We are currently accepting applications for 2017 September-December internships.
Why should I do an internship at Ibaraki Christian University?
Ibaraki Christian is a liberal arts university located in a beautiful area about 100 km northeast of Tokyo. Our campus is about a twenty-minute walk from the closest beach on the Pacific Ocean. Due to our long history of international exchange with more than twenty schools around the world, teachers and staff here are familiar with and extremely helpful and friendly to interns from abroad.
The well-established internship program at IC includes 24-hour support for both working and living environments. Mentors support and guide interns to help them achieve their personal and professional goals throughout their time with us. Interns are generally set up with housing of their preference, host families or apartments, and the IC staff help them get moved in comfortably. For those living in apartments, we loan most major appliances. Our staff also help interns adjust to living in Japan by taking them shopping for essentials or to the bank or post office after arriving. Our bilingual teachers, staff and students provide interns with all the help they need to enjoy interning at IC and their experience in Japan.
We also provide interns with Japanese lessons on campus free of charge. For those who want to study more in depth, we can suggest some reasonably-priced community classes. Past interns have found these classes extremely helpful. If interns already have a level N3 or higher on the Japanese Language Proficiency Exam, they may be able to audit language classes on campus with exchange students.
Our Center for International Understanding often hosts cultural events such as flower arrangement, calligraphy and tea ceremonies that interns are welcome to attend. Our students are always excited to talk with interns and make sure that they enjoy their time in Japan. Students sometimes organize trips to take interns to Disneyland and other amusement parks, Mt. Fuji, Nikko, other temples and shrines and of course, Tokyo.
The work week for interns is four days long so they have long weekends to explore and enjoy the beauty of Japan. We are also flexible if other opportunities come up for short-term travel. Previous interns have taken trips to Korea, Thailand and other parts of Japan while they have been interning with us.
The internship here at Ibaraki Christian will provide you with an unforgettable experience. We will help you grow as a teacher and a person, and give you a chance to live in and experience the amazing culture of Japan.
School Year and Visas
The school year has two sixteen-week semesters. Our spring semester starts in early April and runs through early August. The student-internship program is flexible to the schedules and needs of student-interns. Student-interns can arrange to come in the spring semester during summer vacation, starting in May and going through the end of July or into early August. No visa is required for a period under 90 days for Canadians, Americans and many other nationalities. Our fall semester runs from late September through early February. Student-interns can arrange to come from late September and stay through late December. Again, no visa is required for a period under 90 days for Americans and many other nationalities. A whole semester or a year is also possible, but more time and additional paperwork is required to attain the appropriate visa.
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.
The student-intern responsibilities include, but are not limited to, teaching and or participating in language and culture education during regularly scheduled classes taught by teachers; tutoring, leading, or participating in Chat Hour, where interested students gather together to speak English with a teacher, intern or exchange student; and other such activities. Student-interns also have office hours during which they are available for students who would like to talk or get help with their studies. Interns also plan, lead and participate in extra-curricular activities such as sports, barbecues and parties. All student-interns are supervised by IC staff and faculty and assisted by IC students.
Do I need a visa?
If you intern for 90 days or less and hold citizenship in a country with a reciprocal visa exception arrangement with Japan (please refer to http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/essential/visa.html) you do not need a special visa. Upon your arrival at Narita Airport, you will receive a 90-day tourist visa, which is sufficient for an intern position. If you wish to intern for a longer period, you will be issued an appropriate visa prior to your departure for Japan. 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 are unable to accept you as an intern.
Student-interns are eligible to audit Department of Contemporary English classes for free if interested. We offer a number of classes taught in English, including classes related to language education, intercultural communication and cultural studies. Please note that enrolling in classes for official credits may be difficult because you will not pay tuition fees. However, we can issue a letter to the student-intern’s school and the student-intern can then discuss receiving credits with their own institution. Please consult with us for more information.
Student-interns may be able to take some Japanese language courses or classes with IC students if their level is high enough (i.e., JPLT N2 or N3). Student-interns are also able to take Japanese conversation classes through the Center for International Understanding at no cost. These lessons are aimed at giving interns Japanese conversation practice and helping them adjust to living in Japan. Please consult with us for more information.
Living in Hitachi
Hitachi is located on the Pacific Ocean so the weather is temperate. Winters, from December to March, are cold and windy with temperatures around 0-10ºC (32 to 50ºF). Spring, from April to early June, is cool at 10-20ºC (50-70ºF). The rainy season lasts from mid-June to the end of July and it is warm and humid every day. Summer, from July to September, is hot at 30-35ºC (86-95ºF) with humidity over 80%. Fall, from October to December, is pleasant with warm temperatures and dry breezes.
Japan is still very much a cash-based society. Credit cards such as Visa and Master Card are used widely, but debit cards are not common. Prior to your departure to Japan, please exchange your local currency for yen at your financial institution. You can also exchange money at Narita or Kansai international airports but the rates may not be as good as those in your home country. Note that traveler's cheques are not accepted at many places and it is difficult to cash them. If you do bring traveler's cheques, please exchange them for cash at an international airport. Credit/debit cards can only be used at some ATMs. This page, http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2208.html, has some good information about where you can use your card.
