Culture Shock about Food in Homestay

Overseas travel and study abroad have become commonplace nowadays, and more people have experienced short-term homestays. In particular, you can experience a genuine cross-cultural experience when you stay home. I used to have homestay experience in the US, Canada, and Australia before, and I have also been an overseas homestay coordinator. The coordinator’s job was to have about 30 children aged 9 to 14 with a second coordinator to experience homestay abroad. While studying for a homestay, children study English in a place called a study center in the morning and do field work throughout the city in the afternoon. This time, I will introduce the culture shock about food at homestays that many such children receive.

 Your lunch is different from Japan

 Japanese bento

When I say lunch in Japan, I think that there are many people who think of colorful lunch boxes that my mother makes at the time of an excursion. There are many people who are looking forward to the lunch box that the mother made and that the side dishes such as fried chicken and wineers are included, the vegetables such as tomato and broccoli are included, and the children’s favorite egg grill is also included. it might be.

 Sandwich is mainstream

On the other hand, sandwiches are the mainstream in overseas lunch boxes. … If you ask, there will be many people who think of sandwiches with tomatoes and tomatoes in lettuce, eggs and tuna that you can buy in a convenience store. In the case of overseas sandwiches, only peanut butter is coated, or at most only ham and cheese are sandwiched, and ingredients are completely different from Japan. Therefore, I am surprised at the difference with the lunch box that many of the children who saw such sandwiches had expected.

 The dessert is also different

If you ask for dessert in a Japanese lunch box, you may be reminded of fruits cut into one size, or apples peeled like rabbits. However, in reality, apples and peaches are often scooped overseas. Kids can peel and eat oranges (not oranges) themselves. Therefore, many children are surprised at the fruits that came into the lunch box.

 Apples are round

When I had a home stay in Canada, I was asked by the host sister, “Are you eating an apple?”, And when I answered “Yes”, I received a whole apple with “Yes”, and I remember wondering how to eat it. There is. In the end, I understood that apples are round things, but in Japan I have been taught that “don’t do round things because you don’t like teeth.” Because of that, I was scared and could not easily cut the apples. (If you say so, Snow White will cut an apple !?)

 Snack is dessert!?

In addition, international lunch boxes may contain snacks. In Japan, snacks may not be a problem during excursions, but there is no mother to put snacks in the lunch box usually brought to school. Children are delighted to see snacks, but mothers still say that snacks are not good for the body, see the snacks in the lunch box, and the host mother is There are many children who are shocked that they do not take care of things and that they are not welcome at such lunchboxes.

 Mom’s lunch

Of course the host family is very welcoming children. Just because the culture is different, the lunch box is different and the children are shocked. In such a case, the coordinator is trying to tell the children the characteristics of the overseas lunch while at the same time teaching “the mother’s feelings of the mother in Japan are absorbed by the Japanese mother’s lunch”. Yes. There are many children who eat lunch completely different from Japan and realize how happy it is to be made by Japanese mothers.

China is Famous for Its Copied Products!! However, It Is Pretty Creative!!


Number and frequency of dishes

 There are many dishes

This has also been experienced by me. On the first day of my homestay in Canada, my host family said, “I’ll welcome you today and make it a steak.” I was looking forward to thinking that a Canadian steak would be delicious, but the dinner that came out was only a really big steak and mashed potatoes. In Japan, it is a place where vegetables such as tomatoes are added here, but it was an excellent one-dish dish. Rice will come at the family restaurant too! so I thought.
Such one-dish dishes seem to be common overseas. Therefore, children have nothing to eat if something they hate has come out. He told the children to eat one bite when something they disliked, and to tell them they would not be able to eat if they thought it was no good. Sometimes our coordinators talked with their host family when their children were not clear enough and things they disliked appeared every day.

 The same food comes out every night

Sometimes the host family cares about the children who came from Japan and they ask what they like. So, for example, if a child says, “I like meat sauce pasta,” there were several families that meat sauce pasta comes out every night.
Surely, I can understand the feeling that I will try to offer something that the child likes for a child from a region that I do not understand well from the West of Asia. However, even if you like what you like, if you come to the same thing every night, you will not be able to enjoy 100% of the extravagant home-made food, even if you have a homestay.

Again, it would be nice if the kids were happy, but if they were bored, they would have to talk to the host family from the coordinator.

Characteristics of Germans!! Germans are Shy and Strict for Rules!!


A lot, and too sweet

 Different from the size of Japan

There are times when foreigners eat less than half. It is a well-known fact that especially in the US etc., there is no Japanese S size when going to fast food restaurants. In addition, Japanese M size is finally American S size, and Japanese L size is American M size. L size of the United States does not exist in Japan in the first place.

 I will get used to the stomach

Under such circumstances, children often become surprised at the amount of food they eat. I also had the same experience when I was homestay in Australia. Toast came out by breakfast and at least two toasts were eaten per person. So when I thought that my stomach was full, cereal (corn flakes) came out as the second. Of course I could not eat at first and told my host family that my stomach was full. However, during the two weeks of homestaying, I was able to eat cereals (corn flakes). In other words, it means that the stomach has grown to that extent in two weeks.

 Anxiety when viewed from the side

There are many children who are surprised at how much they eat. This is all your own decision, so I left it to the children’s stomach. As we are not yet at a age that cares much for weight gain, many children ate fried chicken and sweet donuts every night and were rather delighted.

 The dessert is too sweet

In the US and Canada, you can enjoy the texture of sugar when eating cakes. When I eat fresh cream, I am shabby. You can see how much sugar you use and how high your calories are.
I also have the experience that when my host mother made chocolate cake in Canada, I was almost ready to spit after eating one. It was a cake with a crispy texture that seemed to have only a taste of sugar rather than a taste of chocolate.
There are not a few children surprised by such desserts. There are also many children who can not enjoy too sweet desserts. Even yogurt is sweet and it is hard to find foods that are not sweet in the first place. Juice and so on taste different from those in Japan, and some children can not drink easily. There are many kinds of carbonated drinking water than that of Japan, but there are many children who can not get used to it because they are rich in sugar and coloring matter.

Want to Boost Up Your TOEIC Score? How to Solve that Problem for Reading (part 2)



The culture shock at homestay also depends on people, so there are many other things. The three mentioned above can be said to be experienced by many children among them.
That said, I think it’s great value to say that you can learn foreign cultures from an early age. If you are still 9 or 10 years old, you may feel homesick and say that your family is missing and it can not be helped. However, if you become a junior high school student, you will no longer be homesick, and more children will enjoy homestays more positively.

 I want many children to experience!

For the first 3 days I started my homestay, the children who cry every day and confess their troubles like “How do I?” And “I do not know what I can say to my host family” You will enjoy homestays, and many children will hate farewell when you leave your host family. At first, children who could not easily accept different cultures would be encouraged little by little, and even if they made mistakes, they would talk to the host family in English and say that the different cultures would be “fun”. I think how much I would be pleased if my parents saw it.
I would like many children to experience homestay in the future. Of course it’s not all fun. However, I think that the experience gained there will be a lifetime treasure.

How to Get Along with Italians? Cheerful Characteristics of Cherishing Humor


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.