Japanese

Pacific and Asian Studies Conversation Cafe held at the University Of Victoria.

From the beginner through to the intermediate levels, Japanese language studies at the University of Victoria consist of intensive courses. The time spent in class is seven hours per week. Students are also advised to allocate sufficient time for homework. Note: because these are intensive courses, credit for each semester is 3 units rather than the usual 1.5. These courses are PAAS 138, PAAS 238, and PAAS 338. We also offer a number of upper-level courses intended to help advanced students improve their reading, writing and conversation skills; each of these is 1.5 units. Make sure you check the appropriate prerequisites before you register for these.

Guidelines for registering in the Japanese language courses

Students are responsible for registering in a course appropriate for their level. If the instructor finds that the course is not suitable for a student’s ability, he or she may ask the student to leave the class and register in one at the appropriate level. However, the course the student needs to register in may have become full, since the program cannot guarantee a space in any given course. Thus, it is very IMPORTANT for students to read the following information and find their best class.

Please note that a student who has received sufficient instruction to be literate in the language (i.e., at the middle school level in Japan) is considered a “native speaker.”  Students who are not native speakers, but who do have some knowledge of the language should contact the Japanese Language Placement Coordinator to consult. 

Please click the guidelines tab for details. 

Students may now take the placement tests for PAAS 238, PAAS 338 and PAAS 340 online. Please note that this service is provided only for members of the University community (i.e., students) and as such is not accessible to the general public. Students should contact Japanese Language Placement Coordinator; Clearihue C224 for more information.

ARE YOU A:

  1. UVic student who is continuing their Japanese language study at UVic
  2. New student who does not have any prior Japanese language background
  3. New student who has studied Japanese language at High School
  4. New student with college transfer credits
  5. New student with another background (Student who has studied by themselves, who has lived in Japan for a certain length of time, etc.)

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1.  UVic students who are continuing their Japanese language study at UVic

If you've taken Japanese language courses at UVic and received a proceed grade, you should register for the next level course(s). Students without a proceed grade may have to repeat the same course again. For further information on language courses, see the course information.

2.  New students who do not have any prior Japanese language background

Register in PAAS 138 class.

3.  New students who have studied Japanese language at High School

Must take the Placement Test to determine the best class to match with your current level. Contact our Japanese Language Placement Coordinator to take the test.

4. New students with college transfer credits

Must take the Placement Test to determine the best class to match with your current level. Contact our Japanese Language Placement Coordinator to take the test.

5. New students with other backgrounds (Students who have studied by themselves, who have lived in Japan for a certain length of time, etc.)

Must take the Placement Test to determine the best class to match with your current level. Contact our Japanese Language Placement Coordinator to take the test.


1. I have high school Japanese; how do I determine my level with respect to the UVic program?

Contact the Japanese Language Placement Coordinator to consult. Usually a placement test will be recommended.

2. I have lived in Japan for a while; how do I determine my level with respect to the UVic program?

Contact the Japanese Language Placement Coordinator to consult. Usually a placement test will be recommended.

3. At which level will transfer students from other Colleges be placed?

Students with college transfer credit should contact the Japanese Language Placement Coordinator to consult. Usually a placement test will be recommended.

4. How intensive is the course?

2 hours per day and three days per week. Students are expected to devote a sufficient amount of time each day outside of class to review (e.g., reading grammar notes, practicing Kanji, memorizing vocabulary and listening to CDs). Attendance is required.

5. Can a student such as one returning from Japan with good listening and speaking skills without much kanji background, skip classes?

No. Classes are more than grammar input and drill sessions. Tasks and activities are frequently scheduled and the student's participation is very important. Minimum attendance is 90% of total contact hours. Sickness, emergency and family matters can be excused, but students must speak to the instructor either beforehand or immediately afterward. Lack of attendance without a valid reason will affect the final mark, and students who miss more than 10% of the classes may not be permitted to write the final exam (this will result in a grade of "N" for the course).

6. How can I improve or keep up with the listening and speaking aspects of the language training?

It requires systematic effort on the part of the student. Students are advised to listen to CDs for both the textbook and workbook to improve their listening ability. On campus there are two chances for our students to meet and use Japanese. One is the "International Conversation Cafe", which is organized by the English Language Centre. The other one is the "Conversation Cafe" which is organized by Pacific and Asian Studies.

1. Long Term Exchange Programs (one term to one year)

The long term exchange programs for UVic students are handled by International Student Services.

Partner universities in Japan

Long term exchange programs
Length of study Varies by the program
Application deadline The mid- or end of January every year
Eligibility Full-time UVic students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 5.00 (B). Students must have completed at least one year of study at UVic.
Cost UVic tuition fees, cost of student visas, required health exams, air fare and other travel expenses. Accommodation and food expenses may vary depending on the choice of the programs.
Financial support Various scholarships available. Please see the International Student Services website.
What is not covered Airfare, visa application fee (where necessary), and some administrative costs, etc.
Application procedure All applications are handled by International Student Services.  
For details, please see International Student Services.

2. Short term summer programs

Japanese language summer program at Konan University
Location Kobe, Japan
Length of study 6 weeks in June and July every year
Application deadline The mid- or end of February every year (announced in class)
Eligibility UVic students who have completed PAAS 238 successfully or who are taking PAAS 238.
Program fee Approximately ¥300,000 (depending on the exchange rate). This includes tuition, textbooks, and other teaching materials, the cost for orientation sessions, transportation to and from the airport, hotel accommodation on the first day, transportation of baggage, daily transportation to and from Konan University and home stay.  The home stay includes two meals (breakfast and dinner) a day.  
What is not covered Airfare, travel insurance, lunch, and other personal expenses, etc.
Application procedure 1. Contact Ms. Mika Kimura for details.
2. A selection procedure is followed.
Japanese language immersion course (Doshisha Women's College)
Location Kyoto, Japan
Length of study 8 weeks in May to July every year
Application deadline Early January every year (announced in class)
Eligibility UVic female students who have completed PAAS 238 successfully or who are taking PAAS 238.
Program fee Approximately ¥126,000 (depending on the exchange rate). This includes tuition, field trip fee, welcome and farewell parties' fees, and insurance premium.
Accommodation fee Home stay: ¥60,000/term (two meals per day), Student residence: ¥24,800/term (no meals)
What is not covered Airfare, lunch, other personal expenses, etc.
Number of scholarships A limited number of ¥60,000/term scholarships are available to participants from the affiliated institutions. For a home stay student, the total amount will be paid to the host family to cover 2 meals/day and basic living expenses. For a lodger in residence, ¥24,800 will be allotted for the dormitory expense and the remaining ¥35,200 will given to the participant at the beginning of the program.
Application procedure 1. Contact Ms. Mika Kimura for details.
2. A selection procedure is followed.

Japanese Studies Coordinator and Adviser: Dr. Hiroko Noro

Japanese Language Placement Coordinator: Dr. Mamoru Hatakeyama