Location
  • Japan
    • Fukuoka
    • Tokyo
    • Kyoto
Length
1 - 12 weeks
General grants/scholarships
Health & Safety

Program Details

Timeframe
Summer
Housing
Host Family
Language
Japanese
Age Min.
14
Age Max
19

Pricing

Price Details
Program includes:
20 hours of language classes per week
Accommodation with local host family
Airport pickup and drop off to/from Fukuoka Airport
2 meals per day (Breakfast & Dinner)
Daily cultural excursions & activities
Medical and accident insurance
24-hour emergency assistance
Local Coordinator contact
Pre-Departure orientation with Greenheart Travel
Arrival orientation in Japan
Language level placement test
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Some Meals
Jan 09, 2024
Aug 24, 2023
45 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Learn and improve your Japanese skills through full language and cultural immersion on Greenheart Travel’s summer language camp programs in Fukuoka, Kyoto, or Tokyo, Japan!

We welcome teen students of all skills, including beginners! Live with a Japanese host family and make international friends from around the world, all while perfecting your Japanese language skills.

Program-at-a-Glance:
- 20 hours of class a week (4 core classes per day in 2 hour blocks)
- Daily cultural and historical excursions
- Accommodation with local Japanese host family allows for full immersion
- Camps located in downtown Fukuoka, Kyoto, and Tokyo, Japan

This program is currently not being promoted on Go Overseas by its provider. Check with Greenheart for the most up-to-date information regarding the status of this program.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

We appreciate that everyone has a unique worldview and value everyone regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender or gender identity, ability, military status, religion, sexual orientation or political view. We are committed to building relationships and ensuring everyone we encounter feels welcomed, respected, and accepted. Greenheart is committed to helping anyone find the best program fit and will go the extra mile to make sure our participants feel safe and supported wherever they end up.

LGBTQIA+ Support

Greenheart Travel welcomes travelers identifying as LGTBQ+, and is committed to helping you find the best program for you. We can provide information on the cultural norms of our destination countries and are prepared to advise you on the best programs based on your needs and interests.
While most of our programs could be a good fit, we also know that certain cultures and countries are more accepting of and prepared to host LGBTQ+ people than others. We are committed to working with LGBTQ+ people to determine which experiences may be the right fit for them. Please reach out if you want to discuss which of our programs might fit you best ahead of applying at travelabroad@greenheart.org or set up a phone call with us here.

Neurodivergent Support

Greenheart works with partners who have varying levels of what is considered "good mental health". While we cannot change their eligibility conditions, we will work with participants to the best of our abilities in order to get them the program placement they want. We encourage you to discuss your specific situation with us directly, before securing these documents.

Accessibility Support

Greenheart Travel welcomes students of varying ability to explore their study abroad options! While resources and support differ from country to country, Greenheart Travel staff work with individual students as needed to find program options that will set students up for success.

Impact

Sustainability

We believe in supporting our travelers to make a positive impact in their communities. The Greenheart Club provides Greenheart Grant funding to alumni projects all over the world.
As the leading eco-friendly exchange organization, we are passionate about helping travelers explore the globe while respecting the environment and cultural heritage of the destinations they explore.

Ethical Impact

Greenheart Travel is a branch of Greenheart International, a Chicago-based organization that connects people and planet to create global leaders through personal development, volunteer service, environmentalism, fair trade, and cultural exchange. We provide resources, grants, and experiences to those who want to immerse themselves in another culture and leave it better than when they arrived. Through volunteering, creating relationships and more.

Program Highlights

  • 20 hours of language classes per week
  • Host Family accommodation & 2 meals per day (breakfast & dinner)
  • Comprehensive medical/accident Insurance and 24/7 Emergency Contact Support
  • Assistance from a personal program manager before, during and after your program
  • Track-specific cultural excursions and half-day orientation upon arrival in Japan

Program Reviews

4.86 Rating
based on 14 reviews
  • 5 rating 85.71%
  • 4 rating 14.29%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 4.8
  • Support 4.45
  • Fun 4.6
  • Housing 5
  • Safety 4.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 14 reviews
Default avatar
Joseph
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

It was a great trip!

