Home-stay in Japan
What is the reason why the best housing situation for overseas students hasn’t become popular yet?
There are many Japanese people who use the home-stay system when they study abroad. The home-stay is the system where you can experience a different lifestyle as a member of the family by living with an actual Japanese family and it also makes it much easier for you to learn the language. I would say that there aren’t any other living environments which are as good as a home-stay. It also made my life in the US and the UK very meaningful when I was a student.
By the way, how many overseas students in Japan use this system? I have only heard of students using the exchange program where they literally swap their houses in different countries or some students living in home-stay because they already know the people, but nothing else. There is a system at Universities and municipality which introduces home-stay to overseas students but most of these don’t seem to function so well. I asked Chinese and Korean students if they knew anyone who was in home-stay but they said they knew many people in home-stay only in America or Europe but not in Japan.
About three years ago, we took a questionnaire about the living situation in Japan from thirty overseas students at Japanese language school and we asked about the home-stay (total of 23: Korean 13: Chinese 10). Ten answered yes, seven answered no and six cannot decide to the question of “would you prefer to be in a home-stay?” There was one student who answered yes to the question of “do you have an objection to be in a home-stay?” From this questionnaire, we found out that many of them would like to be in Japanese home-stay, especially Korean students.
The reason for this result was so that they can experience a true Japanese lifestyle and it also makes it easier for them to learn Japanese naturally. Other than that, their current living situation had influenced these answers. Thirteen of these students were living by themselves and the other seventeen said they were living with their friends. Many of them were not very satisfied with their current housing situation and there were two issues raised by them. Those who were living by themselves said the rent was too expensive for them and the others who lived with their friends said that they can’t keep their privacy.
About twenty or thirty years ago there used to be few lodging houses where students lived most of the time but they had had gone with the times. These apartments are where people, who were born in the post-war baby boom, lived when they were students. How about their generation let their extra bedrooms to these overseas students as a Japanese home-stay this time around?
President of Ichii Corporation
Japan Property Management Association
Executive President of International Exchange Organisation