SWY Program

SWY31 - 15th January to the 1st March 2019    

What is SWY?

In a rapidly globalising world, cross-cultural communication and cooperation are indispensable in every field. 

The Ship for World Youth (SWY) is a unique international youth exchange and leadership program that allows participants to challenge their comfort zones while learning communication, leadership and cross-cultural communication skills. 

Supported by the Government of Japan, this program provides youth from around the world the opportunity to come together to discuss common global issues, experience cultural exchange, and join seminars and workshops conducted by experts and participants themselves. Participants can enhance their leadership skills throughout this program by running seminars, participating in on-board committees as well as engaging with different cultures and expanding their communication skills.

By broadening global views as well as strengthening the spirit of international cooperation, the Japanese Government aims at cultivating the next generation of leaders who are lead and contribute to globalised and diverse society.

Who can apply?

Anyone aged 18-30 who meets the eligibility criteria are welcome to apply for a Ship for World Youth delegation.

We are looking for Australians who:

  • are leaders in their community

  • are dedicated to building stronger communities 

  • are passionate about building stronger global connections

  • work well in groups and under pressure 

  • have a desire to learn about and engage with other cultures

  • will represent Australia to the highest degree

What is the typical schedule?

The SWY program changes every year.  In recent years the program has included:

  •  Multi-day cultural exchange in a Japanese prefecture

  • 1 week of 'on-shore' training in Tokyo - mixture of lectures, tutorials and excursions

  • 4 weeks onboard the Nippon Maru continuing study and visiting various global ports

Who is eligible?


SWY Australia supports the Japanese Embassy in Canberra to select young Australians between 18-30 years of age to apply for twelve funded places on the program.


Criteria for applications vary slightly from year to year.  For the 30th Ship for World Youth Leaders (SWY30) 2018 the following criteria is required:

  1. 18-30 years of age

  2. able to participate in the entire program

  3. in good condition both physically and mentally

  4. capable of acting co-operatively and in harmony with delegation throughout the program

  5. expected to contribute greatly to the various activities for promoting sound development of young people

  6. good command of English in order to be able to participate the activities such as group discussion at university/tertiary level

  7. preferable to have a command of Japanese, which is a working language of some of the selective activities in the program, however this is not compulsory 

  8. interest in and an understanding of Japan

Applications are also invited from Australian's between 30-39 years of age to apply to be the National Leader for Australia.

How often does the Program run?

The program is run each year by the Cabinet Office in Japan who are responsible for organising the entire program and inviting various countries to participate.  Each year, the Japanese Government invites the governments of some 11 – 15 other countries to send delegations. The participating countries vary each year with a mix of countries from various regions of the world invited each year. 

What Pre-departure Preparation is there?

Participating youth are required to attend a weekend (Friday to Sunday) National Workshop in Canberra.  The exact date is to be confirmed but will likely be the first weekend of October.  It is important you plan for this if you wish to attend SWY.  This time is used to prepare for the program and for you to get to know the delegation.  

You will also be expected to contribute a couple of hours a week helping the delegations prepare prior to departure.  This includes things such as the organisation of uniforms and preparing material for onboard seminars/presentations.  It is important that you are able to contribute to the delegation's preparation before departure.

How much does it cost?

As a participant there are some costs involved; however, we endeavour to keep these costs as low as possible. The Government of Japan very generously covers most expenses including flights, living expenses in Japan and the voyage aboard the Nippon Maru. Participants are required to purchase travel insurance and usually take some spending money for souvenirs while overseas.


Prior to departure, participants are required to take part in pre-departure activities and may be required to cover some costs related to this.  However, SWY Australia assist the delegation to fundraise to contribute to these expenses.  Participants are also welcome to/encouraged to undertake individual fundraising in the lead up to the program.


© 2019 by Ship for World Youth Australia Incorporated

ABN: 67 955 417 158

Ship for World Youth Australia Incorporated is a registered charity with the Australia Charity and Not For Profit Commission 

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