Internship Q&A

Thank you for your interest. We have filled all the internship positions for the 2017 school year (April 2017 - March 2018).

We will begin accepting applications for internships for the academic year from April 2018 to January 2019 on September 1st, 2017. We encourage applying early as we will stop recruiting once all the positions have been filled. 

Educational requirements

I am not a student. Can I apply?

No, unfortunately you cannot. You must have a current enrollment verification certificate or its equivalent in order to intern with us.

I am a graduate student. Can I apply?

Yes. All undergraduate and graduate students can apply.

Do I have to be enrolled in classes at my home institution while I intern?

No, you do not. We simply need a current enrollment verification certificate or its equivalent. You need to be a student in good standing who will intern with us instead of attending school.

Can I come after I graduate?

You must be a current undergraduate or graduate student, and you must be able to get an enrollment verification certificate from your institution. If you are able to receive this document and defer graduation until after you complete your internship, then you will be able to intern with us.

Cultural requirements

I am not a native English speaker. Can I apply?

Yes. We encourage all applicants who speak English fluently.

Do you accept all nationalities?

For internships of 90 days or less, you must have a passport from a country with a reciprocal visa exception arrangement with Japan (please refer to For internships of longer than 90 days, we accept applications from all nationalities as long as you are attending a university or college in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom (England, N. Ireland, Scotland, Wales) or the United States of America.

Do you accept applicants from all schools in all countries?

Under our current regulations, we can only accept students enrolled at institutions in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the US. However, as we hope to expand our program in the future, inquiries are encouraged.

Are all of your students and staff Christians?

No. Our students and staff come from various non-religious and religious backgrounds.

Are you specifically looking for Christian interns?

No. We are looking for motivated students from any background who will be enthusiastic interns. We welcome students of all religious faiths and cultures and secular humanists. If you intern with us, you can be as involved or not in religious activities as you like. We have students, staff and faculty who are involved in the church and those who are not. We do insist, however, that interns respect the religious views of others and do not impose their views on those they are teaching. For interested interns, we do have a chapel and religious center where some religious and recreational activities can be pursued.

Is not speaking Japanese a disadvantage?

No, it is not. All of the faculty in the Department of Contemporary English as well as the staff at the Center for International Understanding speak English. Additionally, we are eager for our students to communicate in English and request that interns do not speak Japanese on campus. Regarding housing, even if a homestay is your preference, some families like the opportunity to speak English and interact with students from other cultures.

Is Japanese ability an advantage?

On campus, interns are expected to speak only English so Japanese is not necessary. However, some knowledge of Japanese can be helpful for living in Japan, especially if you prefer to live in an apartment. For homestays, some families are willing to offer a homestay but may be nervous about the language barrier. In these cases, trying to use some Japanese with them would be a good way to break the ice.

What would be some good books to read?

We have a number of suggestions below. Naturally your reading will vary according to how much time you have before arriving here. The more you can read the better.

“Your Last Day of School: 56 Ways You Can Be a Great Intern” and “Turn Your Internship Into a Job” by Eric Woodard, and “The Intern Files: How to Get Keep and Make The Most of Your Internship” by Jamie Fedorko give a terrific introduction and explanation about interning in an office. Interning at a university will be very different from the offices that they discuss, but their information about what interning is and how to act is generally applicable. The sole exception may be that Japanese society demands much more respect for those with higher status than you than western society does. We especially want to emphasize how taking the initiative is discussed in these books.

“The Student Teaching Experience: Cases from the Classroom” by Patricia J. Wentz is written for student teachers in American primary and secondary schools, but much of the information and their suggestions will hold true for interning with us. Here is a quote from this book on ethics (p. 64 second edition)

An ethical teacher is one who practices equity. Such a teacher makes no differences among students on the basis of sex race creed or handicapping conditions. The ethical teacher sees the possibilities for growth health and happiness of students and how those possibilities can be enhanced in his or her classroom. There are a wide variety of books about living and working in Japan. You can check Amazon or your local bookstore and see what is recommended.

We suggest “A Handbook for Teaching English at Japanese Colleges and Universities” edited by Paul Wadden. This 1992 book is still the best book we are aware of that explains what teaching English is like at a university in Japan. You can also read books on TESOL, books on learning styles, and books on understanding Japanese culture.

