Incredible Gap Year Program for All in Tokyo

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About

Part international work experience, part cultural ambassadorship, part language immersion, part homestay exchange program - rolled together into the adventure of a life-time. You will be immersed in the Japanese language, and other languages too, through LEX / Hippo Family Club language clubs. You may also assist with exchange programs, nature camps or English camps, language club promotion and operation, cultural presentations, and administrative work. You will be supported always by your host family and LEX staff. The LEX World Internship Project (WIP) is humanistic, flexible, and can be customized to your needs. We expect you to be flexible, motivated, positive, and open to all languages and all people.

Highlights
  • Work as a team with interns from around the world.
  • Gain fluency in Japanese and other languages through multilingual immersion-style language clubs in a fun, positive environment.
  • Learn about ancient and contemporary Japanese culture first-hand.
  • Become a member of a Japanese family.
  • Experience magical moments in every day life.

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.67 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • Housing 10
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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Nicol
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Amazing Year

As a LEX Intern, I was placed in a transnational, multilingual company that enabled me to meet and work with people from all over the world. This organization is so open to everyone; their languages, their traditions, their cultures and ways of life are always accepted. I loved being able to work with everyone of all ages to learn languages, share cultures and keep our minds open to the world. Throughout my yearlong experience I stayed with lots of loving Japanese host families, learned to speak Japanese, made many friends (whom I am still in contact with 2 years later), planned and attended tons of multilingual events, and ate tons of Japanese food.

I got to work closely with other interns from Thailand, Mexico, Korea, Singapore, Japan and other countries. This specific experience taught me a lot about communication, but most of all that there are really so many ways to connect with people from all cultures and backgrounds. This internship came with many challenges, but with so many supportive, understanding people around me it was empowering for me to take the challenges to heart and grow from them. My internship was amazing, and it changed my life, and I am so grateful to Lex for all of my wonderful memories.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I wish I would have been a little more prepared on being open-minded and ready to jump into anything! Being flexible and having lots of energy is very important. I am someone who likes to have things organized and a planned schedule. There are times where stuff is thrown your way last minute and it is a big rush to make things happen, but with all the support of other interns and LEX members it turns the rush into a big, fun experience. After a few months I got used to this and came to love it!
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Stephanie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

One For The Books

My year with the LEX Institute helped me realize that diversity is not only within cultures, but it is also a word far greater than that. This program brings together people of different backgrounds, interests, language learners and lovers, and allows a space of growth and learning of all levels. My year in Japan was beyond unbelievable and to this day I cannot believe I was there surrounded by many wonderful people. I stayed with 3 long term families and many short-stay hosts. I was allowed to travel and explore on my own but guided every step of the way. Every day was new and challenging and with the help of staff, interns, and my families it became the time of my life, where I grew to be more independent and learned that my passion for people and stories was beyond what I believed. If looking for a gap year opportunity it is highly recommended.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I knew 2 words going to Japan, instead of teaching myself I thought id give it a try to immerse myself. I not only learned conversational Japanese, I learned many other languages. Overcame the fear of my Spanish not being "good enough" and presented to 1,000 people in 4 different languages in which I didn't win but got the most nerve-racking experience in the world. During this stay, I do recommend the LMP presentation (I am still scared of presentations to this day)
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Jess
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The most significant year of my life

The LEX Language Internship was one of the most memorable experience of my life. A decade later, I still tell stories from my time spent with this incredible organization. It's not just a travel program; they are actively dedicated to fostering human empathy across language, cultures, and generations.

Why LEX?
This internship provides a unique opportunity to be fully immersed in a place AND within a community of highly enthusiastic and nurturing people. Most LEX members have experienced at least one cultural exchange and know what it's like to be in your shoes. This is honestly one of the most significant ways that this program differs from any other travel program. Coworkers, friends, and host families are committed to supporting you in a cultural journey. LEX creates a secure sense of family through regular meetings locally and regionally where people openly share powerful stories of discovery through cultural exchange.

Office Life
When you get to the office you are always warmly greeted into a fun, playful, curious, and enthusiastic environment. The office is always buzzing with activity and I always loved picking up and helping out with the day-to-day shuffle. Even though there are also plenty of time for independent focused work, there are tons of opportunities to talk to visitors, participate in workshops, and meet with people face-to-face. I sometimes joked that my desk would get lonely.

