Do you want to have a meaningful summer break and pick up some Japanese along the way? Do you want to experience the adventure of a lifetime and continue your studies?

If your answer is yes, then why not spend a summer abroad in Japan?

In this article, you can discover why summer is an optimal time for every student to participate in intercultural exchange programs. However, some may feel overloaded with information on the Internet, but don’t worry because Schoolynk is here to help you. This time, we will introduce to you the three most popular organizations that you can contact to apply for a summer program in Japan. In addition, you can have ideas about the top Japanese universities that usually conduct summer programs for international students!

How to find the right program?

There’s a wide variety of Japanese summer programs for you to choose from, but it’s important to make sure you are choosing a suitable program to participate in. Each program that we are about to introduce might vary in length. Therefore, before you start researching for summer abroad programs, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you plan on attending a university class? If yes, what are your top 3 preferred universities?
  • Is there something specific you wish to study? 
  • Do you want to learn Japanese?
  • Do you plan to study in English or Japanese?
  • How much is your budget?

Once you set your goals, check out the information of the organizations and the programs they offer below.

Educational Organizations

While it’s quite time-consuming to research for all summer programs in Japan, you can find the perfect summer study abroad program on the educational organizations’ websites. They will collect all the information needed for specific programs, you can refer to their websites and easily compare the programs you are interested in.

1. AFS Intercultural Programs

AFS Intercultural Programs (American Field Service) is an international youth exchange organization. With over 50 independent, non-profit organizations, each with its own network of volunteers, directors, and websites, students in different nations and regions can conveniently access a plethora of educational opportunities around the world.

As a partner in the global AFS network, AFS-USA offers international education opportunities in over 45 countries and hosts exchange students from 90 countries. With diverse study abroad programs vary in length and interesting courses curriculum, AFS-USA has attracted a lot of foreign students to apply for its study abroad program. One of its most distinguished summer programs is the Summer Global Prep Program. In this program, participants will have two-week experience in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan.

General information:

– Housing: Dormitories
– Tuition fee: $5,950
– Deadline: July 6, 2020 – July 19, 2020 (applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and programs are filled first-come, first-served)
– Course content:
+ Sustainable Development Goal 4
+ Quality Education and Sustainable Development Goal 9
+ Sustainable Infrastructure.
+ Language lessons: basic Japanese (learn some useful kanji and practice pronunciation).
+ Outdoor/ cultural exchange activities.

Eligibility requirements

Most Global Prep programs accept participants between the ages of 13 and 18 years old. You can find contact AFS for more information about specific program eligibility here.

2. EF (Education First)

EF, with its emphasis on language and academic achievement, has been organizing summer abroad programs for 50 years and meeting the high expectations of participants. EF’s summer study abroad programs involve a range of unique locations where students, regardless of age and degrees, can choose their preferred program to partake in. As a team, students can make friends with other foreign peers, where they will become “family members” not only during the program but also after the program has completed. So choose a summer study program that fits your goals today!

EF collaborates with many top Japanese universities to organize various summer programs. This may vary annually. Check out EF’s website for more information:

3. YFU (Youth For Understanding)

YFU is a non-profit international educational organization with partners in more than 60 different countries. Youth For Understanding is one of the world’s oldest, largest and most respected intercultural exchange programs. According to YFU, it is estimated that there had been more than 270,000 students to participate in their partner’s programs in the previous years.

One of YFU’s partner is YFU-USA, which currently has a summer study abroad program in Japan for 6 weeks. In this program, you will stay with a host family and attend traditional customs here such as tea ceremonies, martial arts classes, and local summer festivals. School is in session during the summer program in Japan, so students may choose to attend classes at their host high schools (it’s optional).

Age requirement:

2020 Summer Departure: Students born April 2, 2003 – April 1, 2005.


  • Summer Program: $8,995
  • Short-Term Anime Program: $8,195

Check this link to keep up with the latest news about the deadline for the 2020 program.

Please note that while most organizations don’t require prior knowledge of Japanese, it is recommended to learn some basic Japanese greetings and the common customs here as it will help you reduce the culture shock and enhance the overall experience!

Summer Programs offered by Japanese Universities

Besides the aforementioned programs offered by 3 popular organizations, you can still try out other summer programs in many top Japanese universities. We will give you some summer program suggestions:

1. Waseda Summer Session by Waseda University:

Waseda University is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, which is actively conducting various global courses for international students. Waseda has a four-week summer session at the undergraduate level. While the application period for 2020 has closed, you can still have a look at its website for more insights to prepare for next year’s program. Check out here.

2. Keio Summer Program by Keio University:

Keio University welcomes students from around the world to its new quarter-long Summer Program for academic and cultural learning opportunities in Japan, particularly in Tokyo. You will have a practical chance to study alongside Keio students in a two-month program (June – July). This program offers opportunities for undergraduate students to take Keio‘s credit-bearing courses during its second academic quarter.

2020’s application period has closed but the program is active every year, so you can follow its website for preparation!

3. Global Japan Studies Summer Program 2020 by the University of Tokyo

Participants will engage in a ten-day intensive program (July 6-16, 2020) and have a specialized course in Japan’s postwar.
The application is still open.
Click here for more insights about the application guideline!

4. Summer School Program by Kansai University

Participants will study their chosen subjects in English in the 2 or 4-week programs conducted by Kansai university. This program is especially highly recommended for those who are passionate about Japanese studies at a top-class university located in Osaka, the historical commercial hub of Japan.
+ 2-week program: JPY 175,000
+ 4-week program: JPY 340,000
Check out its website here for further details.

With a range of aforementioned benefits, there’s no better way to spend your vacation than by enrolling in our summer study abroad program in Japan.