What is a School Exchange Program?

A school exchange program is a program in which students visit schools and meet students of their age in Japan. Many schools while on educational travel in Japan have engaged in exchange programs with schools all around Japan. There are a wide range of school exchange programs which can meet a variety of aims such as cross-cultural communication, language learning, sports or art exchange, and more.

location_cityExamples of Exchange Programs

Cross-cultural exchange, International exchange

Morning Welcome Party

School Campus Tour
Afternoon Class Exchange

Exchange meeting

Cross-cultural exchange, Sports exchange

Morning Welcome Ceremony

Presentation on the Regional Traditional Culture
Afternoon Join in club activities (Soccer, Judo etc.)

Origami experience

location_cityBenefits of School Exchange Program

Here are the four main benefits of school exchange program.

1Increasing Learning Motivation

By paying a visit to a Japanese school and experiencing a foreign educational system. Students will be able to explore things in a new environment and a different culture. This will in turn lead to increased student motivation to learn. Thomas Fuller once said, “He that travels much knows much.” Traveling is always a great opportunity to learn more in a pleasant way.

2Deepening the Understanding of Japanese Culture

Students can actually learn more about Japanese culture through interactions with Japanese students. When encountering a foreign culture, one can always recognize the similarities and differences between the foreign culture and one’s own. It may also be a wonderful opportunity to think about the characteristics of one’s country, and things worth cherishing.

3Acquiring a Global Perspective

By meeting Japanese students of the same age, students have the chance to encounter values that are new to them, and this can foster in them a global perspective. This will deepen the students ability to thing from various angles, something essential for understanding the world.

4An Inspiring, Engaging Japanese-Learning Environment

The best way to master a foreign language is to go to a country where the language is spoken. For students learning Japanese, it is an excellent opportunity to exposed to and learn authentic living Japanese.

location_cityJapan’s Educational System

For a smoother school exchange program, it is necessary to learn more about Japan’s educational system. School exchange programs are mostly held in secondary schools, including junior high schools and senior high schools in which students ages range from 12 to 18. During the exchange program, it is possible to take classes with Japanese students, and join club activities organized by the students themselves.

The Process of School Exchange

JNTO collaborates with local governments to support school exchanges during educational travel in Japan. After deciding the date and destination of visit as well as completing bookings of flights and accommodation, please contact JNTO to apply for a school exchange program. We will assist with visiting and host school matching and introducing you schools which meet your needs. Furthermore, leading up to the exchange, we offer support for things such as arranging the schedule and exchange program content for your exchange day.

Decide to Conduct Educational Travel in Japan
Decide a Visiting Date & Destination
Book Flights & Accommodations
Find Host Schools
Choose a Host School
Confirm the Host School
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Local Government
Tourism Bureau
Education Bureau

Matching up Schools Arrange the Exchange Program
Host School
Arrange the Exchange Program
Conduct the Exchange Program during Educational Travel

How to Arrange a School Exchange?

JNTO collaborates with local governments to support school exchanges during educational travel in Japan. After deciding the date and destination of visit as well as completing bookings of flights and accommodation, please contact JNTO to apply for a school exchange program. We will assist with visiting and host school matching and introducing you schools which meet your needs. Furthermore, leading up to the exchange, we offer support for things such as arranging the schedule and exchange program content for your exchange day.

location_city Important points of school exchange

check_box Please start to find a host school for school exchange as soon as possible.

Although the matching depends on schools and their locations, it takes about one or two months on average. We will stop accepting applications two months before the day of school exchange. Please ensure to start the process of finding a host school at least 3 months before your visit. Also, confirmed reservations for flights and accommodation are required when applying for a school exchange. Since schools in Japan tend to arrange their schedules for the following school year during December-March, we advise you to aim for that period and start planning as soon as possible.

check_box The difficulty of matching with a host school varies from period to period.

The difficulty of matching depends on schools and their locations. In general, October and November exchanges are the easiest for matching. It may take a longer time during the turn of the academic year (March – April), during the summer vacation (July – August), and during the New Year holidays (early December – early January).

check_box Please refrain from cancelling once the host school has been decided.

To avoid any inconvenience to host schools, please refrain from any cancellation without a valid reason once the match is determined. For the same reason, multiple applications for different host schools at the same time is also not allowed.