Activity report

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2003 JAOS Autumn General Meeting

November 27-28, 2003

at Hotel New Akao in Atami

The Autumn General Meeting was host to 24 participants representing 32 member companies (11 represented by proxy). 1 new organization was approved and admitted into JAOS. Each task team reported on recent developments and activities. Furthermore, due to time restraints, the Model Term and Condidtion Task Team focused on the issue of cancellation policies for short-term language study programs, as this is the largest overseas study market. In addition, the Organizational Operations Task Team reported that JAOS’ application to certify the establishment of an NPO Educational Foundation had been submitted.

U.S. Visa Seminar

July 18, 2003

at US Embassy in Tokyo

Once a year, JAOS holds a study seminar concerning the various procedural changes and informational updates issued regarding U.S. entry visas, in cooperation with the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the US Embassy in Tokyo. On August 1, 2003, visa application procedure changed drastically (all visa applicants must now be interviewed). Even at the US Embassy, this created much confusion. JAOS members received the latest information concerning changes in the visa application process. JAOS was also informed that from now on, the U.S. Embassy plans to cooperate closely with JAOS in order to smooth out the various visa procedures, which in the long-term will be beneficial to both JAOS and the US Embassy.

JAOS General-Meeting Spring

June 12, 2003

at US Embassy in Tokyo

The Autumn General Meeting was host to 25 participants representing 32 member companies (9 represented by proxy). Three new organizations were admitted into JAOS. The Secretary General presented the JAOS fiscal year report ending March of 2003. The achievements of the special Task Teams were also reported. A lot of attention was paid to the activities of the Guideline Team, who are currently researching the building of a ‘Model Terms and Conditions’ for short-term language study (also referred to as ‘standardized agreement’. In addition, the following committee name changes and future committee activities were assigned to each task team: Guideline Team: – Aiming for self-imposed restriction in the overseas study industry through the ‘JAOS standardized agreement’. Organizational Development Team: – Developing memberships and supporting member organizations. Planning Team: – Planning meetings and seminars in cooperation with Educational Representatives of Embassies, the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan, etc. Organizational Operations Team: – Aiming for JAOS to gain corporate classification as a Non Profit Organization.

JAOS Member Recruitment Seminar

May 20, 2003

at Forum 8 Hall in Shibuya, Tokyo

To recruit new member organizations, JAOS holds a promotional seminar twice each year. The aim of these seminars is to explain JAOS’ goals and activities. Of the 8 agencies that attended, 3 expressed interest in joining JAOS.

6th Annual JAOS – ERA Joint Meeting

December 12, 2002

at the US Embassy in Tokyo

ERA (Educational Representatives Association of Embassies) consists of educational attaches from the Japan situated embassies of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, USA and France. Once a year, JAOS holds a meeting with these ERA members mainly to share information and to maintain close mutual communication. The 6th meeting was held at the USA Embassy in Tokyo The meeting provided a forum for participants to actively discuss and exchange information concerning the aftereffects of the September 11th attacks on not only the Japanese market, but throughout the international community.

2002 JAOS Autumn General Meeting

November 28-29, 2002

at Hotel New Akao in Atami

The 2002 Autumn General Meeting was attended by 21 participants from 26 member organizations, among which, 8 absentee vote organizations were included. 2 new organizational memberships and one supporting membership were approved at the meeting. Activity reports were presented from each Task Team of which special attention was placed on the work of the ‘JAOS Standardized Agreement’ Task Team. The above-mentioned Task Team reported its research findings concerning the following topics; internal JAOS questionnaires; member organization literature, definitions of important terminologies, booking fees, counseling and further consultation fees, and the length of time it took for contracting to be completed. Furthermore, it was confirmed that further research on things such as ‘Travel Agency Law’ and consultation with legal experts would need to take place before finalizing the ‘JAOS Standardized Agreement’. It was also reported that FELCA (The Federation of English and Language Consulting) announced the tentative completion of its website (www.felca.org) as well as information regarding its London General-Meeting held in August of 2002. FELCA also reported on its Joint Conference with GAELA (Global Alliance of Education and Language Associations).

U.S. Visa Seminar

March 23, 2002

at the US Embassy in Tokyo

Once a year, JAOS holds a study seminar concerning changes in U.S. visa policy and procedure in cooperation with the Public Affairs Section (PAS), of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. The U.S. Embassy stated that, despite rumors of tightening visa restrictions in the wake of September 11, they would continue to welcome those students who, as in the past, qualified for U.S. entry visas. Furthermore, the U.S. Embassy reported that out of a total of 100, 000 visas that were issued last year, 21,000 or approximately 1/5 were student visas. However, after the events of September 11, the visa issuance numbers decreased by 30% between October – November 2001, and decreased by 40% in December 2001, in comparison to the previous year. In February of 2002, the visa issuance numbers decreased by 10% in comparison to the same period last year. In addition, we received an advance announcement concerning the ISEAS (Interim Student and Exchange Authentication System), which will be introduced by the U.S. Embassy by January 2003 at the latest. As part of this announcement, the U.S. Embassy confirmed that from now on they will be prepared to work more closely with JAOS in order make the visa process run more smoothly. This will be benefit both JAOS as well as the U.S. Embassy.

2001 JAOS General-Meeting: Autumn

December 13 & 14 December 2001

at Hakone-Fujiya Hotel

The 2001 Annual Autumn General-Meeting was attended by 20 participants from 24 member organizations, among which, 6 organizations participated via absentee vote. During the two-day session, annual activity reports concerning JAOS were presented along with an explanation of JAOS’ new organizational structure. The new operating structure consists of the following ‘Task Teams’: – ‘JAOS Standardized Agreement’ Task Team – ‘Member Recruitment’ Task Team – ‘ERA’ Task Team – ‘Member Support’ Task Team Each ‘Task Team’ consists of a ‘chief’ and one additional staff member. Furthermore, updated reports concerning international overseas study business trends were presented on the following subjects: – Federation of Educational and Language Consulting Association (FELCA). – French Norm of France. – European Norm led by the German organization CEN (Center of European Network) represented within 25 countries. – Business trends within the study abroad industry of Europe, where the practice of industry codification is greatly increasing.

JAOS-JATA (Japan Association of Travel Agents) Committee of Homestay Tour Programs (CIEL) Joint Seminar (Held in conjunction with the Kokumin Seikatsu Center (National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan)

December 5, 2001

at Zennitsu Kasumigaseki Bldg, in Tokyo

This seminar primarily focused on reviewing the newly revised “New Consumer Contract Act” from JAOS’ perspective. Through the guidance of a legal expert, JAOS’ understanding of the Act was significantly deepened. In addition, the seminar proved to be successful in that it gave members of JAOS and travel agents of JATA an opportunity to cooperatively review travels laws and create a basis for better future collaboration. It is noteworthy is that Dr. Koichi Hosokawa from National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan commented that Japan’s significant trend towards administrative deregulation reflected (was underpinned by) the expectations of self-imposed restriction within the industry. Because this is exactly what JAOS is aspiring to, the seminar was quite encouraging to us.

JAOS – ERA Joint Meeting

November 5, 2001

at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo

ERA (Educational Representatives Association of Embassies) consists of educational attaches from the Tokyo embassies of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, USA and France. The fifth meeting was held at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo with the honorable presence of the Canadian Ambassador to Japan, Mr. Robert Wright. This meeting gave the participants a useful opportunity to actively discuss and exchange information on the aftereffects of the events of September 11th. Topics not only included the study abroad markets of Japan and the U.S., but of many other countries as well.

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