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When you hear the word ‘Japan’, what do you think of? Does your mind fill with images of ancient temples, tea gardens and historic cities or futuristic cities connected by bullet trains and littered with technology?

That’s the beauty of Japan, a culture rich in traditional values and history, fused with modern technology and innovation. There is no limit to what you could experience; if you dreamt it Japan has probably done it!

Japan is one of our most popular destinations, and we encourage students to plan and apply well ahead for their Japanese exchange experience.

We have received additional spots for our Academic Semester & Year programs, departing in August 2024. Please Book a Chat with our team to discuss, as applications close on February 29, 2024.

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Program Summary:

Classic Program

If you are looking for a cultural experience for 2-3 months, or an Academic Semester or Year, our Classic program will match you with a welcoming host family and place you in a nearby school. We find the host family and choose the school, and you can enjoy what they have to offer while immersing yourself in local culture.

Perfect for students who:
​* Who can be more flexible in where and what they study​
​* Want to have a cultural experience​ 
​* Interested in joining sports, clubs, and activities
​* Grow as a person and improve language skills​ 


Classic Program Information

Age and eligibility

  • the students should be between 15 and 17 years of age as of April 1 of the Japanese academic year, starting on April 1 and ends in March 31, of the students’ enrolment regardless of the arrival date.
  • Any student who is currently in their final year of high school cannot apply for a January departure the following year. Japan does not accept recent graduates.
  • Japan will only accept students a minimum B-grade average grades over the last two years.
  • The program dates for Japan are not flexible.
  • Japan does not accept students who are vegan/vegetarian and limits on special dietary requirements.
  • Please check with our office if you have any medical conditions as this may affect your application.
  • Personality – students should be mature, sociable, emotionally stable and have open and flexible attitude and willingness to adapt to Japanese life and people.

Language criteria

Japanese Proficiency – the students should have learned at least two (2) years of Japanese in school in past 3 years and should have at least grade 4 (four) level of Japanese Proficiency Test or its equivalent. Each student should be able to read and write all HIRAGANA & KATAKANA upon his/her arrival. b. He/she must be able to read and write at least 50 KANJI upon his/her arrival. c. He/she must be able to carry some easy conversation in Japanese upon his/her arrival. d. He/she must be able to do at least 1-minute self-introduction in Japanese upon his/her arrival.

In addition, applicants must provide a hand-written letter in Japanese to the potential host family. Students must also provide a movie of self introduction in Japanese (1-2 minutes). You can upload this as a private YouTube video and then share the link with your Program Coordinator. We encourage you to talk about yourself, your family, home and school… and please smile!

Program Length

Programs are available for an Academic Semester or Academic Year in April or August/September. 2 & 3 Month programs are also available.


In Japanese high schools, the typical school hours are from 8:30 to 15:30, Monday to Friday, with classes ending at noon on Saturdays. This schedule is not uncommon in Japan. While after-school activities are not mandatory, the school provides exchange students with free study hours, allowing them to choose whether or not to attend regular classes.

Exchange students are expected to have a sufficient level of Japanese proficiency to understand instructions from teachers. It is important to note that sports are compulsory in almost all high schools.


All Outbound students are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Your Program Manager can advise if any additional vaccinations are required. Please be sure to note all vaccinations you have received in your application.

Soft Landing Camp

Not available on programs in Japan.


Visas are required, subject to program length. Your Program Coordinator will provide further information in preparation for your exchange program.

Students traveling on Australian & New Zealand passports, with programs up to 90 days, generally travel as “tourists” and do not need to apply for a visa prior departure. However, for programs extending beyond the 90-day period (including Semester & Academic Year programs), students are usually required to apply for the necessary visa.

Program Coordinators will provide the essential visa documents so students can lodge their visa application. Please note that Program Coordinators are not Registered Migration Agents and cannot represent the applicant. Program Coordinators will provide “guidance” where possible, however the responsibility of lodging the visa falls upon the student/parents. Visa application requirements differ per destination and, on top of the visa documents provided by your Program Coordinator, students will need to provide additional documents such as birth certificate, bank statements, police check certificate, passport photos, letter of parental consent, etc.

Visa application fees (set by the foreign Authority) fluctuate depending on the destination and may vary from $180 to $700. These costs exclude expenses such as translations, official stamps (Notary Public stamp, Apostille stamp), national police certificate, passports photos, express post envelopes, etc. In some cases, students must attend an in-person consulate / visa agency appointment, which may incur additional personal expenses for travel such as purchasing flights (Interstate flight or international flight if no representation in your home country), petrol costs, tolls, accommodation, etc.

The budget allocated for flights to Japan is AU$2,000 of the program price listed below. We may need to charge a flight surcharge if we cannot obtain a flight within this budget. For more information, please see our Flight Surcharge Policy on our Money Matters page.

Students in traditional Japanese Kimonos

Classic Program Prices for Japan

There are currently no programs available for Japan

LengthArriveProgram fee AUDApplication deadline

Each destination has a budget for flights included in the fee. If flight costs are above this budgeted amount, a Flight Surcharge may apply. Please see our Money Matters page for program inclusions, the flight surcharge policy and other important pricing information.

Program start dates are indicative arrivals in the destination & students attending the Soft Landing Camp (if available) will depart earlier. Program start dates serve as approximate arrival dates at the destination and subject to change. We will notify you of your confirmed program dates ahead of time to prevent any confusion or inconvenience.

Scholarship & Early Bird Discount Application Deadlines
March 31, 2024: classic programs departing between October 2024 – March 2025
October 31, 2024: classic programs departing between April 2025 – September 2025
Find out more about Scholarships and Early Bird Discounts.

LIVE Online sessions

If you would like to find out more information on our programs, please attend one of our free LIVE Online Information Sessions to:

  • Meet our staff
  • Hear comprehensive information on all aspects of exchange
  • Ask questions
  • See questions asked by other students and parents

Information evenings run for about an hour.
They are friendly, free and are the best way for us to address your specific questions in person.

Mother and teenage daughter online

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Worldwide High School Online Brochure

For an overview of our programs, our team will send you our Worldwide High School Online Brochure.

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Classic High School Programs

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