To Homestay or to Stay Home: The Canadian-Japanese Experience

  • Erin Crealock
  • Tracey M. Derwing
  • Martha Gibson


The experiences of 19 Japanese high school students in a homestay program are described. They were interviewed three times during their academic year in Canada; 13 of the students were interviewed again in Japan four months later. Although students made gains in English proficiency, several expressed dissatisfaction with the organization of the homestays. They were distressed by the lack of information provided prior to departure and the inaccurate representation of their homestay environments. Students complained about lack of access to counselling promised. Despite significant agency fees, no tuition was paid to schools, no stipend was paid to homestay families, and the students felt that little program money was spent monitoring their progress. Although the problems associated with this particular program may be isolated, there should be no tolerance for homestays that do not safeguard the students' interests. The authors make suggestions for stricter regulations regarding agencies offering homestay experiences.
How to Cite
Crealock, E., Derwing, T., & Gibson, M. (1999). To Homestay or to Stay Home: The Canadian-Japanese Experience. TESL Canada Journal, 16(2), 53-61.