Should I study about teaching or learning?

Although it isn’t necessary, we recommend both. Because the various teaching methods and student learning styles are very important facets of English language teaching and learning, understanding them is beneficial.

Are there any cultural issues that I should be aware of?

Japan has a very different outlook than the west when it comes to things like body art. Tattoos are uncommon and many public facilities, hot springs and pools will not let you in if you have a visible tattoo. In the past, people have covered tattoos with band-aids, makeup, sports tape, or wrist bands and have had no problems. If you are unable to cover your tattoos, you could wear long-sleeve or full body swimwear at public pools, but you may not be able to enter the public baths or hot springs.

Benefits of being an intern

Why should I consider an internship abroad?

You should consider an internship abroad for two reasons: interning abroad will facilitate your personal growth and development in ways relevant to the international world that we are part of; and interning abroad will set you apart from others in future searches for internships and employment as well as for applying to graduate school. Simply studying abroad sets you apart from the crowd but interning abroad puts you in an even more select group.

How is an internship different from a study abroad program?

Studying abroad simply means that you continue your studies in a new environment. While there are opportunities for cultural exchange, you may not gain the many skills necessary for your future employment. This internship program on the other hand will provide you with training in an academic environment and allow you to improve your public speaking, teamwork, and leadership skills while giving you an opportunity to live study and learn in a foreign country.

Will interning at IC help me get on the JET Program?

Doing an internship teaching in Japan will certainly strengthen your resume and in fact, eight of our previous interns have been accepted on the JET Program. Another intern was accepted for a Fulbright scholarship to India.

Can I get units of credit from Ibaraki Christian for my internship?

We do not issue units of credit or official transcripts to interns. Instead, we issue an official certificate of participation in our internship program stating how many hours were completed for assistant teaching, cultural activities, tutoring, and preparation time. Applicants are advised to check with their academic advisor at their institution about the requirements needed for units of credit regarding internships. Upon receiving the certificate at the end of the internship, students will be able to confer with their institutions to obtain units of credit.

Can I get units of credit from Ibaraki Christian for my classes?

We do not issue units of credit or official transcripts to interns. Instead, the Dean of the College of Literature will write a letter stating the classes participated in and the classroom hours completed for each class. Students will then be free to confer with their institutions to obtain units of credit.

Best periods and lengths of times for internships

When can I do an internship?

We offer internships during our two sixteen-week semesters: early April to early August and late September to early February. We do not have classes from August 10 to September 15 so interning at this time is not possible. There are also two months of holidays in February and March and a two-week holiday at the end of December. It would be best to avoid these times for your internship unless you plan to intern for a year.

What is the ideal length of time for internships?

We are looking for candidates who can come for a minimum of two months (preferably three) to one year for spring and fall internships. If you are interested in a December-January internship, the minimum time is four weeks. 

When is the best time to intern?

The first semester starts in early April and goes until the first week of August. Summer vacation runs from the second week of August to mid-September. The second semester then runs from mid-September to the end of January with a two-week winter break at the end of December. There is no school in February and March. We accept interns all year round, but as summer internships are the most popular, they are also the most competitive. As we can only take a limited number of interns, we encourage students to apply for spring, fall, and winter internships.

Spring-summer internship: beginning of April - beginning of August

Applicants may choose to come and intern during the spring and summer months, which is the first semester of classes at IC. The dates of arrival and departure are flexible within these months but the minimum length of time is 8 weeks. Priority will be given to candidates requesting longer internships such as those coming on a 90-day tourist visa and interning for around 12 weeks.

Sample application timeline for a May internship

Completed application forms and resumes ideally need to be received by December 20. Applicants who pass the interview process should send complete application packages via post by approximately January 15 so that they arrive in Japan in January. If accepted, you would be officially informed in March at the latest.

Fall-winter internship: mid-September – end of January

Applicants may choose to come and intern during the fall and winter months, during the second semester. Classes typically start around September 20th and finish at the end of January. The dates of arrival and departure are flexible within these months but the minimum length of time is 8 weeks. Priority will be given to those requesting longer internships such as those coming on a 90-day tourist visa and interning for around 12 weeks. For applicants from Australia and New Zealand, it would be possible to come for a six to eight-week internship from early December to late January.

