On July 21st, Akimoto Yasushi announced on his Google+ profile that, as a result of a meeting with the AKB48 overseas team, a study abroad program has been set up for AKB48 and related groups. In the same post, he made a call for interested members to apply for the program.
Members in Japan could study abroad as a member of overseas sister groups of AKB48, such as JKT48 in Indonesia, SHN48 in Shanghai and TPE48 in Taiwan. The period of study abroad could be from 6 months to a year. In an updated post, Akimoto clarified, “Since it is connected with the overseas TV, maybe they can still be active even if they are outside the country.”