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There are many accommodation choices available when moving to Japan but one of the most immersive experiences is to stay with a Japanese host family, generally known as a homestay. It’s an excellent alternative to traditional accommodation options and one many people don’t realise is an option.
Living with a Japanese host family is a great way to fully understand the culture of Japan and to practice your new language skills after a busy day studying.
With most host families you’ll have your own room and be fed by the family. It’s worth spending time getting to know them and the way they live. They may take you out on day trips and teach you about Japanese way of life. Your Host Family will look out for you and you’ll soon feel like you have a home away from home.
It’s important to remember, however, that you’re a guest in your host’s home, so learn the rules and make sure you stick by them. Respect is important in Japan and rightly so; they’ve taken you in and given you a chance to really immerse yourself in the culture, an opportunity that you wouldn’t get elsewhere.
As you might expect, simple things like helping with the chores, clearing the table after dinner and taking out the rubbish and recycling are expected and appreciated.
Every family around the world has their own way of doing things. It’s important to remember this and respect your host family’s rules and ways of doing things. If you’re unsure, ask, and if you make a mistake, apologise and try to learn for the next time.
As you’ll be staying in a family home, you don’t need to bring as much as you would if you were to stay in a share house. There are a few essentials that it’s worth remembering before you set off.
Once you’ve arrived there are a few things to remember to help you settle into your new home with your Japanese host family.
It’s a very different type of accommodation but possibly one of the best ways to get a fully immersive experience of Japan and the Japanese lifestyle. It will not only help you feel like you have a home away from home, you’ll be able to practice your language skills and really throw yourself into the whole experience. Many people who have opted for a homestay have made bonds for life, and keep in touch even after leaving Japan!
For more tips about life in Japan keep following our Go! Go! Nihon blog.
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