It was a really great trip, I cherish the opportunities it gave me and the memories I made. I am going to put much more effort into studying Japanese because I want to go back and be able to talk to people. I loved learning Japanese from native speakers and living with my host family the Yoshidas. They were the best part of the trip by far. Going to Osaka palace and bike riding at dusk were unforgettable experiences, and training Japanese kickboxing was so incredibly fun. Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone!

Pros
  • Good food
  • Flying
  • Fun
Cons
  • Got lost
  • expensive
  • a little bit lonely
32 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Christopher
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Tokyo teen language camp

62 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Kai
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great school experience, worrisome communication

I'm grateful to have gone to Japan through Greenheart Travel. Here is my honest opinion on my experience. Overall, it was great. My flights to and from went smoothly, aside from my broken laptop :( , and my host family's home was, honestly, bigger and more comofortable than mine in the US. My schoolteachers were very understanding of me and the other students, and pushed us to practice Japanese in a variety of ways. They occasionally scolded us for speaking in English while in between classes! My experience was faithfly immersive, and I got to learn a lot about the Japanese way of life along with their historical culture. This was done through organized field trips, or outinfs with my host family. I enjoyed my time there, and received reasonable communications from the language school of events and schedule changes. However, Greenheart Travel's communication itself disappointed me. While I was preparing for my trip to Japan, the program manager seemingly changed between 2 or 3 different people at different times. There were times when I didn't know who my main point of contact was because of the confusion, and it was very scary for me because I had never been abroad, and had no idea what kind of information I needed to provide along the way, or who I would ask my questions too. I was grateful that Greenheart had the ability to provide scholarships for students like me, especially because I was paying for the program myself, but aside from that have limited good experiences with the agency. My program handbook mentioned that I was supposed to have at least one video call with my host family before I left to get to know them before departing, but this never happened. Instead, I wasn't even given any information about them until less than a week before my departure. I'm glad to have had this experience, but have now ascertained that I'm unlikely to travel with Greenheart again until they build a more reliable team. It was the people I met while abroad that truly made my experience so wonderful, and I hope that Greenheart can give future students a better experience!

Pros
  • People are just as excited to meet you as you are them!
  • Amazing street vendors
  • People enjoy when you participate in their culture
Cons
  • Worrisome communication from travel agency
  • Difficulty getting around (not all streets have names)
  • Cultural activities and fun outings can get expensive
106 people found this review helpful.
Response from Greenheart

I’m glad to hear that your overall experience in Japan was great and apologies for the fact that you did not feel supported by Greenheart. We did have a staff change and having your main point of contact change a couple of times is understandably not ideal. This was the first summer for teen language camp programs after the pandemic and finding host families that were good matches with students took much longer than usual. We appreciate your honest feedback as it is always a priority for Greenheart Travel to evaluate and review all student concerns in order to further improve our programs. Thanks again, and we are glad to hear you enjoyed your program!

Default avatar
Grace
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience in Fukuoka!

I went to Fukuoka, Japan the summer after my sophomore year of high school when I was 16, and it was the best experience of my life! I met so many incredible people from all over the world at Genki JACS and my host family was the best anyone could ask for. I was originally only supposed to go for 4 weeks but I was having such an amazing time that I extended it a 5th week.

Host family: I was nervous when I first met my host family, but they turned out to be some of the kindest, sweetest people I'd ever met! They spoke some English, but I used Japanese with them as much as possible. I ate dinner with them every night for about the first 3 weeks (I later started to go out with friends as I got closer to people) and my host mom would always make wonderful meals. My favorite dinner was when my host mom prepared okonomiyaki for us. It was SO GOOD! I would also have lots of interesting conversations with them during and after dinner comparing different cultural things. Staying with them helped my Japanese improve significantly, as I always had my Japanese-English dictionary app with me so I could look up words I didn't know. This improved my vocabulary significantly. My host family also took me a few places such as to a baseball game, a music festival, and a shinto shrine (Dazaifu). Overall, they were the best host family I could've asked for!

