We are now seeking for Volunteer Interpreters for our global voyages departing in Spring (104th and PBII 1).

We are receiving applications for the following language pairs: Japanese-English, Japanese-Spanish, Japanese-Mandarin, English-Mandarin. Apply before October 27th to be part of the first selection process. 

Being a Volunteer Interpreter Onboard - Japanese and Chinese subtitles from Peace Boat on Vimeo.


What's Involved

As an international NGO that organizes most of its activities on a chartered passenger ship, everyday Peace Boat hosts numerous events onboard. As part of this, Peace Boat hosts many projects and invites a diverse range of guest educators from around the world to join a voyage. Primarily, Peace Boat volunteer interpreters are in charge of simultaneous and consecutive interpreting onboard and at ports during our global voyages. Through interpreting, volunteer interpreters will have the chance to be involved in a wide range of events and learn about global issues.

Some of the responsibilities of a volunteer interpreter are as follows:

  • Consecutive and/or simultaneous interpreting of daily lectures, meetings, forums, and informal gatherings for guest educators
  • Interpreting and assisting tours in ports of call
  • Assisting communication between Japanese-speaking and non-Japanese speaking participants
  • Translating and making handouts for lectures, etc.
  • Assisting with onboard language programs
  • Planning and leading self-organized events, workshops or classes based on your interest

For more information about the role of the CCs, click here.  


For more detailed voyage specific requirements, please check the ‘Application Guidelines’ available for download below.

Successful applicants must...

  • Be fluent in two or more of the interpreting languages we require for the upcoming voyage
  • Be available for the duration of the voyage for which they are applying (including a pre-voyage training and orientation period). Some exceptions may apply for Spanish-speaking applicants.
  • Be at least 20 years of age. If you are turning 20 during the voyage, special conditions will apply.
  • Have a strong interest in and background knowledge in the following topics: North-South issues, regional conflicts, poverty, racism and other forms of discrimination, indigenous peoples, diversity, civil society, sustainable development and international bodies, the environment, nuclear and other energy issues
  • Be able to commit and prioritize their time to apply for necessary visas prior to departure.     

Applicants with the following will be looked upon favourably:

  • Proficiency in other languages, especially languages used in the countries visited (French, Arabic, etc.) on the voyage
  • Prior interpreting experience or training
  • While test scores are not required, the average language levels of previously successful applicants are as below:
  • Japanese: JLPT Level 1
  • English: TOEFL (PBT/ITP) 600, (CBT) 250, (iBT) 100 or above; TOEIC 900 or above
  • Spanish: DELE B2 or above; Evaluación Oficial del Conocimiento de la Lengua Española Level 2 or above
  • Chinese: HSK Level 6 or above

Volunteer Conditions

As this is a volunteer position, no salary is offered. However, room and board, visa fees (exceptions apply), and the cost of any programmes in ports that you are asked to attend as an interpreter will be covered by Peace Boat (valued from ¥1.27 million plus port charges and tips). Transport to the port of embarkation at the start of the voyage, and from the port of disembarkation at the end of the voyage, as well as personal expenditure such as onboard charges (drinks, laundry fees, etc), are your own responsibility.

How to Apply

To apply for an upcoming voyage, please read the voyage specific ‘Application Guidelines’ and fill out the necessary forms, both of which can be found below.

To apply, applicants are required to submit the following materials:

1) Personal Data Form
2) Resume/CV in all languages for which you are applying
3) A one-page essay stating why you wish to join Peace Boat as a volunteer interpreter in all languages for which you are applying. The content should be the same in each language.

Completed applications can be mailed or submitted electronically. Before submitting your application, we recommend that you read our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ below to address many common questions. Please read the ‘Application Guidelines’ carefully as we are unable to accept incomplete applications.

If you are a national of the People’s Republic of China we recommend submitting your application well before the application deadline when possible, due to the time required to obtain necessary visas for the voyage.

Application Process

Stage 1 - Screening of Application Materials

Applicants who submit their completed application packet by the application deadline should receive an email confirming receipt. If you do not receive an email within 2 weeks, please send a follow-up email to confirm your application has been received.  

Stage 2 - Interview & interpreting Test

Applicants who successfully pass the first stage of the selection process will be invited to an interview and consecutive interpreting test. Skype interviews may be organized if the applicant is unable to attend the interview in-person in Tokyo.