What Happens After I Am Selected To Participate?
You've been selected, congratulations! You will start by being introduced virtually to your fellow delegates and national leader several months prior to the program. In order to prepare for activities on the ship, you will need to participate in brainstorming and organizing sessions and each delegate will choose at least one pre-departure committee; e.g. National Party, National Presentation, Fundraising and Gift Committees. These meetings and committees are a great way to get to know your fellow delegates, bring your own creativity to the group and prepare you for the journey that lies ahead.
Three days prior to your scheduled departure, participants will be flown from their nearest international airport to the location of the pre-departure USA orientation session (accommodations included). The purpose of this session is to provide cultural competency training and ensure delegates are fully prepared to represent the United States. This session allows delegates to meet each other in person before the program and finalize the pre-departure committee activities. From here, delegates will be flown to Tokyo, Japan, where they will receive an orientation introducing them to Japanese culture and ensuring participants understand all program rules and expectations. Participants will stay in a hotel or dormitory-style hostel while making site visits at places like United Nations University or Tokyo School for the Deaf and taking in famous Tokyo landmarks like Asakusa Temple and Tokyo Tower. Following this, participants will enjoy a short home-stay experience with a Japanese family living in another prefecture before returning to Tokyo to meet the Japanese delegation for the first time. All SWY participants will then board the Nippon Maru ship and spend a night acclimating to their new environment and making new friends before sailing out of port the following day. Activities and site visits subject to change with every program.
While all expenses to and in Japan are covered by the Japanese Government, each delegation has had to personally contribute or raise approximately $300-$400 per person to pay for gifts, costumes and other expenses in preparation of the National Celebration, National Presentation and other shared collateral. You will be partnered with an alumnus mentor as part of your pre-departure training who will advise you on how best to prepare for your SWY experience. Additional requirements may be included in subsequent programs as deemed appropriate by the Japanese Cabinet Office and SWYAA USA. You will receive a packet with all of this information upon confirmation of your candidacy.
What Will I Be Doing While on the Nippon Maru?
There are many activities that you will participate in on the ship, both voluntary and mandatory. Some mandatory activities include:
*Course Discussions *Letter Group Projects
*National Presentations & Celebrations *Port of Call Activities
Before arriving in Tokyo, you will have selected a course to take during the program, and you will be attending mandatory course meetings to learn, discuss topics, and create projects relevant to your course. You will also be assigned to a "letter group," which serves as your ship team when participating in ship-sponsored activities. You will meet with your group every morning for roll call and meet on scheduled days to discuss collaborative projects. You will be meeting with your fellow USA delegates to prepare your National Presentation and National Celebration. Lastly, you will represent the United States at the ports of call for each country visited during the program. These activities include:
1. Courtesy calls with local government officials and other representatives;
2. Visits to various facilities as organized by the port of call organizing committee and
approved by the Japanese Cabinet Office; and
3. Meaningful exchanges with youths of the port of call countries through interactive and
During your free time, there will be club meetings, seminars, workshops, discussions, and entertainment activities available on the Nippon Maru. Since many of the activities on-board are facilitated by you and your fellow delegates, every SWY voyage is unique and exciting! The creativity and interests of you and your fellow delegates will determine what clubs, workshops, think-tanks and recreational activities will be offered during your voyage. Each voyage has invited special guest lecturers to facilitate seminars in their fields of knowledge and offer an international perspective. SWY provides an environment where you can learn from others while offering each delegate the opportunity to be a leader and educator.
What Is Life Like Aboard The Nippon Maru?
The Nippon Maru is an eight-level cruise ship where you will share a cabin with two other cabin mates. Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower and toilet. The ship itself has full cruise facilities including catered dining, an indoor swimming pool, bar, gift shop, vending machines, library, self-service laundry, sports deck, rooms for lectures and entertainment. There are also special facilities that operate with restricted hours such as the Japanese bathhouse (onsen) and Japanese tea room (tatami). Each participant is expected to play an active and responsible role in ship life thereby respecting Nippon Maru rules and Japanese national law and carrying out the mandatory duties of a delegate member.