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Study Abroad in High School

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I'm not a huge fan of making ambiguous threads like this, but I am looking for any information on studying abroad and homestay programs, since that's what I'm looking to do, hopefully this year or the year after. I always had an idea in my mind that I would try to get some full-on immersion before I went to take the JLPT, and since I don't have any school or camp-related things that I will have to attend to, I was hoping that perhaps I could try to go over sometime this summer. It's a bit of a stretch, I know, but vacations in my family have been planned in less time than this before.
Now, I have done my research a bit, and I know that there are schools that exist which will teach you Japanese while you live in Japan, and honestly, that would have been much more appealing about two years ago. If I can, I'd like to attend a real-life high school among real Japanese native students, which I don't think would be terribly hard, to be honest. One of the books I own actually covers a lot of the material I learn in different classes, which allows me to actually take notes one a variety of topics in Japanese. (I have 3-page document of notes on diatomic elements and balancing equations entirely in Japanese, which I was able to keep up with while reading off of an English PowerPoint presentation).
I want to take this challenge and push myself to learn more and do better with my Japanese, and this would also give me a real reason to talk more, since I've been having nothing but bad luck with finding natives locally, arranging language exchange times (time differences suck), and talking to myself makes me look insane (lol).
I'm going to continue my own research into this, but anything anyone here has to provide--programs, advice, experiences--will be more than welcome here.
 
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have you looked into local organizations that arrange exchange programs, such as the Rotary Club?
The only ones I've been able to find locally I am unable to join, either because I need to belong to a different school district or I need to attend classes I don't need and hope for the chance to be selected to go over to Japan.
Rotary Club is a new one to me entirely. I'll definitely be looking into this one. Thank you very much!
 

Uncle Frank

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When you get old enough , joining the service and making a deal to be stationed in Japan might work for you when you are finished with your education. Most tours now are 3 years if not a bit longer. They Navy sent me to Japan for two years and paid me extra to live off base. Those were the best two years of my life so far.
 
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I am looking for any information on studying abroad and homestay programs
Talk to your counselor. That's precisely what they are there for. Otherwise, spend the time on Google with simple keywords. As mentioned already, Rotary Club is a popular route. There are more.

The more Japanese that you know, the better your chances of being accepted. Start studying ASAP in whatever means you can. Your school will likely provide lessons, too, but you will simultaneously be taking classes in geography, science, math, etc. as well as taking part in clubs, so the more you know, the better your experience will be in understanding the teachers and your classmates. Potential friends will be very curious to get to know you, but their level of English is horrible, so it's up to YOU.

(I have 3-page document of notes on diatomic elements and balancing equations entirely in Japanese
No offense, but this is useless. Your potential friends will want to talk about movies, books, sports, culture, and YOU. The language level of politeness in class is also different than in regular conversation, as you probably know, so those notes may be more academic than what you will hear in spoken conversations or lectures.
 
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When you get old enough , joining the service and making a deal to be stationed in Japan might work for you when you are finished with your education. Most tours now are 3 years if not a bit longer. They Navy sent me to Japan for two years and paid me extra to live off base. Those were the best two years of my life so far.
I respect you for your commitment and service, but that's never been something I've felt was calling me. Plus, there's a family factor that plays into this for me, so something like that wouldn't be the most possible in the world.

Talk to your counselor. That's precisely what they are there for. Otherwise, spend the time on Google with simple keywords. As mentioned already, Rotary Club is a popular route. There are more.

The more Japanese that you know, the better your chances of being accepted. Start studying ASAP in whatever means you can. Your school will likely provide lessons, too, but you will simultaneously be taking classes in geography, science, math, etc. as well as taking part in clubs, so the more you know, the better your experience will be in understanding the teachers and your classmates. Potential friends will be very curious to get to know you, but their level of English is horrible, so it's up to YOU.

No offense, but this is useless. Your potential friends will want to talk about movies, books, sports, culture, and YOU. The language level of politeness in class is also different than in regular conversation, as you probably know, so those notes may be more academic than what you will hear in spoken conversations or lectures.
The last part was more or less my trying to make a point of being able to keep up in my courses, since I am often pressured a great deal to maintain near perfect grades. I can talk about a lot more than just school things, but this was something of a concern to me at first since occasionally I get confused and I realized that I would not be able to seek explanations in English, which is why I picked up the books I did. In an everyday conversation, yes, you have a point that this information would be useless. However, in the academic environment, this is invaluable for me to know and be able to understand.

Going back to the counselor bit, the way that my school works is that I am assigned a counselor for three years after freshman year, and the one I have is not exactly the most reliable. I take summer classes to avoid taking "blow-off" courses during the year and focus more on what I want to learn, but she still hasn't added these to my transcript despite repeated emails and calls and even action from the principals. I can't, nor do I like to have to depend on her, which is I've been trying to gather resources and research on my own up until now. I've already started looking into Rotary Club, and I was surprised to find that there were two that meet fairly close to me. I'm still going to keep looking, but I
 
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Your last post petered out with an incomplete sentence. I wonder if you had a computer glitch that prevented you from finishing that thought (and more).

If you have an unreliable counselor in one area (posting transcripts), why do you think she is unreliable in other areas (helping with study abroad)? Have you even asked her for advice on that? If not, do it!

Doing a Google search will help find many more study abroad opportunities. You might also want to see if your church knows of any organizations that offer such aid.
 
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Have you talked to your parents/guardians about if they support & are willing to fund this? There are a number of programs but they can get quite expensive. You're also short on time, depending when you were planning to go. A lot of programs for the upcoming year have deadlines Feb or March, and scholarship deadlines for the same appear to have mostly passed.

