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Group Homestay Creates Lifelong Friendships

You may not think your life could change in just a few weeks, but with CHI’s Group Homestay Program it can. This program lets you experience what it is like to open your home, share your culture and create a bond that will last a lifetime.

Here is one California host family’s experience:

IMG_6214“In 1989 my family hosted an English teacher named Mitsue from Japan.  Mitsue was the teacher chaperone that joined a group of Japanese high school students on a three week trip to Northern California.  I was just nine years old but I will never forget the time I spent with Mitsue.   A few years later I was able to visit Mitsue and other Group Homestay Program friends in Japan.

We’ve stayed in touch with Mitsue through the years thanks to e-mail but recently she surprised us by planning a trip to come back to California for a one-week visit.  She brought her sister Keiko, who had never been to the U.S.

When she arrived at the airport we greeted her like no time had passed at all, even though it’s actually been over 20 years.  The best part was my three-year-old daughter bonded with her immediately and they had a great time together.  During the week, they sang songs, made origami and they taught her how to count to five in Japanese (something she is now teaching all of her friends).

During their week here we visited tourist attractions, spent Easter together and caught up on the years we’d been apart.  It was wonderful and I am so thankful that CHI’s Group Homestay Program brought this wonderful person into my family’s life.  I think another trip to Japan may be in the near future!  We miss our friend!”

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