Do we need much room?
You generally need to have a spare room for a Japanese guest, as it is important for them to have some privacy. They will be happy to share all other amenities and be treated like a member of your family.
For short term group programs hosted through a school you do not need to have a spare room. A female can share a room with a female, and a male can share with a male. It’s up to you. All you need is a temporary spare bed for the student (even a mattress on the floor).
What about food?
Host families are expected to provide either two or three meals per day (a packed lunch for students attending school) depending on the program. Families are informed of any particular likes, dislikes or allergies but generally family meals should be as usual. Japanese students are here to learn about Australian life and food is a part of that.
Will they be able to speak English?
The Japanese guests may not be able to speak much English, although they will understand more. It's not a big concern though. Ability in Japanese language is not necessary and all the visitors will have some way of translating. About 70% of communication can be non-verbal; gestures and facial expressions can convey a lot. Hosting helps develop cross-cultural communication skills for all participants.
What if they get sick or there are other issues?
If there are any concerns, Shoji Australia is available for assistance to the Japanese visitors and the host families (24 hours a day for emergencies). Advice and translation can be given over the phone, medical assistance arranged, and home visits can be made depending on the circumstances. Groups of students usually travel from Japan with a chaperone so they can be contacted if the student would feel more comfortable talking with someone they know.
What kind of financial support do we receive?
The payment for expenses is dependent on the age of the guest and length of stay. The rates are also different if hosting more than one guest at a time. The payment amount is advised in advance and payment is deposited into a nominated account on the day of arrival.
In school based (Hosting Group Visits) programs, the schools as well as the host families receive a donation. Hosting can be a beneficial fundraising activity for schools.
How you can start
Please complete the Online Host Family Application available on this website.
Once we receive your form we will have your details on our database. We will contact you when there is a suitable hosting opportunity and see if you are available. Details of the visit will then be discussed and information will be forwarded.