Host an overseas student, or come and study in Australia!

Welcome to the AIIU testimonials Page, where we proudly showcase the transformative experiences of Japanese students traveling to Australia with AIIU, and our Australian students embarking on life-changing exchanges in Japan.

These personal stories offer an insightful glimpse into the profound impact of cultural immersion, language acquisition, and international friendships which we offer.

Read firsthand accounts of Japanese learners embracing the sun-kissed landscapes of multicultural Australia, while Australian students find themselves enchanted by the rich tapestry of Japanese traditions and modernity.

AIIU testimonials capture the essence of cross-cultural education, emphasising the boundless opportunities for personal growth and global perspective that AIIU exchange programs provide.

AIIU Testimonials

Natsumi – Inbound Japanese Exchange Student

I was very nervous to go study abroad in terms of language skills and leaving home. But people from AIIU, including my host family, communicated with kindness and helped me a lot.

The things I enjoyed the most was going to the Gold Coast and Sydney for a trip.

I really miss Australia and AIIU people. Most of all I miss my host family and my host siblings, Chloe and Jack. I now live Toyko and work at a car parts company. I hope my Australia host family will one day visit and I can guide them around Toyko.

Casey – Outbound Australian Exchange Student

All of my grade went on a school day trip to Yokohama and it was one of the most fun days I have had out of this whole experience!

We got to explore the beautiful city and took so many photos! My friends and I were laughing constantly and we all bought matching key charms for our bags! In Yokohama we got to go to China Town and learn how to make meat buns and gyoza!

They were incredibly tasty and it was so fun failing at folding dumplings with everyone! We were all so bad hahahahah. The city is so amazing and I really hope to go back one day to explore further!

Delaney

Recently I joined the Shyorinjikenpo club, which is a kind of Japanese defensive art. We practice punching air and yelling until my throat goes dry everyday after school.

I’ve made so many good friends and have become like a celebrity at the school. Lest to say, the days fly by.

I also recently experienced the school “dragon” festival, Jinryusai, which is a festival of school culture. It was crazy fun, and my class sold out of delicious Costco cupcakes before the festival was even half way through. I think my favourite part of the day was when the teachers sung “Johnny B” and everyone was cheering them on like rock stars.

Right now is the rainy season, and sometimes the weather feels like I’m walking around in a sauna all day the humidity is so bad, and I left my good umbrella on the bus, but I feel at home here.

It’s hard to believe that three months have already past. I’m worried the next seven months will go by equally as fast, and yet I can’t wait to see what they will bring.

Delaney
Australian Student

Kelie Scott – Host Family from Queensland

Having our Japanese exchange students stay with our family of 5 for a week was an incredible experience. It not only broadened our horizons but also brought immense joy and understanding into our home. From the moment they arrived, our students Ayame and Kenshin became a part of our family. Their polite manners, and eagerness to embrace our culture were heart-warming.

The week was filled with memorable moments of cultural exchange. We shared family meals, and showed our students our traditions and how we go about our daily life. They also shared their family traditions with us. Our children quickly bonded with our students, forming friendships that we hope will last a lifetime. Our toddler is still asking for her big sister and brother all the time and they have been gone for months!

Saying goodbye at the end of the week was bittersweet but we are grateful for the bond we have formed and the memories we created. We wholeheartedly recommend hosting students with AIIU, as it is a truly life enriching experience and we cannot wait to do it again!

Ying Ying

So much has happened since I came to Japan.

I’ve been to the onsen, hanami (flower viewing) in the morning and the evening, hotaruika (firefly squid) museum, shishimai (type of festival) and so much more places with my host family.I haven’t had much trouble adjusting to the Japanese lifestyle, maybe because the food has been amazing. I don’t think I’ll ever return Australia if I can. Another reason would be my host family. I can’t ask for a better host family. It’s always fun to chat with my host mum, she tells me so much about Japan. I have English lessons with my host dad when he comes home early enough, and it’s one of the activities I enjoy most. My host sister helps me out so much that I don’t even know how to thank her

I hope you guys are enjoying life as much as I am right now. While it is Sakura season, I’m not gonna talk about Sakura, cause I’m sure many you’ve heard plenty of stories about it and seen plenty of pictures. So instead, it’s going to be my experiences with the onsen (hot springs, FYI). You definitely need to go at least once (I recommend whenever you can) whilst you are in Japan. The rooms are Japanese-style rooms, which meant tatami (woven bamboo mats) and shoji (paper sliding doors). It’s a completely new experience. It’s like you’ve been transported back into the Edo period, except you have TVs and such. Olden days meant futons (quilted Japanese-style mattresses). They are heaven~~~ ??? Once you have slept on one for the night you would never want to sleep on a bed ever again. The futon was soooooo fluffy and warm (it’s spring but it’s like 13 degrees here, OK?), and it was the toughest time getting out of bed. And what even is the onsen experience without the onsen?  The bath was just so hot and so full of steam that you can’t see much anyways. Let me warn you first. It’s hot. Like super hot. More like you can hardly put your feet in. And if you think the rotenburo (open air bath) is cooler, you are wrong. It’s EVEN HOTTER. So how did I survive? By lying down, looking at the night sky at the place that my host sister found. It was soooooo good and I would’ve taken a picture if I could. The feeling is out of this world. It’s indescribable!!!!!

