Japanese Student Hosting Experience

Well, I had good intentions of writing on my blog more frequently! I will continue to try to get into a consistent routine (if anyone would like to make any suggestions or requests of what they’d like me to write about, feel free to leave comments!)

The last couple of weeks turned out to be crazy busy. We signed up to be a host family for a Japanese student, Akiho, and I felt like I was constantly on the go. Maybe it was just because of a change in our normal routines – I mean she was at “school” from 9-4 each week day, so it really shouldn’t have been any different than when my daughter is in school. But somehow, it really was.

I think a big part of it was the fact that every evening (and the one weekend we had her) was spent “doing” things. Hmmm, that actually sounds kinda terrible haha. I’m not saying that our family doesn’t ever “do” things… but for the 11 days Akiho was staying with us we were at the movies, swimming, bowling, playing basketball, riding horses, visiting with family and friends, shopping, eating out, touring the countryside, playing card games… it was pretty constant. Our family is more the type to ‘let’s fit one of those in once a month and call it good!’

But don’t get me wrong, I’m not grumbling. It was a lovely experience and Akiho was a lovely girl, a real pleasure to have as part of our family. If anyone has been considering hosting an international student, I’d for sure recommend it – but prepare yourself (on a short host trip) to accept it as being on a vacation yourself for both your schedule and your budget.

The biggest challenge (and some of the most fun) was the language barrier. Akiho was still very much learning English (though she was far better at it than she gave herself credit for), so there were definitely some interesting times of slowing down speech and some completely ridiculous charades before one of us clued in and said “show a picture” – you’d be amazed how much you go through before you think to pull up a photo (even with your phone in hand).

It was also very neat to look at our own surroundings through the eyes of a visitor, thinking up things to do and places to go that we felt would give her good and long lasting memories of her time here in Canada.

I was exhausted by the end of it, got completely off track of my regular schedule and did very little writing… but it was completely worth it!

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2 Comments on “Japanese Student Hosting Experience

  1. Any visitors are a good opportunity to break with routine and appreciate local places, but guests also require more work for the hostess as you have to actually plan meals in advance etc! Hosting a complete stranger from another land is a great experience for all the family, but must require 150% attention to look after them and yet appear totally relaxed…well done.

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