Japan

AFS

DO NOT RECOMMEND!!!! I absolutely hated it with AFS. To sum up, almost every exchange student I know who has been with AFS has complained about problems with the staff and also the host families. You get almost zero support from AFS and they will not listen to you AT ALL. Don’t get me wrong, Japan was a great experience and I loved it, but AFS definitely ruined a lot of things for me. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT go for AFS. I cannot speak for other countries but AFS Japan was really the worst.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Japan
Posted: May 30, 2024
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Concordia Volunteers

Program:
Location: Japan
Posted: Oct 13, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

AFS

I'm going to the US this summer from Japan. Guess what I still don't have a host family. We were supposed to leave in August 10th. People who already where placed just went to the US a few days ago. There are still many people who don't have a host family and are stuck in our country. Are new departure date is September 8th. I just can't stand that people who are stuck like me and people who are already in the US have month difference in this exchange program. It's just not fair. If you're not placed to a host family until August you have to leave in late September or even October and still come back to your home country on the same date with people who went on August. Actually there where like 4 people last year who even couldn't go on September. I gave tons of phone calls to AFS Japan and even USA but they tell us nothing because of some kind of treaty made between the two countries. Students who are stuck on their home country are having the worst summer vacation ever. We can't see Facebook because we can see the posts of people who are already having the time of their lives already. It's just too harsh to watch. I know it's hard to find a host family because it's all volunteer work. But it's clear that they should fix this situation. I couldn't believe that they've been doing this for years. Their must have been a lot of people who had the same feeling like me. I just hope now that I have a nice host family soon. I

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Japan
Posted: Aug 17, 2016
Overall:
2
Support:
1
Value:
2

AFS

Statistically, it's likely that your student will have a wonderful, memorable, formative experience. There is only a small chance that it will be otherwise. AFS is equipped to handle three scenarios well. Smooth sailing is, of course, no problem. Minor issues, stemming from cultural differences and the normal issues associated with teens, can almost always be resolved by the host family and student talking the matter through. The third scenario, in which the student is severely injured, becomes seriously ill, or commits an egregious breach of the rules (driving a car, dating) ends with the student being sent home. These cover the majority of likely situations.

In this forum are reports of rare but real scenarios which AFS, because of it's fragmented structure, or because of differences between the cultures and laws of different nations, does not handle to the satisfaction of parents. Examples posted include students being robbed, raped, or suffering severe mental stress. I add placement with an abusive host family to that list. In these situations AFS tries to fit the problem into one of the three scenarios they're comfortable with. They advise the student to talk to the family, they warn the student to behave, they threaten to terminate the exchange. In all cases they assume the student is at fault.

These are inadequate and harmful responses to these sorts of problems. As these students and parents have found, they have little or no recourse. AFS does little, probably because there is little they can do. It is not a monolith with a chain of command, at least not across international lines. It is a constellation of similar, affiliated volunteer organizations.

This is not to say that nothing can be done, just that nothing is usually done because it's difficult.

This doesn't mean AFS is off the hook though. These are our children we're trusting them with. Parents rightfully expect more than deflection and stonewalling.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Japan
Posted: Jun 30, 2015
Overall:
5
Support:
1
Value:
5

Studied Chinese in Beijing thru CSA. Was very good program. Excursions were included and teachers very nice. I am from Tokyo, and my English is not so good. CSA staff helpful. They emailed everything quickly. Maybe I go to Paris with CSA soon. CSA made it easy for me. Domo Arigato Gozaimasu !

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Japan
Posted: Apr 28, 2013
Overall:
0
Support:
0
Value:
0

World Learning

I have studied abroad three times now, researched over twenty different programs, and written a 15 page essay on studying abroad, and I say with confidence that EIL is one of the best programs out there. EIL offers students an opportunity to learn, meet people, observe, travel, and have fun - not as a tourist, but as a student who is curious and open to differences in the world. They really provide experimenters with opportunities to get involved with host countries, meet and interact with other students and locals living there, and to have fun while learning a lot.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Japan
Posted: Sep 22, 2008
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
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