Japan is one of the most technologically advanced countries, yet it holds on to its traditional values and culture such as calligraphy, tea ceremonies and Geishas.  It has busy, modern cities and beautiful natural landscapes such as Mt Fuji, and spectacular pinks during cherry blossom season.  In order to go on exchange to Japan, students must have been learning Japanese for at least 2 years and must be able to write Hiragana, Katakana and 50 Kanji characters.  Students must also have basic verbal conversation skills and be prepared to write a host family letter in both English and Japanese.

*Students applying for Japan strictly cannot turn 18 while on program.   Graduated students are not able to be accepted to this program.  Applicants must have turned 15 years old by April 1st of the year that they would like to depart on program in order to be eligible for a program to Japan, regardless of their departure month.  Students on the programs to Japan must hold above average grades consistently.  Students with a C average or below in their Japanese course at school cannot be accepted. Students must have studied at least 2 years of Japanese in the previous 3 years to their exchange in order to qualify for this program.  Students should not have moderate to severe allergies or medical conditions, or any food restrictions. Students who have lived in Japan, have a natural parent that is a Japanese citizen or that have been on a previous exchange to any country for more than 3 months are not eligible for this exchange.


Credit: Lauren from Vic

The Japanese School system is based on the American system known as the 6-3-3 system – 6 years of primary  school from age 6 and 3 years each of junior and senior high school. The level of schooling you will attend depends on your age, but most likely you will be attending is a Senior High School.  In Japan, almost all schools run a three-term school year with  first term commencing  from April, running  to late July when the summer school holidays occur.   Second term lasts from early September to late December with a two-week long break for Christmas and New Year at the end of the year. Third term runs from early January to late March with  a brief week-long spring school holiday in February.  In Japanese senior high schools the traditional academic subjects are offered including maths, sciences,  Japanese  and  other languages. In the senior year (Grade 12) Japanese students aiming to go to university study for very rigorous and competitive exams, so exchange students are generally placed in grades 10 or 11 . Generally in the Japanese school­ing system single teachers will teach several subjects so you will not necessarily move rooms as you do in an Australian or New Zealand high schools. In this classroom which is your “home room” you will need to take part in general duties, which include cleaning of the classroom, that is sweeping, cleaning the blackboard, the desks etc. This is standard practice in Japan to give responsibility to the student.  Most Japanese school have stricter standards than in many Australian and New Zealand schools. For example Japanese school require uniforms and have strict rules about student appearance and behaviour.


Credit: Lauren from Vic

The Japanese culture is a very difficult one to adjust to, so students need to be open-minded and observant in the host family home.  For example, to get along with your Japanese host family, it is important to understand “non-verbal communication.”  When you ask a favour, Japanese people may often say “YES” even though they really mean“NO”.  Japanese people often think saying “No” is rude, impolite and might hurt your feelings.Each family in Japan has own rules such as curfews that students must follow.  As a general rule, students should be home by 6:00 pm (before dinner time).  It is unusual students are allowed to stay outside after 9:00 pm even on weekends, and teenage students do not normally go to parties in Japan. Cleanliness is very important for Japanese host families and many will not allow students to bring food into the bedroom.  In Japan, greetings with bow are a very important manner to practice.   Japanese families are warm and caring and love to host Australian and New Zealand students in their homes.

Short Program (2 Months)

Live with a Japanese  family and attend a local Japanese high school on our short program over the summer school holidays. Students on this program will be able to get all the benefits of a regular exchange program whilst not having to miss much (if any) school back in Australia.

Program Departure Price Discount Deadline Application Deadline
3 Months November 2017 $7,550 AUD April 30, 2017 July 31, 2017
Short Program December 2017 $7,000 AUD April 30, 2017 August 31, 2017
Year March 2018 $10,250 AUD June 30, 2017 September 30, 2017
Semester March 2018 $9,250 AUD June 30, 2017 September 30, 2017
Semester September 2018 $9,250 AUD February 28, 2018 April 30, 2018
3 Months November 2018 $7,550 AUD April 30, 2018 July 31, 2018
Short Program December 2018 $7,000 AUD April 30, 2018 August 31, 2018