IMPORTANT: Applicants must have previous experience as a GPI Conversation Buddy to be considered for this program.



How does it work?

Global Study Program(GSP) in Japan  is a once-in-a-lifetime volunteer opportunity. Each week summer program participants are sent to various locations throughout Japan to serve as Group Leaders at various high schools and educational institutions. Group Leaders stay with a Japanese host family or in a local hotel. During the week (Monday to Friday), Group Leaders join GSP to help Japanese students develop a better understanding of empowerment and critical thinking while practicing communication in English.

Facilitators guide Group Leaders and Japanese students through daily lessons with activities and discussions exploring different aspects of empowerment. Group Leaders work in small groups with students where they can share viewpoints and perspectives while discovering how students can continue to develop the skills and tools of empowerment in their own lives.

While the curriculum provides an introduction to GSP themes, and a chance to engage in critical thinking, Group Leaders also have the unique opportunity to inspire Japanese students to pursue their passions, goals, and aspirations through their own experiences and stories.


Program Objectives

1. Group Leaders gain hands-on experience in the field of international education and cross-cultural communication. Group Leaders are also given the opportunity to understand work ethics in the Japanese cultural context.

2. Group Leaders go on a once in a lifetime experience that will give them a very personal, enriching experience. Group Leaders immerse themselves in Japanese culture, make lifelong friendships, and learn a great deal about themselves.

3. Group Leaders are able to understand work ethics in the Japanese cultural context on a deeper level and learn through invaluable experience about the benefits acquired from living outside of your own cultural comfort zone.

Click here for an info presentation.


  • Applicants must have previous experience as a GPI Conversation Buddy to be considered for this program.
  • Holders of passports issued by a country or region that are visa-exempt for visits up to 45 days in Japan.
  • Applicants must currently be enrolled in a 4-year college/university or graduate program in Canada (required to show a valid college/university ID) or be a recent graduate.
  • Attend mandatory pre-departure orientation session (location & time to TBD).
  • Read and respond to all pre-departure material related to Japanese culture and program features.
  • Attend orientation program in Japan prior to the commencement of the program.
  • Act as a leader 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 GPI/ISA.
  • Japanese language proficiency is NOT required.

Program Costs Covered

  • Airfare: Airfare: Round trip ticket to Japan from Canada.
    • Flight tickets cannot be changed (NO EXCEPTIONS).
    • Additional expenses incurred from traveling to the departure airport and/or additional travel accommodations will NOT be included in costs covered.
  • Inbound Travel Insurance: Basic travel insurance in Japan.
  • Residency: Homestay & Hotel.
  • Transportation in Japan: School Commute (Personal Travel is not covered).
  • Salary: No salary provided.

How to Apply

**We regret to inform that we do not accept general applications for 2024 program.
We will announce details of 2025 program in winter 2024.  

We recommend students interested in this program to apply as soon as possible.
Every year the application process becomes more selective and competitive by the general submission deadline.

Step 1. Download form.
Step 2. Fill out form.
Ste 3. Email complete form to


Main Office:

What Students Say About Our Program

I would say my best memory of the GSP would be meeting my host families and spending time with them. I was not expecting to become so close so quickly to all of my host families that I met throughout the weeks. It was difficult to say goodbye each week, but knowing I'd return to Japan one day and see them definitely helped keep my emotions under control. My host families taught me so much about Japan and Japanese culture and allowed me to see a completely new perspective. They also allowed me to share about my life, and my culture with them, which was overall an amazing experience!


It is so difficult to choose a single experience as a favourite so instead I will say that bonding with and exploring Japan with my host families will be a memory that I will never forget. My host families were incredibly open, kind, and excited to share their home country with me. They took me to museums where I could learn about Japanese history, temples where we could share our dreams and wishes, festivals where I could learn about Japanese traditions, wear Yukatas and eat mountains of street food. My host families would share with me their favourite regional dishes from each prefecture and even offered to make foods like takoyaki together.


My best memory from the Global Study Program is the time I spent with my host families and students in the program and watching them develop. Throughout each week, I was able to see everyone around me improving their English and also becoming more open to new experiences and ideas. Although I enjoyed teaching English in school, the best part of the day was still at home where I was able to interact with my host families. Every night, I was able to chat with my host parents about many things, such as school, work, different cultures, and just life in general. It was a nice experience to be talking about life with people from different cultures, and I was able to learn many things from them.


This is a picture of a bento lunch box my host mother from Fukuoka made for me for when I teach at school. I truly felt like she treated me like their daughter and was very appreciative of her kindness and thoughtfulness. My best memory of my GSP experience is definitely meeting the Japanese students, my host family, and the group leaders from different countries. I will never forget the friendships I made with the American and Canadian group leaders I met throughout this trip. Because I had the same Canadian and American group leaders throughout Tokyo, Nara, and Fukuoka, we were able to establish a strong friendship with one another. I am forever grateful for this program as it let me make new friends from all over the world!


If I had to summarize my best memories throughout my time in the GSP program, it would have to be being able to meet and spend time with so many new people. Whether it was the other group leaders, the students at school, or my host families, everyone was so kind and made the trip something I will never forget. With each program only lasting a week, it was amazing to see how much progress the students could make in such a short time. Their confidence and curiosity increased everyday and it was a super enjoyable experience for me as I assisted in their learning.


I made so many amazing memories in Japan, It's hard to choose one favourite! 'll never forget visiting the places I always wanted to see, like the bamboo forests in Kyoto and eating in a traditional Japanese restaurant in Nikko. But I think my top favourite memories were the spontaneous ones I did not expect to make. For example, the last night with my first host family, we had a family dinner with my host family and another group leader's host family (the families were friends!). We shared many laughs and I remember thinking how amazing it is to feel connected to people that I'd just met less than a week ago. It was definitely hard to say goodbye to each family and students every week but the memories made stay forever 🙂


My greatest memories came from bonding with other group leaders and my host families. I loved getting to know their dreams, their passions, and how they support one another. This memory makes me happy because I get to remember how passionate and supportive my second host family was even though we had such little time to spend together. Ultimately, the overwhelming support I received from all of the families and friends I made during this trip for GSP is something I will always treasure.


One of my favourite memory during the program was playing board games with students and my host family. I brought simple board games from Canada and I purchased two more in Japan. I would pull them out whenever I got a chance like during lunch time, at cafes, or after dinner with my host family and everyone would have a blast. Japan is a beautiful country with many kind people. There are numerous things to see and experience, but personally, I will bring more board games next time I visit Japan again.


This photo was a memory with my first host family in Osaka that I will remember for the rest of my life. On the first day of arrival, they had asked me when my birthday was, and I told them that my birthday would be in three weeks, after I return to Canada. I later found out that this cake was made from scratch by my host sister, who woke up at 5am to decorate the cake so that I wouldn't know. This was the most special memory I have of Japan - not the flashing streets of Tokyo, or the fancy plated food in restaurants, but a simple homemade cake filled with peaches (my favourite fruit) and love.


One of my best memories during the program is going to a summer festival with one of my wonderful host families. we watched the fireworks, which were beautiful. While they were happening, my host sisters and I went to grab chocolate bananas and kakigori from the food stalls as a treat. It was late at night, so we started heading home early, as the fireworks burst out behind us. It was an unforgettable experience that bonded me closer with my host family that I will forever be grateful for.