Coast families are urgently needed to host students from Japan’s Kyoritsu High School who will be visiting Gibsons from July 27 to Aug. 11.
Japanese exchange students hope several families will open their homes to a cultural sharing experience for 16- and 17-year-old students visiting Elphinstone Secondary School as part of the Muskoka Language International Homestay program.
The program has been bringing Japanese students to Gibsons and other Canadian communities as a cultural and language experience for years. It is a great way to share Canadian and Japanese culture.
“The host families are like Canadian ambassadors, showing the students the Canadian way of life,” said Jennefer LeBarge, MLI Homestay co-ordinator for the Sunshine Coast.
An honorarium of $30 per student per day is paid to the host family; however, LeBarge hopes that potential hosts look at it more as an opportunity to meet and share friendships, which last far beyond the end of the visit.
“It can be a real bonding experience. The students just enjoy being in a Canadian family and experiencing how we live. It is all about getting the feeling of our culture. They go away from it with a better understanding of Canadian life,” she said. “It is a great way to share Canadian culture, our open hearts and our generosity.”
Anyone interested in hosting students can contact LeBarge via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-886-7891.