Sample application timeline for a September (December) internship

Completed application forms and resumes ideally need to be received by May (August). Applicants who pass the interview process should send complete application packages via post so that they arrive in Japan in June (September). If accepted, you would be officially informed in July (October).

Do you have a waiting list?

No, we do not.

Application process

How does the application procedure work?

A printable version of the application form can be downloaded from Please read this Q&A page thoroughly so you can understand what this internship will entail. After receiving your completed application form up to the references section and a copy of your resume by email, if we determine you are a suitable candidate, we will contact you to arrange a Skype interview time. If you pass the interview, we will ask you to send the complete application package including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a certification of enrollment by post. After we receive it and if you are accepted, we will submit your application to the administration for approval. Regarding references, three references from people in a professional capacity are required, i.e., professors, bosses, instructors, etc. References from friends and relatives will not be accepted. If you would like any additional information please feel free to contact us at Please change the at to an @ mark.

How should I submit the letters of recommendation when I email my application?

If you have the letters of recommendation, please scan them and send them to us with the contact information of the referees. If the letters of recommendation will be sent to us directly, please inform us.

How long in advance should I apply?

Typically, the application process time varies from two to six months. If you plan to stay for 90 days or less, the processing time will be quicker. If you want to come for more than 90 days, a cultural activities visa is necessary and the processing time will be much longer. This visa application process cannot be started until the faculty officially approves your application. Therefore, we suggest that you apply as soon as you can. Please note that interns coming for 90 days or less will need to be able to enter Japan on a tourist visa. As you will not be paid, this is perfectly legal.

What is the deadline for application for an internship?

For internships starting in April, May or June, we recommend that you apply by the end of December. Applicants will be evaluated and chosen sometime in January. We should then be able to inform you in February if we can offer you a position. If first semester internship positions are not filled at this time, we will continue accepting applications until the end of February. For internships starting in September or January, we expect that there will be less competition for intern positions. For arrival in September, we would need your completed application materials by May at the latest to ensure ample time for the acceptance process. We should then be able to inform you in July if we can offer you a position. For arrival in January, we would need your completed application materials by September at the latest. We should then be able to inform you in November if we can offer you a position. We are willing to accept interns at different times of the year, but as it takes an average of five months to complete the acceptance procedures, please apply as early as possible. Please note that these deadlines are for periods of 90 days or less. If you would like to come for more than 90 days thus requiring a cultural activities visa, please add an additional two to three months to allow for time to process your visa. Also, if you would like to do a homestay, applying earlier is better in order to give us time to locate a host family. In general, considering the time required for the acceptance process and to arrange your housing, applying as early as possible is recommended. Applying early will also give you time to find an economical airfare.

What is a current verification enrollment certificate?

If you would like more information about verification enrollment certificates, please search your school website or refer to National Student Clearinghouse. Your school may issue a current verification enrollment certificate or go through National Student Clearinghouse. If your school goes through National Student Clearinghouse, they may offer a free option on your school website.

Whom should I get references from?

References should be from advisors, teachers, employers, coaches, or supervisors from places you have worked, studied, volunteered or done other significant activities. We will not accept references from family members or peers.

The application asks about intercultural experiences. What kind of experiences should I mention in this section?

We are interested in all intercultural experiences, whether they are domestic or international. If you have had any contact with someone from a different culture or who speaks a different language, we are interested to hear how that experience was and what you learned from it.

How can I reach you?

If you are having problems reaching us at our email address ( Please change the at to an @ mark), you can reach us via facebook by searching for Gendaieigo.

Can I cancel my internship after I have accepted a position?

If you need to cancel your internship, please inform us as soon as possible. Due to the procedures here at Ibaraki Christian, we need to receive a notice of cancellation by the first week of the month prior to your scheduled month of arrival.

Arriving in Japan

Will I be expected to pay for my own airfare and other transportation costs?

Yes you will.

Do I need a visa?

For internships of 90 days or less you must have citizenship in a passport from a country with a reciprocal visa exception arrangement with Japan (please refer to If your country is on this list, you do not need a special visa. Upon arrival at Narita Airport, you will receive a 90-day tourist visa, which is sufficient for an intern position. For internships longer than 90 days, we accept applications from all nationalities as long as you are enroled in a school in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or the US. If accepted, you will be issued a cultural activites visa prior to your departure for Japan. You will be responsible for providing and submitting documents required for the visa. Please note that we do not provide visas for stays of 90 days or less. If you are unable to enter Japan on a 90-day tourist visa, we will be unable to accept you as an intern. Under both the tourist visa and a cultural activities visa, interns are not allowed to earn money or work part-time while they are in Japan.

