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The World Campus - Get Unique Access to Japan!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A truly rewarding way to spend your summer

This program gave me some of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I tried so many new things, and I met so many interesting people. It was a real adventure.

In this program I learned a lot of new things about myself, Japan, and other cultures as well. This is however not a study abroad program, as there are no formal learning situations. You learn by interacting with other people. These people include Japanese of all ages in different occupations, and other program participants from all over the world. You also learn by trying new things, or things you don't do often. This could be speaking Japanese, performing dances or songs, learning about Japanese history, going to tea ceremonies, doing zen meditation, playing Japanese games, speaking in front of an audience, working in a tempura store, taking a bath in a onsen and much more.

The host families were very kind and welcoming, and they did their best to help me practice my Japanese. The english level varies from family to family, but you don't need to have studied Japanese for this program to be successful. I was a bit shy, and not so confident in speaking Japanese, so I didn't learn as much Japanese as I could have. The families will cook real home-made Japanese food for you, and that is not something you can easily get outside the homes. When doing homestay, you learn how Japanese families actually live, and you will understand Japan better.

In this programmed you will be challenged, and you might get exhausted at times. But the memories and the new perspectives you gain make it truly worth it.

I believe this program has made me grow as a person, and I am really glad I joined.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Japan 2016

This year was the second time I joined World Campus and if I could join again next year, I'd be really happy

Overall the program is awesome. You get to experience Japanese culture very closely, while you also meet a lot of people from different countries. And this is what makes this program so fun. Even if you are not THAT interested in Japan, you'll still make new international friends in this program.

Another important thing to mention are the host families: It's completely different than just going on a vacation somewhere. You actually get to interact a lot with the locals. And even if you don't speak Japanese, in my experience, you'll make the communication work somehow. I had a friend who literally didn't speak a single word of Japanese and he still managed to survive.

In conclusion, if you want to explore Japan and have a great time with friends while doing so, this is what I would recommend.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    10

A great experience

I really appreciated the whole three weeks I stayed in Japan. I got to see many new things, ate many delicious food and met many kind people.

The host families greed you as a family member and I got friends with the other participants.
Those three weeks were filled with fun and wonderful experiences.

I recommend it to everyone who ever wanted to travel to Japan. It's 100% worth it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It may look strange, but it's tasty, or at least it's an experience worth experiencing!

World Campus International is truly a great opportunity in learning about Japan and Japanese culture. I myself hadn't really traveled a lot earlier, staying within the Nordics for all of my life. Because of that, such an experience as World Campus's program was something unique for me. The cultural shock, the tight but interesting schedule and the international class were undoubtedly challenges, but it was challenge I was looking for to begin with! The sheer amount of everything we experienced and learned during only three weeks is mind-boggling. From living with a host family to visiting local elementary schools and listening to an atom bomb survivor's story the program offered an extraordinary and eye-opening look in the Japanese culture, language and society. Other amazing things we had the privilege to experience include seeing an authentic Japanese swordsmith at work, experiencing different budo, such as Japanese archery (kyudo) and Shorinji kenpo, as well as see the magnificent Kumamoto castle.

The program operates in English, so vast knowledge of Japanese isn't necessary. Of course, some skill with the language helps getting even more out of the experience. The program was very well organized and the staff really helpful and friendly. To be honest, it felt more like the staff members were participants among us others, only with a little more know-how and grasp on the organizational stuff. Simply put, it felt like we were one big family :)

So, ever thought of maybe wanting to go and see Japan for yourself? Here is an extraordinary chance with well-organized program and more stuff to experience than you can imagine. Participants and new friends to make from all over the world. And while sometimes it might feel like the food looks kinda strange, it's all tasty and at least you will be one experience richer!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Experiencing Japan

The World Campus program gave me the opportunity to experience Japan in a way that I would never be able to on my own. The program seems well embedded in the different communities, and the host families were skillfull to accomodate me, concidering that I speak extremely little Japanese. The interractions with the communities through shop work and company visits are also something I would never get to enjoy without enrolling into this program. In addition to getting this experience, I also found myself equally interrested in getting to know the other participants, as I discovered the difference in our cultures, as well as the similarities of our personalities. I thuroughly enjoyed being a part of World Campus.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I want to participate again

