Frequently Asked Questions







Anyone over the age of 18 is eligible. No previous affiliation with SVA is required.



Yes, a portfolio review is required. Please prepare 10 digital images (1920 x 1080 pixels) with brief descriptions. If your application is approved, you will be contacted and a portfolio will be requested.


Is product design experience required?

Participants do not need to be expert in product design, but they must be conversant in three-dimensional design and manufacturing, with some education or experience. Participants should understand how to manipulate materials for three-dimensional design by hand and by industrial process. Participants should also be conversant in three-dimensional form and styling and how they impact the consumer. Participants should have some experience sketching three-dimensional objects in perspective and some understanding of how to translate those sketches into mechanical drawings with dimensions. The final deliverable will be a set of mechanical drawings that a crafts person will use to prototype the design. CAD proficiency is NOT required. Mechanicals can be drawn by hand or in Adobe Illustrator.




Please visit the SVA Destinations Visa FAQs page here.


Is financial aid available?

Neither financial aid nor scholarships are available for this program through SVA.


What is included in the cost of tuition?

Tuition includes individual accommodations that in most cases include breakfast, workshop and factory visits, museum, temple and shrine admissions, ground transportation in Japan and all program receptions.


Is air travel included in the cost of tuition?

No. Participants must arrange their own air travel to and from Japan. 


Are meals included in the cost of tuition?

Breakfast is included at most accommodations but lunches and dinners are not included.


How much of the tuition is required to register?

The entire tuition fee is due in order to register.


How do we get around in Japan?

Local transportation in and around Yame will be by a hired bus.




When is the deadline?

Applications must be submitted by April 1, 2020. Apply here. However, admission is first come, first served for qualified applicants, so apply early!


Can I receive course credit?

Yes. 2 undergraduate credits are available for course completion.


How many students are in the program?



Am I required to attend all workshop visits and meetings?

Yes. Visits to workshops, factories, temples, shrines and group meals are all part of the program and participants are expected to attend everything.


Do I need to speak Japanese?

No. Interpreters will be a necessary and consistently present part of the program.


Will I be sharing a room?

No. All rooms are single occupancy.


Do we choose our accommodations?

No. Accommodations will be chosen for the group.


Air Travel

Participants are responsible for arranging how they get to and from the program. Please arrange air or other travel to arrive in Fukuoka City by end of day June 14 and depart from Fukuoka City, June 27.

Participants are free to arrive prior to June 14 and depart after June 27. Additional travel in Japan is encouraged and recommendations can be provided. However, neither local transportation nor accommodations of any kind will not be provided before or after those dates.


Japan is famous for its high standards for hospitality and cleanliness. All accommodations will be of excellent quality and the whole group will stay in the same hotels. The Yame Green Hotel has well-appointed single rooms, breakfast included and a roof spa. Our inspirational trip will include accommodation in a hotel of similar quality. All hotels have free wifi and other amenities.


Program Tuition is $4,000.

Tuition includes hotel accommodation, breakfast, ground transportation in Japan, workshop and factory visits, admission to sites and museums, and both welcome and parting receptions.

Tuition does NOT include air travel to and from the program.

The application deadline is April 1, 2020. You can apply online through the main SVA website.

An interview in person or via Skype, as well as a portfolio of 10 images of your work are required for acceptance to this program.