World Campus - Japan Program

Video and Photos

Playing igo with host family member
Playing igo with host family member
Going down the river
Going down the river
Day out with host familie
Day out with host familie
Learning and contact with locals
Learning and contact with locals
Sports and fun
Sports and fun
Group events
Group events
Culture
Culture
Group visiting an old samurai house
Group visiting an old samurai house

About

World Campus International, Inc. offers you an opportunity to take part in short-term, non-traditional study abroad programs in Japan. You can choose to sign up for 3 weeks or 6 weeks programs. Participants will have the unique chance to gain international experience as well as increase their personal and professional networks, all while enjoying the backdrop of Japanese culture, daily life and business through various activities.

What does having this kind of "unique access to Japan" mean?
1) A great chance to see Japanese cultural sites, eat delicious food and learn about Japanese traditions.
2) An opportunity to experience an authentic Japanese lifestyle by staying with host families.
3) A way to learn about modern Japan through interacting with local politicians, business people and teachers.
4) An opportunity to share your culture and volunteer your talents in activities with ordinary Japanese citizens, school children, disabled people and the elderly.

Questions & Answers

The answer is no BUT before you actually participate you think it is not possible to go along with or to engage in a conversation with a person/ family which speaks Japanese only. Actually, at WCI you are trained how to fit into all environments whether you know how to speak their language or not.

Reviews

98%
based on 39 reviews
  • Academics 8.9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 39
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Heidi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Way to Spend a Summer

This past summer, I spent about 6 weeks with World Campus, traveling from Omura all the way to Mito. It’s been over a month since I left Japan, but I still think about it almost every day. I was skeptical at first mainly because of the language barrier but also because of the people I would meet. But as soon as I got there, I was welcomed with open arms and smiles.
Throughout the program, I met not only Japanese people but people from all across Europe and Asia as well as fellow Americans, some of which I still talk to today. The people in each session felt like a family only a few days after meeting. The staff was wonderful and although some were about 10 years older than me, they were so easy to talk to. They were always there to listen and help. I remember not having anything to do in our free day in Tokyo so I went with Nena, one of the staff members, to Koreatown and then we walked to Shibuya and Harajuku, finding cute restaurants and coffee shops along the way. The host families were absolutely wonderful, making me feel right at home. I still keep in contact with some of my host families, like the one from Mito for example. We send each other photos and updates about what we are doing in our everyday lives and whenever I get a text from them, I huge smile comes on my face.
The activities that the staff had planned for us were unforgettable. From climbing over 800 stairs to visit a temple to training like ninjas for a day and participating in school classes, each experience was one like no other. At times, the school visits were overwhelming. I remember the first large school visit I went to. Barely speaking Japanese, I was swarmed by first graders asking if I’d play a game with them outside. Having already promised the 5th graders the same thing, but not knowing what they were saying, especially when 10 voices were talking at the same time, I said yes. We got to the field and both groups went up to me. I didn’t know what to say (literally), so I just joined whatever game of tag the other WC members were playing. But looking back at it now, it was a lot of fun and definitely worth it.
Lastly, there’s the arigato event: a night of dancing and thanking host families and LOC. I never realized how much I liked dancing. Well, I like dancing but I didn’t think I’d like dancing in public. And I don’t want to brag, but I got pretty good at the dances after a while. Along with that, all of the Americans agreed to do the Chicken Dance and we even got the families to join in. I even stepped out of my comfort zone and performed a solo in the Paprika song. I could go on and on, but my review is already really long. Basically, join the program! You will not regret it!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I were to do this program again, I would definitely work on my Japanese. I came there knowing very basic phrases, which made it hard to communicate, especially with certain host families. At times, there would be long silences because we would want to say things, but simply could not put it into words (both English and Japanese). But even if you don't know Japanese, it shouldn't be a deal-breaker. I still had lots of fun and wouldn't regret any minute of it. And, I came back with more Japanese skill, so you definitely will learn as well.
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Daniel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Trip of My Life

I went on the 2018 Session 3 trip to Mito, Ibaraki; Abiko, Chiba; and Tama, Tokyo. To put it simply, this was the best trip I had ever gone on.

