|Name of Representative||Aida Mammadova|
|Name of Employer/Organization||Organization of Global Affairs, Kanazawa University|
Cross-Cultural Homestay; Evaluation of the readiness for foreign settlements in Shiramine village of Mount Hakusan region
We have conducted the Winter and Summer Homestay activities for foreign students inside the rural Shiramine village of Mount Hakusan Biosphere Reserve in Japan. The purpose was to evaluate how well local villagers were ready to accept foreigners in their communities. 10 houses were tentatively chosen as candidate host families, but only 6 host houses with 18 family members agreed to accept students. We have found that before the homestay activities all villagers were very concerned about the foreigners’ behavior and felt very alerted, but after the homestay program, most of them replied that they were less concerned, and homestay helped them to raise awareness towards foreigners’ behaviors. We have found that language barrier is not the only barrier, which keeps villagers concerns, but villagers are afraid of foreigners’ behavior more and non-verbal communication can be mistakenly interpreted. This kind of homestay program, was conducted for the first time in the rural area of Mount Hakusan Biosphere Reserve, and we found that real-life experience with foreigners as homestay programs reduced the sense of alertness and raise the awareness towards the foreigners’ behavior.