Eligibility requirement: At least one year of relevant college/university study in Education, Social Work, or a related field.

Associated career paths: Primary/Secondary Teacher, Early Years teacher, Education Administrator, English as a Foreign Language Teacher, Learning Mentor/Tutor, Special Education, Teaching Assistant, Careers Adviser, Child Psychologist, Counsellor, Play Therapist, Youth/Social Worker

Minimum duration: 5 weeks

Internship details

Teach English and participate in activities with Japanese children and young students in kindergartens, schools or after-school centers, while experiencing the unique lifestyle in Tokyo.

Youth Development and Education interns in Tokyo are highly appreciated. Many Japanese parents work until late at night, so it’s normal for children to spend six hours or more at after-school care programs, where they do homework or play games. By joining this Youth Development and Education internship in Japan, you’ll assist in these programs, known locally as gakudos, and have the option to be placed in international kindergartens or schools during the day.

Regardless of your placement, interns in Tokyo are highly valued for providing students with casual exposure to the English language. You can help to teach students English, or take part in arts, music, theater, or other games. Students range in age from 3-14, and interns can request to work with students of a particular age if you wish. This will be accommodated wherever possible, but cannot be guaranteed.

Interns will work closely with local teachers and other staff, helping to prepare lessons and educational material appropriate for the children or students in your placement. Your main focus will be on teaching English, either formally in lessons, or informally in more casual settings.

English language speakers are sought-after as teachers, so interns don’t need to speak Japanese. However, some students may not be able to communicate in English very well. In these instances, you may need to be careful to speak slowly and clearly, and have creative games or other solutions to overcome any language barriers you encounter.

Interns should note that there is a strict professional dress code in Japan, which is very conservative. Clothing must be very tidy and quite formal. Dark, solid colors are best, worn with simple white shirts or blouses. Visible tattoos and piercings are not considered to be appropriate. Piercings are best removed and any visible tattoos would need to be covered in order to avoid causing offence. Hair should be naturally colored and kept very clean and tidy. Men should also be clean-shaven. Interns are urged not to wear statement jewelry pieces and makeup must be kept minimal.

Youth Development and Education interns learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
  • Teaching formal English lessons for students between 3-14
  • Preparing worksheets and other material for classes
  • Accommodating games and activities in after-school programs
  • Encouraging casual English language practice
Professional development opportunities:
  • Learn about teaching, developing lessons and educational materials
  • Gain experience teaching English as a foreign language to children
  • Experience the Japanese work culture
  • Enable casual English language education with students
  • Gain practical skills and boost your employability, with guidance from Intern Abroad HQ’s Experiential Learning Curriculum to support your learning and cultural intelligence.
Typical schedule:
  • In gakudos, interns participate from 3pm-9pm, Monday to Friday
  • In kindergartens or schools, interns participate from 8am-4pm, Monday to Friday
Internship highlights:
  • Experience the renowned Japanese culture
  • Provide a valuable English resource for students eager to learn the language
  • Take part in both formal and casual learning
  • Spend time in Tokyo, a fascinating city famous for its pop culture and traditional culture
Types of host organizations:
  • Kindergartens
  • Schools
  • After school clubs
For all interns with an interest in developing skills as an educator, we also recommend an interactive Online TEFL Certification Course. The training offers tools and techniques over a 100-hour program. Upon completion, you’ll have earned experience in planning, designing, and adapting diverse language activities and materials. No previous teaching experience or training is required. You can sign up for the Online TEFL Certification Course anytime and you’ll pay the discounted Intern Abroad HQ rate.

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Program fees

Internship Duration Program Fee (USD)
4 weeks $1230
5 weeks $1335
6 weeks $1445
8 weeks $1650
10 weeks $1860
12 weeks $2070
16 weeks $2490
20 weeks $2910
24 weeks $3330

It is important to note that internships in Tokyo do not include meals, unless interns personally opt to request a homestay accommodation upgrade. Standard shared living accommodation (which is included in the Program Fee) provides kitchen facilities where interns are welcome to prepare their own meals and snacks.

  • To convert these prices to your local currency visit the XE currency converter.
  • All Intern Abroad programs attract a Registration Fee of US$299 in addition to the Program Fee.
  • All payments attract a 5% transaction fee to cover international banking fees and currency charges. International wire transfer payments attract a minimum fee of US$75.
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply

What extra costs will I have?

  • Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Souvenirs + tourism/leisure activities during free time.
  • Personal spending money to cover basic expenses such as drinks, snacks, laundry, and public transportation. Interns generally find US$100 per week to be sufficient.

