Japanese Language and Culture Courses (NEST) for Exchange Students

Japanese lesson

Toyo University offers a suite of intensive Japanese language and culture courses every semester. The goal of the courses is to help exchange students increase their Japanese proficiency to a level that allows them to pursue their academic interests and enjoy campus life to the fullest.
This is the "NEST" (Nihongo for Exchange Students at Toyo) program. Students who have not passed level 1 (N1) or level 2 (N2) of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), are recommended to take NEST.

Through active participation in NEST, students can expect to be able to:

  1. Meet the needs of daily life by communicating exclusively in Japanese;
  2. Gather, convey, and discuss information about recent events and social issues in Japanese;
  3. Gather, convey, and discuss information related to their academic disciplines in Japanese, using academic vocabulary specific to their fields.

Students are placed in one of four levels of instruction based on the results of a Japanese placement test.

Level standards, numbers of vocabulary and grammatical items

2. Course Schedule

Most of the NEST courses are taught during period 1 (9:00-10:30), 2 (10:40-12:10) and 3 (13:00-14:30). Afternoons are left open for students to enroll in discipline-specific courses that best match their individual interests.

3. Course Names and Contents

Students are required to enroll in courses at the beginning of each semester. The names of NEST courses are provided below. Instruction materials and learning activities vary according to level.


Students who enroll in NEST can choose from the following courses:
- Integrated Japanese (required)

- Japanese Culture and Society or Introduction to Japanology (required)

- At least one course from Japanese Reading and Composition, Japanese Listening Comprehension, Kanji Literacy and Project Work.


Integrated Japanese (4 credits)

Students increase their overall communicative ability while learning new expressions through activities that involve the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Japanese Reading and Composition (1 credit)

Students study Japanese expressions and compositional structures through intensive reading and writing. In addition to activities which build on previously learned expressions, students move through progressively more challenging materials.

Japanese Listening Comprehension (1 credit)

While intensively working to improve listening comprehension, students study oral expressions used in various daily activities.

Kanji Literacy (1 credit)

Students intensively study kanji (Chinese characters), which are indispensable to understanding the Japanese language. Students systematically study and review kanji that are introduced in the other language courses.

Project Work (1 credit)

Students gather information on topics of their choice through library research and field surveys. They then analyze the information and present it as written essays and oral presentations. While students may need to learn a limited number of new expressions, they primarily focus on creatively using expressions they have already studied.

Japanese Culture and Society (2 credits) - For J1 and J2 (beginner) students

Students study various aspects of Japanese life and society through Japanese culture.

Introduction to Japanology (2 credits) - J3 and J4 (advanced) students

Students learn and think about Japanese language, cultures and society.


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