As a person who loves to travel, I'm always a fan of experiencing culture rather than observing it as a tourist. Therefore I was very interested in World Campus' idea of interacting and living with japanese people even before I left. But actually experiencing it exceeded my expectations! You get an understanding of the japanese culture on a completely different level than you ever would as a regularitet tourist, because you get forced to adapt to the new lifestyle. But your "cultural education" isn't limited to Japan only. You are attending a program together with a lot of other people from many different nations. You spend a lot of time with these participants, so that you learn as much as possible about all kinds of cultures. Not to mention, you make friends that lasts a lifetime! As the program is packed with events, and you mostly use your spare time to interact with you host family, you tend to be quite exhausted at almost all times during the program, but it's definetly worth it, because you get so much in return! So if you are interested, give it a try! Then I will see you there.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Not really studying abroad

It's more of a vacation, but it's amazing. Don't have much words, the host families greet you as a member of their families. The other travelers on the same thing are great, and I made several friends that I still talk to.

Simply put, it was amazing and I don't want anything more than to return again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Japan

I went to Japan with World Campus and I must say, it was an amazing experience. When you just visit Japan you get to know Japan, however you don't get to know the Japanese (unless you're lucky).
While traveling with World Campus you live in host families and through this, you get to know the Japanese.
Also, it's a great opportunity to make lots of new friends as you obviously aren't going to be the only one joining the program. I for example met people from Mexico, the Netherlands and from the UK.

I will definitely join the program again next year.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

An awesome experience

So I had a great time in Japan and it turned out that this program fitted me perfectly. For the last year before participating I've studied Japanese and it was a good way to put it into practice. The program doesn't require any knowledge in the language but if you do, or want to do you will get a lot of opportunities to practise while taking part in great communities. Anything from learning how to cook Japanese omelette to cutting bamboo in the forest. Weather you want to visit every shrine in sight or just want to stay around a camp fire with your host family and their friends, -turning into a dance party, this program is simply put full of opportunities and it is great. It is a great moral boost to be surrounded by 40 school children calling out your name. And the best part, except for all the nice people and delicious food, the only thing that is required from you is that you are decent and have an interest, how great isn't that? :D

The only downside to this program is that after weeks you will have to leave your family (not your host family but family- period) and friends. Thank ... what ever or whomever you want to thank, for the internet so that you could keep in touch. Loved it!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A unique way of going to Japan

I have a big interest in Japanese culture, and wanted to really experience and learn the everyday life in Japan. World Campus is a great opportunity to do exactly that! I got to stay with three different host families. All of them were different, so it was very interesting to learn about every family's way of living. They were all very kind to me, and I can't wait to see them again!
The group I traveled with were an awesome bunch of people from 11 different countries. We had so much fun together, and it's really amazing how close you can get in such a short amount of time.
I experienced so many great things. Both visiting beautiful and interesting places, but mostly meeting all the locals from the different cities. I got to meet so many people, and because of that, I also got to train my understanding of Japanese a lot.
I would definitely recommend World Campus if you're looking for a different way of traveling to Japan, and get to experience and meet people you would never be able to, if you went by yourself. Or if you just want to travel with an awesome group of people. You'll suddenly have a network of people in Japan, and at least three lovely families to come back too, when you visit Japan later!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Unforgettable experiences, life changing travel

Participating in The World Campus is one of the best things I have ever decided upon, and something that I definetely would love to do again. Through this program I have made many new friends, formed connections to different places in the world and become more social. I loved how those three weeks allowed me to see so much of Japan from the inside, and therefore understand another society much better. The families I lived with made me feel more at home than I could ever imagine living in a foreign house, in a foreign country with a family I had just met. I think this kind of experience is healthy for everyone, and I hope that others also decide to take a brave step and join the World Campus. You will never regret it!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Exploring Japan for the first time with World Campus International!

Hi
My name is Tanguy and last summer I went to Japan with World Campus International.
Let me tell you why I chose this organization. It has always been a dream to go to Japan, but I never went before. I really wanted to see Japan from a local view and be able to interact with families. With World Campus Inc. you get the opportunity to stay with host families. I think it was a great experience to share your culture with them and learn about theirs in return. You get a perfect idea of how people live over there. This is something you can't experience if you stay in a hotel or hostel.
That's not all, with WCI we visited schools, large organizations, tempels... yes, even an elderly home to interact with the people. Each of the activities was very interesting and made a great impact on me.