Registration fee

What it covers
  • Dedicated intern support
  • Personalized internship abroad plan
  • International internship reference
  • Experiential learning curriculum
  • Affordable internship fees
  • Flexible booking options

Program fee

What it covers
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Internship placement
  • Learning support service
  • Accommodation

Keen to get started?

Taking the first step is easy! Our team is here to provide friendly assistance, from your initial research and planning phases, right through until your internship completion. To get started, submit an application. It is free to apply and takes just 5 minutes.

Submit an application

Arrival and Orientation

Internships in Japan begin every Monday and interns may choose to spend a minimum of 4 weeks, up to a maximum of 12-24 weeks (depending on the temporary visitor visa conditions which are held by the intern). Exceptions to start date availability may occur when start dates are closed due to public holiday / festival disruptions or if the program has already reached capacity.

Airport pick up and accommodation are included in the Program Fee. Interns are required to arrive on the Thursday before their Monday start date, between 8am and 10pm. An extra charge applies to any airport pickups outside this timeframe. In order to receive this airport pick up, interns may fly into either the Tokyo International Airport (commonly known as Haneda International Airport - HND) or the Narita International Airport (also known as Tokyo Narita Airport - NRT). Note that all participants are advised not to book flights until they have first registered to confirm their internship placement.

Upon arrival, interns will be met, greeted, and transferred by public transport (shuttle bus and/or train) to the accommodation. Accommodation is covered from the Thursday night before the Monday start date. The last night of the accommodation is the Wednesday night of the final week, leaving interns free to depart on the Thursday.

Orientation typically takes place on the Friday or Monday and covers important details for your internship, including introductions, information about culture, customs, rules, expectations, safety, language lessons, cultural excursions, and more. Your specific internship placement orientation will follow the general orientation, as you’ll be shown how to travel to and from your internship and be introduced to the team you’ll be joining.

If you are planning to spend time independently in Japan or Tokyo prior to your internship and will not require an airport pick up, then interns are required to come directly to their accommodation for check-in on Thursday. (Further details are provided to interns prior to their arrival).

Accommodation

All interns in Tokyo are accommodated in dormitory rooms, within a sharehouse. Bedding is provided and guests have access to their own lockers within the rooms, for safe-keeping personal items. Shared dormitory rooms typically accommodate between 4-8 guests at any given time. It is important to be aware that sometimes the dormitories may be mixed-gender but efforts are typically made to ensure that rooming arrangements are same-sex, whenever possible. Common areas such as lounge, kitchen and laundry facilities are provided. Accommodation includes WiFi but the speed can sometimes be slow, compared to what you might be used to accessing at home.

Accommodation upgrades are available at an additional cost, for those who would prefer to stay in a twin-share room within the sharehouse (sharing with just one another guest, for more privacy). Otherwise, interns may alternatively prefer to opt for homestay accommodation, in which typically guests have their own bedroom, as well as better access to language and cultural immersion. For many interns, living with a warm and inviting Japanese family can be the highlight of an internship in Japan. An accommodation upgrade to stay with a host family will also include meals (breakfast and dinner, Monday through Friday, and three meals per day over weekends). Interns who are interested in arranging an accommodation upgrade may speak with their Internship Program Manager.

Due to the expanse of Tokyo’s urban and residential areas (there are 23 municipalities that make up the core and the most populous part of Tokyo), it is normal to commute to and from accommodation via the Tokyo Metro; the normal commute time can be at least one hour and may require changes of metro line and platform. However, the system is efficient and user-friendly, making it easy to get around and discover Tokyo. Routes are color-coded, numbered, and locations are written in the latin alphabet that we recognize, as well as Japanese characters. Free WiFi is also available at most Tokyo Metro Stations. We recommend budgeting between 8,000 - 12,000 Japanese yen per month for using the metro (approximately US$70 - US$110).

Meals

It is important to note that internships in Tokyo do not include meals, unless interns personally opt to request a homestay accommodation upgrade. Shared living at the dormitory accommodation (which is included in the Program Fee) provides kitchen facilities where interns are welcome to prepare their own meals and snacks. A recommended budget of at least 1,000 Japanese yen per day (about US$10) is suggested for meals. There are incredible dining options that work on a student budget, which are hearty, delicious, and affordable. Smaller establishments (often counter-style) serve staples such as ramen noodles and yakitori (grilled chicken on skewers). Our team in Japan can also facilitate bi-weekly grocery orders, which allow interns to order a wide range of bulk food items at a discounted rate.