Living arrangements and transportation fees
Student-interns can do homestays with Japanese families living nearby on the local train line if host families are available. Our Center for International Understanding arranges the homestays for visiting student-interns. Multiple homestays, each one for approximately a month, are probable if a stay exceeds one month. Train passes will probably cost a maximum of 10,000 yen a month and homestays are 2,000 yen per night including utilities, Internet and usually laundry services, breakfast and dinner. As the exchange rate fluctuates, all figures are in Japanese yen. Depending on the availability of host families, alternatives, such as student apartments, may be necessary.
Student-interns staying for two months or more can rent a student apartment if one is available. These apartments are located approximately 15 to 30 minutes from campus on foot. Most come with heating and air conditioning. Some apartments come with basic furnishings and for those that don’t, we can provide appliances and bedding. The monthly rent is between 25,000 and 40,000 yen per month. In general, a deposit of 20,000 yen is required of which half is usually returned upon moving out. This is very reasonable for Japan. Please note that this information may change at any time.
Student-interns staying for longer periods can opt to rent a regular apartment. However, renting a regular apartment is more complicated and has extra expenses including approximately three months of rent as the move-in fee. So, it is not the most economical option. Monthly rent can be as low as 30,000 yen or as high as 60,000 or 70,000 yen.
For interns who rent apartments, fire and liability insurance must be purchased and costs approximately 5,000 yen per year. Student-interns who stay with a host family will also need to purchase liability insurance. Housing cannot be arranged until the arrival date has been determined. After that, we will work with you to help you find accomodation that suits your needs.
Each student-intern needs to purchase all the necessary insurance for their health and any liabilities they may have in Japan. Housing-related insurance (fire and liability) will cover everything except for health. Student-interns who stay short-term in Japan on a tourist visa for 90 days or less can show proof of insurance purchased at home and use that. We highly recommend that student-interns buy travel insurance in addition to insurance that covers only medical costs. Depending on the plan purchased, airplane ticket fees in case of cancellation, personal property, as well as health costs may be covered. Please refer online to Allianz, American Express or World Nomads to compare plans.
Student-interns entering Japan on a visa for internships longer than 90 days will need to purchase national health insurance. National health insurance costs approximately 1,000 yen per month and covers 70% of most medical costs. The remaining 30% will need to be paid in cash when medical care is received. For standard health care, the 30% is usually some hundreds or thousands of yen. This insurance covers visits to the doctor and dentist and prescription medication. Liability insurance covering damage to persons or property is also required for all student-interns. Many homeowner insurance policies cover liability insurance overseas for those listed as living in the house. A scanned copy of the policy is enough to prove coverage. If the student-intern does not have liability insurance, a one-year policy can be bought through the university coop after arrival for around 1,500 yen. In order to buy insurance through the university coop, student-interns need to become members of the coop for a one-time fee of 5,000 yen. However, this 5,000 yen fee will be fully refunded before leaving upon return of the membership card. For those staying less than a year, the balance of the insurance policy will also be refunded upon returning the insurance card.
Food and Other Expenses
As IC is located outside of the Tokyo metropolitan area, food and the daily cost of living is generally much cheaper. For interns who are living in apartments, or those who wish to purchase food on their own, two grocery stores are located within walking distance of campus. While western foods such as pizza and hotdogs are available, the vast majority of food products are Japanese and interns are encouraged to try to adapt to a more Japanese diet. There are also many reasonably priced restaurants, ramen shops and fast-food restaurants.
On campus, food options include two university co-ops where many students choose to purchase their daily lunches and or snacks if they do not bring their own. Prices are reasonable and a lunch consisting of a single obento (lunch box) usually consisting of meat, vegetables and rice plus a drink will generally cost less than 500 yen. Past interns living on tight budgets have been able to cover their food and daily living expenses for approximately 1500 yen per day while others have lived relatively comfortably on between 2000 and 3000 yen per day.
No Payment to IC
Please note that student-interns will not be required to pay any money to Ibaraki Christian University (IC) and IC will not be required to pay any money to student-interns for the internship. Student-interns will not be required to pay any fees or tuition to IC for any classes they take.
Japanese Language Ability
Our aim is for student-interns to work and communicate with Japanese and other international students in English. While an interest in Japan and Japanese is required, Japanese language skills are not. We are looking for student-interns who are interested in teaching and cross-cultural exchange. One of our program goals is for student-interns to spend most of their time at school communicating with students in English.
We understand that many challenges await interns on our campus and in Japan. The teachers, staff and students are happy to provide thorough on-site support for everything to help interns enjoy their stay in Japan. We provide assistance for living including finding housing or host families, helping with basic furnishings, turning on utilities and purchasing the necessary insurance. Teachers can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help with any medical emergencies, concerns or issues that may arise during the internship.
Details and Flexibility
We have tried to be as detailed as possible in our explanation about our internship program. However, some of these details may change. Applicants should feel free to contact us at any time with questions or comments.
If you would like any additional information please feel free to contact us at English_internaticc.ac.jp. Please change the at to an @ mark. A printable version of the application form can be downloaded from http://downloads.gendaieigo.info/IC_Internship_App.pdf. If you have any questions about our internship program, please first refer to our Internship Q&A.