Home > Programs > Intensive Japanese Programs > Homestay Opportunities

Homestay Opportunities

A homestay with a local family offers the ultimate opportunity to meet and interact with Japanese people. From within the Japanese family structure, students gain a deeper appreciation of Japanese values, behavior, and sense of balance between personal and group responsibilities while developing their language skills.

Types of Homestays

  • Weekend Homestays - Generally offered at least one time per semester on a specific weekend. Students who otherwise are living in the JCMU residence hall may apply to stay with a local family for the weekend.
  • Long-term Homestays - The duration of long-term homestays will vary depending on the availability of host families, but are usually at least 1 month long. Some long-term homestays may last the entire semester.

Interested students may end up participating in a combination of homestay experiences depending on availability. For example, a student may participate in a month-long homestay before moving back to the residence hall and participating in a weekend homestay.

Host Families

All host families have been carefully selected by the JCMU Homestay Coordinator and the homes have been inspected prior to approval. Some families have hosted dozens of JCMU students over the last few decades! JCMU selects host families from various areas in and around Hikone, but always within an hour's commute of the JCMU campus (which may include a combination of biking, walking, or public transit).

Included in the Homestay

All homestays include the following (provided by either the host family or JCMU):

  • A private bedroom
  • Two meals a day (breakfast and dinner)
  • Transportation arrangements, as needed, between the homestay and JCMU campus (on class days).
    • Travel to JCMU often includes a combination of walking, biking, and public transportation. Fees for bike parking or commuter passes will be covered by JCMU using the student's housing fee.

Homestay Application Process

Students who are interested in participating in a homestay experience (either weekend or long-term) should:

  • Complete the Homestay Application questionnaire that is deployed through the JCMU application system during the post-acceptance phase.
  • (After arriving at JCMU) Attend the homestay information session led by the JCMU Homestay Coordinator (information about this session will be presented during on-site orientation).

Completing the above steps does not guarantee a placement. Participation in a homestay is dependent upon whether an appropriate host family can be found for the applicant.

Homestay Considerations

Living with a host family can be an amazing experience, but it may not be the right fit for everyone. An ideal homestay applicant:

  • Is flexible and open-minded
  • Demonstrates good time management
  • Possesses a strong sense of commitment and responsibility
  • Has at least some ability to communicate in Japanese prior to arrival
    • JCMU aims for placements where the family and the student are able to communicate. Occasionally a host family who is able to accommodate a lower level Japanese language learner may be available, but higher levels of Japanese ability make a placement more likely.