カテゴリーのアイコン Life in Japan
Japanese Students Doing Work-Study Abroad - Singapore
Mar 21, 2024
4 min read
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Greetings Guidable readers! When you were a student, did you ever do any kind of school trip? In Japan, this is called 修学旅行 shuugakuryokou, and is a pretty big “event,” almost comparable to school festivals you may see in your favorite animes, and Japan has decided to go to Singapore for the first time!

Typically junior high/high school students go to a different city within Japan to get some experience. If you are a student in Tokyo, then chances are the school trip will be in Osaka. Vice versa, if you are from Osaka, you will probably be going to Tokyo.

Work Study Abroad - Why Singapore?

Approximately 760 third-grade junior high students from 10 different schools in Minato-ku will be doing a school trip to Singapore.

This raises the question, why are they going abroad instead of staying in Japan?

According to the Minato-ku representative, there are three main reasons:

  1. Japanese students can practice their English in the real world.
  2. There is not much of a time difference from Japan.
  3. It is relatively safe with protocols set up if an emergency were to arise.

If you are from a younger age group and want to live or work in Japan in the future, you can look forward to Japanese students on a school trip and doing a language/cultural exchange. On the flip side, if you are already in Japan, you can see in real time how Japan is becoming more global.

Credit 7maru/@Canva.com

Minato-ku and What Locals Say

Doing a school trip isn’t cheap, especially if it’s abroad!

Minato-ku is filled with tons of skyscrapers, large corporations, businessmen, and a lot of affluent individuals. This makes the case special not just because of the destination, but because if anyone could financially do this, it would be Minato-ku.

Here are what Japanese locals have to say about doing a school trip abroad:

Japanese Citizen 1:

“If you have the money, it would be great! Minato-ku seems to have a lot of it!”

Japanese Citizen 2:

“It's a great work experience for junior high school students to go overseas.”

Japanese Citizen 3:

“There sure is a big (financial) gap (between other cities)”

Japanese Citizen 4:

“I feel it may make kids insecure. There are people that can afford to do this, while others can’t, so students may have an inferiority complex.”

Study Abroad Expenses

Up until this point, Minato-ku was able to keep the expenses down to about 70,000 Yen per student for school trips in local areas such as Nara or Kyoto. In other words, families would pay no more than 70,000 Yen to send their students on a school trip, and Minato-ku would shoulder the expenses for everything else.

The city of Minato hopes to continue this trend for doing school trip abroad and anticipates shouldering the burden of 500,000 Yen per student.

This raises the question in the minds of Japanese locals, just how far can Minato-ku go?

If you do the simple math, with 760 students planning to go on a school trip abroad, that is 380,000,000 Yen (approximately $2.6 million dollars) that Minato-ku is financing! After all, depending on the time and source, Tokyo has the 2nd most millionaires and billionaires in the world, with Minato-ku housing a bulk of the wealthiest Tokyoites.

Japanese Students on Study Abroad and Globalization

As we have seen, Japan is globalizing, from the influx of foreign tourists and expats to the opening of new special visas to more foreign-centric job postings. In this case, we explored Japan’s globalization on the local front with Japanese students engaging in school trips abroad, and this isn’t anything new. Minato-ku has been in talks about globalizing since 2007 and as a result of that, has set its eyes on Singapore as their first point of contact.


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