Japanese exchange program
AEU members have a unique opportunity in the September Term 3 holidays to undertake, along with AEU staff, an education exchange program to Shizuoka, Japan. No Japanese language needed!
In 2016, we will arrive in Japan on September 19 and return to Melbourne on September 28.
This is a chance for teachers in Japan and Victoria to exchange ideas and information about education and experience each other's culture.
The program includes an educational exchange with the Shizuoka Teachers Union; a three-day/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.
On the basis of previous year’s costs, plane fares are estimated to be between $1400 and $1800 (Melbourne/Osaka and return), and other land costs vary between $1300 and $1500.
Importantly, DET recognises this exchange program as PD, and it can count towards your VIT PD hours and may be tax deductible (check with your accountant). Some schools in the past have contributed some financial support through their professional development budget – participants need to discuss this with their schools on an individual basis.
Expressions of interest closed on Friday, May 13.
To find out more, email Anne Huggins at the AEU or call her on (03) 9418 4847.
What participants say
For a first time overseas traveller, this was a fantastic way to begin. You don't have to worry about anything as it is all taken care of and you get to explore another culture with a group of friendly, like-minded people! Actually you get three holidays in one — sightseeing, a look at education in another country and a grass-roots look at family life through the home stay visit; something you can't get on any other tour. Enlightening, enjoyable and stress free! — Dianne Le Marshall
Each member of the exchange party was assigned to a Japanese host family for a three-night stay. My host family consisted of an English teacher at a local junior high school, his wife and two daughters. He took me to his school for my experience. All members of the party made comment about how hospitable their hosts were. It was a great hands-on way to learn about the Japanese culture. Parting with my host family was a very sad time — they are now my close friends and I will continue to communicate with them and hopefully, one day, meet again. — Peter Walker
Was Japan just about the friendliest, best mannered, most helpful and safest country any of us has ever visited? Every day was a delight in this country full of contradictions. Textiles, ceramics and architecture reflecting centuries of history in their refinement and beauty, and then the Shinkansen (bullet trains) — also beautiful and sleek, but high, high tech. However, there were almost no computers for students in schools! Another extreme was the toilets – from squats to some which, when you opened the door, lights flashed, the seat lifted and music played. Sit down and there was an instant flushing sound to cover the sound of any other, undesirable noises! Midnight Cowboy, eat your heart out. — Elizabeth Healy