Ship for World Youth
Ship for World Youth is an exceptional international youth exchange program for the young leaders of the world fully sponsored by the Cabinet Office of the Japanese Government that aims to provide participants aged 18−35 with the opportunity to enhance their leadership and communication skills necessary to excel in an increasingly globalized world. One of the goals is to give the participating youth a chance to get to know diverse cultures, deepen the abilities for mutual understanding and broaden their perspectives. Being part of this program can be a life changing experience for many as participants spend about a month on a cruise ship named Nippon Maru and immerse in an intensive educational program, not forgetting to get acquainted with around 240 other participants on the ship.
The official goals of the program are as follows:
  • To foster the spirit and practice of international cooperation;
  • To promote friendship and mutual understanding between the youth of Japan and the youth of other parts of the world;
  • To broaden the international awareness of participants;
  • To develop youth capable of playing leading roles in various sectors of their societies and in turn contribute to the sound development of youth in their respective countries.
How are the participants selected?
When a country is invited to take part in SWY, the future participants are selected based on their CVs and interviews by the embassies of Kingdom of Japan in the Russian Federation and Association of the SWY alumni (SWYAA).
What is a typical day on the ship?
07:45-08:30 — Breakfast
08:45-09:15 — Morning assembly in the Dolphin Hall
09:30-12:15 — Project Management seminar with all 240 participants
12:30-14:00 — Lunch
14:15-15:30 — Cultural club activity (led by participants in small groups)
15:45-17:30 — Committee meeting (participants take part in creating the program)
17:30-18:00 — Letter group meeting
18:00-19:45 — Dinner
20:15-21:00 — National presentation of one of the participating countries
What is the route?
The route and the ports of call along the way are chosen by the Japanese government each year. In each port of call participants join different activities that help them understand the local culture. Usually participants visit significant places such as schools, museums, art houses, and cultural centres and get acquainted with local youth. There is also free time to explore the cities on your own.
How did this program come to life?
In 1988 the Japanese government transformed the existing "Japanese Youth Goodwill Cruise Program" to a bigger "Ship for world youth" and created the platform for cultural exchange between the Japanese and foreign participants. Since the first SWY program in 1989 more than 3500 youth from over 60 countries took part in this unique academic and cultural voyage. Over 40 alumni associations were created allowing ex-SWYers to gain access to tremendous resources and an international network of like-minded people spanning the globe. As part of the alumni association and individually, past participants promote youth and social development within their community.
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