Home Life
Becoming a member of a host family is a major part of this program. Having a sense of responsibility and belonging is very important when traveling abroad for an extended stay. I really valued the candid and casual moments of living with a host family. These were very close and supportive relationships that developed over the course of the program. I was lucky to have two host families during my year and both families are still in touch with me today.

Club Activities
During the program you will attend regular local club activities which is a great opportunity to meet people nearby and form friendships outside of the office and your host family. The meetings are always full of fun, games, music and lighthearted curiosity for language learning. It's a wonderful way to explore new languages, form relationships and have fun! The local club members sometimes feel like an extended family.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be prepared to be social and keep an open heart and mind about the language activities. The program has a very unconventional approach to language acquisition which might surprise you at first. But if you keep an open heart and mind you will be surprised at how many languages you can learn and how many connections will form with fellow members. There is a lot of socialization so if you are a person who needs time alone, make sure you communicate that and build in time and space for it.
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Daniel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Year of My Life

The year I spent in Tokyo was definitely the best year of my life. I wanted my gap year to be special, and I got MORE than I expected by interning in Japan with LEX. I felt safe, comfortable, and most of all, engaged the entire time I was there.

The best thing about the program was the many friends that I made. I went to Japan in 2012, but I still stay in contact with many of my LEX-Japan friends in 2019! Needless to say, interning in Japan opened so many doors for me. I had internship experience, lots of new friends, learned to read and speak Japanese, and traveled all over Japan and even to some neighboring countries! I wholeheartedly recommend this program to anyone interested in Japan, languages, and an overall wonderful experience abroad.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I could do it again, I would tell myself not to eat so much! Or to find a gym. Japanese food is delicious, and my face and waist showed that I was eating very well by my second month in Japan.
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Joy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Becoming Part of a Family

I landed in Tokyo the fall after graduating from college feeling both nervous and excited, not realizing that from the moment I stepped into the arrival hall and met my colleagues that I had become part of a huge family. LEX Language Project offers a unique opportunity for interns to meet people of all ages and from all walks of life with an office that was constantly abuzz with both local and international visitors. Members of the organization have a curiosity and warmth for the world and the people in it that is incredibly contagious, and has certainly given me a brighter and more optimistic outlook. Their nurturing and supportive approach to language acquisition and cultural exchange has made me more open, and helped me build the courage to make that first step in forging a connection. I loved my time with LEX and am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I've had to build lasting friendships with people not only from Japan, but also from all over the world.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Flexibility and openness is key! The office is constantly buzzing with events and influxes of people, so you might find yourself roped into spontaneous workshops and activities when you least expect it. Don't let that throw you off though -- LEX members are all super supportive, and ready to help you out whenever you feel a little lost. Just relax, go with the flow, and see where that takes you. Often, it's on a brand new adventure that will brighten your day!
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Madison
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Life-Changing Year

I went to Japan for one year with LEX Language Project after I had graduated from college. I had planned to only be in Japan for the year before returning to the States, but I ended up loving the program and my life there so much that I applied for a full time staff position and stayed for an extra two years! During the LEX Internship you have the opportunity to live with a variety of host families. Each family was unique, but they were all incredibly supportive, and welcomed me as a true family member. Working at the LEX office in Tokyo was also a wonderful experience. My Japanese colleagues were supportive and excited to have me there. I worked with and become great friends with a team of international interns from Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, France and Thailand. Thanks to LEX's unique, multilingual mindset, I was able to not only gain fluency in Japanese, but also explore other languages, such as Spanish, Korean, and Mandarin Chinese! I am planning to go to graduate school this fall, and want to work at International Student Services at a university. I feel that my internship with LEX has made me more flexible, creative, and competent in cross-cultural situations. My compassion and empathy for those who go to live in a foreign country has grown, and I feel better prepared to serve international students in the future.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Embrace your inner child and open your heart! The LEX multilingual language learning activities are comprised of games, songs, and dances that you participate in at weekly language clubs along with LEX members of all ages. If you are able to relax, have fun, and not worry too much about making mistakes, you will have a great time, and learn a lot. Take this opportunity to try a new language you never even thought about learning! LEX members are incredibly warm and open, and are excited to hear about your own language and culture, as well as your language discoveries during the internship, no matter how small they may seem.