Homestay Program

"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 host family will be a cultural anchor for you, grounding what you learn both in class and in your own adventures in the context of daily life in Japan. 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.

Prior to your arrival in Kyoto, AKP staff take painstaking care to match you with a family that can best support your needs and lifestyle, factoring in everything from diet to hobbies. Over the years, AKP has built up a large pool of generous, experienced host families, with new families joining the program every year.

It’s important to remember that host families come in all shapes and sizes. Some have children or pets; some are retired and living on their own. Some live in very traditional Japanese homes, while others are in Western housing. But all of them are dedicated to supporting your journey in Kyoto.

Though you might be concerned about the challenges involved with figuring out a new living arrangement, especially in Japanese, you’ll have the support of AKP’s Resident Director, AKP’s full-time Homestay Coordinator, and the language faculty. If you have a problem or even just want to learn how to tell your host family that you will be late for dinner, don’t hesitate to ask!

If living as part of a Japanese family sounds like part of your ideal experience abroad, don’t wait. Apply now to AKP.

Features of AKP's Homestay Program

  • Family Meals

    Each day your host family will provide you with a home-cooked breakfast and dinner. These family meals are an opportunity to practice your language skills and build lasting relationships. Every year, students rave about the dishes and the stories shared across the breakfast and dinner table.

  • Single Rooms

    Worried about privacy? At your homestay, you'll be guaranteed a private room to yourself.

  • Transportation

    AKP's host families are spread all across Kyoto and the surrounding areas, and commutes can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. But regardless of length, AKP will cover the cost of your daily commute from your homestay to the AKP Center at Doshisha.