Hosting Japanese students – 日本の学生ホスティング
I have been hosting 2 Japanese girls for the past 2 weeks and they are with me for the next week. It is very interesting how they choose to behave. Interestingly these girls are from families who can afford this expensive venture and have been taught values and responsibilities. However, just reading their welcome letter only provides the basics. The girls ultimately decide whether, for the little bit of time, they make the most of their parents not being around!!
I ended up putting the girls in the one room because they didn’t like sleeping in a room by themselves. Before I realised they wanted to sleep in the same room they were sharing one single bed. I have now put an extra mattress on the floor. I thought they would sleep better and some nights they do!!
I love the education aspect of hosting, I love the intriguing aspect of languages and I love meeting new people. Hence, I think it is a great learning opportunity for my 7-year-old daughter. I probably wouldn’t do it if it was just me living by myself. It makes my reasonably calm life extra busy for a few weeks, but I do enjoy the extra craziness!
Most of the girls ask to help cook but very few have helped clean the dishes! I actually prefer to do it myself, however, if I asked them I know they would give me 80% of effort! Most have made their bed, but with very little effort!! So it is a bit of effort on the host parents. The payment is mostly about $35 a day and you must provide three meals and drive the students to school. Hosting is not something to do for the money, I think you have to enjoy the experience as well. Nevertheless the money only really covers costs.
I have been hosting for 7 years and have had 12 students in that time. I have had students as young as 9 and these have been boys. I have mostly hosted girls about 15 or 16-years-old. I find girls easy and they just fit into my life. I mainly do everyday things, but also fun things like the beach and shopping. Last week I took them to the Gold Coast because I had arranged to meet family. However, I think the best opportunity for them is to live a different way of life (my life!) and that experience is invaluable. I think there are so many different family situations even within Brisbane, so each one would be different.
The students always attend school and have lots of learning about Australia’s wildlife and environment and they also go on excursions to fun parks and/or wildlife parks.
I prefer short hosting stays and at present some international schools are saying short stays are more popular for Japanese families. So some stays are 11 days, two weeks, or three or four weeks. I used to host over the Christmas period but have decided to just host during the year now.
And I am pleased to say in the 12 students only one 16-year-old girl who became troublesome and rude and basically I think she thought she was a princess and my life should change for her!
The student’s English ability also varies. Most of the students improve as they become relaxed. And most students try really hard. Occasionally even the polite ones do just make a sound because they can’t be bothered trying to work out what you asked them!!! I have had a lot of laughs with my students over trying to communicate!
I think it is a rewarding experience and I have been told Japanese are one of the most respectful to host. Other than Japanese students I have only hosted a Canadian girl from Quebec. She was nearly 18-years-old and she got herself to college and was very independent. I enjoyed this different type of hosting. Genevieve was with my daughter and I for 4 months. We loved her staying with us.
And just one last thing I have noticed is washing their hands is not obviously a huge thing. I mean while they are teenagers and similar to our Aussie teenagers..things are not going to be perfect!!! When I recently picked up my girls the Japanese boys were using a boomerang they had made and they were throwing it carelessly and nearly hit a group of students in the head….universal language!!!
So, I hope the above mixed bag of information has helped if you are thinking of hosting. I originally contacted my local schools and city international colleges.