Prior to the trip, I was a fairly introverted student who only had an interest in anime and the nature in Japan like the cherry blossom trees and the green grass you see in a bunch of pictures. After going by myself with only a basic understanding of the Japanese language, I've found a newfound appreciation for the country and its people.

The host families were all very welcoming and I had very unique experiences with each one. In Mito, I stayed with a family of six who lived in a house off the main road in the middle of rice fields. While I was still a bit out of my comfort zone as this was the first time I've ever traveled alone, my family made me truly appreciate the family bond and always made me feel at home even though we had the language barrier! They took me to some of the most gorgeous waterfalls and temples in the area and they taught me all about what their daily life looks like. My family in Abiko lived in a much more urban area where I got to experience more of the city. They love to travel to, and we got to make sushi rolls at home and my sisters always wanted to watch anime movies with me before bed. Finally, my host family in Tama were suburban as we lived in an apartment. I really learned a lot about the community as my brother's school was kind enough to let me sit in with my brother as part of a summer learning program.

While this was just my experience during my off time in the morning and at night, this doesn't even capture how much we would do as a program group during the day. Whether it be visiting a soy sauce factory or visiting the Girls Und Panzer museum that made the local area famous, it was something new and exciting every day. All of the other participants made me feel like a big family and I still cherish the memories we had.

This program had taken me straight out of my comfort zone and made me a much stronger person. Before I left, I would often deal with anxiety from the smallest things that would make life difficult. After the trip, I've learned just how to navigate the many small challenges such as language, bringing gifts I think the family will enjoy, and trying to give back as much as they give to me. I was able to complete the giant challenge of entering a culture I know little about, yet come out feeling like I could conquer anything thanks to the extremely kind host families, staff for the program who made me feel safe, and the participants for being kind and being able to share my experience with. I've begun Japanese courses at my college and feel ever the more motivated to return and greet my past host families and show them how much I've improved.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The language barrier made me the most nervous before I left! Prior to leaving, I only knew the Hiragana alphabet and a few simple phrases in Japanese such as "Kore" (This) to purchase food, Arigatou / Arigatou Gozaimasu (Thank you) to show my appreciation, and Wakarimasen (I don't understand) as a way to sometimes explain to my host family when I didn't understand a part of their Japanese.

If you're worried about not knowing Japanese, don't be! While I do think understanding some basic phrases and learning some Hiragana would make your trip easier, I don't feel like I missed much by not knowing Japanese. My host families knew about as much English as I knew Japanese, so it was a learning experience for all of us!
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Adriana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience Japan as a local

In 2018 I joined World Campus Japan for the second time, but that year i decided to say for two sessions - session 2 and 3 (6 weeks in total). Even though I was a participant at session 2 the previous year, I decided to join again, and I don't regret it even for a second. The amount of memories I have, and the experience I got, is priceless.
First of all, I got to meet new people from different countries. At the time I was 19 and felt young. Sometimes I wondered "Ok, so, what if I am one of the youngest there?". The answer is that it doesn't matter! I felt like a part of a huge international family. You get to do so many great things together when you attend the activities, and I promise you, you get to have a lot of fun at the Arigato Event (An event where participants dance, show their culture, and say thank you for everything to the families and community). I got to know many amazing people, and some of them I plan on visiting soon in their countries.
Second of all, the host families. It seems scary at first to stay with people you don't know, but it feels so good after you get to spend time together! I don't really speak any Japanese at all, and we still managed to establish a great connection. I taught them about my country, and they taught me about Japan. It seems like they also rediscovered a bit about Japan as well :) I also tried to teach them English, and I could learn some Japanese. At the end of the program, I could actually understand a bit! I miss all my host families, and I keep in touch with all of them. We exchange messages, and send postcards.
Third of all, the activities are great. I never felt bored, and I made my comfort zone so much bigger than before I joined World Campus. I got to try Ninja Training, met kids at school, visited a soy sauce factory, played with children, went to Oyama Mountain, made my own chopsticks, interacted with students, and so much more. I felt like not only I was learning about the Japanese culture, but I was also learning about myself.
If you have the opportunity to join the program - do it! I can't imagine a better trip to Japan, and a better way to spend my vacation-money. You will feel like a part of a huge family!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don't be afraid to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You will learn so much, and you will develop new skills, as well as learn new things about yourself.
Henry
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Real Japan

