a Outdoor Youth Education & Empowerment in Japan | IE3 Global
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Outdoor Youth Education & Empowerment in Japan | Tokyo, Japan

More photos from this internship can be found here.

Make a difference in the lives of abused, neglected, and orphaned children in Japan by interning with Tokyo nonprofit Mirai no Mori. Interns will work directly with multicultural staff to help with the planning and execution of life-changing outdoor programs for youth that incorporate nature, English language, and mentorship. Summer interns should expect to spend three weeks living in tents while at camps, but other work will take place in the organization’s office in central Tokyo.

All interns should be prepared to provide organization support in the areas of fundraising, donor relations, database management, communication, PR and outreach, marketing (including graphic design, social media, web projects), and program preparation. Ideal for those interested in youth development, TESL, outdoor education, and non-profit management.

Internship Start Dates:

  • Interns are needed every Summer (May/June – August).
  • Depending on current projects, internships may be available in Fall      (September – December), Spring (April – June), or possibly for two terms from September to February (fall/winter only).

Duration of Internship:

  • 10-12 weeks

Mirai no Mori is a non-profit organization which creates life-changing outdoor programs for abused, neglected, and orphaned children in Japan, supporting their growth into happy and successful young adults since 2011. Mirai no Mori camps and outdoor programs seek to encourage participants’ self-actualization and inspiration. All programs incorporate three core elements:

  1. Outdoor adventure and experience in nature
    • Harnessing the healing effect of the natural environment
    • Overcoming fears and building confidence
    • Building trust and making friends
  2. Real life English
    • Developing participants’ English ability
    • Increasing confidence and motivation to improve success when children go back to school
  3. Ongoing mentoring and positive role models
    • Helping children regain their faith in adults
    • Expanding children’s vision of who they can be and how they can approach life

In addition to week-long summer and winter outdoor camps, Mirai no Mori also hosts Give Back to Nature programs focused on hands-on projects like reforestation and beach clean-ups, the Leadership in Training (LIT) program for high school students, and the Global Leader Program (launching in 2017/2018) which supports LIT graduates on work placements across the globe. Global Leaders complete the circle and will return to inspire and mentor Mirai no Mori participants.

Interns during summer term will support the preparation and execution of outdoor camps in July and August. Summer interns are expected to take part in the camps (approximately 3 weeks), living in tents in the forest. Interns may be asked to assist with PR, outreach, database management and record keeping, sponsor solicitation, donor relations, ticket sales, and entertainment. Typically, events are organized by a group of English and Japanese speaking staff and volunteers. The interns will need to work closely in a team environment to coordinate and provide administrative support before and after events, and represent the organization during planning and execution.

Interns during spring and fall term will primarily support with program planning (summer/winter camps and weekend programs), fundraising and event support, marketing and PR, and general office/administrative tasks. Possible intern tasks throughout the year include:

  • Drafting donation solicitation letters for corporations, organizations, individuals, embassies, etc.
  • Updating the member and donor/donation database
  • Providing support leading up to and during camps
  • Organizing thank you letters to donors
  • Creating materials for advertising, publicity, and outreach and assisting with PR efforts
  • Using social media to increase visibility of our programs and fundraising campaigns
  • Development and maintenance of website and materials (English language)
  • Web and editorial design projects

Summer interns are required to spend one week in training and three weeks at camp. Interns should be prepared for a very full schedule while at camp and rustic accommodations (tents). Interns in the office will typically work 4-5 days/week. Summer interns will typically only work four days/week in the office, to help offset the hours spent at camp. If there are weekend events with required attendance, interns will be able to take off weekdays to compensate.

Academic Background:

This internship is well-suited to students from a variety of academic backgrounds, especially those studying International Studies, Japanese Language and Culture, Asian Studies, Sociology, Intercultural/Multicultural Education, Social Work, Public Health, Non-Profit Management, Youth Development, Arts and Media, and Psychology.

Skills / Experience:

Interns should have general computer skills and be comfortable using a PC and Microsoft software (MS Office suite especially). Ideal candidates will have experience in event planning, PR, communications, outdoor education, leadership training, and youth development. Knowledge or a strong interest in community issues, intercultural communication, youth issues, and policy development are a plus.

Language Requirements:

Native level English and fluent Japanese language ability are required.

Other Requirements:

All candidates must be able to demonstrate cross-cultural awareness and be sensitive to people with diverse needs and lifestyles. Summer internship candidates should have some experience in a camp setting and be comfortable with living in a tent during the camp period.

Estimated One-Time Expenses

  • IE3 Global Program Fee: $3,450
  • Host Site Fees: $1,000 (offsets the costs of arranging the internship and includes in-country orientation and support)
  • International Travel: $1,500
  • Recommended Immunizations: $200
  • Visa fees: $100 if longer than 90 days

Estimated Monthly Expenses

  • Housing: $800
  • Food: $450
  • Local Transportation: $250
  • Recreation: $150
  • Personal Expenses: $125

The internship is unpaid but interns will receive a $100/month travel stipend. Summer interns will receive on-site accommodation and meals during the three weeks of camp.

Interns arrange their own housing, with assistance and recommendations from a local contact. Interns have the option to stay in shared houses, apartments, or dormitories. Summer interns will take part in three weeks of camp, during which time accommodation (in tents) and meals will be provided.

Read a 2018 article in the Japan Times about Mirai no Mori – “Bringing the great outdoors to Japan’s underserved children”.

Watch a video about staff experiences at Mirai no Mori – “Change Begins in the Outdoors”.


Fall | Spring | Summer

Application Deadline

Summer: January 25

Fall: April 15

Spring: November 15

Basic Requirements

-Fluent Japanese required

-Experience in an outdoor camp setting and working with youth preferred

-Ideal for students with backgrounds in education, youth development, TESL, outdoor education, non-profit management, and Asia studies

-Interns must demonstrate cross-cultural sensitivity and patience working with youth from challenging backgrounds