Homestay is looking for local families to host 16 Japanese high school students from the all-girls Tokyo Aikoku school July 22 to Aug. 10.
The 17- and 18-year-olds come from a class of home economics students and future cooks who have studied at least two years of English and who are coming to Orange County to practice their English firsthand and to become immersed in the American lifestyle.
The homestay opens with a bonfire at the beach and ends with a traditional Japanese style party with games and prizes. The girls will be busy during the week going to classes in San Juan Capistrano (car pools will be arranged), and they will go on planned excursions, to destinations including Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, that the host family is invited to attend at group discount prices. Evenings and weekends are for quality time between the host family and their guest.
This is a great cultural experience for students and host families alike. Last year two Laguna Beach families hosted students from the school. Laguna Beach native Ron Ellis and his family have already signed on to host a student this summer, since they had such a positive experience last summer. “We enjoyed having Mai as part of the family so much, and now we have the memories to treasure forever,” said Rhonda Ellis.
For information about hosting a student, contact program coordinator Pat Drewes at MrsDrewes@gmail.com (put “Japanese Student” in the subject line) or 949-412-4112. Homestay also has a scholarship opportunity available for Homestay family students who are 15 to 18 years old to apply to go to France, Spain, Japan or China, air included.
Families Needed for Spanish Students
The Language Connection, managed by longtime Laguna Beach resident Arturo Valdivia, is seeking several Laguna Beach families to each host a high school-age student from Spain this summer from July 1 to Aug. 1. The Language Connection is an academic language-learning program, and the students will attend classes at Laguna Beach High School four mornings a week during their stay.
The host family’s only requirements are to provide their student with meals, a bed or sleeping area, and, possibly, some transportation. Hosts receive a stipend to cover basic costs.
A reciprocal exchange to Madrid for a host family’s own high school-age student is possible for the summer of 2012. However hosts do not need to have children in their household in order to participate. And the program is flexible; weekend or brief host-family vacation trips that include the host student can be arranged.
For more information about hosting a Spanish student, contact Arturo Valdivia at 949-246-0808.