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Do American hosts pay all expenses? 2009/3/30 20:07
United States
We are hosting a Japanese exchange student for 2 weeks. My husband took this young man and the other young man on the trip to a city for a weekend. He paid for everything--food, transportation, museum entrances--and the men did not offer to pay. He wondered if this is Japanese custom.
by Jane (guest)  

Expenses 2009/3/31 10:55
Jane,

I don't think this is necessarily a cultural difference. Without knowing the details of your homestay arrangements, it's hard to say, but if the student has paid a large amount of money to an agency arranging the homestay, he probably assumes that everything is paid for. Another reason could be that he is just young and assumes that everything revolves around him and so doesn't really think of offering to pay. When I've been out with groups of university students here, I've found it is not uncommon for them to assume that the adults in the group will pay for them. So isn't it perhaps more of a maturity issue than a cultural issue?
by Dave in Saitama (guest) rate this post as useful

Not host-son? 2009/3/31 11:52
As suggested, I think this is universal, but students in Japan don't pay when they're with their parents. I suppose you would be "host-parents" to this young men.

On the other hand, let's say you're a student and a friend and his parents invites you out. Typically, your parents will talk to you as you go out and make sure you would pay for your expenses while with the friend's parents.

I would assume that these exchange students of yours might have wondered if they should pay or not, but was too shy to suggest so thinking it may look odd. If you wanted them to pay, a nice way to suggest it would have been to say something like, "We're going out today. Be sure you bring your lunch money with you, okay?" or as any payment occurs, you could've just said, "It's so and so dollars. Do you have them?"
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

students 2009/3/31 13:06
In Canada, when volunteer families are asked to house foreign students for a couple of weeks they are paid a certain amount of $ per week for basic room and board. Obviously they do it more to know foreigners and their culture than to get rich (and they have to be checked by the police..). If they take the students around town they are pretty much expected to pay too, as all young students, regardless of the country they come from, are selfish without really meaning to, as several posters have noted. The trick is to take them around town without spending too much money..
by Monkey see (guest) rate this post as useful

How old? 2009/4/1 02:28
How old it the exchange student? If they are high school age, then I think it is more a maturity thing. Even if they are college age, it may be a maturity thing as well. They may also not fully understand what is expected of them, what your customs are, etc..
Remember too that they are students, probably on a budget.
Also, if you take them out to show them your city, is it really right to expect them to pay? They are your guests and young guest at that.
by cf (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/4/1 04:23
Did you ask them first how much they can afford for the trip? Did you plan the whole trip? They might thought you "invited" them.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Thank you! 2009/4/1 04:47
These were helpful! It is a college exchange program; the question arose from the fact that under the circumstances we would have offered to pay at least once for ourselves. He wouldn't have accepted the payment, but because it's a standard reaction for us, he wondered. Also, this was a special trip, not part of the program.
by Jane (guest) rate this post as useful

That makes sense 2009/4/1 10:47
Jane,

That makes more sense. I suppose they were just shy, or they didn't really know what was going on (might have thought it was included in whatever payment they already had done) or they are a bit immature with their manners. Japanese boys, and sometimes men, tend to not know their manners compared to girls/women.

In Japan, them being young, if they had said thank you at the end of the trip, the ill manners wouldn't count much. Otherwise, the person acting as their guardian for the day might have asked for a word of thanks, just so that they would be educated.

Whatever it was, it's your country and you are the host, so you should do it your way.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

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