What is it really like to live in Japan? How are the Japanese People? There are many questions like these for people interested in this country on the most eastern side of asia. You might think you know the answers because you read a lot about Japan in school or during your freetime. If you ever participate in the program, you will realise, in a very positive way, that most of the stuff you've learned from books are paper talk.

Being a participant from 2017, I participated in session 1, which is the Kyushu session. These three weeks in the archipelago was one of the most memorable three weeks in my life. Apart from learning about how the real everyday mundane life is in Japan - which is in my opinion one of the best part about WCJ - you also get to see a lot of the landscape, the city life, and a lot more. Things like meeting a authentic Katana sword smith, attending and helping out in schools, trying out different martial arts (including Ninjutsu), and most importantly the wonderful and great host families, really make this program worth your time in the summer. As a bonus, you also gets to know lots and lots of people from all over the world.

What was your funniest moment?
When a friend was reading out loud a letter he wrote for he's host family
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Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Feel like a local in Japan

When I heard about this program from my friend, I immediately decided to apply. I was excited but started to have my doubts about it a week before my flight. I was going far away from my home and all familiar to me for almost a month. But when I arrived, I realized that I had nothing to be afraid of. I met many amazing people from different countries and backgrounds and we did many interesting and exciting things together. From cooking, visiting interesting historical sites and schools to completing a ninja training and dancing at Arigato events. I've learnt so many things, especially how to work with people from different countries that see things differently than me, how to fit into a community of people even if I don't speak their language and they don't speak mine and also how to be considerate of other cultures and how to work with them. I felt really happy the whole three weeks that I spent with World Campus in Japan and I have many great memories. And I will never forget the great families that I stayed with and all the people I met while being a part of WCJ.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would stay for longer and try to learn more Japanese words and phrases.
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Simen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An actual Japan experience

Hey,
i am a student who spent a few months in Japan during the summer 2018, and was invited by a friend to join World Campus during my trip. It turned out to be one of the greatest experiences i had in Japan.
Of course, i was a bit nervous when i arrived. During my last two months, i had been traveling alone, or with random people i meet, and didn't really know how it would be to be living with a Japanese family, or traveling with a group of people i had never meet before. Turns out, it is actually very nice.

Being introduced to your first host family is always a scary moment. I worried a lot about my very limited Japanese, how i would fit in, and so on. Turns out, worrying was a complete waste of time. I was welcomed into their home, and quickly felt like part of the family. While the language barrier was there, it could largely be ignored. I got to say a lot of what i wanted to say, partly through a mix of Japanese and English, and also through the use of pictures and body language. With the second family, i was already a lot more confident, and ended up making some really good friends, who i still talk to.

The world campus group is filled with very different people, with all kinds of cultures, interests and jobs. But they all have a few things in common, like their interest in the World Campus and Japan, and you quickly end up bonding around it. I made a lot of friends, who i hope to meet again the next time i have the opportunity to travel with World Campus International.

I have also never experienced so much about another culture as during my trip in Japan with World Campus. While you will get the opportunity to see a few of the common tourist sights, you will also see a lot more of the real culture. You will get to meet mayors of the towns, visit local schools, talk to survivors of the atomic bombs, and so much more.

If you are interested in travelling to Japan to experience the Japanese lifestyle, and to understand the culture, or to make friends, both with the members of World Campus International, and with the members of your host families, then world campus is for you.

Hope to see you soon!

