Oxbridge Summer Camps Abroad



OSCA Japan 2011


There will be one team in Kobe, Japan this summer. The team will be composed of eight teachers. Accommodation and schools will vary from teacher to teacher.


The Kobe project will take place from the 17th of July to the 24th of August. When flying times are taken into account, this means you should be free from at least the 15th of July to the 27th of August to be able to take part.


Teaching schedules vary from teacher to teacher, but you can see a sample one here. You will have plenty of time to rest and explore the fascinating city of Kobe. Weekends will usually be free, and when they are not, you’ll be given time off during the week to compensate.


Teaching in Japan is nice because of the independence you’ll be given. You and perhaps one or two other people will be responsible for the teaching in your schools, which means you can create and tailor lesson plans to suit your own likes and dislikes, and those of your pupils. The team director will provide advise on your teaching material and methods, but you’ll still have a considerable amount of freedom to teach in your style. The level of English also varies hugely. Some schools will have pupils with little to no grasp of English, while others will have pupils who are approaching fluency. It’ll be your job to make sure your lesson plans suit the pupils. The range of pupils’ mastery of English makes it a great experience in teaching terms.


Accommodation in Kobe is good. A number of teachers will get the chance to stay with host families, which has always been hugely popular in the past. Staying with a host family means you’ll get to see the reality of life in Japan, and may even get taken out for the odd day trip or two! Most teachers will also stay at the Kobe Institute, university accommodation that is located on Mt. Rokko overlooking the city of Kobe. The Kobe Institute is relatively new, meaning a nice range of modern facilities. Also, and perhaps more importantly, it features fantastic night views of the city!


Kobe is a really cool location. It’s a port town and thus possesses a harbour. In fact, a local entertainment district is called harbourtown, which has a number of trendy shops and arcades. There are also a few different beaches, none of which are more than ten or twenty minutes away on the train. The city centre itself is a hub of commerce, and you’ll be able to see tiny street vendors and izakaya (Japanese pubs) alongside massive department stores and cinemas. Kobe is also famous for its Chinatown, which is not to be missed. In case you’re missing home, it also has a large ‘foreign area’, possessing a number of European-looking buildings. Immediately behind the city centre there are mountains, the Kobe Institute is located on one of these. The mountains provide a spectacular backdrop, and grounds for hiking and days out. You can even go swimming underneath a waterfall near Shin-Kobe.


Kobe is also a fantastic base from which to explore Japan. There is the famous hot spring town of Arima nearby, and just thirty minutes away is the bustling metropolis of Osaka. As if that wasn’t enough, the nearby cities of Kyoto and Nara are full of old Japanese temples, shrines, and other places of cultural import. Also, located roughly in the middle of Japan, Kobe is a good place from which to visit Tokyo, and its nearby attractions (it’s more than feasible to do it in a weekend trip), or to go south to Hiroshima. After the camp finishes you might like to travel north to the rugged island of Hokkaido, or further south, to the sub-tropical island of Okinawa. Failing that you might want to hop onto mainland Asia, and explore China and beyond.


If, after reading this, you have any questions about the Japan project, please feel free to email us.


You can find out more about one of the Japan 2008 volunteers here.

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