So I can recommend this program to everybody who really wants to get to know Japan. After the program you'll go back to your country with a lot of nice experiences and a bunch af new friends from Japan and places all over the world!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

A total must! Widened my horizon

World Campus organizes group trips around Japan, with the focus on widening your horizon, getting to know new life-long contacts and most importantly: cultural exchange. I had never been to Japan, prior to this trip, so I decided to not go all by myself, with no one to fall back on in case of trouble. This was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

The organization itself is very well-organized and handles everything professionally. I was free to ask any questions that popped up during the enrollment process. The enrollment itself is not very complicated, there are a couple of forms and sheets you have to fill in with practical info such as possible allergies, phone numbers, contact information etc... World Campus wants to ensure that the trip goes perfectly and that everyone can enjoy it. That's why not everyone who applies is necessarily accepted. When I arrived in Japan, World Campus staff were waiting to pick me up along with other people who were arriving at the airport.

I have to note that I was amazed with the price of the trip. Most 3 week trips to Japan easily surpass 3000$. World Campus does not even come close, it was quite affordable. You get everything you need in that price: lodging, food, transportation and the activities (of which there were many, and all amazingly fun).

-Lodging:
If you travel with World Campus, you'll be staying at Japanese Host Families. They provide you not only with a roof over your head and food on the table, but they're deeply interested in you and your culture. I truly felt at home at every family I stayed with. A trip lasts 3 weeks and covers 3 cities. So you'll be staying with 3 different host families during your stay. I honestly can't even come up with any negative points about this host experience. They cared for me, treated me well, I talked with them for hours, they guided me and gave me tips on how to take public transport etc. I made connections that will never fade. The host families speak sufficient to good English. If you are interested in learning Japanese, then you're most welcome to practice a lot with your host family and everyone else you meet.

-cities
I went on the second trip (Jun 30 - Jul 21). We started at Senriyama (Suita, Osaka); then stayed at Uda (Nara) and lastly went to Isehara (Kanagawa, near Tokyo).

-activities
Each city consisted of 1 personal day (where you're free to go wherever you want), 1 host family day (where your lovely host family takes you around and you have fun with them) and 4-5 days of group activities. These activities range from sightseeing to school visits to company visits to community activities such as playing with kids in a youth movement. In other words: you get to experience Japan in a way only very few people get to experience it. You are not a 'tourist', you are part of the local community and interact with real Japanese everyday people.

-Arigato event
In each town near the end of your stay there, an event will be held where you and the rest of the group perform little acts and have fun with the community. It's a way of thanking them for their hospitality, and usually goes along with lots tears because you don't want to part with all these lovely people you'll have met.


All in all, I don't regret travelling with World Campus one bit. I can even call it a life-changing experience. I made countless new memories that I will always dearly cherish. If you are thinking of going next year, don't hesitate: Go for it! Japan is the safest country in the world, and the group is carefully selected, everyone you meet is simply amazing. You'll make friendships that will always last, if you take on this adventure.

Arno Ceriez

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

What World Campus has taught me

I have quite some experience being in japan not only as a tourist but also as a student and as a friend visiting their Japanese friends, but I must say, non of these experiences has made an impact on me like World Campus did.
World Campus has shown me Japan on a completely different level, a level far below the surface of Japanese society that a tourist gets to see. Even though you are a foreigner it feels like you get to see Japan from the eyes of a Japanese. After joining the program and participate in many activities you get a good image of how Japanese people grow up and in what cultural environment, what Japanese people do in their free time and like to do and what goes on in different Japanese households and schools. It is the unique activities that World Campus provides you with, that little by little give you these pieces of experience that fit together as a puzzle showing you the fundamental points of Japanese culture and society.
With home stays as it's core, these activities take place on daily basis and include school visits, visits to Japanese companies, Joining Japanese sport or hobby groups, experiencing Japanese martial arts and experiencing Buddhist or Shinto culture.

And then there is you, alumni that have shown me the wonders of being in an international group and taught me not only about other cultures, but also gave me a better understanding of my own. It is true that multi-cultural groups may have to put extra effort in understanding and truly knowing each other, but I have noticed that this extra effort creates bonds stronger and more durable than steel.

Thank you World Campus and I hope you keep showing this unique side of japan to many others hereafter! I also hope I get the opportunity to be back for more.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Too good to be true?

If you have any interest in going to Japan, you probably think that being able to live with a host family, visit schools and universities, working in a Japanese kitchen or doing Japanese archery sounds really cool, but what's the catch?
There is no catch!
Well... maybe.
It all depends on your personality.
World campus is everything they say they are, and more. But the more part is not all sunshine and roses. Many reviews of things of great quality focus on the positive, telling you all the greatness they experienced, but you always end up with the nagging feeling that there are some things they are not telling you. So I will. Here are some of the things that could be seen as negative to some, but if they don't to you then this program is something you should seriously consider as even those who had huge problems seem to really feel it was worth it in the end.

