What is AoYama Japanese Camp?
AoYama Japanese Camp (AYJC) is a Japanese language immersion camp that aims to provide students of Japanese with opportunities to use language skills in real-life situations. Throughout the camp, students participate in culturally-focused activities while practicing communicating in Japanese.
AYJC allows students to interact with native and fluent speakers as if they were visiting Japan. It is a chance for them to practice their oral and aural language skills, whilst learning through doing. The camp is also a terrific way for students to prepare for future student exchange programs, school trips to Japan or upper secondary language speaking exams.
Why hold Japanese immersion camps?
Considering current global events, it may be some time before international travel is possible again. We at AYJC give students opportunities to use the language they have learned in the classroom in practical, stimulating and engaging ways, without leaving the country.
Students are encouraged to use their language skills and to experience the joy of communicating in a second language. By interacting with fluent speakers in culturally authentic environments, we hope students will be inspired to continue their studies beyond the classroom!
How are the camps organised?
Prior to their attendance, all students are asked to complete a basic language assessment and a survey about their interests and language goals. This is to establish their language acquisition level and to help design the types of activities offered during the camp.
Once students have completed their application, they receive a camp information pack with a packing list, copy of the camp rules, itinerary (schedule), phrase book, travel diary and passport. They are encouraged to revise this information before the camp commences. Once students arrive at AYJC, they ‘check-in’ and have their passport stamped. This is where their Japanese language immersion experience begins.
Camp staff are either Japanese native speakers or trained DET-Accredited secondary Japanese language teachers. All staff have certificates in first aid and up-to-date Working With Children Checks. If there is any stage where students need to switch to English or require emergency support, they can visit the ‘Australian Embassy’ (which is a centre within the camp where English is permitted).
A LITTLE HISTORY
About Our Director
A Japanese language teacher and former student exchange coordinator, Jessica Honda has a deep understanding of intercultural relationships between Australia and Japan. She was a high school and university student exchange participant; living and working between the two countries for over a decade.
Jessica has a Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Education, majoring in Japanese Studies from Macquarie University. During her time at university, she was the director of the J@M (Macquarie University’s Japanese cultural club) for 2 years, volunteered at the Japanese Tanken Centre and worked with inbound student exchange organisations; helping short term Japanese exchange students experience life as local Australian school students.
While on a semester exchange at Tokyo’s Sophia University (上智大学), Jessica volunteered extensively for the International Student Club. It was here that she was able to meet students from all over the world which helped her learn the importance of intercultural perspectives and understanding in our ever-globalising world.
Graduating in 2013, Jessica worked in NSW DET schools for a year, then was accepted onto the JET Programme and placed in Nagasaki City, on Kyushu Island in 2014.
From 2014-2019 Jessica resided in Japan, teaching a diverse range of learners at a variety of levels; from EFL classes at preschool, primary school, high school and university in Shizuoka, Nagasaki and Fukuoka, to ESL and Japanese ‘Monbukagakusho’ curriculum subjects at an English immersion school in Dazaifu.
During her time on the JET Programme, Jessica wrote for and directed the ‘Nagazasshi’; Nagasaki’s English free paper, for two years. The aim of the paper was to promote cross cultural understanding and encourage expats to explore the local area. This led to opportunities for her to work with local tourism boards ‘Discover Nagasaki’ and ‘Keirinkai’, as well as assist as an interpreter for the BBC series ‘Hurricane Man.’
Since returning to Australia, Jessica has taught Japanese at primary school and high school, and worked with a local student exchange organisation. Throughout her experience in the international student exchange industry, she helped prepare students from overseas for Australian life, as well as promote, interview and prepare Australian students for life aboard.
Come 2020 and the global COVID-19 pandemic shook the world. Students who had been eagerly waiting for their international exchange programs were suddenly told that their programs were unable to go ahead as planned. This inspired Jessica to create AoYama Japanese Camp; to give students of Japanese the chance to enter into their very own ‘Japanese bubble’ and experience Japanese language and culture without leaving Australia.
Today, Jessica continues to work as a Japanese language teacher, as well as organise, promote and facilitate AYJC’s programs. If you would like to get in touch with Jessica personally, please send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO APPLY
1. Choose Your Program
Please note only teachers can apply for the Taster Workshops. Talk to your school’s Japanese teacher if you want to attend as a class or school group.
2. Get in Touch
- If you're ready to apply, fill in an APPLICATION form
We will ask you to read and sign our Terms & Conditions and include them in your application.
-If you still have some questions, fill in an ENQUIRY form
- Email email@example.com
- Call 0474 323 624
3. Let Us Contact You
We will respond to your application or enquiry within 24-48hrs to discuss your options.