Until then, the best way to study Japanese long-term with us is on a working holiday visa.
As of July 2015, the working holiday visa is available for people from these countries to come to Japan:
– New Zealand
– Republic of Korea
– United Kingdom
– Hong Kong
This visa is very easy to apply for, and is also very flexible, as it allows you to study or work freely (or do neither!) while you are in Japan. Generally anyone between 18 and 30 can apply for it, and it allows the bearer to stay in Japan for up to a year in total.
One common way that people use it to study Japanese with us is to study for the first six months, then find a job for the remaining six months. The Japanese embassies in some countries recommend people to apply for a student visa if you plan to study for a long time, but in other countries they recommend the working holiday visa, so it seems to depend on the specific staff member, to some extent. We have had quite a few students from various countries study with us for up to a year on the working holiday visa, so if you are from one of the countries in the list above, it could be a great and easy option for you! For details, see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or your nearest Japanese embassy.