How will I get from Narita Airport to Ibaraki Christian?

We will give you detailed instructions to take the bus from Narita Airport to the closest bus stop to Ibaraki Christian University. From there, we will arrange to pick you up. Interns not flying into Narita should let us know for different instructions. Here is the url for the bus timetable You will need to arrive by 7:00 p.m. (preferably earlier) to clear customs and get a seat on the last bus. If you miss the last bus, you will probably have to find a hotel near the airport and take the bus the following day.

Things to prepare

What is the weather like?

The temperature changes according to season. It is very hot 35ºC (95ºF) and humid from July to September so light casual clothes are recommended. The spring and fall are pleasant around 15 -20ºC (60 -70ºF) so a light jacket is sufficient. Although it rarely snows, the winter, December – March, is cold around 0ºC (32ºF) so a heavy down jacket or ski jacket, gloves and a hat are recommended. There is also a rainy season in June and a typhoon season in September, so an umbrella or rainwear will also come in handy.

Are there any special clothes or shoes that I should bring?

In Japan, people always remove their shoes before entering a house, an apartment or a school as well as other places. Slip-on shoes or sandals are very convenient for these situations. Also, a pair of shoes, sneakers or running shoes that you wear only inside are recommended. You will need a pair of “inside shoes” to enter some elementary schools kindergartens or gymnasiums during your internship. We also recommend bringing a set of nice clothes (khakis and a polo-shirt / skirt and blouse) for formal ceremonies or occasions.

Can I get a SIM card for my phone? 

You will have access to wi-fi on campus, however, if you want to have access to the Internet all the time, you might want to get one. Past interns have used a company called econnect and picked up their SIM cards at the post office at Narita Airport. 

Can I get medicine or prescriptions in Japan?

Allergy and cold medicine is readily available here. If you become ill and need to see a doctor, you will be able to get a prescription easily for antibiotics or cold medicine. However, be aware that not all medications are the same as those in North America, Europe or Oceania. If you have a medical history or allergies to medications, please be sure to bring that information along. You can bring up to one month month’s supply of prescription drugs into Japan and up to two month’s supply of non-prescription drugs without completing any paperwork. This same rule applies to mailing prescription and or non-prescription drugs. It is always a good idea to have a copy of the prescription and or letter from the prescribing physician explaining the nature of the medication the purpose of taking it, recommended dosage and frequency of ingestion. Most prescription drugs are permitted, including drugs that may not be available in Japan, such as birth control pills. Drugs that are hallucinogenic, narcotic and/or psychotropic in nature will be confiscated except in extenuating circumstances where prior approval has been obtained, e.g., a cancer patient taking a type of medication that has a high percentage of pain killer; these cases are treated on a case by case basis. The following over-the-counter medications are prohibited in Japan since they contain narcotic or stimulant ingredients in excess of the Japanese standard: A Tylenol Cold, B Nyquil, C Nyquil Liquicaps, D Actifed, E Sudafed, F Advil Cold & Sinus, G Dristan Cold No Drowsiness, H Dristan Sinus, I Drixoral Sinus, J Vicks Inhaler, K Lomotil. Japan is very strict about bringing medications into the country. Psychotropic drugs (in particular, Adderall) are prohibited and not allowed even with a prescription. If you are caught at customs with these drugs, they will be confiscated and you may be imprisoned. Please read the following article that highlights the dangers of mailing or bringing these drugs into Japan.

Financial information

How much is an internship with Ibaraki Christian University going to cost ?

While you are responsible for your transportation to and from Japan and living expenses, you don’t need to pay anything to Ibaraki Christian University. Most other overseas internship programs to first-world countries are run by companies that charge high fees. In comparison, our program is inexpensive.

If I really want to spend as little as possible what would the minimum be for a 90-day internship?

It is possible to do a 90-day internship for under $5,000 US. Although difficult, some students from abroad who live in student apartments spend under $1,000 a month on food rent and utilities. With your plane fare, insurance costs and extra housing fees such as the deposit of 10,000 yen as a cleaning fee, it is possible to spend under $5,000. Rates may change dependent on the exchange rate.

