Opportunity for area families to host Japanese university students
“Hosting the students is the highpoint of our summer,” says Kevin Rydberg. “Our kids enjoy it and it truly is a great experience for the students and the families.”
For Rydberg’s family, this is the third time they have hosted students from Tamagawa University and they plan to continue hosting again this August. For over 30 years, students from the university in Japan have traveled to Dakota State University for a two week period to study conversational English and learn more about South Dakota culture and history.
For the Japanese students, a significant attraction to this program is the home-stay in Madison which has also become a highlight for Madison families as well. American families come in all shapes and sizes, so host families are not required to have children or be a married couple. The home-stay helps students better understand the English language and American and South Dakotan cultures by immersing them in day-to-day life. Families also learn more about the Japanese culture from hosting the students. Students spend evenings and weekends with the families which give them time to not only learn about South Dakota culture but help families experience the Japanese culture too. In addition, the Tamagawa students prepare a program for “Japan Night” where host-families, instructors and interested local residents can experience even more Japanese culture. This year’s “Japan Night” will be Friday, August 17th at 6 pm.
The Rydberg’s took this amazing opportunity to open their home and grow their family. Their friendship with the students did not end when the students returned to Japan either. They hosted four students over the past few years and still communicate with all of them. A testament to how both students and families are impacted positively by the experience.
If you would like to be a host-family this August, there are still spots available! The program runs from August 3rd through the 18th and the students will spend evenings and two weekends with the host families. Students must have their own bed, breakfast and dinner provided, and laundry. Families will receive monetary compensation for hosting the student before the student arrives. If you are interested in participating in this fun experience, please contact the DSU International Programs Office at 605-256-5267 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org