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Study and Intern in Okinawa June 3, 2010

Posted by Elisa Hough in Language.
Tags: , , , , ,

Some people have inquired as to how we got such a sweet internship:

Jojo and I participated in a program called Study and Intern in Okinawa, Japan. As far as I can tell, it’s the only internship for English speakers in Okinawa.

Participants should have at least beginner knowledge of Japanese, but there’s no age or higher-education requirement. It’s pretty nonexclusive, except that we each paid $2,500 for the month, not including plane fare and most meals.

We opted for the assistant teaching track, but there are several other options. You can intern at hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops or sports facilities. They’re unpaid, but you get great experience with the language and business.

We also decided against supplementary language classes, but there are intensive Japanese courses available at JSL (Japanese as a Second Language). The classrooms and included dorm rooms are in the same apartment building.

Mike Holland, the man in charge, was our liaison with the schools, our sight-seeing tour guide, and our main source of transportation. He brought us to some fancy parties and showed us some awesome spots off the beaten path.

So that’s that. I’ll be happy to tell you more if you’re interested.



1. Anna - June 5, 2010

came across this site accidentally, on searching more about this internship. It sounds really really like my type of thing, and I was wondering if you could tell me more about it. thanks =D

2. Dan - June 6, 2010

I don’t mean to criticize but I don’t understand… You have to pay $2500-$3000 + plane tickets for a 4-week unpaid internship, some shared housing, a few lunches and someone to drive you around the island? Wow!

3. MIke - October 19, 2011

Brilliant! This guy charges you big bucks for his program, then pockets a finders-fee from the businesses for the interns he places. Both sides pay him, and all he has to do is introduce you and put you on a bus now and then. Sweet gig!

Elisa Hough - October 19, 2011

Yeah, I was well aware of its sketchiness.

4. Mike Holland - May 7, 2012

Hi Mike & Dan,
Thanks for that great info. I never knew that I “pocketed money from those businesses & it was that easy” so I guess I should ask them for that money back that I paid them and and ask them for the money they owe me!!! If it is that easy, why don’t you come over here and do the same thing??? In fact, if you can set up the same internship that Elisa and Joe had, I will pay for your whole time in Okinawa!!! Good luck and I can’t wait to hear how it goes – LOL!!!

Elisa Hough - May 7, 2012

Hey Mike, this is a pretty unprofessional response. If you feel like I, or these other comments, have misrepresented your internship, then you should probably explain it, not make a snarky joke about it.

Rodney Little - September 26, 2013

My name is Rodney Little. I am the web marketing manager for Study & Intern Okinawa. I wanted to make a company response to the comments about our overpriced and unfair practices. I have studied at several schools in Japan and the costs involved in our Study & Intern Okinawa program are very competitive.

Please do not forget that Japan is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Internships for people who do not speak Japanese are very rare in Japan. So rare that in Okinawa, only one company does it and in all of Japan, there are only a handful of companies. This fact proves that it is not easy to set up an English speaking internship in Japan. In fact, it takes a lot of time, money, and effort to do this and as you can imagine nothing is done for free in the business world!

It is a sad fact that many college graduates have trouble finding a good job after college, and the main reason for that is their lack of work experience.

Our Study & Intern Okinawa program is for those who need help building their resume in this globalized job market. The experience one gains as an intern may set them apart from the crowd once it’s time to start that post-grad job hunt. But the experience one gains while studying or interning in a foreign country may not only set them apart – it could land them that dream job.

Studying or interning abroad will not only help build your resume and strengthen your credentials, broaden your network of professional contacts, but also improve your communication & problem-solving skills in a professional setting!

Recruiters/employers are most definitely looking for the above mentioned traits in prospective employee’s. Is this not a good investment for one’s future?

As more and more employers these days are seeking applicants with international work experience, students who have studied & interned abroad bring that experience back and use it as leverage for future internships and/or jobs (See link #1 below).

Our Study & Intern Okinawa program opens doors for students that they would never get back at home & has helped countless students get jobs teaching English in Japan and also in the hotel industry.

Our Study & Intern Okinawa program has also helped several people graduate college as they received college credits for taking part in our program (this depends on your school’s requirements).
As for not getting paid for interning, it is illegal to get paid for any work in Japan if you do not have a legal working visa, which FYI is very difficult to get especially for short-term stays (See link #2 below).

