3 Jap students experience family lifestyle in Aug
It is always interesting and informative to visit countries outside your own country to enjoy their sights and sounds as well as their heritage places, and also, if opportunity prevails, to stay in their peoples’ homes to learn about their local cultural and religious practices.
Such an opportunity came to three Japanese girls recently (in August 2017) from two different student exchange programs. My wife, Khairon Mastan, and I received them to our home for the homestay stint.
Our daughter and son, both married, have a child each. Our son has his own home while our daughter, with her husband and son, is away in Sydney studying for her PhD. So, we have a spare room in our HDB flat for guests.
Ms Yuri Abe and Ms Minami Matsuda stayed with us for three days and two nights while Ms Yui Igarashi stayed for day and a night.
YURI AND MINAMI
Yuri and Minami, together with two other girls and two boys, all 19 years of age, from the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, were on a month’s educational exchange programme in Singapore. The homestay stint was part of the programme. The other four students stayed with two other families.
At our home, the girls learned about our Muslim lifestyle, sometimes they even wanted to try eating with their fingers as my wife, Khairon Mastan, and I did. They also watched us doing our daily prayers.
Our guests ate food cooked by my wife for all meals, and went for neighbourhood walks with me, and even sent and fetched my 3-year-old granddaughter who is in Nursery 1. I also took them to the “Our Tampines Hub” and the Marina bay area.
Yuri and Minami were lucky to get the opportunity to attend a Muslim wedding and wear Malay dress.
Some of the photos taken of our guests are shown in the following slides:
Mr Imhar Said, International Affairs Director, SSEAYP International Singapore (SIS), said: “The homestay programme for the students from the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, administered by SIS, was held this year for the fourth time in Singapore since its inception.”
He added: “For this year’s group of six students, I hope they have had a wonderful homestay. Thanks and salute to all our host families for welcoming them to their homes and giving them a good homestay experience.”
A day after our National Day, my wife and I hosted Ms Yui Igarashi, for one day and one night.
Yui was on a 2-day 2-night homestay program under the Shelton International College Student Exchange Program.
Mr Desmond Yew, SSEAYP International Singapore Homestay Director, hosted the student for another day and a night.
Mr Yew said: “Yui was already in Singapore for three weeks and the homestay is part of the program to experience home-life to understand people of other races and cultures better. As this is her first time outside Japan, the Singapore homestay is an eye-opener for her. It gave her the opportunity to speak English and experience local family life.”
Some of the photos taken of Yui during her stay with my family are shown in the following slides:
My wife and I have, on a volunteer basis, been taking various exchange students and youths programmes since 1989 to give the youths the homestay learning experience. The programmes include:
• Ship for South-East Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP)
• Iwate Global Seminar Program
• Singapore-Vietnam Youth Exchange Program
• Indonesian Icon Youth Visit
• Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
• Shelton International College Student Exchange Program
We must say we enjoyed taking them for the homestay stint just as much as they learn a lot about our family lifestyle.
23 August 2017