21 international students participated in the Home Stay Program Summer 2019.

The YNU Homestay Program is specially designed for our international students, in cooperation with Hippo Family Club. It provides them with the opportunity to spend two days and interact with local families. It has been an active and successful program for many years, and a lot of students made great memories with their host families.

On June 20th, 21 participants attended an orientation meeting. They learnt general manners and habits in Japan, regarding such as dining and bathing in the home. On June 29th, they met their host family for the first time at YNU International Student Center, and left for their “home” in Yokohama and neighboring cities. They spent a weekend with their new family. What did they do during their stay? Here are some examples;

- Made local food from my home country for all the BBQ party guests

- Went to an event held at a kindergarten with my host family

- Talked about differences between Japan and my home country

- Visited Kamakura

- Watched a baseball game

- Learnt how to cook Japanese dishes

- Talked for several hours and promised to meet again for a drink and discussion

- Visited a museum

- Had a dinner party with other families

- Made “Takoyaki” together

This summer, we had 21 participants from 14 different countries/regions; Afghanistan, Estonia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Korea, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mongol, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, UK and USA. Please see what they thought and felt;

- Japanese style breakfast was so good.

- I believe my host family was very much globalized.

- This will be one of the best memories of my life.

- It was kind of disappointing not to be able to hang out with the children.

- I wonder if Japanese people take a bath every day.

- I had an image that Japanese men were uncooperative with raising children or housework, but I saw my host father cooked breakfast and taught his hobbies to his children. I felt he was caring and devoted.

- I ate a lot of things that I had tried before (but only “cheap” version.) I am glad I could try the “more authentic” version!

- I liked the passion of Japanese people to learn other countries, languages and cultures.

- The Futon are the best!

- I felt as though they were truly my family. I felt at home.

- I got used to take off shoes and use slippers.

- I liked the very humble and kind attitude of Japanese families.

- It was interesting to learn about Japanese table manners. They were so different from the way I had learnt.

- I learnt daily life words in Japanese.

- This program motivated me to continue learning more about Japanese culture.

- It is very interesting for me to see that all the family members work on their own and they just follow the time.

- I felt my host family’s house was “hi-tech.”

- I found out that home-cooked meals were an important part of Japanese daily life.

Living with a local family provides an opportunity to practice Japanese language skills and learn about Japanese life and culture. Many of the participants find that their Japanese host family becomes like a second family, their life-long, “Japanese family.” The next Home Stay Program is scheduled to be held in November 2019. We hope to see you next time!

(International Strategy Organization)