Heat.
Japan is hot, especially if you are from a country where 20C is considered warm.
You are going to sweat a lot, and have to drink a lot as well because of it, and as this program is tightly packed with things happening all the time, you will not always get the chance to relax in the shade if you are tired. Luckily Japan has you covered with vending machines selling drinks on every corner.

Exhaustion
Like I mentioned earlier, the program is tightly packed. In general you do activities from early in the morning to the middle of the evening every day. Then you have to go home to your families and eat dinner, and spend time with them. You are supposed to be a part of the family while staying there, so just going to bed right after dinner(and you will want to some times) is very disrespectful to the people who has invited you to stay with them. It is not a hotel.

Mental exhaustion
If you are like me(introverted tendencies), interacting with people for long periods of time gets exhausting. You will want to spend some time alone, but the only time you have for yourself is before you sleep(unless you have a room-mate). Know however that the families you will stay with are very polite and will not bother you needlessly. The staff are great people persons and caring(mostly :P), and the culture within the group of travellers become very caring.

Language
The Japanese as a people are not the best at speaking English. But you will still be forced to speak with more of them than you can imagine. It is hard if you don't know Japanese, but I have not experienced a family without a modest level of vocabulary for daily use. You might be forced to speak with children(good luck). And elderly(you will learn the word for beautiful ^^).
Young adults and students are usually quite good.

Embarrassment
There will be embarrassing moments.
You will say things wrong, you will misunderstand what the bidet does. You will not understand how to turn on the water heater in the shower, or mistake Chinese tourists for Japanese...
You will also have to speak in front of crowds, perform ..exotic performances.. be open about yourself, and hear others being open as well.

Culture shock
people will have very different views on things than you do. Not only the Japanese.
You will have to reel yourself in every time someone says something you disagree strongly with(unless you have learned that they can tolerate it) You will experience people not saying what's really on their mind. And people pretending "embarrassments" didn't happen, rather than laugh them off.

That's the worst I can think of. If these are things you can deal with. If these are challenges you wish to set for yourself. If your assumptions where way worse than this, then relax and forget about the downsides. And see if not the awesome sides are something you want to do(cause they're really awesome)

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Great opportunity to learn many things along with wonderful people

World campus was definitely something im happy i did. It helped me get to know Japan first hand. Every experience was so memorable especially since you share it with others. The people you travel with really become like family and that is something i found very special. The program not only taught us about japan but also went in depth with certain subjects that are truly important to the people of Japan.
Staying with Host families further enriches the experience, by exposing you to the everyday life of a Japanese home. You grow very attached and by the end of it you consider them family.
I would participate in the program again if given the chance. Everyone is wonderful and I gained friends I would have never met had i not joined World Campus.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

True experience trip

World Campus Japan is a program unlike I had ever seen before. You will experience things that are really exclusive. Some examples are talking with a politician, visiting the deity building, having fun while informally debating with local Japanese and hanging out with university students!

Besides this exclusiveness I've also been able to experience the most true-to-reality daily life and culture of the Japanese citizens. Thanks to the full-homestay program I had a great time and even now I'm still in contact with some of my hostfamilies. This home-stay aspect may sound scary. Living in someone else's house with complete different cultures and sometimes even some sort of language barrier? But don't let this hold you back. As I've noticed, I was welcomed with open armes, and the Japanese families I stayed with were very welcoming and easy going. Be nice to them, and they will be nice to you. Even with differences in food, temperature and way of sleeping, I can assure you, you will feel at home very quickly. Oh, and futons really aren't that bad!

Another great thing about this program is that it hosts people from all over the world, so besides Japanese culture, you will come in contact with many more! I'm proud to say that now I have friends from all over the world :).

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A unique discovery of Japan

World Campus is not a volunteer or study program in the strictest sence. I would call it more a 'cultural experience' program. When you would make a traditional visit, you would get to know Japan. With World Campus, you get to know the Japanese.
I thoroughly enjoyed the activities and the interaction with all the Japanese people I met. From 2, 6 and 9 year old kids over teenagers, college students and grownups to even older people. I also enjoyed interacting with the other participants as there were 11 nationalities in total in my group.
So because I got to experience so much culture it allowed me to expand my comfort zone and thus expand my horizon.