Become a Host Family

Bath-Tsugaru Student Exchange – Hosting from Lee Arnott on Vimeo.

People from Bath and surrounding towns have been forging new friendships with Tsugaru visitors since 1990. Hosting a student or adult from Tsugaru is an authentic opportunity to immerse yourself in Japanese culture from the comforts of your home in Maine!

I’d like to host! What do I do next?

Fill out the host family application and send it to Jen Jones, Program Coordinator. Hosting dates for 2017 have not yet been set, but they are typically in late July or early August.

What is required of host families?

Hosting expectations include:

  • Providing a bedroom for your visitor(s)
  • Participating in the large group welcome and farewell parties
  • Providing a daily breakfast and dinner
  • Providing transportation to the Bath YMCA for an 8:00 AM drop off & 6:00 PM pick up each day.

Host families are welcome to join us on our daily advenVisiting Wildlife Park in Graytures–just let us know ahead of time so we have an accurate head count.

You will have a full weekend with your visitor to do whatever it is you want to do! Some families go to their camp, go golfing, or go to Boston. Other families simply enjoy the local summer festivals and happenings. You can make the experience your own!

Do I have to live in Bath to host?

No! historically, our host families have come from Bath, Brunswick, Topsham, Phippsburg, and Gerogetown. However, we have had families participate from the Freeport, Damariscotta, and Bowdoinham communities. Please note that while living in Bath is not a requirement, it is required that you are able to commute between Bath and your home to drop-off and pick-up your guest

How much does it cost to host?

There are minimal costs associated with hosting. Some things to consider: meals (breakfast and dinner each day; on activity days, lunch will be provided), transportation to and from the Bath YMCA and whatever costs associated with the two ‘host family’ days.

Will there be an orientation?

Yes, all host families will attend an orientation session led by former host families and the Bowdoin College Japanese Department. You’ll get useful tips on activities, language, communication–all sorts of ideas for how to make your visitor’s stay more comfortable and fun. Host families often join together for activities and rely on each other as a helpful resource.

What do the Tsugaru visitors do while they’re in Maine?

Here’s a sample schedule:

11856253_838404076267715_5827664755692701367_oDAYS 1 + 2: We will learn about the historic city of Bath, Maine.  This “City of Ships” is a beautiful and quaint area with great food, shopping and history! Learn about the shipbuilding industry that put this town on the map! Spend the afternoon doing activities with local students at a day camp.

11899994_838403679601088_3827104055551074437_nDAY 3:  We will spend the first half of the day in Maine’s Capital City – Augusta. We will tour the Governor’s Mansion and place of government. A trip to Freeport for L.L. Bean will round out the day.

DAY 4: We are headed to Harpswell, one of the most scenic towns in the area.  We will enjoy the beautiful nature through short hikes, boat rides and a lobstering experience in which you will learn how to pull in your own lobster trap! Next we’ll visit Phippsburg, one of the oldest parts of the entire USA!  We will check out the Fort Popham colony and military land battery, as well as the famous Popham Beach.  We will also go hiking and kayaking! Bring your swim suit!

Cooking Some LobstersDAY 5 : Boothbay Harbor is one of the most popular seaside towns in Maine. We will stop in at a popular flea market on the way, then tour the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and the Maine State Aquarium. We’ll then head into Boothbay Harbor’s charming downtown for lunch and some shopping before heading back to Bath for an evening Kennebec River cruise with the Maine Maritime Museum.

DAYS 6 + 7: Host Family Weekend – Enjoy 2 full days getting to know the area with your host family!