Ok, this post is going to be quite lengthy, and theres lots of information only your school can give you. However, I will try my best to provide you with a clear understanding of my experience in applying to attend KCP Japanese Language School. I haven’t seen any helpful videos or info on the internet so I hope my readers find this helpful. If you have any questions let me know!
- First things first, check with your home college or institution and see if they are an affiliate school with KCP! Click here! This will make transferring credit easier in the future, and in most cases you can use your financial aid to attend! This is a huge financial relief to many students and their families, so be sure to check. Even if your school isn’t an affiliate, present the KCP website to the Study Abroad Coordinator at your college and ask if its possible to attend and receive credit.
- Make sure you have a passport! This can take quite some time to receive and you can’t leave the U.S. and enter other countries until you have this important piece of identification. If you live in the U.S. Click here for info on the passport application process and fees.
- Once you have things squared away with your home institution and they give you the go ahead to apply, save money! You’ll need a $350 application fee to apply, and then if you are accepted a $250 visa processing fee to receive a student visa (only if you’re attending for longer than 90 days). You’ll also need to prepare a 500 word essay about WHY you want to attend the program at KCP, expectations of the program, personal and professional goals to include with your initial application.
- As I’m writing this, the 2015-2017 Application is online! So if you want to apply for the Academic Year for 2015, A Semester in 2015 or the Summer 2015 Click Here! Read the instructions carefully, budget carefully! If you can use student loans, scholarships or want to apply for a GILMAN SCHOLARSHIP (Check out my blog post about that here), take all of that into account.
So, were you accepted? GREAT! Now the hard part of your application process begins. Depending on your marital status, finances, etc. The documents required of you will vary. Here is a list of required documents for your visa application:
- A Passport
- If you are married you will need an official marriage license.
- A High School Diploma
- Most recent official college transcript
- Your Direct Subsidized and/or Subsidized loan disclosure statements
- An official letter on your college’s letterhead, signed by a financial aid advisor, stating the amount of aid you are expected to receive from the school during your time abroad.
- Passport sized photos (I think I went to my local drugstore and got 10 printed)
- A bank letter on official letterhead from a bank official stating the amount of money in your accounts, including their business card. With the date included on the letter.
- All required forms need to be signed with KCP. Financial supporter form, etc.
- Completed Visa Packet
- Completed Dorm/Meal Plan Agreements
(Note: You must be able to show you have $15,000 in all accounts combined in order to be issued a long term student visa. You may need to verify that you have a financial supporter while you’re abroad. Parents, Partner, Wife, Husband, etc.)
KCP may request additional documentation. Tanaka-san will help you every step of the way. Thats the great thing about KCP! English support! You will scan required documents for him to look over before you send the physical copies through the mail. Getting a visa takes from three-six months. Turn in your paperwork as EARLY AS POSSIBLE! You don’t want to prevent yourself from entering Japan in time for your program. Keep in regular e-mail contact with KCP to check up on your application status. For instance they received my application packet in Japan May 26th, and as of August 4 (at the time I’m writing this post) I still haven’t received word from them about my visa. I don’t leave till October, so this gives me plenty of time to travel to my nearest Japanese consulate once I receive my visa paperwork back through the mail. For information on a visa through KCP click here.
To find out where your nearest Japanese Consulate is, visit this website by clicking here.
After you have all of your ducks in a row (ie. lots of paperwork filed, scanned, and sent) your next steps are to purchase your plane ticket and prepare for incidentals. For more info on how to apply to attend KCP and their FAQ, click here.
(Disclaimer: This post does not reflect the views or personnel of the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship committee or website. This post does not reflect the views or personnel of the KCP International Language School Faculty or website. All views are my own opinions and experiences.)
Thanks for reading! Start planning, and study hard!