You might find this link useful:
Culcon — High School Exchanges, Scholarships
 
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Have you talked to your parents/guardians about if they support & are willing to fund this? There are a number of programs but they can get quite expensive. You're also short on time, depending when you were planning to go. A lot of programs for the upcoming year have deadlines Feb or March, and scholarship deadlines for the same appear to have mostly passed.

You might find this link useful:
Culcon — High School Exchanges, Scholarships
Okay, god bless you and this site because this just led me to like literally exactly what I was looking for entirely. This is why I love being able to just ask questions. You typically get the right solution a lot faster. Or maybe that's just my experience. Either way, thank you so, so much!!
As for the planned time frame, cost, and support, that's a bridge I'm working on crossing soon, but I need to complete the course I'm taking online for my foreign language credits before I think I'll be able to make a solid argument for this. f^-^') (If I do this right, I'll be able to be halfway or all the way done really soon.)
 
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Alright so small update for this: my family is considering this and we've been reaching out to several programs as of late. However, what I've been told so far is that what I would have in the way of advanced classes would be the IB (International Baccalaureate) courses, as opposed to the AP courses I'm already taking. As far as I know, you cannot pick and choose courses like with AP. If you go with IB, every course you take will be the same rigor. I guess what I'm trying to ask is what should I expect if I go with IB? I'm the oldest, so I didn't really know what to expect with AP either. But given that it'll potentially be a new terrain and I have the resources, I thought I'd put it out there and see what other people's experiences have been.
Also a slightly more Japanese language-related question: does anyone think it would do me good to take the JLPT (N2) before going over? For whatever reason, my mother is pushing me taking it at the end of this year (even though that would be right around the same time I take the ACT, if not the same date), which would be before I would have the chance to go over. I would assume she thinks it would boost my chances of acceptance, but only one of the three programs we found even has a language course/exam requirement listed as necessity for consideration. There's also a travel cost for us since the nearest testing site is roughly 6 hours away. At the same time, I recently found out that one can take an AP test without taking the course, so I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to just take the AP Japanese test and list that on my application as some form of merit. (I've heard it's N3-level at best)

Thoughts, experiences, and links are all welcome and appreciated greatly. I also want to say thank you to the great responses I've gotten already from everyone who's posted in here. You've all really helped me get moving in the right direction, and that means more than you know to me.
 

nice gaijin

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If the JLPT isn't a direct requirement and it's not convenient for you to take, I wouldn't make a fuss over it. I still haven't taken it.
 
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With the Rotary Club you CAN'T choose where you want to go. If a lot of people want to go to Japan, then you'll have to go elsewhere and you won't be able to say no...
 

mdchachi

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However, what I've been told so far is that what I would have in the way of advanced classes would be the IB (International Baccalaureate) courses, as opposed to the AP courses I'm already taking. As far as I know, you cannot pick and choose courses like with AP. If you go with IB, every course you take will be the same rigor. I guess what I'm trying to ask is what should I expect if I go with IB? I'm the oldest, so I didn't really know what to expect with AP either. But given that it'll potentially be a new terrain and I have the resources, I thought I'd put it out there and see what other people's experiences have been.
Here's an article about that: Discover the Difference Between AP and IB Classes - US News
AP is just a set of tests that you can take which some colleges will accept for either college credit or to allow you to skip prerequisites. Typically students take Advanced Placement classes but as you noted, you could potentially try taking the test without formally taking the class. IB is a whole curriculum but per that article sometimes individual IB classes are offered. Depends on your school.
I think the decision is pretty much unrelated to Japanese. Really it depends on you and your educational objectives.

Also a slightly more Japanese language-related question: does anyone think it would do me good to take the JLPT (N2) before going over? For whatever reason, my mother is pushing me taking it at the end of this year (even though that would be right around the same time I take the ACT, if not the same date), which would be before I would have the chance to go over. I would assume she thinks it would boost my chances of acceptance, but only one of the three programs we found even has a language course/exam requirement listed as necessity for consideration. There's also a travel cost for us since the nearest testing site is roughly 6 hours away. At the same time, I recently found out that one can take an AP test without taking the course, so I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to just take the AP Japanese test and list that on my application as some form of merit. (I've heard it's N3-level at best)
It depends on what program you are targeting. As you said, language capability is not a factor in many. Typically the programs will test you and put you at the level you need to be. If it's a competitive program with many applicants, it could be helpful. Really hard to say...
The AP test results probably would not be recognized in Japan (but I don't know this for sure).
 

Soultaku

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I am currently looking into this for my last 2 or 3 years of high school and I have come to the conclusion that I don't want to go through a study abroad program such as YFU or ASSE. I rather chose to choose an International school I liked (K. International School Tokyo or Aoba-Japan High school) then I looked at Gaijin houses/apartments nearby. Gaijin house literally translates to "foreigner house" and it is a place students studying abroad can stay for long periods of time for low, low rent. I recommend checking the website gaijinpot.com but LeoPalace is a more expensive but easier option for high school students studying abroad. If you go independently from any organizations you will need to apply to the school, pay all individual fees, handle paperwork, take care of yourself, and be prepared to either live alone (Gajin Apartment) or live in a large house with multiple strangers (Gaijin House). It's really up to your personal preference and what your parents/guardians will allow you to do. But for sure look more into Gaijin Houses or maybe even an International boarding school. I know a great international boarding school in Japan if you want the website link I can get it to you later. Good luck
 

Soultaku

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I rather chose to choose an International school I liked (K. International School Tokyo or Aoba-Japan High school) then I looked at Gaijin houses/apartments nearby. Gaijin house literally translates to "foreigner house" and it is a place students studying abroad can stay for long periods of time for low, low rent. I recommend checking the website gaijinpot.com but LeoPalace is a more expensive but easier option for high school students studying abroad.
More info about Gaijin Houses: Practical - Guest houses in Japan | Japan Forum
 
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