Friday, August 18, 2006

Host Families

Most of the foriegn students in Japan have had a Japanese host family during some part of their stay. As for those who receive Japanese geovernment scholarships, many of them are assigned a host family when they reach Japan. For others, they can find a host family through their universities, town offices or other volunteer organizations.

The host family provide temporary accomodation to the student if necessary, and help him/her with the formalities. Most of the families keep in touch even after the students are able to manage things by themselves. They care a lot; some of my friends receive too much care. :-p

As for me, I was introduced to my host family by the International Liaisons Office of my university. Mr. and Mrs. Iguchi (whom I refer to as Iguchi-san and Keiko-san in my posts) are professional photographers. Iguchi-san, now retired, was a director at Mitsui Corporation, Japan.

Iguchi-san and Keiko-san treat me like a son. In our first conversation, Iguchi-san told me
"If there are things you like to do, or places you like to go, please let us know!"

Spending time with a Japanese host family is one of the best ways to learn Japanese culture and Japanese language. For me, I have more benefits: being photographers, they help me to improve my photography; they take me or provide information to visit places and events that are not so well known (such the horse races in my previous post); above all, I have a family here, who care.


lilfunky1 said...

that's awesome! i'd so want to do an exchange like that some day

Chaminda (GC) said...

Hi lilfunky1,

It sure is awesome. According to the web site below, it seems possible to arrange a homestay even for a short tour.

Thanks for the comment, and wish for you a great exhange program some day!