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Foreign Exchange Student to Japan...has anyone done this?

Foreign Exchange Student to Japan...has anyone done this?

Old Jul 12th, 2004, 09:46 AM
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Foreign Exchange Student to Japan...has anyone done this?

My 13 year old daughter is very interested in becoming a foreign exchange student to Japan. This would be in a few years time when she is in high school, but I was hoping perhaps someone could recommend a reputable group or organization with whom you've had personal experience.

Has anyone done this themselves? What are your impressions and feelings about it? Was it a positive experience? What, if any, were the problems you encountered?

Any information or advice you can offer would be appreciated.
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Old Jul 12th, 2004, 11:03 AM
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My daughter spent a month in Japan during the summer between her 6th and 7th grade and loved it. The child is indpendent and had traveled twice before with her family to foreign countries but never alone. My daughter did her home stay through the National 4H program. They have many, many programs including a one month home stay, two month home stays over the summer with Japanese language classes during the day, and during the high school years a school year stay with a family. Both the children and the families are screened before joining the programs. My daughter had to go through an interview process. Check out the programs on the 4H web site. If you need more information let me know.
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Old Jul 12th, 2004, 11:32 AM
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Thanks clampar. A summer stay was what I had in mind also. Did your daughter feel as if that was long enough to make the adjustment and feel comfortable with the language --or was the host family fluent in English? Did she know any Japanese before she went? Were you able to speak with the family before your daughter went?

I appreciate your input. I checked out the 4H site and am requesting additional information.
many thanks
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Old Jul 12th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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mwessel, my son spent his high school Junior year in Japan as an exchange student. He taveled as part of an exchange program sponsored by Rotary International. You can contact your local Rotary Club or check them out online. I am not a Rotarian, he was recommended by a guidance counsular Most of the kids were out of high school, but a few were Juniors.

He spent a lot of his sophomore year preparing for the trip, interviews as well as monthly weekend overnighters with future exchange students, those that had returned the previous year and foreign students attending school in the USA.

I would say the experience was tremendous for him. His first host family spoke fairly fluent English and his second much less. He got to help teach a class in English to other high school students and also had a school trip to Korea as well as a trip to Mt Fuji and to Hiroshima and Kyoto. His school was located in Chigasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture. He was close enough to Tokyo for regular shopping trips and to meet other exchange students there.

I'd say it was a totally positive experience. His mother may disagree.
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Old Jul 12th, 2004, 01:23 PM
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Oh, and by the way, his high school here in Ohio gave him full course credit for the classes he completed in Japan. He's hoping to return and teach English to Japanese students after college.
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Old Jul 12th, 2004, 02:03 PM
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Two excellent and well respected organizations that do high school exchanges are American Field Service (AFS) and the Experiment in International Living. They have a long history of organizing exchange programs around the world. I joined their programs when I was a high school student. Both experiences were very positive and some of the best memories in my life.
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Old Jul 13th, 2004, 02:58 PM
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My daughter's school has a summer exchange program with Keio school in Japan. We have hosted the Japanese students several times, although neither of my daughters wanted to go to Japan. (We go on vacation so often, they felt it would be boring). Funny thing is my daughter will be a counselor for the kids coming to Hawaii this year.

I know many of the kids who went to Japan, and all loved it! They go for 4 weeks and stay with families and go to a modified school program, plus do some travelling as well. This years kids left today. I can't say enough good stuff about the people on this end and the japanese chaperones.

They have taken students from other schools if the kid has good references. You can check www.Punahou.edu and look at the "Wo Center" pages.

Two of my friends have had their kids do a whole school year exchange in China. They said it was a wonderful experience for the kids, but really hard to have the child go away for junior year of high school, when you are going to lose them to college just a year later.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 09:23 AM
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My son left today for 3 weeks in Japan with an organization called Children's International Summer Village. He is also 13. They seems to have a well put together program, based on volunteer efforts and geared toward peace and international understanding. They have programs for children ages 11 through high school. You can see more at www.cisv.org
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