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6 Great Reasons to Host SGS Students for 6 Nights This Summer!

Lance Pimlott, SGS Director of Summer Programs
After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Setagaya Gakuen School (SGS) is planning to once again send students to visit Glenlyon Norfolk School this summer.
Since 1986, SGS students have come to GNS for a summer language program almost every year. Over the last 30 years, GNS has successfully hosted more than 4000 students from SGS. The most valuable and significant aspect of the program has been the homestay experience. 

Hosting a Japanese student can be an enriching and rewarding experience for both the host family and the student. Not only does it give you the opportunity to learn about contemporary Japanese culture, but you also have the chance to make a positive impact on a young person's life. SGS highly values the program and has made it an integral feature of their academic curriculum. Mr. Yamamoto, the current headmaster of SGS, came to GNS as a young student and participated in the program. He found it a  formative experience and would love nothing more than to see the program continue and flourish.

Here are six reasons to host a Japanese student from Setagaya Gakuen School:

Cultural Exchange and Immersion
Hosting a Japanese student provides a unique opportunity for cultural exchange. You will have the chance to learn about Japanese culture, customs and traditions while sharing your own culture and way of life with your guest. This exchange of knowledge and ideas can help build bridges between different cultures and create lasting friendships. 

Personal Growth
Hosting a Japanese student can lead to personal growth for both the host family and the student. Stepping outside your comfort zone and opening your home to a student helps develop new skills and perspectives that can be applied in other areas of your life. Furthermore, new friendships develop that can last a lifetime. Often students stay in touch with the host family after returning to Japan, and family members may even have the opportunity to visit Japan and reconnect with the student.

Enhanced Understanding of Japanese Culture
Hosting a Japanese student can provide a deeper understanding of Japanese culture. You will learn about the nuances of Japanese society and customs, and gain insight into what life is like for young people in Japan. You will have the chance to learn more about Japanese food, music history, politics, pop culture, current events and various cultural activities. This immersion can be a powerful way to gain a deeper appreciation and respect for Japanese culture and can be valuable in broadening your worldview and fostering a sense of empathy and understanding. 

A new view of Canadian Education
Hosting a Japanese student can provide insight into the differences in education systems between Canada and Japan. The student can share their experiences and education system, which can help the host family better understand the challenges and benefits of the Japanese education system.

Impact on a Young Person's Life
Hosting a Japanese student will allow you to provide an opportunity for a young person that will make a positive impact on their life and community. By providing a safe and welcoming environment, you can help your guest feel at home and build their confidence and independence. This experience can be life-changing for the student and can help them develop skills and perspectives that can benefit them for years to come. In years past, GNS students who have been involved in exchanges with SGS or hosting SGS students have made lifelong friendships and career decisions based on that experience. 

In almost every case over 30 years, the hosting experience for both the SGS students and the GNS community has been overwhelmingly positive. The most common response from both is to describe the amount of fun everyone had. So many people have reflected that they did not realize how entertaining some of the mundane daily activities like grocery shopping can be!

A final word………
Whether you are interested in cultural exchange, language practice, personal growth, or simply making a positive impact on a young person's life, hosting a Japanese student can provide a unique and enriching opportunity. By opening your homes and hearts, you can help build bridges between cultures and promote understanding and respect for the diverse world in which we live, work and play. Please visit our website for more information on how to register to become a host family or contact with any questions.

Glenlyon Norfolk School

Junior School (JK to Grade 5)

Middle (Grade 6 to 8) and Senior (Grade 9 to 12) Schools

We wish to acknowledge and respect the Lekwungen-Speaking Peoples on whose traditional territory we stand, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and Wsáneć Peoples whose historical relationships with the land, where we live, work, play and learn, continue to this day.