Intern Abroad HQ offers affordable and exciting internships in Japan. In the city of Tokyo, a city like no other, interns in Japan should come prepared for an eye-opening professional and cultural immersion that will create an unforgettable experience and incomparable internship. Internships in Japan are available year round, from a minimum duration requirement of just 4 weeks.
As a major business hub and economy, as well as being the upcoming host to the 2020 Olympic Games, Tokyo offers interns the opportunity to gain invaluable experience within an extraordinary city and unique culture. Both richly traditional and ultra progressive, Japan is a dream destination for many who seek professional growth and personal development.
Many startup companies in Japan have a global mindset, being oriented toward foreign markets and international sales. Business and Media interns in Tokyo contribute toward the cross-cultural exchange of ideas within these workplaces, while also engaging in reciprocal learning with their placements.
Education is highly valued in Japan and students are encouraged to work hard for their future. After-school care centers and organizations provide valuable academic support and supervision outside of regular classroom hours. Interns with strong organization skills provide English-language immersion and learning assistance, while sharing their unique sense of fun and creativity.
All Intern Abroad HQ programs include a guided reflection course, which combines personal development with professional competency building. Interns receive weekly reflection modules to complete during their program, which foster the acquisition of essential soft skills for employability and a resilient career. Each reflective journaling task introduces a new topic, presents learning objectives, and provides specific prompts that inspire and guide the learning process.
Intern Abroad HQ does not award grades for the completion of our internship programs, but interns can be supported to independently arrange academic credit through their home educational provider. Upon completion of the internship duration and reflection course, interns receive a portfolio as documentation of their experience. This includes a certificate of internship completion, alongside a summary of the internship goals, skill development, highlights, and a compilation of the reflection work.
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).
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).
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.
Education & Youth Development internships
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Business & Media internships
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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 programs attract a Registration Fee of US$299 on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- * 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.
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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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.