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lucca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best decision of my life

I was honestly so scared to go, world campus Japan would be my first trip for so long so far from home. But now that I did it I'm so glad. You learn so much, for example how to be independant and how people from around the world see some things differently. I have met many nice people and still talk to my host family frequently.
And that was one of the best things from this trip, the host families. I can't believe how close you can get with people in just one week. The families do everthing to make your stay comfortable, and this without fail. make sure to help to so you don't get a hotel-feeling because that's really not what it's about. The program is about living with and like the families. Experience it like a local not like a tourist, this is what makes it so special.
Ow one more thing concering the host families, prepare for tears because saying goodbye is really really hard.
Don't be scared and just experience it with an open mind, everything will be alright!

What would you improve about this program?
maybe try and teach a bit more usefull japanese sentences for people who don't know any Japanese.
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Ellis
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A real life changing experience.

I have to admit, i always wanted to go to Japan, but hated the idea of staying with strangers in a foreign country! The idea frightened me! But as soon as i met the people (host families, participants, staff) i soon realised that they were all genuinely kind and caring people who were all passionate about learning from one another through cultural exchange.
It soon became the most significant thing i had done in my life up to that point. Through my interactions with new people and new cultures i began broadening my perspectives and developed into a more confident and well rounded person. I made valuable new friendships and experiences that i still hold dear to me years later.

I can say with confidence, that it was thanks to this program that i had the drive and the experience to aid me in my pursuit of returning to Japan as a teacher of English. I have now been living and working in Japan for the past 3 years, and i am loving every minute of it!

Thank you World Campus! You changed my life! I strongly recommended this program to anyone and everyone!

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Stijn
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

World Campus Japan 2018 - Session 3

World Campus... When I write this it's been just over five months since my session ended. And I still think about the people I met in Japan last summer, about the things we did there, all the amazing experiences we had almost every week. It's an experience that stays with you, and can change you for the better. As I explain in the vlog, it got rid of a large part of my performance anxiety. And can you believe it?? I'm actually a part of a dance team now! So many nice team mates and so many fun moments with them, and it's all thanks to World Campus. But that's only the arigato event. World Campus has tons of other stuff to offer. Think shrine visits, traditional Japanese dance, host family days where they take you on a fun day out, visits to schools or universities, museums, and a lot of other things. And one thing that remains constant through it all is the interaction with the locals. There are of course the host families, but also the local volunteers who help make that particular week a success, random people you might meet somewhere, or people who make individual activities possible. After World Campus is over, you'll have gained a deep understanding of Japan, the Japanese, and their culture in the way a regular tourist never could have.

Another constant is the other participants. It's hard to imagine if you've never done something like World Campus, but it's amazing how close you'll grow to the other participants. Don't underestimate how close you'll grow to a group of friendly, like-minded people roughly your age from all over the world that you spend so much time and share so many amazing experiences with. The group truly fosters a great environment to have World Campus in.

And how could I forget. The wonderful staff! Travelling together with the participants are some staff members who guide the participants and are responsible for all kinds of things. They are very nice people and do an excellent job. Not only at organising and guiding, but whenever needed, you can always talk with them about whatever it is that's bothering you. They're not called counsellors without good reason ;)

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Darlene
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

World Campus Session II 2017

Best decision I have ever made! Before World Campus, I had no memories of flying internationally as a child, and I would say that, that was my first time traveling outside the country and also on my own. I applied to World Campus knowing that I have a year left of undergraduate studies and I have always wanted to go to Japan. It was my dream and let me tell you World Campus has given me the best Japan experience I can ever receive. In just three weeks, I had three welcoming and loving Host Families, I traveled to three different prefectures, experienced Japanese culture and tradition in ways I know I wouldn't be able to experience as a tourist. Everyone was welcoming and you will make a lot of friends from all over the world because World Campus full of diverse applicants, that is what makes WCI so great.

AND Guess what? The program fee is reasonable and we did not have to worry about any expenses during the program other than your flight, shopping and gifts for host families. (There's more info on the fees and expenses on WCI website)
I have traveled to Japan as a tourist, although is is fun but before all the fun, booking flights, hotels, pocket wifi/sims, transportation, navigating restaurants, and activities to do are things you have to plan ahead of time. World campus takes care of all the planning and all you have to do is arrive to the airport. How great is that?

