AFS Year and Semester High School Abroad in Japan

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Year & Semester: Japan offers an unparalleled opportunity to dive into Japanese culture and live with a host family, while attending high school in your local community. You’ll likely find the academics to be rigorous, given Japan’s emphasis on education. Teenagers in Japan devote themselves almost entirely to schoolwork and extracurricular clubs that fall into two general categories: sports (baseball, soccer, judo, kendo, track, tennis, swimming, softball, volleyball, rugby, etc.) and culture (English, broadcasting, calligraphy, science, mathematics, yearbook planning, etc.). Clubs meet nearly every day for about two hours. Most public schools have classes five days a week. Schools start 8:30am and end at 3-3:30pm. Each class averages 35-45 students. Some private schools also have classes on Saturday mornings. Schools have mid-term and final exams.

Summer language: This four-week program is designed to provide an intensive Japanese language learning experience through both formal study and first-hand cultural experience through living with a Japanese host family. Throughout the course of the program you will receive 80 hours of Japanese language classes at a professional language school. Food is art in Japan, and your host family will most likely prepare some amazing meals. The Japanese diet consists largely of rice, noodles, fresh vegetables, fruit, meat (mostly pork and chicken) and seafood. Many meals are eaten with chopsticks. The program includes 80 hours of Japanese language classes, host family immersion experience, participation in cultural activities, and travel opportunities to historic and cultural sites. You will attend language class with fellow AFSers from several countries across Europe. Classes will be offered at a professional language school and will have 5-12 students per class.

Questions & Answers

Hello Rushvi, AFS Intercultural Programs has partner offices around the world. You can see where AFS has a presence here: https://afs.org/ . Thank you for your question, AFS-USA
Starting price: $10,000.00 for the semester
It largely depends on what host school you get assigned as well as which country you go to. I studied in Japan where there was a variety of after school clubs but there wasn't a dance clubs specifically.

Reviews

92%
based on 18 reviews
  • Growth 9.6
  • Support 7.5
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 8.1
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 16 - 18 of 18
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Sophia
8/10

Japan for 11 months

I went to Japan for 11 months through AFS, and it was a wonderful experience, and I truly believe that I am a better person from doing it. It was extremely difficult to adapt to the culture and the language, and I don't believe that it is for everyone. I had no trouble with my host family, but some things that were done in their house shocked me, like the extreme gender stereotyping going on. Also, the school I went to was wonderful, but as an all-girls private school, it was difficult for me to adapt. On the whole, I think my view of the world has changed through my experience and I have friends in Japan that I would like to keep close to me. I think that everyone should have a chance to go to a foreign country and learn about the different cultures because more understanding leads to more peace.

How can this program be improved?
I would put more emphasis on culture shock, and I mean REAL culture shock, not just that the Japanese take showers before bathing.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jacob
7/10

Lemons and Lemonade

I think about the experiences I had during my time and how they changed me and changed my views on life. I experienced things during my stay both good and bad that affected me deeply. Between the numerous bad times and occasional depression some would ask if it was worth it. But I would say it was absolutely worth it. I never had more fun, learned more things, or grown more as a person than I did during my year in Japan. I think the experiences that feel the hardest at the time can become the most defining aspects of our character. And I am only a stronger person for having gone through it. I think, in a way, that everyone finds something that benefits them from going abroad. Whether it be the relationships we forge, the knowledge we attain, or the lessons we learn, it is something that stays with us for life and something grander than ourselves that we are forever a part of.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sasha
10/10

Tough year, but worth the struggle

Studying abroad in Japan is not for the faint hearted; the culture shock is very difficult, even if you are prepared for it. Every last person in my chapter switched families at least once, and we were often exhausted and homesick. That being said, and despite me feeling that 90% of my days in Japan weren't so great, the 10% of days that turned out well were worth it. I felt alive, like I'd conquered the world, I felt what true happiness really is like. I learned to open my heart up everyday and try again, and I learned how to love people even if they couldn't love me back. You can survive, you will grow so much, and learn, and become stronger. It's worth it.

How can this program be improved?
Support for students on the Japanese side of the program could be a lot better. My liaison stopped communicating with me only 3 months after I got there and I had trouble finding someone to talk to.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About AFS-USA

AFS-USA (formerly the American Field Service), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a leader in intercultural learning and offers international exchange programs in more than 40 countries around the world through independent, nonprofit AFS...