Volunteer join cultural exchange activities with local volunteers of MIEA as well as some environmental work for the city.
– Presentation of meals of your home country
– Attending International Youth program
– Experiencing Japanese culture like ‘KABUKI’
– Helping cooking class in English and classes of English and other languages
– Pruning trees of hydrangea
Each volunteer will stay separately in a local host family’s house.
Facilities: Depending on families (Basically bedding is provided (it can be either Japanese Tatami room with futon mattress or Western-style room with a bed), There are toilet, bathroom (shower and bathtub), kitchen, laundry machine in each house.)
Breakfast and dinner will be provided by host family. Vegetarian can be acceptable, but a family does not prepare meals by individual request (food allergy and other food restriction by religion). Volunteers prepare for lunch by themselves.
Mimasaka city is located in OKAYAMA prefecture in the western part of the mainland of Japan and it is famous for beautiful landscapes and hot springs. The most notable sightseeing spot is the birthplace of Musashi Miyamoto (1584~1645), the strongest swords man handling two swords at the same time.
It takes one and half hours by train (JR Kishin line) from the nearest train station to Himeji city in HYOGO prefecture. Their landmark Himeji Castle was designated as a national treasure in 1931 and the World Cultural Heritage in 1993.
Regarding the schedule on Sundays, please ask your host family if they have any plan made for the day before you make your own schedules. Keep in mind that you are strongly expected to spend time with your host family on weekends. Please do not make any plan with your friends on weekends without agreement with your host family in advance. A volunteer is recommended to bring 5,000-20,000yen for sightseeing, souvenirs, and other personal expenses.
MIEA (Mimasaka International Exchange Association) was founded in 1998 with Mimasaka citizens who are eager to be a liaison between Mimasaka area and outside of the country. The founder started off with a small group who practice English conversation with a few native speakers. Then, they start looking for an opportunity to do a bigger international exchange. By having a slogan of “Open your eyes, mind and soul to the world”, MIEA is hoping the locals to be prouder/more confident of their hometown by introducing their cultural values and tradition to international members. By learning other cultures, local children have more positive images of going abroad and making friends in other countries. CIEE Japan has started recruiting international volunteers since 1998 and we have been hosting their summer workcamp for more than 20 years.
-Skill of riding a bicycle is essential (volunteers travel daily by bicycle 5km to 20 km a day.)
– Be fit enough for travel by bicycle every day.
– Interests and understanding of Japanese culture and social manner.
– Must submit a motivation letter or description of motivation in the application form. Please include your self-introduction, interests on the project, experience, motivation in English or Japanese (if possible).
– Submit a confirmation slip (Travel information) online after your application is accepted by CIEE Japan.
-Volunteers are treated as a family member, NOT a guest. You may need to do your laundry by yourself, help do dishes, clean rooms. Follow house rules and instruction by MIEA staff.
Don’t go out without permission of your host family after dark. Getting out for drink at night is not allowed.
-Prepare presentation of your home country including recipe of meals representing your home country. Volunteers are expected to cook for 10 people. Bring seasonings which you can’t get in Japan.
– Should bring: Cotton gloves, long sleeve shirts and long pants to cover your hands, arms and legs, a hat or a cap, water bottle, sunscreen, rain coat, bath towels, facial towels, anti-mosquito bites spray, medicine you need. If your foot size is over 28cm, bring a pair of rain boots covering your shins.