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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. 

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2024 Global Studies Program

The application cycle for the 2024 Global Studies Program closed on February 12, 2024.

Thank you for your interest in this year's program! We encourage you to check back on this page in Fall 2024 for updates on the 2025 cycle.

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


  • Airfare: Round trip ticket between Japan and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Flight details cannot be changed in any way (NO EXCEPTIONS*).
    * 2024: A limited number of self-funders will be allowed for Term 1 ONLY. Self-funders secure their own flights to and from Japan.

  • Additional domestic travel stipend provided upon program completion as follows:

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

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

  • Accommodations*: Homestays, Hotels, Dorms

* May share room with another Group Leader.

  • Meals: Most meals (excluding free time)

  • 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.

  • Travel Insurance: We ask all participants to purchase travel insurance on their own.

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

2024 Program Dates

Term 1: July 10 – August 6, 2024*

  • July 10: depart US (LAX)

  • July 11: arrive in Japan

  • July 12: Free time

  • July 13: orientation

  • July 14: transfer to new location

  • July 15 – August 2: Global Studies Program

  • August 3 – 6: Free time

Term 2: July 17 – August 13, 2024*

  • July 17: depart US (LAX)

  • July 18: arrive in Japan

  • July 19: Free time

  • July 20: orientation

  • July 21: transfer to new location

  • July 22 – August 9: Global Studies Program

  • August 10 – 13: Free time

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

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

All travel plans are dependent on global health conditions.

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 Spring 2023 or after: admission to graduate school is not required.

  • Applicant graduated before Spring 2023: must be accepted to a graduate program for Fall 2024 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.


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

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