The non-profit Labo International Exchange Foundation was founded in 1972 and charged with the mission of making a variety of international experiences available to Labo members. Located in Tokyo, the Labo Foundation has organized exchange programs for over 40,000 young people since 1972. The Labo International Exchange Foundation, and all of Labo’s exchange programs have been approved by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Labo families are enthusiastic about international experiences — both sending their children abroad and hosting foreign youth in Japan. They believe an international experience is an important factor in developing maturity and a broad world view, as well as improving life skills and language ability.
Labo’s Exchange Philosophy
In today’s increasingly interrelated world it is important that young people be given the opportunity to learn different languages and to be exposed to new cultural values. A person-to-person, family-to-family experience offers a much deeper and personal path to understanding, and Labo’s programs all emphasize personal attention to achieve educational goals.
Labo’s exchanges emphasize the personal and the family experiences. Both children and their parents can exchange letters, and whole families often become involved — with younger siblings visiting the same home, and even second-generation exchanges taking place!
Exchangees are encouraged to fit into the life of their host family as a family member — sharing in all family activities and chores. The friendships developed make this an experience that can last a lifetime.
Safety is #1
The safety of participants is Labo’s primary concern. Students and host families are given instructions about avoiding activities which could be dangerous. During the exchange there are good communication channels between students and Labo, and between Labo and parents. And all Labo participants have full medical coverage. Labo is proud of their safety record and their commitment to hold safe exchange programs.
The Labo International Exchange Foundation sponsors the following language programs:
The Labo NIHONGO Institute offers full-year and short-term courses of Japanese language study. The three-week intensive program in the summer is especially designed for U.S. and Canadian teenagers. Professional, certified instructors and a custom-designed text ensure high academic standards, while homestays with Japanese families immerse students in the language 24 hours per day. Field trips, games, and lectures on Japanese culture and history are also an integral part of the program.
Tokyo Institute for the Advanced Studies of Language
This well-respected academic institution offers graduate-level courses in the advanced study of linguistics.
Japanese Teacher Training
Labo offers a six-month course for those wishing to become government-certified teachers of the Japanese language. This course has produced many Japanese teachers, some of whom have been teaching in the United States.