STS High School 14–18 years of age
Welcome to Japan

High School in Japan

Age 15-18

Welcome to a nation like no other! Japan is the world’s third largest economy, and a trendsetter in culture, fashion and technology. Japanese culture is widely known for its traditional arts as well as its contemporary pop culture. It’s a country where old meets new in a totally unique way.

High School Classic

High School Classic is the traditional high school exchange programme, chosen by most of our students. It is the perfect programme for those who long for a genuine high school experience abroad and who are willing to embrace all the surprises it can bring. Here’s how it works: based on your profile, we find you a suitable host family and school, and the best part is, it can be anywhere in Japan, from the bright lights of its giant metropolises to its lovely countryside! If you’re open to adventure and are willing to let yourself be surprised by your exchange experience, this is the programme for you.

Let's meet

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Sushi and sashimi

The Japanese cuisine is one of the country’s greatest attractions. Traditional Japanese food is famous around the world for being healthy – and very tasty! Tako-yaki, sushi, sashimi, and tempura are examples of delicious food you should try when living in Japan.

Cherry blossoms

Japan is made up of thousands of smaller islands with four major ones, Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. Tokyo is the capital and the second largest city in the world. The climate varies a bit across the country, but overall, there are four clear seasons. The cherry blossoms in spring and bright colouSHred leaves in fall are exceptionally beautiful!

Learn the language

Japanese is the only official language and to be able to embark on a high school year here you need some basic understanding for the language. However, all Japanese must learn English as a foreign language, meaning you will be able to communicate in English to a certain extent.

Population: 128 million
Area: 378 000 km2
Language: Japanese
Capital: Tokyo (35 million)
Religion: Shinto, Buddhist
Currency: Yen
Government: Constitutional monarchy

The Japanese school experience!

Life as an exchange student in Japan will be a fascinating experience, full of new impressions. The Japanese school year begins in April with two or three semesters, depending on the school. There are six years of primary school, followed by three years of junior high and lastly, three years of optional high school, called kōkō.

Most Japanese students choose to attend high school. This is also where all exchange students will be placed. It’s up to the school to decide what year of high school that suits you and which subjects you can study. Some examples are social science, math, chemistry and biology.

Dress code and titles

Almost all schools have their own uniforms. How it looks and how often you need to wear it varies from school to school. However, you will be expected to have a neat appearance at all times. Your classmates will be friendly and so will your teachers. Just remember that you will not use your teacher’s first name, but call them Sensei (meaning teacher).

Some prior knowledge required

For obvious reasons, you need some previous knowledge of the language to become an exchange student in Japan. You should be able to read and write Hiragana and Katakana and pass a language test. Once you’ve passed the test and been accepted to your Japanese school, we highly encourage you to communicate in Japanese as much as possible. You will quickly improve your language skills and before you know it, you might even start dreaming in Japanese.

Japanese host families

All host families are carefully selected. You should know that entering a Japanese home is a true privilege. In Japan, most exchange students change host family every third month, but you will stay in the same school. This gives you an even greater opportunity to get to know Japanese culture from various perspectives.

Throughout the whole year, your area representative will keep in close contact with you and the host families, to ensure that everyone has a good experience.

The key to the culture

Some families might seem a bit shy in the beginning, but you will quickly get to know them and learn that the Japanese are very polite and warm-hearted. It is important to bear in mind that not many host families speak English. Learning Japanese will be your key getting closer to the culture.

Celebrate with the family

During the whole year, there will be many Japanese holidays to celebrate with the host family. For example the Japanese Shogatsu New Year. The New Year vacations are, according to tradition, the best time to thank the Gods (kami) who look after the harvest and to welcome the ancestral spirits who protect the family.

Quick facts

  • Who can go: 15–18 years on arrival
  • Departure month: August
  • Language requirements: Read and write Hiragana and Katakana + language test
  • Visa: Yes. Additional cost
  • School year: August–April
  • School day: Usually 08.00 – 15.30
  • Subjects: Depending on school, often optional
  • Language course: You can join a Japanese language course before departure at an additional cost (subject to availability)
  • Trips in the country: Universal Studios in Osaka och Kyoto. Additional cost
Cultural exchange is such an amazing experience – no one involved will ever forget it. I am so extremely grateful to my parents who gave me this opportunity / Stephanie

Free time in Japan

What will you do after school? That depends on where you live and what your host family likes. If they are into sports, you will probably be taken to an event, maybe a baseball game, since it’s a very popular sport in Japan.

Tea ceremony and No theatre

There are many interesting cultural offerings too. There are lots of art exhibitions, both modern and traditional. When you live in Japan, you have to take the chance to experience a tea ceremony or No theatre. For the manga and anime lovers, those traditional comics and films can be found everywhere!

Millions of people are into computer games, played at home or in public arcades. Japan is after all a superpower when it comes to this kind of technical entertainment.

Join a club at school

Most schools recommend that their exchange students attend extracurricular activities in the afternoon. Join a club or a sports team. This is a great opportunity to make new friends and practice the language.

What's included

  • Accommodation in a host family
  • Full board in a host family
  • School spot in a local high school 
  • Personal assistance and contact person in both home and host country
  • Online pre-departure meeting
  • Emergency support 24/7
  • Free interview 
  • Meetings and material to prepare you and your parents
  • STS bag
  • STS Diploma


Please note that the transport to your destination and back is not included the program fee.

Sales Year
5 months
From 12 690 €
10 months
From 13 690 €
5 months
From 13 040 €
10 months
From 14 690 €
5 months
From 12 690 €
10 months
From 13 690 €


About you/the student