Activities and tourism

Japanese language lessons

Japanese language ability is not a requirement for interns in Tokyo, however we encourage interns to take advantage of the opportunity to learn some basic skills, as this will enhance enjoyment of being in Tokyo, while also increasing professional social, and cultural competencies. Discounted Japanese lessons are offered through our local team in Tokyo and can be arranged once internship participation has been confirmed. Note that the lessons should be scheduled before the internship start date, as they required a dedicated time commitment. Interns who wish to study Japanese for the first time are recommended to take the Hiragana/Katakana or Conversation course. Interns with an existing foundation of Japanese understanding may wish to take a placement test and join a more intermediate class. If you’re planning on taking beginner lessons prior to your internship, please note that there are set start dates for these classes, which typically begin at the beginning of each month. You should therefore consider your internship start date accordingly.

Weekends and travel

Tokyo is renowned for providing visitors to Japan with a wonderful experience. The cleanliness and safety of the city, combined with entertaining culture and nightlife, world class cuisine, helpful locals, and incredible shopping, have put the city at the forefront of the world’s best cities. Due to the sheer size of Tokyo, which is made up of 23 municipalities/wards or “sub cities” there are seemingly endless places to explore. We won’t list them all here but some of the popular areas for visitors include Shinjuku, Taitō, Shibuya, and Chūō.

  • Chūō is historically the commercial center of Tokyo and it’s most famous district is Ginza. Ginza is Tokyo’s most iconic shopping area and has been the commercial center of Japan for centuries. If you want to shop till you drop, this is the place to start. Even if you just want to wander around to take in the sights, it’s still a stunning place to be. Within Ginza, you’ll also find the famous Kabuki-za Theatre (home to traditional Kabuki performances) and the Shimbashi Enbujo Theatre (where Azuma-odori dances and Bunraku performances are held). The drama and comedy of performances at these theatres are relatively easy to follow. Be aware, shows at the Kabuki-za Theatre can often last for hours. Spectators stay as long as they want and comings and goings throughout are not considered offensive.

  • Since the end of the second World War, Shinjuku has rivalled Ginza as a major commercial center. The Shinjuku Station is one of the busiest in the world. Within this sub-city, you can check out the lively entertainment districts of Kabukicho and Shinjuku Golden-Gai. If you want to shop for electronics, then the huge stores surrounding the Shinjuku Station are the place to go.

  • One of Tokyo’s most famous sites is in Shibuya - the Scramble Crossing and Center-Gai. Young people are attracted to the area for music and fashion. However, if you’re looking for some green space within the city, you’ll enjoy the Meiji Shrine complex, located in an evergreen forest and enjoyed by many as a popular recreation and relaxation area.

  • The city’s largest green area is Ueno Park, located within Taitō. Apart from the gardens, Ueno park also includes one of the largest aquariums in Asia, plus lots of other temples and museums to explore (such as the National Museum of Western Art, where you can check out canvases by Cézanne, Monet, Manet, and Degas). Although Taitō is the smallest of Tokyo’s wards, it’s also home to Sensō-ji (Tokyo’s oldest temple, originally founded in 645 AD), as well as Tokyo National Museum, which houses much of Japan’s art and national treasures, and the National Museum of Nature and Science (“Kokuritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan”). The latter is Japan’s oldest museum but also includes interesting modern displays on the latest scientific and technological advances.

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Country profile

Capital Tokyo
Population 127 million
Languages Japanese
Currency Japanese Yen (JPY)
Time zone UTC+09:00

Weather and climate: The climate of Japan varies from north to south, and west to east. The northernmost territory has long, cold winters and warm summers. On the west coast, the Sea of Japan, there can be heavy snowfalls in the winter. Summers on the west coast are usually cooler than the summers on the east coast, which faces the Pacific ocean. Winters are milder on the Pacific side of the country and summers are hot and humid. Tokyo, where the internships in Japan are based, is situated on the southeastern side of Japan’s main island (Honshu).

Summers in Tokyo are short, warm, muggy and wet. This season typically lasts from late June through mid/late September. The warmest month of the summer season is usually in August, when the temperature averages 80°F / 26°C. The cooler months are from early December to late March. During the winter, the coldest month of the year is typically January, with an average temperature of 41°F / 5°C. Tokyo experiences rainfall year round but the summer months are typically wetter than the winter time. September is usually the wettest month, with December generally being the driest. Cherry blossoms are the obvious draw to Tokyo in the springtime (early March through early June) - it’s also one of the most popular times to visit Japan, so it’s important to plan travel in advance. While the weather is mild in spring, there may still be the occasional hot or rainy day.