This study sought to investigate the ways that an experiential pre-service teacher-training program promotes students’ independent learning by examining the Hiroshima University Friendship Project (HUFP). The results revealed several transitions in the history of the HUFP. It was initially expected that students’ independent learning would be deepened through activities administered as initiatives of university teachers. However, some students felt that these arranged activities were childish, and did not promote their independent learning. Several years later, the establishment of a student organization changed the program to an alternative format, in which students are the central administrators, promoting their independent learning. Thus, the results demonstrate the importance of striking a balance between student-led administration and support from university teachers to promote students’ independent learning.