Hosting a Japanese visitor can be a really rewarding experience
Sharing your home with a Japanese visitor gives you the opportunity to learn about Japan and Japanese people. This can be a dynamic family experience offering opportunities for family discussion, personal growth, shared activities, new friendships, fun and memorable times.
Japanese visitors generally come to improve their English language knowledge and communication skills, and to learn about the Australian way of life. For most this will be their first time here and maybe even their first international experience. By hosting a Japanese visitor you will be helping their dreams come true.
As a host family, your role is to provide the visitor with a bed, meals, and a supportive family environment. You also help educate your guest about Australia by just being yourself. Japanese visitors will learn a lot about Australia from the homestay experience. For them, even just having a meal may be an exotic experience. A financial contribution covers living expenses. Professional bilingual staff support the program throughout the stay with 24 hour assistance to students and host families. Shoji Australia takes responsibility and duty of care for all visiting students.
We have many different types of guests who wish to experience life in an Australian home
Short term student programs
Japanese high school students usually come here to attend a local school with the intention of integrating into normal school life for a short period of time, usually 2-4 weeks. The student usually attends classes with their host brother or sister (or nominated school buddy). High school and older students may also come to attend an English course at a specialised school.
The Oyako program caters for pre-primary and primary school students accompanied and supported by a parent. The child attends a local school while the parent may attend an English school (1-2 weeks) or do some independent sightseeing. Hosting a parent and child can be an interesting experience offering unique insight into Japanese culture and family life.
Long term student programs
Another option for high school aged Japanese students is to commit themselves to a longer stay from 6 months to several years of study and academic achievement. Students may stay part or all of the time with the same host family.
Another type of guest is an adult tourist who wants to experience Australian home life and practise their English. Stays can be anything from a weekend to one or more weeks.
What people say...
"We were very delighted to have Noa and Riona. They are such lovely girls and got along very well with my daughter- Ashlyn. Ashlyn learned to count in Japanese and some simple Japanese words. My son - Millen also got to interact with them and it is very valuable for him to understand kids who are trying to learn another language and find it hard the same way for him learning Japanese. This exchange experience wasn’t solely about the children, but for our whole family learning a new perspective of Japanese culture.
This experience has created so many good memories for the whole family. I am hoping that Millen and Ashlyn will have the opportunity to live abroad and to know a different culture through an exchange program one day."
"We can appreciate that an overseas visit which includes a home-stay with a family of strangers can be a daunting prospect. This is especially true for someone as young as 16, as it’s an experience that will leave an indelible impression on her mind for a very long time.
It was our goal to make that experience a positive one for our guest, Nanae. We knew that some of our normal, everyday activities were completely new to her. (For example; walking the dogs, making pizza and picking mandarins off our tree). The fact that our daughter speaks Japanese must have helped to make Nanae to feel at home.
It was a positive experience for us and we can only hope our guest enjoyed it as much as we did."
- Bill & Amy
"Where do we start! We all had so much excitement on the arrival day of our exchange student, my children and I virtually ran into the school auditorium to meet her.
The journey home seemed long, with little language understanding between us all. The nerves kicked in.
I caught glimpses of our student smiling as we drove home as we passed sights that were obviously new to her.
The first day came and went. She ate all of her tea, she seemed excited at picking her packed lunch and breakfast seemed a novelty. Most afternoons when we got home from school we would just be a normal family.
The children would play games, or watch a movie. We would walk to the beach and eat ice cream. We just made memories.
On the one weekend that we had, we visited iconic Perth places, took pictures, had fun made more memories and our student took the opportunity to buy gifts for her family.
The final day is one we will never forget. It hit us all hard. Our host student became one of our children. It's amazing, how even with a language barrier (google translate became our great friend) and cultural differences, love and respect can grow between people.
We have had contacted with our student every day since she left. We will forever have a place in our heart for her and in our home.