Daily life: Usually I would wake up, go to school, get lunch out, and then explore around Fukuoka for a little bit. Fukuoka is extremely safe and I never felt even slightly in danger. I could walk around with my phone in my back pocket and my wallet with my bus pass in my hand and didn't have to worry about a thing. The train station Hakata Eki is also a huge shopping center, so sometimes I would go up to one of the higher levels where there was a stationary store and I would buy postcards to send to family and friends. There is also a Japan Post Bank very close to the station so I could easily send them there and the staff were very friendly and helpful. You can also take out money from your account at any Japan Post Bank, so look for those! I also enjoyed either walking or taking the bus to Tenjin where there is an underground shopping center around the train station and food hall where I would often try different foods. Then I would take the bus home, shower, eat dinner with my host family, and do homework in the living room while my host dad watched TV. Sometimes I would also call my family or friends from home from inside my room. As I made more friends, though, I would sometimes go out to dinner with them or explore around the city and hang out at Kego Kouen (Kego Park), which is where lots of young people hang out on Friday nights and weekends.

School: Genki JACS was a fantastic school with very kind, friendly, and patient teachers. I learned a lot there and always felt comfortable. I also became friends with many of the people in my classes, and I still keep in touch with some of them! People there are a range of ages and many are in their 20s (the youngest I met was 14), but it never felt uncomfortable. Everyone was friends regardless of age and was supportive of each other. We usually got about one worksheet a night and would go over it the next day in class.

Friends: Most of my friends actually ended up being other foreigners attending Genki JACS, but they were all incredible people. I would hang out with them a lot after or in between class and explore parts of the city with them. I even ended up going on a hike with some of them at a nearby mountain!

Fun experiences: By far my favorite experience was actually something I coordinated outside of the program with some friends, so I encourage people going on this trip to not be afraid to seek out some of their own adventures! I went on an incredible hike with a bunch of people from my program through the rain. It was super challenging, but well worth the breathtaking view at the top. We could see the city, the mountains, and the land for miles. Another fun experience was when I went with Genki JACS to Shikanoshima, a nearby island. The water was so clear and blue and we went to a hotel for part of the day where we had the option of onsen as well as a huge meal. My host family also took me to onsen about a week before the trip to Shikanoshima on the same day we went to the shrine. It was a very positive experience and I felt a lot less awkward than I thought I would've. I got a few curious glances being a foreigner, but everyone was pretty unconcerned and was just enjoying the relaxing experience. I'm glad I went with my host family because my host mom and sister were able to show me the whole cleansing process before getting into the water. I would highly recommend onsen to anyone going to Japan, as it was very body positive and helped me realize how unique all bodies are. Another interesting experience I had was doing some modeling! I'm biracial (African American and Caucasian) and so my tightly coiled hair was a marvel to many people in the country. I was walking in Tenjin station one day when a man asked to do my hair! So we coordinated and I brought some friends with me to his salon as a precaution and he styled my hair and we did a photo shoot! It was a lot of fun and made me feel a lot more confident in a country where I very clearly looked like no one else.

Take aways: I feel like I definitely matured a lot during my trip. I learned to be independent, to not shy away from new experiences and adventures, and to make decisions on my own. I would highly recommend this trip to high school and college students especially because the city is so safe and is a wonderful environment for growing and maturing without many risks. The people I met from around the world at Genki JACS really expanded my horizons and increased my desire to travel even more (my trip actually lead me to visiting a friend in their native country a few months later!). My Japanese language skills improved a lot and my vocabulary in particular expanded. Between classes and my host family, I started to be able to just shoot out phrases without thinking, which was an amazing feeling.

