Welcome to the heart of modern Japan and one of the world’s most influential cities! A bustling international metropolis, Tokyo’s streets and train lines teem with a population of close to 35 million people. The area is also home to hundreds of universities and boasts more than one million university students. These students will shape Japan’s future and influence nations around the globe.
Tokyo is a city of unlimited opportunity with a deep need for Christ. You can play a powerful role in sharing Christ and helping ignite spiritual movements on university campuses.
On the surface, Japan seems to have it all: economic prosperity, cutting-edge technology, and cultural refinement. Its influence extends far beyond East Asia to the entire world. But scratch beneath the surface and you see the true spiritual reality: epidemic depression, emptiness, and apathy. The only hope for Japan is Jesus Christ. Yet most Japanese have never even met a Christian. Less than 1% of Japan’s 127 million people claim to follow Jesus.
To reach Japan for Christ, we must first reach its college students. College students are the leaders who will shape the future of Japanese society. They also happen to be the most open to the gospel. You could be the first Christian your Japanese friends have ever met and very likely the first to talk with them personally about who Christ is and what He has done for us. God can use you to impact many lives for eternity as you befriend Japanese students and share Christ’s love in the context of meaningful relationships.
The Tokyo area is home to more than 200 four-year universities and 1,000,000+ students! Our citywide movement is currently focused on the western side of the city and we are open to receiving students studying at Waseda, Hitotsubashi, Meiji Gakuin, Aoyama, Tokyo Gakugei, Rikkyo, and other campuses upon consultation.
Again, this will vary depending on your particular program and university. In general, however, the course load in Japan, particularly for exchange students, is not as demanding as it is for students in the United States. The cross-cultural aspect of the program is emphasized at many schools, giving more freedom to pursue language, culture, and friendship outside the classroom.
Specific dates for your study abroad program will vary from university to university, but the fall semester in Japan typically runs from late September to early February and the spring semester from the start of April to early August.
Most Japanese do not have a close Christian friend and have never heard the gospel. They can be suspicious of religious involvement, but open up in the context of relationship. People are hungry for real relationship and a sense of belonging and worth that only Christ gives us in the gospel. You will be many students’ first contact with the gospel. Your ministry will be focused on sharing Christ in the context of meaningful relationships and helping to connect and mentor young believers alongside your local team and church. It is our heart that your coming would be a catalyst to help start new spiritual movements on your campus and throughout the city.
A normal week will include your regular classes, studying, hanging out with friends and exploring Tokyo. It will also involve intentionally building relationships with Japanese students and sharing the gospel. Depending on your campus, this could be with other Christian students, Cru interns and/or Cru staff members. You will meet with the Cru staff once every week or two weeks for personal development and ministry coaching. Friday nights are our citywide Cru gathering, where you will get plugged in to the larger movement and be able to introduce your friends to other Japanese believers. You can expect about 12-15 hours of ministry involvement per week. The schedule is flexible (excepting set times and dates like the citywide meeting) to fit your needs and schedule and be most effective for ministry.
Your particular university will determine your housing options. This could be in an international dorm, homestay or single apartment.
Most likely, no. Your courses will be in English and most students will have some command of English. Some of your classes will be in Japanese language studies.
The cost varies. The total cost of a semester or year abroad is largely dependent on the details of your particular university’s study abroad program or the agency you choose. The first step would be to check with your university or study abroad program office and start researching programs.