南山大学

 

The Homestay Program Student Voice

IVIMEY, Christopher Sean (United States)

CJS Class of 2013-2014  /  Dickinson College

One of the greatest things about my experience at Nanzan was that I managed to experience all forms of residence during my time there, both at the dorms in the fall and homestay in the spring. And I can say without a doubt that while both forms had their positive sides, one of the greatest things I will take away from my experience here was the time spent with my host family. Not only did my Japanese improve outside of the classroom, I also managed to catch a glimpse of day-today life, playing with the grandkids or talking with my host mother about topics in Japanese society. But more important than any of these is the fact that I managed to find a caring and thoughtful resource without which I could never have grown as far as I have in my short time at this institution – I have nothing but the utmost gratitude for my host family, and I will miss them sorely.

ARAGON, Glenda Natasha (Canada)

CJS Class of 2013-2014  /  Carleton University

Choosing to stay with a host family for my year exchange was probably the best decision I could have made. However to be completely honest, making the decision was still quite nerve-wracking. Before even arriving, I worried about various things like how it would be living with strangers, would I like their food, would I still get some independence. But everything changed once getting to Japan and meeting my first host family. My worries melted away as I got to know them and began to become part of their family. They helped me in a way only parents could from helping me with my homework to giving me advice on some of the tough things I was going through in life. We took trips together to Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, and many other places, all while sharing their culture with me through every step. Every day I learned something new, whether it was a recipe from my host mother or something about recent news in Japan from my host father. It wasn’t long before I started to feel like I had finally found my identity and ideas for my future.

At the end of the semester, I was terribly sad that I had to part with them (due to them moving to Tokyo for work). I began to feel those same worries that I had before coming when I was told that I would be with a new host family and one that had children. However I was once again surprised by the warmness of my new family and began to fit right in once again. I found similar interests with my host sister and found it fun talking to someone closer to my age, enjoying topics such as fashion, movies, and TV. I also found common interests with my host parents, particularly the love of sports with my host father and a shared interest in teaching with my host mother. When possible we took trips as well, this time not to bustling cities, but to historical ones, such as Takayama. We always tried to fun find ways to spend the short time that we had together.

Looking back at my time in Japan I really feel as though I have gained two Japanese families. I will never be able to thank them enough. Thanks to them I was able to grow not only my language skills, but also myself, as a person. I will miss both dearly, but know that we will always stay in contact. After all they are my precious “adoptive” Japanese families.