Estimated expense chart comparing homestays with apartment living per month

prices in yen Homestay with Host family Apartment
Rent 60000 (two meals included) 36000 (+ 10000 for one time non-refundable cleaning fee)
Utilities 0 10000 (gas, electricity and water)
Food 10000 (lunches, snacks) 35000
Transportation (depending on sightseeing plans and destinations) 0 – 25000 0 – 25000
Internet *may be included Free wifi router available
Miscellaneous 10000 10000

For apartments, daily transportation is usually free and within walking distance but homestays may require purchase of a train and or bus pass. Apartment rent may or may not include utilities. Electricity and water are quite expensive compared to North America and high usage, e.g., using the heater all day in winter, will result in an increase in fees. The above values are approximations and may change.

How much money should I bring?

We suggest bringing about $1000 US worth of yen when you first come. That should cover your expenses for the first month or so. We do not recommend bringing traveler’s cheques but if you do, you should cash them in at the airport upon your arrival. It is extremely difficult to cash traveler’s cheques in the Ibaraki area and we have heard that financial institutions will stop cashing them in the near future. You can use major credit cards, Visa, Mastercard, or American Express at most stores, but you may not be able to use the debit function to purchase goods. Depending on your financial institution, there may be a fee per credit card transaction. You will be able to use your bank card or credit card to withdraw money (see below). However, Japan is a cash-based society so we recommend that you prepare an appropriate amount of cash for your stay.

How can I withdraw money from my bank account in my home country?

You can use your bank card to withdraw yen from ATMs in post offices if it has a Cirrus or Plus mark on the back. There may be a small fee depending on your financial institution. Please contact your financial institution to clear your card for use in Japan and inquire about the fees. You may be able to use your debit card to withdraw money if it is part of the Visa Electron or Maestro networks.



Do I need to bring anything for my homestay family? Although it is not mandatory, it is recommended to bring some small gifts for your homestay family and others you meet.

Are homestays always available?

Unfortunately, sometimes host families are unavailable. In the case we cannot provide a homestay, you may need to live in a student apartment.

Can I do my entire homestay with one family?

We encourage host families to accept interns for the full three months. However, some families prefer shorter periods and in these cases, we will find another host family or families to host you for the remaining time. Some interns also prefer to have three one-month homestays so that they can live with various families and learn about the culture from many perspectives.

Student apartments

Are any nonrefundable deposits required in advance to rent an apartment?

It depends on the landlord. At present, the landlord overseeing the furnished student apartments requires a 20000 yen deposit. He uses half of it to clean the apartment after interns leave and refunds the other half as long as there is no damage. Landlords at the other unfurnished student apartments do not require a deposit but this may change at any time. In the event that you choose not to do a homestay and student apartments are not available, other options can be discussed.

Responsibilities as an intern

What will my responsibilities be as an intern?

Although adjustments are possible, our vision is that interns will have five major areas of responsibility. They will assist university English teachers in classroom activities, hold tutoring sessions for English majors, offer times for conversation or fun activities using English, plan special events such as parties group games or activities and eat lunch with interested students. The five areas and what they entail are described below. Please note that promotion of these events and activities to students is also part of the intern responsibilities.

A. Assisting university English teachers in classroom activities

Some university English teachers will ask you to visit their classes. Possible requests could include the following: teaching a specific topic relevant to the class that the teacher will ask about in advance; introducing yourself and your school; assisting the teacher with communication activities that will not require advance preparation on your part; visiting a class with other interns to provide small group practice for the students in the class; or teaching whatever you would like. Be prepared with a number of teaching plans that you can implement on such occasions.

B. Holding tutoring sessions for English majors, individual students or small groups by appointment

You may be asked to answer specific requests from students to assist them with assignments or classwork that they find challenging as well as organizing study sessions for groups of students studying for the TOEIC, TOEFL or STEP tests.

C. Offering times for conversation or fun activities using English

We offer what we call Chat Hours, where interested students come to chat for 90 minutes. Chats can be opportunites for free talk or based on a worksheet or activity that you have planned.

