How To Go To Japan As An Exchange High School Student (3 Useful Supports & 4 Tips)

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This is a guest con­tri­bu­tion from a 17 year-old young Japan enthu­si­ast — Kana of


Hello,Kana here!  😀 Thanks for reading my first and previous post here in Naruhodo Japan, your views are much appreciated!

Today I’ll be sharing some tips on HOW to go to Japan as an exchange student! Based on my experience there and stuff LOL.Well first and foremost I’ll be sharing some websites of organizations which offers exchange student programs to Japan and other countries,mostly European countries and the States, that’s for sure.


3 Useful Organizations For Studying Abroad In Japan

How To Go To Japan As An Exchange High School Student  (3 Useful Supports & 4 Tips)

#1  Hiroshima International Club

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As you can see they do offer various homestay programs to foreign countries,but these programs are only available to Malaysian teenagers out there.

Requirements? No worries! All you need to do is to pay the amount needed for the program, don’t forget to fill in the application form first before that. It’s a first come first serve basis. Two of my friends visited Japan through this organization, if you think you can afford to pay for the program, why not try it out?

Don’t forget to check out their Facebook page too:


#2  AFS Intercultural Programs

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Link for the main site:

If you think you can’t afford to go to Japan for an exchange student or a homestay program, bear in mind that there are always scholarships offered by NGO organizations!

AFS offers scholarships to students with both academic and curriculum performances, but don’t forget there’s always an interview first before that. Check out their website for more scholarships and programs! Programs and scholarships may differ by the AFS in your country.

If you’re a Malaysian, you can still apply for the programs offered, the deadline is on the 30th of April so hurry up before it’s too late!


#3  Youth For Understanding (YFU)

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When I was in Japan, I met a girl from Germany and apparently she was staying in Japan for almost a year as an exchange student through this organization! 😀 Unfortunately there’s no YFU in Malaysia but they do have it in other countries.

About YFU:

Youth For Understanding’s (YFU) global history began between war-torn Germany and the United States. In 1951 it was proposed to church leaders in Michigan, USA that teenagers from Germany be brought to the United States to live with a family and attend high school for a year in an effort to heal the wounds of World War II.

As a result, 75 German teenagers arrived in Ann Arbor, Michigan in July 1951. They were hosted by volunteer U.S. families, and as the year went by, it became clear to Dr. Rachel Andresen that building bridges between nations by sending teenagers to live and learn abroad, is exactly what the world needed.

Today, YFU is one of the world’s oldest, largest, and most respected international educational exchange programs. Since 1951, YFU organizations around the world have exchanged close to 250,000 students. In one year alone, approximately 4,000 students will participate in YFU programs worldwide.

Through the exchange experience, YFU students gain skills and perspectives necessary to meet the challenges of and benefit from the opportunities the fast-changing global community has to offer.

Youth For Understanding is a worldwide movement of committed individuals and organizations working together to prepare young people for their responsibilities and challenges in a changing, interdependent global community. YFU’s national organizations share a common mission and vision for the future.

(Source from YFU official website)


4 Tips To Apply For An Exchange Program In Japan

How To Go To Japan As An Exchange High School Student  (3 Useful Supports & 4 Tips)

Now back to the TIPS!!

What do I have to do during the interview!? What should I wear for the interview!? Can I make it!? Are my exam results that important!? Do I have to bring my certificates along too!?

1. Interviews

What’s most important when you’re going for an interview for an exchange program is to:

  • Dress up properly and nicely, your image is the most important here as it shows who you are in general. Don’t forget to sit properly too,your sitting posture shows you who are actually :p
  • Look confident! Don’t show any signs of anxiousness or nervousness,it shows that you’re not ready for the interview!
  •  Show them what you’ve got. It’s okay to boast about yourself sometimes,but not too much. Tell them your achievements throughout your school life,like representing  your school,state,country for competitions and bla bla bla.
  •  Bring along your certificates! Certificates are definitely important here! It applies here in Malaysia but I’m not sure about other countries but anyway it’s really important to bring along your certs with you when you’re going for an interview! It might bring you far.
  • Do not act like a weeaboo. Some interviewers might test you about your knowledge about Japan, everyone knows that when it comes to Japan it’s all about anime and manga, but if you’re telling them that you’re going to Japan just for anime and manga they’ll probably not select you because exchange programs are all about sharing and learning each other cultures.

   You’re there to learn about other people’s country and promoting your country at the same time. Anime/manga is definitely a taboo word,that’s for me though.

2. Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

You must be wondering why JLPT has to do with this post LOL. Well actually a JLPT certificate plays a really big role when you’re applying for student exchange programs to Japan.

I only had my N4 certificate that time,the interviewers were literally flipping through my certificates until they came upon to my N4 certificate, which I put it at the last page on purpose LOL. They took my certificate together with my results slip and photocopied it. And when I knew it, I was told by a Japanese man in a welcome party (when I was in Japan) that they received news that there’s a student who can speak Japanese.

And uhhh, that would be me. (cough)

If you can speak/read/write/understand Japanese, even simple ones, it’s worth taking JLPT. Maybe even N5 would do in certain cases. Some interviewers would want to send students who don’t even speak Japanese because they want you to learn something new there. But it’s worth giving a try!


3. Personality

Sometimes it’s not about what you’ve achieved in school etc. It’s all about your personality.

What interviewers want from YOU is your personality. Who would want to send a bitch or rude student abroad and ended up giving a bad name to your own country? Remember to be always kind and friendly. We wouldn’t want a rather timid and quiet person to represent the country. It’s good to be talkative but just think twice before you say anything 😉


4. Learn up some Japanese jokes

This is a pretty brief one. I don’t really know much of Japanese jokes but I did learn one when I was watching “Cartoon KAT-TUN”.

I learnt this phrase,「入り口、出口、田口です!」,in romaji “Iriguchi,deguchi,Taguchi desu!”. Which literally means “Entrance, exit, my name is Taguchi!”.

My foster sister is a fan of a Japanese boy group called Kanjani Eight, which belongs to Johny’s Entertaiment, and yes KAT-TUN is part of it too. I said that magical “Taguchi” phrase and she cracked up real hard! LOL! I did the same thing when I was in school for 2 days and it just livened up the mood a lot!


To sum it all up, going to Japan as an exchange student is a really fun experience. I think there wasn’t really any sufficient tips written here but I hope it’ll help out anyone who’s trying to go to Japan as an exchange student! Remember, no pain no gain and good luck to everyone out there!


Today’s Naruhodo

Kana is a very enthusiastic high school student who has experienced a lot in Japan as an exchange student. I found her tips which are based on her real experience and observation, very close to what Japanese people love.

Good job Kana! I hope everyone could gain something from Kana in terms of cross-cultural study in Japan. ^^ Don’t hesitate to drop a question here to Kana, I know she is desperate to answer your questions. :p


Kana is a 17 year-old Malaysian high school student who is living in her fantasies. She is passionate to share Japan and Malaysia cultures to the world. Visit her blog to know more about her.