This is the second time we have hosted and they have both been great experiences My young daughters love having an "older sister" for a week or two and they learn origami and some Japanese words. It's great to learn about different cultures and ways of life. The photos are of when we took Moe to girl guides with my daughters Violet and Ivy and their friend Ashleigh for a games night...fun times!"
"We had a wonderful time with our Japanese student. It was a great time of growth for our children learning to interact with someone from a different culture, learning to think and speak slowly to keep the student involved in our dinner time conversations and a great time to learn about how life is different for other people around the world...family, school, sport, good, transport, relationships...everything!! Thanks for the opportunity!!"
"This is our 2nd homestay and hopefully not our last! We love having the students stay with us and watching the interaction with the student and our children. We all learnt some origami that Natsune patiently taught us and laughed at our efforts which were not a patch on her masterpieces!
Everyday was filled with something different. We had so much fun taking Nat to the shops and explaining 'good price' or 'not good price' with the different sweets, chocolates, chips etc. Spotting kangaroos on the drive to and from school each day became a game and provided hundreds of photo opportunities.
Nat became part of our family whilst in our home and happily joined in with everything from washing up to Snapchat photos. We crammed in as much as we could in the time available and Nat was so thankful. She left us all a lovely note each and we had tears when saying goodbye. We have kept in touch since she left and will continue to do so."
"Our homestay experience is a memory we will never forget. We all had so much fun interacting with our Japanese students- Mori & Moeka. I learnt how to speak in Japanese, using basic introductions, greetings and familiar sayings like –This is my Friend- “Kore wa watashi no tomodachi desu”.
It was an eye opener when they were not familiar with music icons like Chris Brown, Michael Jackson & Mariah Carey. I wondered, what planet were they living on? Jokingly of course. In some ways this was a refreshing change for me living in a very Western society. They were into watching Disney channel, which I actually found myself enjoying. When we visited the Shopping Malls, they would be more interested in buying stationary, accessories and gifts for family, unlike myself who would have been into clothes and make-up.
Both girls were very disciplined when it came to getting ready for school. I say this as every night after dinner we would enjoy a movie, which meant eating lots of junk food. On that note, I will say that they loved to eat cheesy pizza and their favourite drink was Sprite, which surprised me. My Dad did cook up a New Zealand favourite (Boil-up), they didn’t turn their nose up at it as I thought they might, this probably being because they always showed respect and manners.
I loved having them and developed a life time friendship. I hope to visit Japan in 2019 for the Rugby World-Cup and I definitely hope I can catch up with them whilst being there. We have also invited them back to Perth next Christmas if they’re allowed to come stay.
Thank you, Shoji Australia for this amazing opportunity."
"We LOVED our homestay experience because we LOVED our Japanese student Chika! It was so nice to have a "sister" at home and at school. Chika joined my after-school singing clubs and really enjoyed them. One day we had a special theatre sports day, which was a lot of fun. My friend Hollie also had a homestay guest - Chika's friend Kokoro! One day we all went shopping, played laser tag, watched kangaroos and then went to Hollie's where we ate pizza and stayed the night.
Chika met lots of my family: my father and brother, my grandmother and of course our dog and three cats. My aunt and uncle took us to an Indian restaurant for dinner and it was delicious. Chika made friends at my school and at my after-school clubs. She is very friendly. We Skype each other every two weeks, and sometimes Hollie and Kokoro join in too. We mostly speak English but I like to practise my Japanese too.
While Chika was here I taught her how to play the guitar. She learned so quickly! Now she has her own guitar and we play together over Skype.
I'll visit her in Osaka some day."
"We had yet another wonderful experience with our two ladies this year, we all thoroughly enjoyed sharing our home again this year and pleased to offer again in future. It’s a wonderful experience for all members or our family.
How you can start
Currently hosting is only available in Perth and surrounding areas. Please complete the Homestay Application Form 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.
More information is found on the FAQ page or please contact us if you have any further questions.