Winter Empowerment Programs
Winter Program participants serve as group leaders at various high schools and educational institutions in Japan to help local students better understand self-empowerment, critical thinking, and English communication.
The international winter program not only considers your professional development but more importantly your personal development.
How does it work?
Each week Group Leaders are sent to different locations throughout Japan. There they will stay with a Japanese host family or stay in a hotel. Group Leaders spend 3-5 days at the participating school.
Each time the program is directed by facilitators who lead Group Leaders and Japanese students by providing various empowerment themes and lessons. Group Leaders get together in small groups with students and discuss varying viewpoints and examine ways to make use of empowerment skills personally.
While the curriculum provides an opportunity to explore themes and learn about critical thinking, volunteers also have the unique opportunity to inspire Japanese students to pursue their own passions, goals, and aspirations through their own viewpoints and stories.
Primary responsibilities and requirements
- Attend pre-departure orientation session (location to be confirmed)
- Read and respond to all pre-departure material related to Japanese culture and program features
- Attend orientation program in Japan prior to commencement of program
- Act as facilitator to students on projects and small group discussions
- Share from life experiences to teach, inspire and motivate students
- Prepare for various discussions by reviewing handouts and videos
- Participate in various activities with students
- Comply with all rules and regulations established by ISA Australia/ISA (Japan)
- Japanese language proficiency is not required
Program costs covered by ISA
- Airfare: round trip ticket to Japan from Australia (travel to departure airport not included)
- Inbound Travel insurance: Overseas travel insurance included
- Residency: homestay or hotel
- Meals: all meals included except weekend lunch
- Transportation in Japan: school commute (personal travel is not covered)
- Salary: no salary provided.
Who Can Apply
Applicants must currently be enrolled at a Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane-based university, in either a postgraduate or undergraduate program (required to show a valid university ID) or be a recent graduate that meets one of the following requirements to qualify:
- If the applicant will graduate after semester 1, 2017, the applicant must be accepted to a graduate program for semester 2, 2017 enrolment and must show proof in the form of an admission letter.
- However, if an applicant graduates after semester 1, 2017, and cannot show proof of acceptance to a graduate program for semester 2, 2017, their application will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
- If the applicant will graduate at the end of semester 2, 2017 or after, admission to a graduate school is not required.
*Please note that while ISA Australia screens and selects applicants for ISA (Japan), selected participants are not 'hired' by ISA Australia or ISA (Japan).*
Still unsure? Check out our FAQ section below.
The key features of the content is to challenge Japanese high school students to be more independent thinkers who are better equipped to excel personally.
Through lectures and small group discussions, Japanese students will examine and discuss various topics and participate in projects and presentations.
The program encourages students to value personal responsibility for choices as the key to happiness and contributing value to local and global societies.
Melbourne Group Leaders - From December 9th to January 11th.
Sydney Group Leaders - From December 9th to December 30th
Brisbane Group Leaders - From December 18th to December 30th
*Dates updated as of 28th August 2017
Apply for your Winter Program in Japan Now
How to apply
Submit the following to: , or use our simple application form.
Please upload .doc, .docx and .pdf files only.
- Letter of Interest (why you would like to take part in this volunteer opportunity; availability and program(s) interested in)
- Resume (include year of study, major, work experience, volunteer experience, etc)
- Two professional and/or academic references (address, email address, and contact number)
- Melbourne - June 30th 2017 or until number of Group Leaders is filled.
- Sydney & Brisbane - September 8th 2017 or until number of Group Leaders is filled
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be an Australian citizen?
Not necessarily. We are open to people of all nationalities and cultures who study at the universities included in our scope. You will however need to be a full-time student with at least a near-native level English proficiency.
Do you accept applications from Japanese citizens studying in Australia?
If you are a full-time university student studying at a university in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane with near-native to native English capabilities your application will be considered.
Does my major or area of study matter?
No. We accept applications from any universities included in our scope regardless of your major.
Do I need to have teaching qualifications?
No. Whilst teaching qualifications will give your application more weight over others that don’t, it is not a requirement. We are looking for people with a passion for Japan, who have good people skills, are outgoing and want to share their experiences with others.
Do I need to pay anything to go on this trip?
For the most part, no. ISA will cover your flights costs, arrange a hotel or homestay for you, and will pay for your transportation costs to and from your place of teaching. ISA will also cover most meals but you will be required to pay for lunch on weekends. Any personal travel expenses however will not be covered.
Do I have a choice as to where I will be placed?
No. You will be moved between multiple locations throughout Japan to service the schools that have asked for an empowerment program to be held for their students.
Why were you only accepting applications from universities in Melbourne?
2017 is the first year recruiting has happened in Australia and due to administration costs, applications were to be limited to only Melbourne based universities, but due to increased demand for our programs, we now have spaces available from students studying in Sydney and Brisbane.
What is the application process?
After the paper recruiting process, applicants will be shortlisted and invited to an interview to be held on a university campus or at an ISA Australia office in August and September. If successful, you will be invited back at a later stage for another session with ISA Australia staff in late November for orientation before departure in December.