Now, the best for last, the FOOD. Sorry but I’m not the most generous person so I decided not to take pictures so you can try it out for yourself. But there was so much food laid out on the table, and it just keeps coming and coming until at the end you realise you ate like a 3 course meal. But it’s even better than a 3 course meal. There were sashimi, pickled vegetables and 2 mini shabu shabu (hot pots) and much, much more. They also provided snacks and green tea in the rooms. The snacks were amazing of course, mochi and something else (sorry, I forgot, but it was delicious nonetheless). And the green tea. Uuuuuugh, I mean REAL GREEN TEA. Not the ones in Australia, oh no. Not those. I mean the real deal. So in conclusion, come to Japan and eat real Japanese food!

Ying Ying
Australian Student

Imogen – Outbound Australian Exchange Student

So today I have been in Japan for 32 days. It seems like such a short time, however it feels like ages since I was in Australia.

My first host family are really lovely and I am fortunate to be staying with them for 2 months. I have 2 older host brothers, who are studying in Tokyo and Osaka, and a host sister my age who boards at her school next to Mt Fuji during the week and takes the Shinkansen home on the weekends.

My host sister and I have done so many fun things so far. We have been bowling, gone shopping together, seen Frozen at the cinemas and we play badminton and table tennis a lot in the back yard. One of the best things was seeing the cherry blossoms at night, I was under the impression we were just going for a drive so me and my host sister were both in our pyjamas when we arrived at this really beautiful park, and there were lanterns everywhere it was so pretty!

My school is quite different from my one in Australia. The buildings are really impressive, even the school gates are painted black and gold and the school emblem, a maple leaf, can be found almost everywhere, carved into the staircase rail, on our school socks, hanging in every classroom with the schools motto and philosophy of the ‘frontier spirit’. The frontier spirit is also the school song which our principal wrote. Instead of a school bell, chimes play the melody of the school song to mark the periods.

Christophe Pasquier – Language Teacher, Harrisdale Senior High School

This year marked a remarkable milestone for our school as we had the privilege of hosting a group of Japanese students for the very first time. This experience exceeded our expectations in every way, and it left us with a strong desire to continue exploring international connections.

At the heart of this success was the unwavering professionalism, dedication, and support that we received from Linda at AIIU, which was truly exceptional and played a pivotal role in making this exchange a resounding success.

The impact of this cultural exchange has been nothing short of transformative for our school community. The exposure to a different culture, the forging of new friendships, and the enriched learning experiences have left an indelible mark on our students and educators alike. Our school has become a more inclusive, globally aware, and open-minded community as a result of this invaluable connection.

Given the overwhelmingly positive outcomes of our collaboration with AIIU and the enriching experience of hosting Japanese students, we are excited to announce our intention to foster a long-lasting partnership with AIIU. In the years to come, we plan to expand our horizons by not only continuing to host Japanese students but also welcoming students from other parts of the world, starting with a group of French students.

Furthermore, we are committed to sending our own students abroad to experience the world from a new perspective. These initiatives align perfectly with our mission to prepare our students for a globalized world and to promote cultural exchange, understanding, and cooperation.

We are confident that our partnership with AIIU will continue to flourish, and we eagerly anticipate the exciting opportunities and experiences that lie ahead. This collaboration is a testament to our dedication to providing our students with a world-class education that extends beyond the classroom, nurturing global citizens who are equipped to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world.

We hope these AIIU testimonials inspire you to explore the world through educational exchanges. If you're eager to embark on a life-changing journey or seek more information, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Let's make your global adventure a reality!

To start your Student Exchange journey, find out more, or just ask a question, please:

Contact Us

Living in Japan improved my Japanese, so after returning to Australia I was able to to go straight into the advanced stream of Japanese at university.

Taylah

An experience I will never forget. I enhanced my Japanese skills and made connections with friends that feel like family now. AIIU was a great exchange program!

Alex

My ten month exchange in Japan was an experience I will never forget. AIIU give students like me a once in a lifetime opportunity which I am truly grateful for.

Taylah

I cried for the first time in forever. Although I also ended up smiling. I can’t be sad that it’s over, as I’m so happy it happened. Thank you everyone who helped my exchange happen!

Danson

Respect for other people came through strongly in our student’s actions. We saw her becoming more confident and willing to engage in conversations.

Host Mother

There is a special place in my heart for my Japanese friends, and I’ll always keep coming back to them. Thank you for the best year of my life!

Sasha

I could go on for years about all of the things that I have been blessed with experiencing. My host families have been extraordinary and I really felt at home there!

Casey

AIIU acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land on which we operate. AIIU wishes to pay respects to Elders past and present.

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