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Living in a Home Stay

The opportunity to participate in the JCMU sponsored Home Stay Program with a Japanese family offers the student an environment in which one can develop language skills, get a better understanding of daily life, and gain insight into the values and customs of the Japanese people. JCMU’s Home Stay Coordinator will conduct interviews with interested students after arrival in Japan. Every effort is made to match students with suitable families according to their interests, expectations, and language levels, so that home stay might develop into a warm relationship.

Students who sign up for a home stay are committed for the period of time of their home stay and will not be provided housing in the JCMU residence hall. Students in the past have often wanted to cancel their home stay because they found it less convenient to commute to school rather than live at the Center. Home stay families go to a great deal of trouble in preparation for a student home stay. Last minute home stay cancellations by students create a bad impression in the community and significantly reduce the number of families willing to provide a temporary home for JCMU students. It is important to expect to interact with the family as much as possible and share your interests in Japanese culture and American culture.

Daily Commute:

The average commute for the home stay participant is approximately one hour each way by train and bicycle, and the Center will cover the cost of commuting on class days, if you have to use a train. You will need to take a train no later than 7:30 - 8:00 A.M. each morning in order to be on time for class.

Meals, Allergies, and Dietary Restrictions:

Your home stay includes 2 meals per day. Whenever you do not plan to eat meals at your home stay, especially dinner, you must let your host family know otherwise they will prepare you a meal and assume you will be eating at home. Please realize that the host family cannot always make special arrangements in order to meet certain dietary restrictions.

Japanese Language Proficiency:

Since many host families have limited English language skills, preference is given to students at the third level of Japanese and above. In general students who are first level Japanese students will be placed in a family that has an English-speaking member. Students who plan to stay two semesters or have level-two proficiency will be placed in a family with limited English capabilities.

Single Host Parents:

There are a few individuals who look forward to hosting JCMU students and appreciate the company.

Telephone & Internet Use:

Telephone charges are not included in your home stay. You will be required to pay for all telephone calls, especially long-distance. Some families may not have internet access at home. However, all students are able to access internet at the Center.


You will have a room to yourself at your home stay; however, you are responsible to keep your room as clean and neat as possible.


Unless your host family invites you to travel or go sightseeing, you must pay for your own expenses, including any admission fees or tickets.


Always carry the phone number and address of your host family in the event that you have an emergency or are delayed. Leave a telephone number with your host family for emergencies.

House Rules:

A successful home stay experience is based on accepting and adjusting to the family’s house rules. Each home stay family will have different house rules that are consistent with the family’s existing schedule and lifestyle. Please remember that you are a guest in their home and abide by their house rules.

If you plan to stay overnight somewhere or be late in returning home, you must tell your host family where you are going and when you plan on returning. Home stay families will often come to see you as a member of the family and will care for you and worry about you just as your own parent might.

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