Become a World Explorer
There’s something intriguing about Japan - images of dragons, cherry blossoms and samurais come to mind. From the peacefulness found in the rural villages to the bright lights flickering in Tokyo, Japan is a country where ancient traditions collide with the 21st century. Sign up to be a World Explorer in Japan and get to know the country and its people by living with a local host family during a short-term cultural immersion program.
CHI works with trusted partner agencies who screen and interview potential host families. Remember that our host families in Japan are volunteering to open up their homes to you, so it’s always nice to offer a helping hand around the house. The preferred stay in Japan is one to two months. You may be placed with two families if you want to stay longer than one month. We offer a limited number of placements year-round in the Osaka/Kyoto area of Japan. Here you can visit the Great Buddha of Kamakura. Past participants have studied samurai sword fighting, sang karaoke and visited local elementary schools.
The cultural differences between Japan and America are vast. It is crucial that our World Explorers understand the way of life in Japan before starting their programs. A Skype orientation is given before every departure to make sure the Japanese values and way of life are understood. For example, being too direct in Japan, even just through body language, can be considered rude. People in the U.S. are taught to look directly in someone's eyes when speaking or listening to show they are actively participating in the conversation. In Japan, extended eye contact can be uncomfortable between people who aren't close, and eyes are often adverted. Japanese people also tend to be more reserved than Americans, and share less personal or sensitive information, even with close friends.
Please note that Japan is a very popular destination, and placements are extremely limited. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate every applicant interested in Japan. Also, the minimum age requirement for Japan is higher than in other countries. You must be at least 20-years-old to apply to our Japan program.
CHI also offers an exciting volunteer and work opportunity in addition to our home tutor option in Japan: Teach English at a School in Tokyo.
WE calculated the price for two scenarios. The first scenario considers your choices above. The second scenario is the scenario that offers the best value. We also compared our prices with two other options. A hostel-stay with 3 meals per day and a hotel-stay with 3 meals per day. For the hotel-stay, we considered 1-2 star hotels because we learned from past World Explorers that most of them are traveling on a budget. However, a home-stay (staying with a host family) is substantially better than a 2-star hotel-stay when all amenities, comfort, and support are considered. Aside from that, you will be staying with people who care about you, who will be sharing their culture with you, and who will embrace you as part of their family. These, as part of your life-changing experience, are priceless!
You will be traveling abroad on a tourist visa; hence, in most countries, you can only stay up to 90 days. We understand you might want to stay longer and we designed the World Explorers program to meet your desire. Instead of staying over 90 days in a country, we allow you, the World Explorer, to participate on a second adventure on a different country. And that is not all. You can actually participate as many times as you would like (some exclusions apply). Please contact a World Explorers customer care specialist for more information.
My host family is extremely nice, and I feel lucky to have met them. My schedule is quite tough since I am teaching 8 little kids (from neighboring families) in different time slots, and it is difficult to control them when they are together! The age group ranges from 2 years to 7 years and every child has a different level. I have to teach the ABCs to two students and then I have to teach basic English grammar to the rest. Sometimes I read stories, and sometimes I have to have a conversation with them so that I can check whether they are following me or not. I am really happy to get this opportunity and to have met wonderful people through my host family. I also made few good friends here with whom I hang out in my free timeHalima C. - World Explorer in Japan, January 2014
My placement was wonderful, and I really enjoyed my month in Japan. I have so many amazing memories from the experience, and have many people I hope to keep in contact with. I definitely would like to return someday, and I’d really like to go through the program again in the future to a different country.Sarah B. - World Explorer in Japan, April 2012