Japanese exchange program

AEU members have a unique opportunity in the September school holidays to undertake an education exchange program to Shizuoka, Japan.

This is a chance for teachers in Japan and Victoria to exchange ideas and information about education, and experience each other's culture. No Japanese language skills needed!

The program includes an educational exchange with the Shizuoka Teachers Union, a three-night homestay with a teacher's family and a visit to their school, a meeting with the Shizuoka Prefectural Board of Education, and sightseeing in Kyoto, Nara and Tokyo.

The Department of Education and Training recognises this exchange program, and it can count towards your VIT professional development hours. In previous years, some schools have contributed financial support through their professional development budget – participants need to discuss this with their schools. Download the flyer here.

Who can apply?

All current AEU primary and secondary sector members, including special school members.

How much will it cost?

Participants are expected to pay their own way and there can be annual variations in these costs. Approximate costs include:

  • Flights: AU$1,400-$1,500.
  • Land costs: AU$2,100-AU$2,300.

This includes:

  • hotel stays
  • airport transfers
  • public transport between cities
  • dinner in Kyoto
  • organised sightseeing.

What past participants say

“This Japanese experience has been the highlight of my year. The opportunity to stay with a Japanese family and live in their home is one I will never forget.

It was also wonderful to visit their schools and see that children in Japan are not so different from children in Australia. The teachers have a similar job to us, but they work long hours with little break. Interestingly, the teachers’ attitude towards their students was not one of resentment, they genuinely loved what they were doing and this showed in the classroom and the relationships they had with their students.

The whole trip had a good combination of free time and guided tours. Our tour guides were fantastic and lead us cheerfully on and off trains and through busy train stations ….. The food was wonderful and the Japanese people were kind and welcoming. I would recommend this experience to anyone with a love of education and travel.” 

Angela Gray

“The homestay was the highlight of the tour. The immersion in culture, people and customs could not have been replicated any other way. I was so lucky to have such an amazing host family and hope to keep in touch with them for years to come.

Once again I would like to thank the AEU for this unique opportunity. I have and will continue to recommend this trip to others as I feel the experience has been invaluable for my personal and professional development.” 

Jennie Ralph

“I loved everything! I regard the trip as a special once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I was very fortunate to be able to make. The participants were great, full of fun and willing to look out for each other’s welfare. Some strong friendships were forged in a short time …….The balance of organised tours and free time was brilliant.

It was good to have the option of staying in Japan or returning with the protection of the group. I liked the flexibility.” 

Fiona Cooper

“I really enjoyed the sights and activities that were arranged and found there was a good balance of free time to explore. It was an amazing experience that anyone would be lucky to be part of!” 

Bethany Pierce

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