top of page
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
Thank you for a successful
2023 Global Studies Program

GPI US celebrates the return of our Japan-based opportunities following the successful completion of the 2023 Global Studies Program (previously known as Japan Empowerment). We thank all of our participants for the fantastic summer in Japan!

2024 Global Studies Program

Applications will open in October – November 2023.

Please check back on this page for updates!

Hear from Our Participants

"...Besides the USA, my colleagues hailed from the UK, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Korea, Malawi, Ghana, Poland, and several other countries, so we collectively delivered a multi-national experience with the English language. Although we only spent one week at each school, our students made so much progress with their public speaking, teamwork skills, and vocabulary within those 5 days. It was fulfilling to see them grow more confident. ..."
See more on LinkedIn

Agnes Tessner Risser, 2023 Group Leader

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
bottom of page