We have always loved the idea of having a student from abroad live with us as we felt it would be a great experience for our girls to learn lots about someone from a completely different culture. We visited Japan as a family so a student from Japan was a perfect fit.

We have loved having Marina with us, we have learnt so much about her life and her country and we can wait to be able to visit her in Japan. We’ve formed a new ‘family’ bond and this relationship is the best part of hosting a student. I’m certain Marina will always be a part of our lives.

Lucky for us the challenges have been very few – to be honest it was much easier than we expected. The biggest challenge awaits us – Marina’s departure – we still have ten weeks but everyone is getting anxious about saying goodbye – it’s going to be heartbreaking.

Hosting adds a new dimension to your life, you see things with a new perspective, you learn more about yourself and the world around you than you ever expected.

Advice for new families? Just do it. Jump in. Be warm and open and ready to see the world in a new light. It’s such a great experience for families that want their children to learn more about the world, be open to other ideas and cultures. You end up learning a lot about your own culture and country too.


Smith family from Australia, hosted a student from Japan