#1: http://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/usa-today-college-internships

#2: http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/long/

I hope that answers any of the questions/doubts about our program. We really do strive to provide the best experience for our interns and students as possible.

Feel free to drop me a line at marketing@studyandinternjapan.com, if I can answer any additional questions or concerns you may have.

Rodney Little
Web Marketing
Study & Intern Okinawa / English Teachers in Okinawa

Ash - February 25, 2014

I have been looking into this program, and I agree with Mr. Holland’s response being unprofessional. That post should have been passed by Rodney Little (marketing manager) to make sure it was a proper way to respond. Value driven public relations is required for a business to be successful, and that response didn’t portray values that will get people to put thousands of dollars and their lives in someone’s hands. (Mike, if you’re looking for a Public Relations Specialist, I’m looking for a job.)

I was already uncomfortable with the lack of info provided and how many changes they made to their site as a result of my multitude of questions about their lack of clarity. That in addition with Mr. Holland’s lack of desire to work with the time difference of someone in the U.S. in order to schedule a Skype consultation doesn’t make the organization look good at all.

I have checked out other internship organizations like this in Japan, and they all jumped at a chance to schedule a consultation. I had one organization, Internship in Japan (http://www.japaninternships.com/), try very hard to consult with me. The nice woman I spoke to, located in Japan, happily got on Skype at 10 a.m. Japan’s time on a Saturday morning so that I could speak with her. But every time I get on Skype to speak to Mr. Holland, he is never online, except for once when it was quite late in the day in Japan and I was unavailable for the call. I haven’t seen him on Skype since then, and I make sure to get on during business hours in Japan.

As for prices, Mr. Holland’s organization is actually the most affordable program I have been able to find, and they offer much more. So, I wouldn’t say they are overpriced or a rip-off. They just don’t seem to care that much about bringing in customers.

5. Graham - May 22, 2013

From what I understand about immigration laws, you can’t get paid without the proper visa. On an internship like this, paying your own costs is likely the only way it can be done legally.

So, any ‘fee’ needs to cover food, accommodation, transport, all the hidden costs that I’m sure there are, plus something a little extra for the guy who puts it together – he can’t be expected to do it for nothing right!

I guess this kind of internship isn’t for everyone, but hey, so long as it’s right for some people that’s all that matters right!

Ash - February 25, 2014

That’s what I have learned from my research. Many countries’ citizens are not allowed to get paid for internships in Japan because they are not eligible for a Holiday Work Visa. There are actually a lot of organizations here in the U.S. that require you pay them for an internship. However, they are usually for parts of the U.S. that the individual doesn’t live in, so includes housing, food, etc. So, for those who think it’s a scam to pay for an internship, it’s not. And actually, even in Japan it’s hard to find a program like this that provides housing in the original price. Most other programs require you pay about the same plus more just for housing.

6. Rodney Little - August 27, 2014

Hello Ash,
I would like to thank you for confirming the fact that our program is not over-priced or a rip-off. We endeavor to provide the most comprehensive and enriched experience as possible for our students and interns. Mr. Holland personally takes each and every student around the island, and serves as a concierge of sorts to ensure that all of their needs are met. I also have never heard any applicants run into problems with him scheduling their interview. That said, I am sorry to hear that you had a hard time finding info that you needed and getting answers as quickly as you had hoped for. Would you mind sharing a few points that you ran into problems on the site?

We are constantly striving to improve the information that is on our website and we listen to suggestions from applicants and students, thus the changes to the site that you mentioned. Mr. Holland and I took comments from visitors such as yourself to heart and realized that we had some areas of the site where the structure and content could be improved, and we made changes where appropriate. There were however no changes that were done in any way that changed the message or accuracy of details about our program.

We have many people who have gone through the application process and successfully completed our programs who found it to be highly valuable to them thereafter. Please review one of the many testimonials form our past students and interns on our site at http://www.studyandinternjapan.com/testimonials.html.
You may also feel free to reach out to me at webmarketing@studyandinternjapan.com with any questions or concerns that you have about our offerings.

As you mentioned yourself, our program is competitively priced, and offers participants a great opportunity to live, study and intern in Okinawa, Japan.

Our programs help participants to not only round out their language abilities, they also give them an edge in the job market with experience in an international setting, and also give them a taste of the unique culture or beautiful Okinawa.

I am sure that our program is the best of its kind in Japan.


Rodney T Litlte
Web marketing manager

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