Japanese Homestay and Academic Program
Every winter (July-August in New Zealand) a group of Japanese high school students fly across the Pacific Ocean to share daily life with a Kiwi family for 3 weeks of friendship and discovery. Visit this site: letshomestay.com for detailed information about Labo’s Homestay in New Zealand.
Host families welcome their Japanese visitor as a family member — not as a tourist or guest. In this way, both sides can truly learn to understand one another. Japanese delegates will also have a chance to attend school in Tauranga to experience school life!
- Why Homestay?
- Homestay is the best way of gaining mutual understanding and making friendships. On a sightseeing trip, you only make superficial contact with a country’s culture. But by sharing daily life with a family and creating new friendships, you can engage with a country’s culture on a deeper level.
- Labo’s Exchange Program with New Zealand began in 2002 with the cooperation of Let’s Homestay (Homestay arranging organization) and schools in Tauranga ( Tauranga Intermediate School, Tauranga Girls’ College and Tauranga Boys’ College). Since then, we have been operating this exchange program successfully, every year gaining more schools ( Otumoetai Intermediate School and Otumoetai College), supporters and participants!
- Students are placed in a family with a child of the same gender and similar age.
- Host families are not expected to plan special trips or activities for their exchangees. Students are eager to share daily life with you and are encouraged to try all new experiences.
- Labo members take part in 8 months of orientation activities prior to leaving Japan.
Preparation Process of Japanese Delegates
- Nov.-Dec.: Orientation for the participants and their parents
- Dec.-Jan.: Labo Winter Camp
- March: Labo Exchange Inauguration Ceremony
- June: Monthly District Meetings , Weekend camps for all participants
- July: Send-off party, Overnight hotel stay, Final Orientation
- • The arrival program is held on the first day of arrival.
• Students will stay at a hotel for the night in Auckland for homestay orientation. This will also give them a chance to recover from their long flight and to become accustomed to local time, weather, food and so on.
- Meeting the Host Families
- • After a long bus ride from Auckland, once the group arrives in Tauranga, they are welcomed by Tauranga Intermediate School and other supporters.
• They meet their host families at the end of school.
- During Homestay
- • The students will attend schools during the weekdays.
• The weekends are free days for the students and host families.
- The Labo delegates will gather for a night prior to their return to Japan. They will then reflect upon their experiences and prepare to head back home!
- If you’re interested in hosting a Japanese student,
- please contact Let’s Home Stay
Comments from Japanese Participants
“I found many differences between New Zealand schools and Japanese schools. Every time I noticed such difference, I taught my Kiwi friends and they seemed to enjoy that! I was also surprised to meet some Kiwi friends speaking little Japanese and many greeted me in Japanese!” (K.K)
“School was a lot more free than the Japanese school. I really enjoyed ESL and other classes. The students were always cheerful and they befriended me as if we were friends for a long time.”
“I also loved my family a lot! They were the most wonderful family ever!!” (M.Y.)
“I enjoyed taking Japanese class with my host sister. I was surprised to see international students also took this class to learn Japanese! My host sister tried speaking with me with the Japanese words she learnt in the class which not only made me really happy that she was giving her best shot but was making effort to talk to me a lot more. One thing I regret, though. We often spoke in Japanese in ESL class among Japanese friends, but now I feel that I should’ve tried to talk more in English to achieve more while I was at it.” (A.N.)