Aside of all of that, visiting schools, universities, temples, and festivals, this was everything I have longed of seeing and experiencing. I appreciated everything, everyone and all the opportunity given to us. I wanted to give back to the community by sharing a part of my culture back and thanking each and everyone in the community. Before the program I was told about the Arigatou event, I decided to bring a traditional dress and fans for a performance. I was able to perform a fan dance during the 2nd and 3rd Arigatou event, but the 1st event I was hesitance, as a shy person I was nervous to perform alone. I didn't build the courage until later and again World Campus made my step out my comfort zone only for the best experience, because you will never know until you try. It felt good being able to do something back for your host families and everyone in the community. I would join world Campus again if I had the chance to and I highly recommend this program for anyone looking for the greatest Japan experience ever.

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Towa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience of Japan like no other

In the year 2016 I had my first experience of Japan, and I’m very happy that it was with World Campus. It’s a while ago by now, so my review is a little late. But that doesn’t change the fact that I remember my time with World Campus as a very good and fun experience where I could learn a lot and meet a lot of new friendly people from over the world.

With World Campus Japan it’s possible to experience Japan in a way that you would never do if you go as a tourist. I haven’t been to Japan as a tourist yet, so I guess I can’t actually make a comparison. But I honestly think it would be incomparable (I will see in the summer when I’m going back to Japan as a tourist). What I know for sure though is that you don’t get the same experience as a transfer student; after I had been to the first session of World Campus Japan 2016 I went as a transfer student to Tokyo. And while I had fun in Tokyo as well and got to meet a lot of new friendly people, there is nothing like my time in Omura, Arao and Kumamoto with World Campus.

The way I got to be a part of Japanese families during my stay and in a direct way learn about Japan was my favorite part of the program. They gave me a place to sleep, a chance to try amazing Japanese food and the possibility to get to know and learn about them. At the same time though, visiting Japanese schools, trying to do Kyuudo(and failing…) and even visiting a Japanese sword smith along with all the other activities were all great in their own ways and gave a special insight into Japan. I never thought that I would rather be doing something else than doing the activities with the rest of the group.

I would recommend this program to anyone with an interest in Japan. I love it and while I haven’t had the opportunity to go again because of studies and work, I really hope I can go again soon!

What would you improve about this program?
Not sure if this is possible to be honest. It already is such a great program!
Espen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best way to experience Japan

I have travelled with WCI every year since 2013, and since 2014 as a program counselor. I would like to share my experience with WCI after 6 years of travelling with them. Before my WCI days, I travelled to Japan two other times, once in an academic context and once as a tourist with friends. In my experience, World Campus is hands down the best way to experience Japan, and an opportunity to develop yourself as a person.

The first main feature of WCI I would like to emphasize is the host families. Each perticipant stays with one family for each week, and it is amazing how deep a bond can form in such a short time. I have made many life-long friendships with my host families based just on the one week I stayed with them, and am still in regular contact with them. Staying with a host family also gives you something you could never get as a tourist - a close experience of the real Japanese culture. I'm not talking about the "billboard culture" that is served to tourists, but the daily lives of Japanese people, and by staying with three host families, you will get a good picture of their lifestyle.

We usually have participants from over 10 different countries, and I have also made many international friends for life from our own participants and from the Japanese communities we have visited.

The second main feature is the hands-on curriculum. By living the Japanese culture and participating in the local Japanese communities we become familiar with Japanese culture by doing rather than by reading. By living like the Japanese for a few weeks we also become more aware of the peculiarities of our own cultures, in everything from your daily routines to the structure of the family and community.

I would recommend the World Campus - Japan program to anyone who wants to broaden their horizons, learn about their own and other cultures, and meet great people.

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Daniel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a life time!

