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Internship Program - Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is eligible to apply?

Undergraduate/Graduate student (non-U.S. citizens) are eligible to apply. Applicants must be either citizens or permanent legal residents of Japan. Candidates must pass a security investigation before the projected start date of the internship cycle.

U.S. citizen students (including dual citizen) are not eligible for this internship program. There are other programs available for U.S. citizen students, such as:

2. What is the level of commitment required?

For Fall and Winter/Spring cycle, we require a minimum of 16 hours a week --- at least two full days (16 hours) or one full day (8 hours) and two half days (4 hours). For Summer cycle, we require a minimum of three days (24 hours) a week.

We ask for your careful consideration when submitting your application to meet the requirement. Proof of commitment will be requested for the final internship offer.

3. Must one be a native speaker of Japanese and/or English?

No, one does not need to be a native or heritage speaker, but should have a strong command (approximately TOEFL 550/IBT 90/TOEIC 800, JLPT N2) of both languages. Language validation is a requirement for the application, so please submit proof of language ability. You do not need to validate the language you are pursuing an academic degree in---as it will be assumed that you are fully functional in that language.

For students enrolled in a Japanese academic institution, please submit proof of English language ability. For students enrolled in an American academic institution, please submit proof of Japanese language ability. For students without proof of language ability, please take the computerized tests CASEC (http://global.casec.com/) for English and J-SAC (http://www.j-cat.org/en/) for Japanese, and submit proof of these scores with your application. 英検準一級may also be submitted as English language validation. In some cases, we will accept letters from Professors indicating language ability on either the TOEIC/TOEFL or JLPT scale.

4. Will I get credit for the internship?

The Embassy does have a relationship with several schools that do offer credits for students that participate in the internship program. We can document work and time, or otherwise complete forms that may be required by U.S. colleges to gain academic credit.

5. Is the internship paid?

Unfortunately, the internship is unpaid.

6. What other requirements must I met?

Selected interns must sign the Volunteer Agreement indicating their understanding that the Embassy cannot be responsible for workplace related injuries and/or medical costs. Interns are encouraged to have their own medical and liability insurance-should they have concerns. Interns should check with home universities about such options.

7. Does the Embassy/Consulate provide housing or a stipend for commuting?

Unfortunately, no financial benefits can be provided.

8. How do I apply?

You can apply by emailing 1) the completed application form, 2) your English resume with proof of language scores and 3) a cover letter or statement of interest in English. We ask for a U.S. style resume (please reference samples on the web) that elaborates on your skills and achievements. Please do not merely list what you have done. We also recommend that you have someone proofread your application materials if English is not your native language. Please email materials to Tokyo.Office@trade.gov.

9. What happens after I apply?

Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. There will be 1-2 interviews before a conditional offer is made, and online interviews can be conducted for distance candidates. Once a conditional offer is made, candidates must pass a security check that can take 1-3 months.

10. What type of responsibilities will I have as an intern?

As an intern for the Commercial Section, you will have the opportunity to attend internal policy meetings, assist in planning events for U.S. companies, attend tradeshows, and conduct market research. You also will be asked to assist with administrative tasks. Please be aware that your involvement in the tasks listed will vary based on when/how often you come in. As can be expected, there are busy periods and less active seasons.


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