JAOS taps into growing high school overseas trend

03 September, 2015

Japanese agency association JAOS has published a study abroad guide book for high school teachers and staff, aiming to tap into increasing demand for study abroad at secondary level driven by government campaigns and scholarship funding.

The Guiding High School Students to Study Abroad book published by Japanese agency association JAOS

The Guiding High School Students to Study Abroad book has been released by the Japan Association of Overseas Studies (JAOS) through publishers Gakuji Shuppan and aims to provide a foundation for high school teachers to give overseas study counselling and appropriate guidance to students.

Tatsu Hoshino, Executive Secretary of JAOS said that demand for study abroad among Japanese high school students had increased in the wake of government campaigns such as Tobitate Ryugaku! Japan, funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

According to the latest biennial survey of high school students conducted by MEXT, the number of high school students studying abroad as part of a group trip increased by 11 per cent in 2013/14, compared with 2011/12, to 168,668. Approximately 1,300 schools conducted trips overseas, according to the data.

The figures suggest that the campaign, which was launched in 2013, has had some success in restoring study abroad demand to previous levels, although it has yet to return to the level of 2003, when 196,971 studied abroad on school trips.

A survey of 511,294 Japanese high school students in the MEXT report found that 44 per cent of respondents wanted to study abroad in some capacity.

The new JAOS book contains a chapter on the significance of high school study abroad, information about different types of study abroad, details on studying in key English-speaking destinations, practical advice and risk management strategies.

Other chapters in the text include comparisons of study abroad globally, advancing to university abroad and accounts of study abroad experiences, as well as information about working with agents and lists of JAOS members and J-Cross certified agencies.

Hoshino said the growing demand represented an opportunity for Japan’s agency sector, compared to the more experienced higher education sector. “High schools have to depend on agencies to make study programmes for their students whereas some universities can produce study abroad programmes themselves.

“Also, parents depend on agencies too when they want their children to attend study abroad programmes outside their high school.”

He added that several high schools were already utilising the services of JAOS members to send students overseas, particularly the larger travel agency brands with study abroad arms. 

Established in 1991, JAOS currently gathers 35 member agencies as well as a range of partner and supporting members and is a member of the Federation of Education and Language Consultant Associations (Felca).

Matthew Knott
News Editor


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