Choices for where to live: dormitory, homestay, independently.

You can choose to stay with a Japanese family (homestay), in a dormitory, or independently.

  • The homestay option offers profound insight into the typical Japanese family and the ability to practice your Japanese skills.
  • The dorm is ideal for students who desire greater freedom and independence.

Selecting the best option for you can be difficult. This chart compares them:

Option Homestay Dormitory
Advantages Daily opportunity to practice Japanese Opportunity to meet other young people
Experience family traditions Private rooms
Eat meals in family setting More freedom
Secure option for younger students More control over meals
Disadvantages Less free time in schedule Less exposure to Japanese family life
Possible curfew Possible curfew
May need to help out around the house


Expect living arrangements to be more restrictive than in the U.S. Both dormitories and homestay families have curfews—usually midnight.

A dormitory setting offers a fun chance to meet other young people. A cafeteria is usually available, as are vending machines, public phones, and a coin laundry. Meals are not included in the program cost; utilities and bed linens are included.

Dormitory life offers several advantages:

  • Private rooms
  • Other foreign students (so, more access to your classmates and other young people)
  • Freedom to come and go as you please (within curfews)
  • More control over your meals, if you have special meal requests or eating habits.

Meal Plan

If you choose a meal plan, fees are collected during the first week of your program, so expect to pay the meal plan cost up front: about 55,000 Yen for a regular KCP semester and 41,000 Yen for the summer short term. The meal plan includes breakfasts and dinners only (no lunch).

  • A limited number of meal plan placements is available. If you want a meal plan, for best results, apply early.
  • Your placement in a dorm is based on whether you have chosen a meal plan. For this reason, you cannot cancel the meal plan after you have selected it.

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Internet service

Most dorms have computers in the lounge for common use. Students can use the phone lines there to get internet access, once they have arranged for a connection service (usually a setup fee plus a monthly fee).

Some dorms have a phone in each room. You can use this line for internet access once you have arranged with an internet service provider.

A homestay can be one of the most rewarding aspects of being in Japan. Living with a Japanese family provides daily opportunities to practice Japanese and enjoy family traditions. Many students develop close relationships with their host families as they eagerly participate in contemporary Japanese family life. Students can also practice what they have learned in class, talk about Japanese life, and sample traditional Japanese cuisine at dinner.

There are significant advantages to living with a host family for students who are open-minded, genuinely interested in becoming a member of the family, and willing to compromise their schedules somewhat. Homestay families will want to spend time with students, especially on weekends. They may expect a student to help out around the house. Some families may also impose a curfew.


  • The homestay cost includes breakfasts and dinners.
  • We do our best to secure homestay arrangements for all students who want them, but this is not always possible. There are a limited number of homestay hosts available, and we can make no guarantees. For best results, apply early.
  • KCP can offer homestay only during your first term of study. After that, you will most likely be placed in a dormitory for the rest of your time at KCP.

For both dorm and homestay students, a local transportation pass between your lodging and school is included in the program cost when class is in session.

The average commute in the Tokyo metropolitan area is 1½ hours. While we try to place students in dorms or homestays that are as close as possible to KCP, be prepared for the possibility of a long commute—a good chance to catch up on your reading, studying, and people-watching!

KCP Student Life—the Tokyo Commute

You may arrange your own housing while enrolled in the KCP language and culture courses. If you do, you will be responsible for the cost of transportation between your accommodation and school as well as transportation from the airport to your accommodation. You will be sent information on the date and time of orientation.


KCP has excellent support for students—the fun and extremely helpful English-speaking staff members as well as a kind, knowledgeable English support teacher. The Japanese teachers made themselves available to help students both after class and in the offices.

—Rachel Lanahan

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