the June 26 article “Retirees start hosting home stays“: I would like to offer my experience as an American student currently studying in Tokyo at Sophia University. My host family fits the description of a “nuclear family of the working generation.” But contrary to Succeo Co. director Chitose Takeshima’s comment that this reduces “the meaning of a home stay,” I believe my experience is enriched.

True, both of my host parents, 34 and 32, work during the day while their two daughters, 7 and 5, are at school. However, I am also away from home until about 8 p.m. each day due to my classes and club activities. At the end of each day, we share a relaxing meal together while swapping stories about our busy days. I find this to be a very relaxing and valuable part of my day, as our discussions range from embarrassing moments of the day to current events.

As my two host sisters are still in elementary school, I am able to experience and share many important school events with them, such as Field Day and Family Visitation Day. My family also takes full advantage of weekends and holidays, as we have traveled all over — from Mitsui Outlet Park in Makuhari to the Daibutsu in Kamakura.

As for popular culture, not only are they extremely knowledgeable concerning Japanese history and customs, as well as traditional arts and crafts, they also are very progressive thinkers and experts in current popular culture — from the hot television dramas to the best bars in Shibuya. In this way, I truly have the best of both worlds.

aurora sekine