someone and ask. Now that I have properly studied Japanese in a classroom, instead of at home online, I now know that I want to minor in it. This program has helped me understand myself and what I want to do in many ways, and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in Japanese culture and learning the language.

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20 years old
Savannah College of Art & Design

I miss Japan already!


I studied abroad for two months with EF and had the most incredible experience! I choose to stay with a homestay family and they were the most lovely people. They really made me feel welcome, especially during my fist week when I was still very nervous. But all of the Japanese ambassadors at the dorms are so kind and helpful so you can't go wrong with whatever you pick! Going abroad is something I never thought I would be able to do, and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the whole world! I did things I never thought I would be able to do. I became a new person, as cheesy as that sounds. I was really able to break out of my shell. The language program is very comprehensive, and using the language on an everyday basis really improved my language skills. All of the people I met were so wonderful, especially my roommate! You will make so many great relationships with people from all over the world! And don't worry, there's plenty of time to explore on your own. I got to see so many parts of Japan; from Shinjuku to Kyoto! There is never a dull moment, but if you need to take time and just relax, then don't fret, because weekends are perfect for cooling down! I did so many things I never dreamed I would be able to do, and I am so happy I got to have such a wonderful experience! I highly recommend EF!

How can this program be improved?

If they could have updated the following week's schedule BEFORE midnight on Sundays that would really have helped me catch a few more Z's!

24 years old
Saginaw Valley State University

Japan in 2 Weeks


I attended the EF general program in Japan for two weeks and had an amazing experience. The local people were so friendly and helpful, the EF staff were wonderful, and my accommodations were perfect for me. The classes were taught entirely in Japanese, which was a bit of a surprise for me. However, after a day or two of adjusting to that, I learned so much! The teachers were helpful and made sure that I understood the material.
I definitely hope to go again. The experience itself made it all worth it.

How can this program be improved?

The program had great excursion options and a variety of special interest classes. I can't think of much I would change.

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21 years old
Bristol Bay, Alaska

Tokyo Dreamin'


A flexible and well rounded experience for anyone looking to immerse themselves in an exciting new culture. EF Tokyo is an extraordinary experience for any person looking to better themselves through learning another language. With a team of employees who really care, and are invested in every single student who walks through that door. You will feel motivated and encouraged to do your best, upon your first step into your first day there. And even though the team does stress a more traditional and serious learning environment, flexibility is a truly abundant resource. They are there to help you learn and will accommodate if you are having troubles, or speed you along forward if you excel. In short, you are not a number to EF, you are an opportunity to best represent everything they stand for and you are made very aware of that. Learners of all kinds can feel welcome here, even if you are the kind of person who would rather learn on your own in the privacy of your own home, you will feel an almost immediate comfortability with your instructors and find your flow in the city easily. (If this sounds like a dream, then you should pinch yourself.) Because where this is a top-notch language center, it was also an outstanding experience. With the members of the team, both on a person to person basis and on an administrative level, you are encouraged to live your time there to the fullest and find your place in the pulse of the city. With the many, wide and varied activities that are offered to students, you become more connected to the land and people day after day, growing ever more fond of your experience.

How can this program be improved?

If I were forced to change one thing about the program I think I would say, it would be nice if they had a slightly more comprehensive introduction into the transportation system. I often times had to figure out my way around, and doing that as a non-native adopter of the Japanese language, that was not always easy.

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