Language of Instruction and Academic Year in Japan
Few can beat the Japanese in nationalistic enthusiasm. It is instructive to learn and thus some Japanese leaders and opinion-makers have been advocating that English should be adopted as a second official language. Academically, it is in principle possible to go through the whole education system in Japanese, including higher level. But, in the recent years, there is an increase in English medium instruction in the universities. The Japanese are accepting the realistic view that Japan's future as a leading industrial nation will critically hinge on its populace mastering the English language.
As in Japan, the children in these East Asian countries spend somewhere from six to ten years in secondary schools and universities studying the English language.
Teaching English has become a million-dollar industry in Japan. The pressure is getting more intense as young professionals understand the value of the Internet in advancing their skills towards their work. There is extremely high connection between Internet usage and the mastery of English language.
Presently, Japanese government is aiming for internationalisation of universities to encourage foreign students to take higher education in Japan. The Japanese government is trying to attract international students by employing new policies and lucrative projects.
The academic year of schools and universities in Japan starts in April and ends in the month of March month of the following year. The academic year consists of either two semesters or three trimesters. The academic year is distributed with three vacations. One week long break in winter and spring and six weeks long break in summer.
Almost all elementary, secondary and high schools follow trimester pattern. The academic year for bachelor’s degree also starts in April. The three year long course leads to bachelor’s degree. Engineering degree takes completion of 4- years program. Other 6- years programs lead to the professional degrees.
| Grades/ Degree|| Start of Session||Course Duration |
| Elementary school|| April|| 6 years|
| Secondary school|| April||3 years|
| High school|| April|| 3 years|
| Bachelors degree|| April|| 3/4 years|
| Post Graduate degree|| April|| 2 years|
| Professional degree|| April|| 5/6 years|
Some colleges/Universities may also enrol students in month of semester, so as to adjust those who are coming from other semester systems.
In case of semester pattern, first semester starts from April lasts till July, and thereafter summer vacations. Second semester starts at September and ends in March including winter and spring vacation. Check out the following:
| 1st (Spring) Semester|| April- August|
| Summer Vacation|| August – September|
| 2nd (fall) semester|| September–February|
| Winter Vacation|| December – January |
| Spring Vacation|| February – March|
| 1st Trimester||April – July |
| Summer vacation|| July – August|
| 2nd Trimester|| September – December |
| Winter Vacation|| December – January|
| 3rd Trimester|| January – March|
| Spring Vacation|| March and April |