Personal Mentorship Program Aims to Assist International Students in Japan

Year in and year out, the Land of the Rising Sun welcomes millions of international travellers from all over the globe. There has been a great surge not only in the number of foreign tourists who are looking forward to explore the country but also among overseas workers who intend to stay in Japan for a longer period of time.


With the recent revision in Japanese immigration law that relaxes their policies and requirements, the government seeks to attract over three hundred thousand more foreign workers over the next five years in order to address the chronic labor shortage in Japan particularly in the fourteen identified sectors such as but not limited to food and service industry, nursing, construction, agriculture, among others.


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As a consequence of this trend, there is also an increasing number of international students in Japan. These students are children of overseas foreign workers as well as sojourners in the country. Considering the language and the culture difference, most if not all of these international students find it difficult to fully adjust. At first, they must decide whether to avail of the country’s public education system or enroll themselves in international schools.


Both choices have their advantages and disadvantages which international students and their parents have to take into account. What makes it extra hard for them is the lack of personal guidance or mentorship programs that provide a support system both in social and academic aspects. In order to effectively immerse into the Japanese society and education system, it is important for the international student to be aware of the country’s cultural background and the standards of education expected of them.


In view of the plight of other international students in Japan, university students Isha Bahar and Minoru Anderson launched the “Kokusaba.” According to Isha Bahar, it is “an internationally-minded tutoring service made by students, for students. We provide one-on-one tutoring with university-level tutors who have been through what their students are going through now.”


The goal of Kokusaba is to match the international students with an appropriate tutor who can help them adjust not only in the academe but also in other aspects as students of Japanese schools. The said tutor will not only act as their instructor but also as a reliable mentor during their adjustment phase.


Reference: Kokusaba redefining educational experience for international kids in Japan


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