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Japanese homestay

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Japanese homestay

Postby Puppeteer » Tue 03.14.2006 9:06 pm

Hi everybody :)
This is the first time I write in this forum although I've been leeching the site for quite a while being a Japan lover myself :)
In 15 days I'll be moving to Japan for 3 months in order to learn the japanese language, rookie level. This is the first time I've ever left Italy (I'm italian and I'm 23 year old, yoroshiku :)) and I gotta say that I'm really excited about this opportunity that has been given to me but at the same time really scared of how it could turn out... I'm going in the homestay program and ...well, I don't really know how to behave or what to do, I don't even know if it would be better to try greeting them in japanese (knowing only small bits of phrases I've learned so far) at the Narita Airport when the family will come to pick me up or if it's best to use english. This is, of course, a banal question but way more serious problems will surely arise like finding directions the first days to reach the metro/train station and the school itself or to communicate with the family during the time.

Please help me out sharing some experiences you might have had. I'm super excited as I said, but I'm also starting to panic at the upcoming event :D
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RE: Japanese homestay

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 03.14.2006 11:39 pm

Giving gifts is an important tradition in Japan. Be sure to bring something nice from your home country to give to your host family.

As for what language to use, use whatever you can. If your host family speaks english, and you can't get your point across in Japanese, then go for it. If they speak Italian, even better. ;)

If you want some simple greatings for airport, the following should work great.
hajimemashite - good to meet you
XX to moushimasu. -- I am XX
yoroshiku onegai shimasu. -- please treat me favorably.

When you give the present, you can say
tsumaranai mono desuga -- This is a trite gift, but...

Good luck! I'm sure you'll do great!
Last edited by Harisenbon on Wed 03.15.2006 4:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Japanese homestay

Postby longwood » Wed 03.15.2006 4:11 am

hopefully the school that you will be studying with will help you out as far as what to say and how you should act. right now i am doing a homestay study abroad program and it is one of the best experiences i have had. some other important phrases that will come in handy:

when you enter the house:
ojyamashimasu - i'm sorry for distrubing/interupting you

before you eat:
itadakimasu

after you are done eatting:
gochisousamadeshita

also if you are going to be sharing a bathroom with them (which is most likely) you should learn the way of taking a japanese bath. on some of the websites that i have read i think they have made a mistake about taking a bath, so here is my version:

1. Take off your clothes in the changing room.
2. Put clothes in the shelf or basket.
3. Enter the bathroom with a small towel and your amenities.
4. Rinse off the plastic "bucket" with the shower head
5. Take a seat on the plastic "bucket"
6. Clean yourself with soap and shampoo, try to get every single part of your body (use the small towel to get your back and any other spots *cgh*)
7. After, rinse your body off (make sure you rinse off all the soap)
8. Enter the bathtub (where you can soak and relax)
9. After finishing in the tub, rinse yourself off with the shower head
10. Exit the bathroom and dry off in the changing room.
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RE: Japanese homestay

Postby keatonatron » Wed 03.15.2006 4:37 am

And make sure you start with "Hajimemashite" and not "Hajimemashita" (Harisen's typo) . You wanna be sure and say "Nice to meet you!" instead of "*sigh* Too late to back out now...." :D
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RE: Japanese homestay

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 03.15.2006 4:50 am

EEP! 直してくれてありがとう! :o
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RE: Japanese homestay

Postby keatonatron » Wed 03.15.2006 6:14 am

...huh? :|
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RE: Japanese homestay

Postby Puppeteer » Wed 03.15.2006 7:38 am

Thanks for all your kind answers :D
I have one more question though, if I may...
I was wondering what's the typical japanese custom reguarding hospitality. Will I be required to wash my clothes all by myself in a laundromat, or is that something the family will do for me? I don't quite know that since over here in Italy a family wouldn't ever ask somebody to do that by him/herself ;)
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RE: Japanese homestay

Postby keatonatron » Wed 03.15.2006 8:04 am

Well, generally the idea of a "host family" is that it's a normal family that isn't your own. They're usually expected to treat you just like another family member, so if everyone else does their own laundry in the family laundry room, then you will too; if the mother of the house does everyone's laundry, she'll probably expect to do yours as well.

My friend's host mom makes a boxed lunch for him every day to take to school, instead of making him buy his own lunch.
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RE: Japanese homestay

Postby Puppeteer » Wed 03.15.2006 9:19 am

I hope to find the same warm family then :p
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RE: Japanese homestay

Postby I-samu » Thu 03.16.2006 10:21 pm

Italy is Very popular in Japan, you'd be welcomed.
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