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White Earth

Global Studies Program in Japan

Interested in volunteering abroad?

This program offers Group Leaders a once in a lifetime experience that provides them with a personal and enriching experience. They have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Japanese culture, make lifelong friendships, and learn a great deal about themselves along the way. 

Start the Process
2023 Global Studies Program*

Applications for our 2023 Global Studies program are now closed. We received an overwhelming amount of interest and are grateful for all of you. Until next year!

*Note our new program name has changed from Japan Empowerment to Global Studies

Group Leader Role & Responsibilities

I am so happy that I was selected as a Group Leader for this program, as it taught me leadership, cultural, and professional communication and teaching skills that I know will be useful in my future career. Most importantly, I learned to be more intentional and present in my personal interactions, and I hope to share these values with others moving forward. Overall, it’s a wonderful program that is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Andrew Nguyen


Group Leader (GL) Role & Responsibilities
  • Sharing from your own life experiences to teach, motivate, and empower students

  • Guiding students with small group projects and facilitating discussions

  • Familiarizing yourself on a range of topics by reviewing provided handouts and videos

  • Participating in extra-curricular and club activities with students

  • Being an ambassador for your community and university

  • Complying with all rules and regulations established by ISA and GPI US

What to Expect


  • GLs will be placed in a hotel near the airport for arrival to and departure from Japan

  • Each week of the program you will live with a host family in towns and cities across Japan

    • *GLs are occasionally placed in a hotel near their school depending on host family availability

Daily Schedule

  • GLs will spend full day (~9:00am - 3:00pm) at school during the week

    • May include the opportunity to join in extracurricular and club activities outside the program!

  • Afternoons are typically spent hanging out with your host “siblings” and their friends

  • Each evening you will have dinner with your host family

  • Saturdays will be a “free” day to spend time with your host family!

  • Travel between program locations via train on Sundays


  • Trains and stations are often heavily crowded

  • GLs will need to be able to walk long distances with their luggage and carry it up multiple flights of stairs (pack light!)

  • Expect to stand up for long periods of time when on trains and at the station

  • It may be necessary to transfer quickly between trains and platforms to make connections

What to Expect
Laptop Lunch Break


  • Airfare: Round trip ticket between Japan and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Flight details cannot be changed in any way (NO EXCEPTIONS).

Additional travel stipends provided as follows:

       - up to $200 reimbursed if traveling between 250 - 499 miles of LAX

       - up to $400 reimbursed if traveling 500+ miles of LAX 

  • Travel Insurance: Basic travel insurance provided while in Japan.

  • Accommodations: Homestays, Hotels, Dorms.

* May share room with another Group Leader.

  • Meals: Most meals 

  • Transportation in Japan: Daily school commute and weekly travel between program placements.

Not Covered

  • Pre and Post-Program Travel: Expenses incurred from traveling to the designated departure airport and any additional travel accommodations are not covered.

  • Personal Travel: Personal travel within Japan is not covered.

  • Salary: No salary is provided.

  • Any costs associated with missed, canceled, or delayed flights.

Program Dates

Term 1: July 13 – August 8, 2023***

  • July 13: Departure from US

  • July 14: Arrival

  • July 15: Orientation

  • July 16: Transfer to new location

  • July 17 – August 5: Global Studies Program

  • August 6–7: Free time

  • August 8: Departure from Japan

Term 2: July 20 – August 15 2023***

  • July 20: Departure from US

  • July 21: Arrival

  • July 22: Orientation

  • July 23: Transfer to new location

  • July 24 – August 12: Global Studies Program

  • August 13–14: Free time

  • August 15: Departure from Japan

GPI US cannot guarantee acceptance to the specific term dates requested by applications.

***Terms dates, schedule and availability are subject to change

*Due to COVID-19 and the residual impact it has caused on travel, any dates/information listed is tentative

Crowd of People with masks
How to Apply

Applicants must...

  • Be visa exempt for visits up to 45 days in Japan.

  • Currently be enrolled in a US 4-year college/university or graduate program, or be a recent graduate.

* Must be able to show a valid US college/university ID.


Recent graduates must satisfy one of the following requirements to qualify:

  • Applicant graduated in May (2022) or after: admission to graduate school is not required.

  • Applicant graduated before May 2022: must be accepted to a graduate program for Fall 2023 enrollment; must show proof in the form of an admission letter.

  • Without proof of acceptance, application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Start the Process
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