What is homestay like?

Authored by:
Aleya G.

After being with my family for over a month, I thought it would be a good time to share my experience, and hopefully it will help you decide whether or not to stay with one. Disclaimer: every host family is different, and my experience may not be like yours. Having a homestay family, so far, has been a really positive experience. With them I could practice my Japanese, and be able to hear it daily which has helped me distingush words. They help me understand what ever question I have from my Japanese homework or things I encouter everyday like the railway system. Being with a host family has more benefits like having two meals a day from them (breakfast and dinner), and if you need tips as to what to do they are a great resource! However, don't let the food be what persuades you to go on this path. Remember, since you will be with a family you have to work on building a bond with them. One thing you have to remember is that with a family there are rules you should follow, for example, a curfew or how to do laundry. If there are any problems it is important to communicate, but if its something you have not tried before like taking a bath here I encourage you to at least try.

Building a bond will be challenging at first, since you may feel discourage to speak the language since they are native speakers, and you don't understand every word they say. Initially, I felt like I was being annoying saying the same kind of phrase and asking what everything was.  As my family reminded me, many of these home stay families understand you are learning the language, and you every attempt at speaking it makes them happy. Also, a lot of things in Japan that will be new to you.  My family has children in it which has been interesting and challenging since it is hard for them to explain what they have said if I cannot understand it. I try to have a goal that everyday I talk to them, and it is more that just one phrase like, "いただきます!". They enjoy hearing what you did that day and all the new friends you are making.

Hopefully this has provided you some insight into the home stay experience. I hope on your abroad journey you have a nice home stay experience!

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