D. Planning special events and activities such as parties, group games or activities

Every month we have a special event for the students. Such school events in the past have included Capture the Flag, Halloween, parties, barbecues and sports. Almost any activity can be implemented but it is best to check with your mentor regarding your ideas to ensure that all logistical aspects can be covered.

E. Eating lunch with interested students

Room 5100, our common room for English majors, is one of the places where DCE students meet. Many students eat lunch here and enjoy practicing English in a casual setting. We would like you to be present here for lunch approximately four days a week. Generally, interns sit at different tables to communicate with a greater variety of students.

What does a typical day look like?

Here is an example of a typical day for interns. Depending on demand and availability, the schedule will be adjusted.

8:30 Arrive at school and check in the office
8:40 - 10:10 Preparation time
10:20 – 11:50 Teaching assistant in a class
11:50 – 12:40 Chat lunch
12:40 – 2:10 Chat Hour
2:20 – 3:50 Chat Hour
4:00 – 5:30 TOEIC training for students
5:40  Leave


What will my week as an intern encompass?

Interns are asked to be on campus four days a week,  arriving at school before 8:40 classes and staying until sometime between 4:30 and 5:40. During this time, interns are not always on duty as they can take breaks, take Japanese lessons, participate in classes as students or do other personal things. Interns are asked to help approximately one evening a month in planning and running an event. The four-day week normally runs from Monday to Thursday or Tuesday to Friday, so interns can have three-day weekends to travel or do other personal things. Overall, we estimate that interns will be on campus a minimum of 30 to 35 hours per week with 25 of these hours designated for intern duties. At the end of your internship, these hours will be totalled and can be used towards receiving credit at your college or institution.

Who will help with planning and publicizing my teaching and activities?

Teachers, intern coordinators and students are all here to help you. We will be happy to introduce you to students who would like to help. Students are usually the most helpful in letting you know what they think will work best and to help you publicize your activities by telling friends and making posters.

What is the most important thing that I can do as an intern?

Motivate students, show them the joys of speaking English and help them try to reach their goals.

How much English have students studied before arriving at university?

Most students have studied English for at least six years prior to university. Most of their studies have focused on grammar, writing and reading so their conversation skills are lacking. This intern program has been designed to help students enhance their speaking abilities. Even if they appear reluctant to speak and have limited comprehension skills, they have a lot of knowledge of English that can be accessed.

Will students know who I am?

All the students in our department, the Department of Contemporary English, will know who you are. We will ask you to introduce yourself to them in classes. Your introduction should be short and simple in slow, easy-to-understand English. You should tell them about you, where they can find you and encourage them to come to see you to do activities together, for help with their English or just to talk. Bringing visual aids to show the students is an effective way to communicate.

How important is planning?

Planning is essential. Planning will help you to excel when your lack of experience with a particular group of students makes things difficult. In particular, planning is an important part of Chat Hour. Planning and making an activity, executing it and refurbishing it for the next time are skills that will help you in all of your future endeavours, especially if you are interested in teaching English as a second or foreign language.

What other advice can you offer?

After planning, our next piece of advice is to smile and speak slowly. Our students are interested in speaking English with someone who is friendly and happy to help. When speaking, native English interns and teachers often have a tendency to race ahead. If you are talking too quickly and at a higher level than the students can understand, they may ask you to slow down, repeat or simplify, or they may just disengage and give up. It is best to speak slowly, use simple English words and confirm that they understand you. Students often indicate they understand when they do not, so restating or summarizing what you say is very important even when people seem to get it.

How will I be evaluated?

Evaluation will be an ongoing process of establishing goals and working together to help you meet those goals. We envisage the following process:

  1. Before your entrance interview discussion, which will be in the first few days after you arrive, we would like you to prepare a list of goals that you have for yourself during this internship in terms of teaching learning and living in Japan. Please bring two copies of the list, one for us and one for you. We will discuss your goals and place a copy of it in your portfolio along with our notes. You will email a data version of the list and anything additional that you would like to add to your mentor after the entrance interview discussion is completed.
  2. Approximately halfway through your internship, we would like to have a midway discussion. Please write up where you think you are on each of your goals and any changes you may have in your goals and bring two copies to the discussion. We will place our copy of this in your portfolio along with our notes. You will email a data version of the document and anything additional that you would like to add to your mentor after the midway discussion is completed.
  3. Before your exit interview/discussion we would again like to ask you to prepare for the exit interview/discussion. This time, we would like to know what you learned from the entire experience and what you plan to do after the internship and whether it has helped you. You will email a data version of everything above and any additional materials that you would like to include to your mentor after the exit interview discussion is completed.


