Frequently Asked Questions

Is SWY Online different to other SWYs? 

Yes, SWY Online will be different to the normal SWY program.  The global COVID pandemic means that the traditional approach to SWY, with the global travel is both not possible and unsafe.  As such, SWY Online has been designed to be carried out online to maintain global connections, understanding and communication.  For further details on the SWY Online program, please refer to the Program Outline on the SWY Online page.

Please note that questions below referring to travel (such as pre-departure training in Canberra and Japanese components) do NOT apply to SWY Online

Who runs SWY? 

The Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan organises and funds the SWY program. 

How often does the program run? 

The program is run each year by the Cabinet Office of Japan. Each year the Japanese Government invites 10 countries to participate and these change from year to year. 

If you would like to be notified the next time Australia is invited, please register for the SWY Australia Newsletter below or follow us on social media.

What are the age restrictions? 

Delegates must be between 18 and 30 years of age. 

I am a Permanent Resident, can I apply? 

No.  The Japanese Government has specified that all delegates must be Australian citizens. You may be able to apply through another country where you hold citizenship. Please contact the Japanese Embassy in that country. 

I am currently out of the country, can I still apply? 

Yes. If you are shortlisted, you will need to be available for a telephone interview. In addition, if you are selected as a delegate, you must attend the compulsory National Workshop in Canberra (not applicable to SWY Online). This is usually held over a weekend (Friday to Sunday) in late October. 


How many participants are there? 

There are usually 242 participants including 122 participants from Japan and 12 participants from each of the other 10 invited countries. 

How long is the program? 

The program changes from year to year but usually lasts for six weeks from mid-January to late-February.  For SWY Online, please refer to the information page

What will I do on the program? 

This changes every year, but there is usually: 

How much does it cost? 

As a participant there is little cost involved. The Government of Japan very generously covers most expenses. This includes your return airfares to Japan as well as all living expenses whilst in Japan and onboard the ship. Participants are required to purchase travel insurance, national uniforms, gifts, and provide their own spending money. You will also need to fund your participation in the compulsory Canberra National Workshop before departure. (NOT APPLICABLE TO SWY ONLINE) ​

Can I receive feedback on my application? 

No. Due to the number of applications received, we are unable to provide individual feedback. 

If you have another question that is not answered above, please contact us. 

    • Lectures and workshops by onboard facilitators 

    • Participant led seminars, workshops and focus groups 

    • Cultural exchange activities, including dance, music, art and limited gastronomical activities

    • National presentations by each country

    • Official visits to institutions during international ports of call

    • Leisure including a pool, restaurant, bar, participant-led social activities.