In Japan, the cultural landscape ranges from the traditional arts to a fascination with pop culture. You’ll soon discover that there’s more to Japan than just sushi and anime as you explore this country of wonderful contradictions. By adopting a Japanese way of doing things you’ll learn to appreciate the structure and beautiful simplicity of this culture. By supporting those in need in hospitals, care homes, and community centres, you can gain valuable experience in the health field.

Is it for me?

If you’re thinking of working in the health or social work fields, a placement in Japan may be the opportunity you’re looking for. Placements in hospitals, care homes, and community centres provide an excellent and structured experience for those with a great work ethic and a compassionate attitude. Working on a variety of wards from week to week will give you great insight into what area a medicine you may want to focus on later. Caring and community placements provide experience working with a wide range of people. A senior member of staff will often speak some English and will be excited to show you everything the facility has to offer from how the hospital is run to observing surgeries in the operating theatre! Placements in Japan are popular and priority is given to those who have studied Japanese language and culture before

Placement INfo:

Caring placements are for female volunteers in care homes where volunteers provide invaluable support to staff in caring for residents with disabilities, and also enjoy time befriending the residents and running activities that are greatly enjoyed by all.

Community placements provide the opportunity for volunteers to work with children of varying ages in kindergartens and after-school clubs. There are also two places for male volunteers to support people with disabilities working in the community on a local farm or vineyard.

Medical placements are in hospitals and enable volunteers intending to pursue a career in medicine or health-related field to work in a range of wards, departments, facilities and services with patients. Japanese lessons are usually provided and volunteers may be asked to assist staff with their conversational English skills as well.  

A small amount of pocket money is paid.

Cost breakdown:

Lattitude Fees
Lattitude Application Fee $150
Placement Fee $5100
Estimated Additional Travel Costs
Travel Insurance $548
Return Airfare (Sydney/Melbourne) $1250
Visa $0
Police Check $40
Total Cost of Placement $7088

*Travel insurance is quoted on an Allianz Standard Package with $250 excess

Other costs associated with your time away may include obtaining a passport, arranging travel vaccinations, purchasing any additional clothing and travel within the country.

Accommodation & Food:

Accommodation is usually in apartments situated near the placements. Meals are provided at the placement or a food allowance arranged for self-catering.

Living Allowance:

While the cost of the experience includes food and accommodation, this placement offers an additional living allowance to volunteers in the form of pocket money to cover your day to day expenses.

Support Provided:

Before you go:

  • We find out more about each volunteer through an interview which helps us select the right people and after a second interview, we match them to a placement that’s right for them.

  • Once selected, each volunteer is allocated a Coordinator in the Melbourne office who assists them with all preparations. They provide briefing materials, support with logistics such as flights and visas and are there to answer any questions.

  • Volunteer are briefed in person or in an online session to prepare them for their placement ahead.

  • Volunteers complete their own Learning and Development Plan which helps to identify goals and personal skills they would like to develop, and these areas of development are followed up throughout their time away.

  • All volunteers sign our Code of Conduct to ensure that our expectations of each volunteer are agreed and clear from the outset.

When you're overseas:

  • We have paid staff based in each country. Our Country Managers oversee the program, provide support and develop close relationships with placement hosts.

  • Each volunteer attends a group orientation on arrival in Tokyo.

  • Each volunteer is visited at their placement soon after arrival by an in-country staff member to check how things are and provide additional support if needed.

  • We work with Embassies and High Commissions to ensure we can respond to any situation and provide 24/7 emergency support from Melbourne.


When you're back:

  • We recognise that coming home can be difficult and provide one-to-one support, with onward referrals for further professional support if needed. Volunteers are invited to debriefing events and become part of our network of alumni.

  • We undertake reviews against the learning needs identified before going overseas which may form part of a reference provided at the end. A letter can also be provided to use towards an application for Youth Allowance.

Placement Locations:

Tokyo, KitaKyushu, Kumamoto, Kobe, Himeji, HIroshima



You’ll find time to day trip on weekends as well as extend your travel when your placement has finished. Whether soaking in an onsen (hot spring) or hiking up Mt. Fuji and the Japanese Alps, you’ll never be short of things to do in this incredibly varied country. get a feel for the urban scene by exploring the busy city centres of Tokyo and Osaka, but don’t miss the traditional temples and shrines of Nara: Todai-ji, Saidai-ji, and the Kasuga Shrine. IF you need some time to unwind, Japan’s southernmost prefecture of Okinawa offers a place to relax with beautiful white sand beaches. Everywhere you go in Japan you are guaranteed a culturally rich experience like no place on earth.

Four months ago I had been a normal Perth teenager living at home, and now I’m living on my own in a country that differs in every way from Australia! I am on a medical placement in Kumamoto and I couldn’t feel any more at home. I have seen a birth, talked to doctors who have travelled the world doing relief work, learnt to speak some Japanese, made friends despite language and cultural barriers, experienced work ethic in another country, travelled and tried things perhaps I would never have if I was at home. I love my life here in Japan!
— Lauren Dennett, Lattitude Medical Assistant