Activity report

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ALPHE workshop Japan 2007

November 28-30, 2007

at Hotel Okura in Tokyo

Sponsored by Hothouse Media and supported by JAOS, the ALPHE workshop Japan 2007, which targets study abroad agents, was a great success over its 3-day span, hosting 80 agencies from 10 countries and educational organizations from 12 countries, including 43 schools. JAOS opened a booth in order to promote our activities to participating agencies and overseas institutions.

2007 JAOS Autumn General Meeting

November 26-27, 2007

at Hotel New Akao in Atami

The JAOS Autumn General Meeting was attended by 38 participants representing 40 member organizations (12 of which were present by proxy). The JAOS Contract, which was sent out beforehand by the head office, was approved at the meeting. Furthermore, the previously approved JAOS Guidelines and Member Oath Guidelines were verified. After each task team reported on their activities during the previous business period and announced their plans for the upcoming period, new proposals were approved through active deliberation amongst the participants. In addition, attendees were updated on the current state of the “JAOS Certified Counselor Training Course and Certification Test”. At the general meeting, 3 new full member organizations, 2 associate members and 1 patron member organization were approved into JAOS.

JAOS Corner Promoting, ‘The Merits of Using Study Abroad Agencies’ at the U.K. Overseas Study Fair Organized by the British Council

October 13, 2007

at Tokyo International Forum

Participants included 90 overseas schools as well as 3,000 members of the general public. JAOS participated in the event for the fourth time. At the fair, we explained that study abroad agents are not merely vehicles for finding and applying to schools, but also fulfill various important roles, such as providing orientations and other services. Furthermore, as is often demanded of us, we detailed the important points to consider when choosing an agent, explaining with clarity the services you can expect to receive and the costs you can expect to pay when dealing with an agency. Finally, we used the fair as an opportunity to explain member guidelines.

JAOS Seminar‘EIKEN for Overseas Study’ – Sponsored by Japan EIKEN Council on Study Abroad (JECSA)

August 25, 2007

At Arcadia Ichigaya in Tokyo

The Japan EIKEN Council on Study Abroad (JECSA) sponsored a seminar titled ‘Eiken for Overseas Study.’ This special event was exclusively limited to JAOS members and JAOS certified counselors. This study session detailed how the EIKEN can now be used instead of TOEFL to certify students’ English abilities for entrance into overseas universities. Within two years of passing an EIKEN examination, students are now able to receive EIKEN certification as well as English versions of their certified test results at the EIKEN Study Abroad Information Center. EIKEN examinations are utilized on a wide scale in Japan, taken by 2.5 million people (80% of which are junior high school, senior high school, and college students) annually from 16,000 institutions at 400 domestic and 40 overseas testing locations. JAOS is very pleased that this new development will make it easier for many people to take part in overseas studies.

2007 JAOS Spring General Meeting

June 22, 2007

At Shibuya Forum Eight

The Spring General Meeting was attended by 37 individuals representing 36 JAOS member organizations (6 of which were present by proxy). Beginning with the JAOS office, each task team reported on their activities and finances for the previous year as well as their planning activities and fiscal budgets for the current year. These issues were actively discussed by all in attendance. Other important content of the general meeting included reviews and progress reports on the JAOS Certified Counselor Course and JAOS Guidelines. In particular, a significant amount of time was spent on further defining the JAOS ‘Code of Ethics and Self-imposed Code of Conduct.’ Furthermore, JAOS member organizations were reminded of their duty to observe the above-mentioned guidelines. On a separate note, the addition of new guideline criteria for becoming a JAOS member was discussed. A decision was made to finalize a complete set of guidelines by September.

Panel Discussion on Education and Overseas Study in the U.K

May 29, 2007

at British Council in Tokyo

Headed by Bill Rummel, Supervisor of Lifelong Learning, Continuing Education and Higher Education activities at the British Embassy, this seminar was sponsored by the British Council and featured 16 visiting guests who work within the British education industry. A panel discussion was held that included 3 Britons and 2 two Japanese representatives, Mr. Takuho Hayashi, President of JAOS, and Professor Ono of Waseda University. Though it was limited to just 90 minutes, the active discussion was highly beneficial to those in attendance. This invitation-only event was attended by 70 participants, 10 of which represented JAOS member organizations.

