Is this a sound plan? (student visa)

Hi everyone,

My question seems rather complex so I'm hoping someone with some experience can advise me. I have asked my question to the schools I am applying to directly, but for some reason, they tend to go dark after I ask them 1f914.svg...

It may be easier to answer my question if you first know my goals. My plan is to stay in Japan for at least a year (fall 2023 to summer 2024), but possibly / probably longer. I will be applying to the MEXT program in a few months (for schools that would start in April 2024), and if that works out then I definitely would be staying longer, however I may still try to stay longer regardless.

Anyway, the first thing I'm doing is to apply to a non-degree japanese language program at a university. I will be starting in fall 2023--that much is certain. However, my question is: do I apply for one semester or for a full year? Because the MEXT is anything but certain, I cannot plan around it and I would not want to simply stay for one semester and then be forced to leave. On the other hand, if I *do* get it then I can only study for one semester at this first school before moving on to the next one. Generally speaking, do you think it would it be a better idea to apply for one semester and then apply to other programs if the MEXT doesn't come through, or would it be better to apply for a full year and then try to drop out of my second semester to go to the school with the MEXT?

Also, I have heard that I can apply for a visa extension of 6 months to a year after getting a student visa, but if I am only staying for one semester, I just want to confirm that this is still possible? This would probably be the safest route, however I am just a little skeptical that they would still allow me to extend it for 6 months if my student visa is only for 1 semester in the first place!

Let me know what you think. & Thanks a bunch!