“I learned that language isn’t just something I learn from a textbook. It’s something people use to make friends, to get married, to fall in love, to fight with each other. It’s something that’s supposed to come from your heart. But once I stopped worrying about grammar points and using complicated vocab, and started focusing instead on making my host mom laugh… our relationship became real.”
-Elizabeth Lee, Whitman College, AKP 2011-12
The homestay experience is fully integrated into the AKP program. Your homestay family will be a cultural anchor for you, grounding what you learn both in class and in your own adventures in the context of a daily Japanese life. They’ll offer you countless chances to communicate, explore, and experience Japan as a member of a Japanese family, and will connect you with your community as well as provide opportunities for cultural learning and discovery.
Every year, students rave about the dishes and the stories shared across the breakfast and dinner table. Your host family will provide you with a home-cooked breakfast and dinner each day. Family meals are an opportunity to practice your language skills and build lasting relationships. The AKP also provides a daily lunch subsidy (7 day/week).
Over the years, the AKP has built up a large pool of generous, experienced homestay families, with new families joining the program every year. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and are located across the greater Kyoto area. Don’t fret about commuting costs, though: the AKP will cover the cost of your daily commute from your homestay to the AKP Center at Doshisha.
And though you might be concerned about the challenges involved with figuring out a new living arrangement, especially in Japanese, don’t be. You can always consult with the Resident Director, AKP’s full-time Homestay Coordinator, and the language faculty about any concerns–or just to learn new ways to tell your homestay family that you will be late for dinner!
If living as part of a Japanese family sounds like part of your ideal Kyoto experience, don’t wait. Apply now to AKP.