GenkiJACS Homestay Information
The opportunity to stay with a Japanese host family is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the culture, and practice at "home" what you learned at school that day.
When arranging a host family for you, we try to take into account any needs
or preferences you may have, such as smoker or non-smoker, allergies, English
ability, and so on. Your host family can act as guides and mentors, friends
and companions, and a wonderful resource in your adventure in Japan. They
are likely to be the people you become closest to during your stay, which
is why we perform a thorough screening of all host family applicants, to
ensure that they can provide a suitable environment to assist your learning
and to allow you to fully experience Japan.
Of course, you must abide by certain rules of conduct when staying with a host family. We have collected some of the most common rules together as the Homestay Rules.
Note that in summer and other busy periods, you may be asked to stay in a homestay at the same time as other students. You will still have a private room, and we do our best to make sure that the other student does not speak the same native language as you.
See photos of our host families in our photo gallery here.
You are guaranteed to have your
own private room, which may be either Japanese or Western style. All rooms have a desk and chair, bed/futon, and air-conditioning or heater.
- The kitchen, living area and bathroom/toilet facilities are shared with the host family.
- Most but not all Japanese homes have Internet access, so you may be able to use their computer to access the Internet. However, not so many homes have wireless Internet.
- Some host families may prepare a bicycle for you to use.
Host families are chosen to be as close to the school, and the center of Fukuoka City, as possible. All host families are within one hour traveling time of the school by public transport.
When your accommodation is decided, we send you a detailed introduction to your host family, including contact information, directions from the airport or train station to the host family and from the host family to school, maps, and photos where possible.
Breakfast is included in the accommodation cost. Generally you will be expected to eat the same food as your host family. A traditional Japanese breakfast often includes rice, fish and miso soup. You can request your host family to prepare toast, cereal or other foods for you.
Breakfast is included at all homestays. If you want to have dinner with the family every night too, you can book the halfboard option. It is sometimes possible to book dinner only on certain days, but please note that some families are not able to provide dinners for students, so if you think you might want to have dinner on some days, please mention this in your application form so that we can place you with a family where this is possible.Please note that it may be very difficult for host families to meet any special dietary requirements you might have, such as vegetarianism or food allergies, as these are less common in Japan. In paticular, vegetarianism is not well understood, and many common sauces and flavorings contain traces of meat or fish extract. It is usually recommended for strict vegetarians to cook their own food where possible.
click here to convert prices to your currency:
|Homestay family placement fee (one-time)||Fukuoka: ￥9,500.00
|Per week (breakfast included)||
|Per week (breakfast and dinner included)||
To make sure that some students don't pay more than others, we may refund part of the homestay fee to you at school if your travel cost is over a certain limit.
Homestay Questions and Answers
Q. Can I specify conditions for my host family?
A. Yes. We will try to accommodate any requests you have regarding your host family. However, please bear in mind that while we will do our best, it may not be possible to find a family exactly as you requested.
Q. Can I eat dinner with my home family, in addition to breakfast?
A. If you would like to have dinner with your home family,
we can arrange for this. Generally, you will have to pay a little more,
though the exact cost varies between host families. In addition, you can
usually specify how many nights a week you would like to have dinner at
home. In many cases, students find that they are often not home at dinner
time, being too busy sightseeing, going out with friends, and otherwise
enjoying their time in Fukuoka.
Some families are not able to provide dinner for students.
Homestay Sharemate Testimonials
Sharemate Testimonial 1
I found the ad promoting that Genki JACS was looking for host families in a magazine corner in 2005. Since I had some personal experience with homestaying in America in my student days, I’ve always thought that if I ever had a family, I would try to offer homestay to exchange students. So, thinking “this is it!”, I immediately enquired about it.
At the time, our household was a normal salaryman family with two children, 5 and 2 years old respectively. Since we live in a small apartment, we tried to empty out one room for the homestay, and were able to host a male student from America for the first time in July.
As for the first several students, obviously there were things that took some getting used to, so while we did enjoy it, there were times when it was tiring and when we were a bit unsure. However, whenever that happened, we were able to ask advice from the school, which was always given warmly and without hesitation.
As of this year, in the 5 years we have been hosting GenkiJACS students at our house, we have received a total of 26 students, ranging from 14 years old to 65 years old, from countries such as Canada, America, Finland, Sweden, England, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, Austria and the Republic of South Africa.
