Japan Pilot Semester

Empower immigrant female entrepreneurs to join a competitive English school market.

Departure: Early September 2019

Application Deadline: May 1, 2019

Volunteer Commitment: $500 Deposit

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Our Semester Program in Japan

7 Months (Sept – Mar) | 
Shared Volunteer Housing
Teach English/TESOL Trainer

WorldTeach is thrilled to announce a new fully-funded* pilot program in Tokyo, Japan in partnership with SEELS Teacher’s Academy. The purpose of the collaboration between our two organizations is to provide native-English speaking volunteers (deemed Triad TESOL Teachers) to teach English and work with underprivileged individuals including migrant Filipino women to empower them in their teaching and management roles at their new Social Enterprise English Language Schools (SEELS).

See all program dates and application deadlines here

*Flights not included

Country Overview

When one thinks of a world of juxtapositions, no other country comes to mind more than Japan, “The Land of the Rising Sun.” Japan is a nation steeped in ancient tradition and the value of simplicity. Yet, it is also home to some of the most modern amenities and technological advances in the world. It is a place that truly has something for everyone in remarkably safe environment and with extremely high standards for hospitality and service. Historically a homogeneous society, Japan has also been known to make immigration to the country more challenging for those desiring to stay long-term. Yet in recent years, with its aging population and declining birthrate, the government has allowed for and even encouraged more foreign workers to join its workforce.

Your Role

You will be deemed a “Triad TESOL Teacher” and will support in pedagogy and curriculum while also teaching English. As each school can fund a teacher for one day a week, you will be matched with five different schools to teach at each on rotation five days a week, with commuting expenses covered by SEELS. The schedule includes 20 hours of teaching as well as 16 additional hours of Triad TESOL training or program development to be assigned by SEELS per week. Students are mainly Japanese school children with 80% preschool-aged and the remaining 20% a mix of elementary, middle, high school, and adult learners. Many students have strong grammar but need support in speaking skills. Senior high school students, in particular, are in need of grammar usage for college test examination preparations.

You will need to be creative for preparations of English lessons and for Triad TESOL Training as SEELS is counting on native-English speakers to infuse engaging methods to learn the language. If you are proactive, you will also have opportunities for your own continuing professional development around which SEELS can provide guidance.

Placement & Housing

All placements in this pilot stage of partnership are in bustling and vibrant Tokyo, central to SEELS’ flagship schools and head office. The most common housing arrangement is to share an apartment provided by SEELS with one to two other volunteers in a centralized location in relation to your school assignments. Tokyo is a vast metropolitan but connected by an intricate and extensive public transportation system that can get you mostly where you need to go.


Sharing a space with your housemates and living in a Japanese apartment building in general will take some getting used to and requires patience, consideration, and respect. Japanese are extremely private and the home is not a place for loud noise and public display. You will also learn that there are particular standards of living that are strictly enforced by Japanese infrastructure, for example, the diligent sorting and disposal of different kinds of garbage and recycling.


The volunteer contribution to the Japan Pilot program is a $500 deposit, submitted upon confirmation into the program and returned upon successful completion. Selected candidates for participation in this program are funded by SEELS Academy schools.

This generous funding goes towards:
  • Housing
  • Living stipend
  • Pilot program remote training and support
  • Access to a remote teacher quality support
  • Pre-departure preparation and visa assistance, if necessary plus visa fee
  • Supplemental overseas travel medical insurance
  • Alumni services and networking

Many volunteers are able to successfully fundraise all or a significant portion of their program expenses. Please refer to our fundraising page for more information about fundraising possibilities.


Volunteers in the Japan Pilot Semester program must:
  • Be a native-level English speaker
  • Be TEFL or TESOL certified*
  • Have a bachelor’s degree by the time of the program’s departure
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 74
  • Be highly flexible, independent, mature, and have a genuine interest in teaching
  • Have some previous teaching or overseas experience – Given the pilot phase of this program, there is no WorldTeach staff present in-country. Participants must be able to demonstrate a high level of autonomy and communication skills to collaborate directly with our partners and the WorldTeach US staff.
    *Applicants who do not hold TEFL or TESOL Certification are eligible to take part in the WorldTeach TEFL Certification process.