JAOS Certified Counselor Training Course: Screening Seminar and Certification Test

March 30-31, 2007

at British Council in Tokyo

Currently limited to JAOS members, a two-day JAOS Certified Counselor Training Course screening seminar and certification test were held over the weekend (sponsored by JAOS and administered by ALC Publishing). Six instructors and 41 applicants took part. The event included workshops, an enhanced screening seminar, a 1 hour written examination and a group presentation test. Applicants who, beginning in January, covered the 600-pages of content in 3 textbooks and passed 3 verification tests via correspondence over a period of 3 months, sat for the examination. Examination results are due to be announced at the end of April. In the meantime, it is being planned for this course to open to the general public beginning on July 1st. Details and developments relating to the course will be introduced on this website.

ICEF Workshop

March 5-6, 2007

at Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo

With support from JAOS, ICEF held a workshop in order to promote business relations and the exchange of information between overseas schools and Japanese study abroad agents. Participants included 89 schools from 18 countries, members of educational organizations and 158 Japanese counselors. This workshop has been held annually for a number of years. However, this was the first year in which it has taken place with the backing of JAOS. JAOS and ICEF have talked about JAOS offering more assistance from the planning stage of the event in the future, with the purpose of making it an even better platform for school-agent interaction.

2006 Fiscal Year 10th Annual JAOS-FGER Meeting

February 27, 2007

at Mainichi Shinbun Headquarters in Tokyo

For the 10th time, JAOS and FGER (Foreign Government Educational Representatives) met in order to present their perspectives on the current study abroad climate and actively exchange information. Starting this year, each company was asked to provide a numerical summarization of the number of students they sent to each respective country and study abroad program. In order to research the current study abroad market, JAOS was also requested by FGER to publicly announce the total number of students its member organizations sent abroad. Though it is difficult for each company to announce their student numbers due to the sensitive relationship these numbers share with company sales figures, it was felt that this kind of activity is extremely important for researching the industry’s worldwide growth. Furthermore, JAOS gave those assembled an update on the JAOS Certified Counselor Training Course, which is currently limited to members of JAOS organizations and has already attracted 50 participants. An account of the recent Fair Trade Commission Guideline Seminar was also presented. In relation to the seminar, pressing needs that should be addressed in the guidelines for different program types were reported. The meeting was attended by 38 JAOS members from 29 member organizations and 10 members of FGER from 8 governmental organizations (American Embassy, Japan-U.S. Educational Commission, Australian Government’s Organization for International Education, Ireland’s Governmental Bureau for Business Affairs, New Zealand Embassy’s Section for Business Affairs, the British Council, and France’s Government Office for Overseas Studies).

JAOS Seminar Sponsored in Conjunction with JATA’s (Japan Association of Travel Agents) Homestay tour division, CIEL (Council of International Education and Language Travel Japan) Explanatory Meeting Concerning the Fair Trade Commission’s Guidelines for the Representation of Short-Term Overseas Language Study’

February 16, 2007

at Large Hall of the Zen-Niku Kasumigaseki Building in Tokyo

On December 19th, 2006, the Fair Trade Commission presented its investigative report on the state of short-term overseas language study services. This report is based on a study by the National Consumer Affairs Center that shows an industry-wide increase in complaints and inquiries regarding study abroad services. The Fair Trade Commission has thus requested organizations such as JAOS and JATA to make sure their members accurately represent the terms and conditions of short-term overseas language programs in promotional literature in order to avoid the risk of consumer misconception. This seminarstemmed from the report mentioned above and was held by JAOS and JATA-CIEL in order to implement and explain the new guidelines regarding ‘Representation of Short-Term Overseas Language Study’. The meeting, which consisted of 141 JAOS and JATA members as well as 24 non-member participants, also included a meaningful discussion session in which members of the Fair Trade Commission generously provided pro-active commentary. Furthermore, it is important to note that both JAOS and CIEL were evaluated as reliable institutions by the supervisor of the Fair Trade Commission for conducting their own research on guidelines. This evaluation from the Fair Trade Commission can be seen as a validation of JAOS’ activities over the past 15 years. Furthermore, the meeting also affirms that the further cooperation between JAOS and JATA will continue to bring about healthy developments in the study abroad industry.