Obviously, it’s not to say that everything went smoothly right from the start with all the students. I think there were both matches and mismatches.
There were instances when there were time- or personality-related concerns with some superficial students. At times we had to worry about underaged students returning home past their curfew, or sadly, that it became necessary to request payment for evening meals.
So, after receiving the first few students, we created a set of “family rules” specific to our family. These rules are given out on the first day of the homestay so that our family life is disrupted as little as possible, and also to avoid unnecessary concerns on behalf of both parties.
After explaining these rules precisely, we usually have a modest “welcome party”. We generally have temaki-zushi.
One thing both the students and ourselves enjoy a lot is going to onsen. Apart from there, if there are any specific places the students are interested in or would like to go, we try to accompany them, or at least find out the best ways to get there and tell them.
Since students are interested in so many different aspects of culture, such as J-POP, anime, gymnastics, dance, magic, piano, mountain climbing etc, there have been many times where we have been the ones to learn about those things instead.
Even if we don’t go anywhere special, we still enjoy eating dinner at home while discussing various topics, playing cards and games, and doing cultural exchange through everyday life.
Our children have no qualms with foreigners and are able to communicate in standard Japanese using simple language and a few easy English words they’ve picked up.
My husband frequently works the night shift, but we’ve experienced no problems with that so far, and we also haven’t had anything break or go missing from our house.
About the cost of water and lights, we receive a certain fee in exchange for offering homestay, so for the most part there is no need for students to limit their usage. Whenever I have to work, I also leave bread, cereal, etc out, which students are welcome to eat freely. My English level is that of middle school, so we often level-up our knowledge of language not frequently used in daily home chores or child-raising by using gestures, written language and electronic dictionaries to communicate.
There are a lot of things I would never have known about if we didn’t offer homestay. As a family, the time spent teaching learning about various countries, occupations, politics, and economics is really precious to us. I secretly write all the Japanese we teach students, and all the English they teach us, into a compiled notebook, and also on the last day of their stay, it is our custom to give students some presents, which are always highly appreciated by them. We often receive mail, postcards and presents from students who have stayed with us.
Also, we have been honoured to have some students come and stay with us again in a private capacity after their homestay, as well as on business trips.
My husband has also had the opportunity to go and homestay in America in exchange. It feels like we have family all over the world. In the near future, it’s possible our children may also be assisted by students who have stayed with us.
We are honoured that students chose to stay with us in Fukuoka, though there are so many different fascinating places in the world. Even if the significance is small, we hope we can help that the several weeks they spend here become a valuable personal experience in each of their lives, and that they will always have fond memories of their time here.
Sharemate Testimonial 2
2 years have passed by quickly since I became a sharemate, and until now 7 students have come to stay with me.
Since I’m always busy at work and my apartment is quite small, it couldn’t be a very pleasant experience for students to stay there, so I have always been very anxious about accepting new flat-mates. However, since all the students who have come to stay there have been pleasant people, we were able to have a great time together.
In order to prompt communication, I try as much as possible to accompany students on various trips.
Naturally we also try our hand at Japanese home cooking (though, since I don’t regularly cook for myself I’ll often take students along when I eat out(^▽^;)
At Hakozakiguu there is a food stall called “Hanayama” which has the most delicious food, so we’ll definitely go there!
I manage bus-hike tours as part of my job, so whenever we have openings there, students are welcome to join in.
■ALEXA → Kumamoto castle ・ Hirayama onsen
■EMILIE → Kujukushima ・ Hirado
■ARNO → Bungotakada ・ Showanomachi ・ mikan-gari (mikan picking)
I’ve also accompanied students to the samurai residence at Choufu, Tsunoshima Oohashi, and the nearby Uminonakamachi in a personal capacity.
After all, Japanese students would prefer going to more traditionally Japanese places, wouldn’t they?
Since there are both people who are strongly opposed to the idea of onsen and people who don’t mind it that much, I try to take those who aren’t opposed to it with me when I go to onsen.
Though it’s not a big problem, the area I’ve been experiencing the most trouble in is the usage of the Japanese-style bath. The gas controls are a bit complicated, and everyone has trouble remembering how to use it.
But then I think there will always be both hardships and good times in situations like this, so since this is a “once-in-lifetime opportunity”, it would be great if everyone made the best of it.