What To Pack


      What Should I Bring? A positive attitude, a cheerful personality, an enthusiasm to teach, an eagerness to  learn and . . . . . . A Few Other Ideas To Help You Pack


A-LIST: Passport Airline tickets*?(will be sent to you later from  Gateway in L.A.) These two are the only items you will not survive  forgetting. Do not pack your passport in your  suitcase. Or other valuable items for that matter. *It is most likely your tickets will be “e-tickets” in which case Gateway will only  email you the confirmation number for check in. You will not need a visa to enter Japan if you have an American* passport. If you  are a citizen of another country* notify us right away to see if you need a visa –  unless we have already been in communication regarding the visa.?On the airplane  you will receive a visa waiver form to fill out for immigrations. Pocket money $300-$500 is usually enough if you are thrifty, but not if you are thinking of doing  lots of shopping. You may want to bring part of your money in traveler’s checks,  which are redeemable if lost, but also bring some Japanese cash as you will need to  get to a bank to cash traveler’s checks or exchange U.S. currency. Avoid exchanging  money at U.S. airports – their rates are usually terrible! ATM machines are  available in the cities for major credit cards and debit cards. Health Insurance Verification If your health insurance does not cover you overseas, you will need a special travel  policy. Most clinics here will not bill directly to overseas agencies, so you are likely  to need to pay in cash and file the insurance claim when you return. Most fees are  reasonable compared to the states and on the chance you need a large amount of  cash to cover the fee, we can loan the money in lieu of the insurance claim. For  more information on health insurance, click here.


CAMP WEAR: Camp fashion is very casual. T-shirts, shorts or whatever you find  comfortable. There are washing machines at most of the camp facilities but it is  best to plan on a 6-day change of clothes so you will not have to bother with  washing at camp sessions. While we are not very strict about a dress-code at camp,  please avoid clothing that may cause our Japanese campers difficulty in  concentrating on their studies. You will receive two nifty camp t-shirts, but we will  not wear them everyday.


FOOT WEAR: As is the Japanese custom, some camp facilities require us to take  off our shoes before entering. These facilities usually provide indoor slippers, but I  highly recommend you bring your own slippers or a pair of sandals to be worn  indoors only. Also, we will often do activities in the gym, where shoes that are worn  outdoors are prohibited, so a clean pair of athletic shoes will be nice. Finally, since  you are constantly taking your shoes on and off in Japan, something easy to get in  and out of would be best for your everyday use.


AT CAMP: Sun glasses Extra prescription glasses a/o contact lenses Sun block Towel(s), wash cloth Mosquito repellent A water bottle A fold-up umbrella or rain jacket Flashlight Toothpaste, shampoo, bar soap, etc Necessary medicines or vitamins


NOTE: The voltage here is 100v. Small appliances, such as hair dryers and electric  razors, from America will work fine at that voltage and not require a voltage  converter.

NOTE: You may, however, want to bring a 3-2 adapter for your laptop, etc. 3-prong  plugs are rare in Japan. AT


THE HOST FAMILY: At least one outfit suitable for a nice occasion, in case  the need occurs. You don’t need to bring any formal attire, but something that  would not embarrass your own mom at a nice restaurant, church, etc. You may also  get a chance for a dip in the ocean –a swimsuit could come in handy.


A PRESENT FOR YOUR HOST FAMILY: Bringing a gift when visiting a home in  Japan is a common custom and please keep in mind that all of the host families  have volunteered for this program. You need not spend a great deal of money but  your thoughtfulness will make a positive first impression. It is the thought that  counts!


CANDY, STICKERS, ETC.: Over the years it has been common for counselors to  bring extra things for the program. At some school orientations you may have  heard it is expected. It is not. That is a rumor that was started by ex-counselors.  With that said, if you want to bring extra items for campers, it will go to good use.  Bringing personal photographs is also quite fun for showing your campers.


FINAL IMPORTANT WARNING/RECOMMENDATION: Pack as light as  possible! I have never had a counselor tell me, “I wish I had packed more clothes.”  You are likely to be faced with all types of challenging transports with your luggage  and those heavy suitcases with wheels are not so convenient when faced with stairs,  hills and crowded trains or buses. My hero was the 90 pound female counselor who  came and left with everything carried on her back last year. That is the way to go!




Packing List