YFU High School Study Abroad Program in Japan

Video and Photos

Having lunch with my host sibling cousins.
At an overnight "global camp" with my friends
From left: my uncle, me, my brother, and my dad at a hanabi-fireworks festival in Yamanashi City
The kendo club at my school!
School friends!
My host sister and I
Our last dinner together.


Interested in Japan? Learn Japanese culture directly from your classmates and host family! As you are exposed to native Japanese speakers, your language abilities and connection to the culture will grow. Students on semester and year programs will attend high school, where they will get the full Japanese educational experience. While on program, students will have the opportunity to visit important historic and cultural sites on day trips both with your host family and with YFU Japan.

In addition to year and semester programs, YFU offers a six-week summer program to Japan. As with longer term programs, students live with a carefully selected host family and have the chance to attend school on an audit basis (no credit provided).

Questions & Answers


based on 19 reviews
  • Growth 9.7
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 16 - 19 of 19
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Yes, I recommend this program

School in Japan

To be honest, I was equally excited as I was nervous about my first day of school; however, within minutes of being there, I knew that I had nothing to worry about. I was given two "buddies" to help me out during class, and everyone in my class was extremely nice. I had the opportunity of participating in the school's sports festival which was fun. The most meaningful thing my classmates did for me was they made a scrapbook full of messages from each student, and they gave it to me on the last day of school. It was an amazing surprise that I will keep forever.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Wild Adventure

It is no doubt that my cultural exchange was one the most wondeful experiences I have ever been through. It really showed me what is out there and to a get a different view of the world! I would recommend that every student should look into exchange. It's a great experience that nobody could ever forget. Youth For Understanding is the safest organization for studying abroad. YFU is the best choice!

What would you improve about this program?
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer in Japan

Being a part of the YFU exchange program to Japan for six weeks this past summer has been one of the best experiences that I have had. It is a memory that I will now treasure for the rest of my life.
The day that I was accepted I remember the excitement that I felt as I opened that email and I carried that excitement with me until the day I departed for Japan.
Before we all left for Japan we had a three day Japanese specific orientation at the University of Berkeley California. Arriving in Berkeley was where I was able to connect with all of my other peers as we would all be traveling to Japan together. The three days in Berkeley passed quickly. We had many different classes to attend, such a Japanese etiquette, what to expect at a Japanese highschool as well as, Japanese language, which was the hardest for me because I know very little Japanese.
Leaving the USA for Japan is an experience that I have a hard time describing. There were many thoughts going through my head as we took off. The entire trip had yet to sink into my brain, it felt as if it were still in a dream. The trip finally became real as our plane landed in Narita Airport. For me the most nerve wracking part of the entire trip was the anticipation of meeting the family that I would stay with for the entire summer. I had been in touch with with my host family prior to meeting them in person, but did not know how to express my gratefulness towards them for hosting me for the summer. Not knowing what to say as I met them made me the most nervous. However when I meet my host family in person for the first time I felt completely comfortable with them and by the end of my exchange program they became my second family.
Taking part in the Japanese exchange program presented me with so many opportunities I would not have otherwise thought possible. I became a more confident person as I had to learn how to navigate the complex train systems of Tokyo as I daily commuted to my Japanese Highschool for the first two weeks of my stay. I was able to experience part of the life of a Japanese student as I attended classes with my newly acquainted Japanese friends. I also had to learn how to communicate with less words and more pointing and gestures due to my limited Japanese vocabulary.
Everything that I did on my exchange sponsored by Kikkoman, YFU ( Youth For Understanding) and FCCLA ( Family Career and Community Leaders of America) from exploring all over Tokyo to hiking out in the mountains with my host family, to seeing how the Japanese live life from day to day was an experience that would have never been able to fathom. I grew so much as a person during my exchange in Japan and leaving Japan at the end of those six weeks was one of the most difficult things that I’ve done in my life. If ever you have the chance to take part in an exchange program I say seize the opportunity ;it may just change your whole life as it did mine.

What would you improve about this program?
I only wish that the program was longer because I would have loved to extend my stay for much longer.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Once In a Lifetime Experience

Hands down the best exchange experience I've ever had. The program is well designed and the entire trip is very organized and safe. There are many scholarship opportunities to help fund but are very competitive.

What would you improve about this program?
Extend the program and make it longer!