If you have any questions or want more info, I posted about it on my Instagram @graceinnihon. Feel free to message me about it!!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Octopus. My first full day in Japan, I went to a music festival with my host family and afterwards, we got takoyaki. Takoyaki is a kind of dough-like ball with a little bit of octopus on the inside and lots of flavorful, savory sauces drizzled on the outside. I didn't want to be rude and seem close minded, so I ate it and it was actually delicious! I order them now in the U.S. when I'm at Japanese restaurants and I even introduced them to my friends. My host mom would also put octopus chunks in my salad sometimes for breakfast (she was the kindest woman and made me breakfast EVERY day!) which took getting used to but I grew to like it a lot!
129 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Dahn
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Sending My Kid

My 17 year old daughter participated in the Teen Language Program in Fukuoka, Japan this last summer. This was without a doubt the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Putting my kid on a plane to Amazingland alone was emotional and frightening, but I just kept reminding myself that this was for her, and I didn’t want my fear to be her roadblock. So, in front of her I was all brave in my SuperMom cape. Behind the scenes, I was a disaster, but the difference in my daughter from that moment when she left for Japan and when I picked her up was simply astounding. She was uncertain and nervous when she left, but returned all smiles and confidence. Her speaking skills improved tremendously with full immersion. Greenheart took excellent care of us, and Connor was a joy to work with! So if you’re on the fence, count this as encouragement to take the step. This experience entirely reshaped my daughter. Now, when she talks of college, she shows interest in much more significant degrees than she did before. She thinks bigger now and has set her bar much higher than it was before. She has learned that just because something seems scary doesn’t mean it’s beyond her reach. She is already trying to figure out how to get back to Japan and has begun saving her money again. So, yes, as a mother I was sure I’d lost my mind when I agreed to this, but I definitely got cool mom points for supporting her when it was time for her to level up.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I could send her again I would send her for longer. The teachers in the school there were really good. My daughter was sorry her trip was so short. We had played it safe, though, and started with two weeks. Now we wish we had signed up for longer!
127 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Madison
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience!

This program was an amazing experience and it is something I will never forget. I never expected to have this chance and I’m so glad that I did. The staff at greenheart travel were amazing and answered all 101 of my questions. I felt very safe while I was there and walked all over. My favorite part about the whole trip was my host family. I could not have been placed in a better family. They matched my personality and took amazing care of me. I hope to visit them again someday. The placements were very good as everybody I talked to loved their families as well.
The classes were fun and fast paced and I really enjoyed them. There was a lot of homework and my host family had to help me with it but overall I really loved this program and would gladly go back

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I ate so many unfamiliar things including raw eggs, intestines, raw fish, and many more. They were very interesting and not really my favorite but I’m glad I tried everything
125 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Margaret
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing

I learned so much more not just about the language but I got to really dive deeper into the culture of japan. I made friends from all of the world and would not trade this experience for anything. If you ever get the chance to go abroad take it. You will be amazed at how it changes your views. This program really exceeded my expectations. My host family was truly wonderful and I really felt a part of their family. If I have learned Japanese a few years earlier I wish I would have been able to study abroad there. I plan on going back next year for six weeks. There are so many fun and exciting things to do in japan. A tip is to get out as much as possible if you stay inside all the time you're going to miss all the amazing things that are included in the program.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing. I loved everything about it wish I would have chosen to stay longer.
125 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Irene
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My stay in Tokyo

I only stayed in Tokyo for 2 weeks, but it still was one of my best experiences abroad!
My host family was really kind and funny and I could adapt to their everyday life easily. They had a daughter my age so we really bonded and it was very nice.
The school (GenkiJACS) and Greenheart Travel staff members (Allison Yates) were really helpful with everything and I appreciate their support! The classes were practical and useful, having different teachers everyday was really fun. At the school I was able to meet wonderful people and now I have friends from all around the world.
I'm very glad I joined this program and I recommend it to anyone willing to learn about Japanese culture and language!

124 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Yes! There is definitely time for this. Depending on my class time (you can have morning, afternoon, or evening class depending on the schedule that week) I would spend time with friends either before or after class. We would often go out to eat lunch or on other personal excursions that were unaffiliated with the school. For example, I went to some art museums, visited an arcade and manga store...

Yes, we do have camps then occasionally! Email Connor at ccargill@greenheart.org for more info!

Hey Natalie. You will fly there on your own (we have students flying in from all over the place so we don't have just one flight) but we'll make sure you feel comfortable with the directions and how to navigate the airport. Once you get there you will be picked up at the airport and in a group or with your host family the entire time you're in Japan.

We accept teens from ages 14-19 years old in Japan!