Should I become a foreign exchange student to Japan?

I don't think my parents would have a problem with a summer program, but I'm really interested in a semester one so I could become basic in Japanese. I'll have had two years under my belt by the time I go and it will be my Junior year.

I have concerns about a semester though, I've been told that it's near to impossible to do school work, so I was wondering if this has been problematic for anyone who has done this?

I'm perfectly fine with taking summer school before or after to make up the credit, or even a 0 period. In science I'm already a year ahead, so I'm not worried about that. I would probably take a semester of english and math in summer school. And I can work out the other stuff.

I'm just really concerned with credits and such...

I think my parents may be turned off by the idea of a semester program though because the process of sorting everything out sounds tedious. Is it really?

You don't have to answer everything, the little advice you have would be great.

2 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    It's a great idea no matter how hard it is. You might only end up taking courses in language, culture, and history while you are there. That way you can nourish your cultural knowledge of there while avoiding regular classes that might need high level of the language in which they are taught. My suggestion is to not be scared and just do it.

    Source(s): I've done study abroad and it's worth it.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A semester, or a full year, is actually the best and most beneficial way to do an exchange. It's not that hard to work with your counselor to make sure you get all your credits, especially if you take your junior year. That way, if something goes amiss you have your senior year to make up what you would need.

    Year or Semester exchange students are also looked upon very favorably by colleges and universities with many giving preferred admissions and some even additional scholarship monies. Additionally, the language skills you would get will be extremely useful to you in the work place, especially if you keep them up in college.

    A full year will give you the benefit of culture and language immersion that you won't have any other way. Ask former exchange students, they'll tell you that it takes the first four months or so to begin to feel comfortable with communication. It's AFTER that point that you experience the true value of your exchange.

    If you get to this point, you should sit down with your counselor and get in writing what the school is willing to give you for your exchange in the way of credits and what you will still need to do to graduate. Then, plug in any summer school you may need AND your senior schedule. Get the principal to sign off on this (LITERALLY) and you should have no problems.

    At the very least, your exchange year should get you math, foreign language and social studies credits. Possibly English (if you take it), physical education and whatever else the Japanese school offers. You will probably have to take English III over the summer before you go and double up on American History and American Government as a senior when you return (if both are required by your school).

    This is VERY doable and with two years of Japanese under your belt, you're off to a much better start than most Americans.

    Make sure you pick a good program. You can find a list of those certified to operate in the U.S. at Don't use one NOT on the list. Also, check with your counselor for recommendations. An organization is ONLY as good as the local representatives.

    You should also check out That's a site by exchange students for exchange students and it will have a lot of information for you!

    Good Luck!

    Source(s): 12 years hosting/repping exchange students
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