If I come across an unusual situation or am asked something that I am not sure about, what should I do?

Please state that you need to speak with your mentor or the teacher in charge of interns before making any decisions. In the west, we are often expected to decide and reply quickly. In Japan, it is more common to take time to consider an appropriate answer. Do not let yourself get pressured into a hasty reply. Feel free to ask your mentor or the person in charge about anything.

Life on campus

What is the campus like? IC has a beautiful campus right beside Omika train station on the Joban line. The campus comprises a kindergarten, junior high school, high school and university. There is a library, three gymnasiums, convenience stores, a cafeteria and a lot of green, open space. When you come to IC, we will take you on a tour to show you the campus and the people you will work with.

Will I be greeting any high-level administrators at IC?

Yes. If scheduling allows, we will introduce you to the president, vice-president and several deans.

Should I bring any gifts for the high-level administrators?

That is completely at your discretion. Gifts are always nice, but we do not want to overly burden you both in terms of shopping and carrying gifts. Some schools have gifts that they give to students who are going abroad as representatives of their schools; some do not. You may want to check with your school or department.

Can I take classes at IC?

Yes. If the faculty member in charge approves it, you can audit some classes for free.

Can I take Japanese language classes or regular classes that are taught in Japanese?

Yes. You can take free Japanese classes here on campus taught by IC students who are studying to be Japanese language teachers. We also have students with whom you can practice Japanese conversation if you are interested. If your Japanese is very good, you may also be able to join culture-related classes that are taught in Japanese. Additionally, if you wish to attend more classes than we can provide, we can give you information regarding nearby community classes run by volunteer Japanese-teaching associations. These classes are often free or require a nominal fee.

Will I be able to use the computers at IC?

Yes. We will provide you with a login ID and access to computers. We have both Macintosh and Windows-based computers that you can use for preparing materials, for teaching and for events. You can also bring your own smartphone, tablet or laptop if you prefer, and you can register for free access to wi-fi here on campus.

Do you have a manual for interns?

Yes. In addition to the information posted here, we have a manual specifically aimed at interns who are currently on campus.

Are there any restrictions about hanging out with students off campus?

No. In fact, we encourage you to associate with students as much as possible. While you are interning on campus, we expect you to speak only English, but you are welcome to speak Japanese with the students off campus and in your free time.

Life in Hitachi

What can I see in Hitachi and nearby?

We suggest that you take a look at the Where to Visit page of the Ibarakinavi,, which is the official tourist site of Ibaraki Prefecture. There are many good sightseeing places in Hitachi and Mito. Our interns and students have also written a blog about places to visit in and around Hitachi. Please check this blog for details.

Can I take a day trip to Tokyo?

Tokyo is only about 100 kms (60 miles) away, so a day trip is possible. You can take the bus or the train, but the bus is cheaper. A round trip costs about ¥4200. The time to and from Tokyo varies from slightly under 2 hours to 2 hours and 40 minutes depending on the direction, the day, the time of day and whether you go to Tokyo station or Ueno station. We can provide details as needed.

What is the fastest way to get to and from Tokyo?

You can take the express trains called either Hitachi or Tokiwa. It costs about 4,810 yen each way and takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. The local trains will cost approximately half of this, but the trip is much longer and you will need to change trains. If you want to save money, the bus is the better option.

Can I drive in Japan?

No. Given the responsibility that we have for interns and the problems that would occur if an accident took place, we would like interns to come to Japan with the understanding that they will not be driving cars, motorcycles or scooters. If interns choose to ride a bicycle, we suggest they exercise extreme caution due the differences in traffic patterns and driving culture between Japan and the west.

While doing the internship can I work part-time and be paid?

Unfortunately, you cannot. Just as your internship is unpaid, you cannot do any work for pay on a 90-day tourist visa. You only have the right to volunteer. Additionally, even if you are here on a longer-term culture visa, you only have the right to intern. You cannot take a part-time paying job. If you have any questions, please send an email to (change at to an @ mark).

The application can be downloaded here: 

Please download it and input the information on your computer. This form works best with Adobe PDF Reader.