HOMESTAY PROGRAMThe homestay program is strongly recommended for stu-dents who are motivated to accept the challenge of becoming a part of a Japanese family. It is a real life learning opportu-nity for both international students and local families.Host families are carefully chosen by the Center for Inter-national Education. One of the criteria for choosing host families is their proximity to Kansai Gaidai. However, a rea-sonable commuting time may mean something different from your own perspective. It is common in Japan for people to commute to school or work for over one hour, which is not very hard because of the well-developed public transporta-tion system. Our students commute on foot, by bicycle, trains, buses, or a combination of these, thereby learning about another aspect of typical Japanese life.To be successful in the program often requires adjusting to household rules (e.g. curfews, chores). Students may feel a certain amount of frustration at being treated as something other than an adult, or they may think that the family is meddling in their lives a little too much. However, students may begin to enjoy the experience as they get acquainted with the Japanese characteristic of “overcare.” We know, from our long-term experience, that the “trade-off” is well worthwhile and feel the time spent with the family will become a priceless memory. Thus we would like partici-pants in this program to realize that the unique opportunity of staying with a family is a “privilege.” Since homestay participation requires interaction with family members and observing daily schedules, students should not engage in any activities which may become a source of friction. In addition, it may be very difficult to accommodate those with strong food limitations. We feel that stronger commitment to the homestay program will result in a more congenial homestay situation, and conse-quently, insure a deeper understanding of Japanese life.41

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