How do I blend in to my host family?

You will be both a guest and a family member. Please be respectful, always. To help you through your adjustment, offer to help with family chores. This is also a way to communicate with your family, and you’ll dive right in to the Japanese lifestyle.

It may take a while for you to feel comfortable using your conversational Japanese. At first, you might feel overwhelmed and lost, but be patient and keep trying. The more you practice, the faster you will improve and feel comfortable.


House Keys and Curfew

Expect your host family to be protective of you and perhaps reluctant to let you go out alone, especially at first. This is not from a lack of trust, but rather from concern, as your host family will feel a parental responsibility for you.

Talk to your family about rules for entering and leaving the the house, especially at night. Some families may prefer that you knock to be let in, while other families may lend you a key. If your host family lends you a key, be careful with it and return the key when you leave your host family’s home.

Most host families have a curfew. Discuss it with your host family: you need to respect and obey your curfew. Remember, you are in a different country living with a family who maintains a different lifestyle. It is your responsibility to respect that lifestyle.

Balancing Your Schedule

  • Tell your host family your plans. If your plans change, let them know so they won’t worry if you miss a meal or get home late. Whenever possible, if you may miss a meal, alert your host family ahead of time.
  • Become part of the normal household routine. Assure your family that they don’t have to change their schedule or make special plans just for your sake.
  • During your first week, go over your class schedule with your host family. If you have any pre-set personal plans and will be absent for an extended period of time, talk about these plans right away. If your plans change, let your family know.
  • The KCP language program is very intensive. You will be busy with your studies during the week and with the culture class and excursions on Saturdays. You may want to visit many other places and you may have friends you want to spend time with. However, your host family also wants to spend time with you. So it is especially important to plan your time wisely
  • If you plan to be away from your host family for more than one day, tell them when you will return and how to contact you in an emergency. (Also tell your student coordinator.)

When going out with your host family, please discuss the cost in advance so you can budget your money accurately. In some cases, your host family will offer to pay. In others they may not, or you may not be comfortable with that. If you are unsure, discuss this with your host family.

At the end of your stay, plan on leaving your host family’s home no later than the program ending date. If you need to extend your stay for any reason, you must first discuss it with KCP staff.

The homestay program is possible entirely through the hospitality and generosity of the host families.

When you leave your host family, check that you take all your belongings with you. Clean up your room and give any keys back to your family. Show your sincere appreciation: this is one attribute of Japanese society that is of utmost importance.