This was an amazing experience! I had so much fun, and I learned so much along the way.
All of the organized day time activities were well planned, and gave us a unique opportunity to challenge ourselves and learn about Japanese culture. My favorite activity day was the time we a "culture fare" at the local community center. Japanese traditional dancing, instruments, art and games, all gathered at one place. Experiencing Japan in a nut shell this way was very interesting, and i enjoyed it!
My favorite activity was during one of the last days in session 1. We went to a katana sword smith, and got to learn about the process when making a katana. After learning about the history of the sword, and watching him demonstrate parts of the process, we also got to try holding and using the sword. Holding a 40 000 dollar weapon made me quite nervous. But when i finally got to show the tatami-mat who's boss, I was overwhelmed with joy.
This program is filled with diversity. Last year i traveled with people from over 10 different countries. So in addition to learning about Japan and Japanese culture, I also got to experience many other cultures as well. The participants were fun and friendly people, and i became really close with many of them. The good atmosphere among the travelers also played a part in making it such a great experience.
I cant wait to go again!

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Thomas
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

First Time in Japan

I have always wanted to travel to Japan and experience the culture and beauty of the country. When I heard about this program I was instantly intrigued because I realized going with WCI program was the ultimate way of experiencing Japan. If I ever were to travel to japan i would probably just see Tokyo and other typical tourist things. But with WCI I got to meet Japanese people and experience their culture.

Going to Japan with WCI was one of the best things I have ever done. I have never done this kind of culture trip before and it felt good to travel with my friend Sofia(we study the same program at our university). But I believe that you don't have to be afraid to travel alone because everyone are super friendly, caring and super nice. My three host families were so amazing and generous. They became my family during the time I was in the three different cities. Even though I didn't know any Japanese the communication worked perfectly and we had so much fun. The most imporatant thing is that you are nice to your host families and talk with them and you will have an amazing time.

I was with session 1 and we were a small group but such an amazing and fun group with wonderful people. What I loved most was the fact that everyone in the group wanted to be there and experience Japan together. Everyone had something that they loved about Japan or wanted to experience which made the group just amazing to hang around with. I made so many new friends and we did fun things together and talked about our lives. It was just a perfect and incredible journey we did together.

The activities we did together was fun and interesting. We went to schools and interacted with children. We experience japanese culture when we tried on Shorinji kempo, Kyudo and other amazing things. This is was i loved most about the program, all of these things we did was thanks to WCI and I would have never been able to do these things on my own. Therefore, if you want to experience the most of Japan, then I promise you that the WCI program is the best for that. Also, at the end of every stay with the host families we have the Arigatou Event. It is the most fun and awesome night where we thank our host families and dance, show our culture, sing, party, have fun etc. Don't be afraid to have super fun and go all in. :D

In conclusion, I had the most wonderful and amzing adventure of my life in Japan, thanks to WCI. I met new people from all corners of the world and we experienced Japan together. If you wanna have a time of your life, then join WCI program. Also, it does not hurt if you love Japanese food(which I do). You will be in food heaven.

What would you improve about this program?
With a little more extra time for social life with the other people who are with the program. We were all together as a group often but it would have been nice to have more time together. In addition, some of the mornings were very early so it would have been nice to have an extra hour to sleep some days.
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Simon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing way to experience Japan

This program is such a great way to experience Japan for anyone, especially those going for the first time. You'll meet some amazing Japanese host families, make friends from all over the world, and get to try some cool and really interesting activities that let you get hands-on with Japanese culture.

The program is very well organized, and while not cheap, I would say the price is very reasonable for what you're getting: 3 weeks of fully paid food/drink and accommodation, with all transport in Japan and all activities paid as well.

The commitment of the staff, local communities, and all of their partners is really quite impressive, and you can tell that they're deeply passionate about what they do.

In short, I cannot recommend this wonderful experience enough!

Simon Presley, Denmark

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About World Campus International

World Campus International organizes short term programs in Japan for students aged 17 and up. Programs can be done independently of each other or in conjunction, making your Japanese studies flexible to your needs, goals, and budget. Study Japanese...