Labo-Lets Homestay Japan Exchange Program FAQ

Click on the heading to go direct to these related issues


Application Criteria related Questions

Q: If I apply does that mean I can definitely go?
A: Generally Yes. We do not have a ceiling on the number of participants at this stage. Once your application form has been accepted by Lets Homestay and your fees are paid, all you will have to do is hop on the plane.

Q: Do you have to be studying Japanese currently to go?
A: It is not essential that you be studying Japanese to go, however our keenness and interest in learning
about Japan’s language and culture should be a prerequisite. It will be a much more rewarding experience if you have knowledge
of some basic phrases and words in Japanese.

Q: Do I need a special Visa?
A: No. A temporary visitors visa is issued to all New Zealand passport holders entering Japan. If you hold
a passport other than a New Zealand one the rules may be different. Please discuss this with us before you apply.

Q: Do I need a special inoculation
A: It is suggested that your tetanus inoculation is up to date when travelling overseas. There is an area of the application form that asks about your inoculation history. This is purely for information in the event of a hospital visit during the program. There are no mandatory requirements. Participants will need to know their blood type.

return to top

What Gear to Take

Q: What gear do I need to take?
A: Apart from the obvious changes on clothes, camera etc, we do issue participants with a camp guide book which outlines gear that you could take with you for the Labo Camp. It is recommended that you take your own boots for the camp that are water resistant at least for mucking around in snow etc. A pair of waterproof pants and warm jacket. The Labo fleece that you will be issued with is warm but extra layers will be needed when going outside. Any gear that you do not have will be arranged by your host family in Japan.

Q: Are school uniforms required?
A: No. The only uniform is the group fleece jacket. The majority of the program is over the school winter break in Japan and there will be lots of family time.

return to top

Insurance related questions

Q: Do I need extra personal health or luggage insurance?
A: No. The insurance policy that is included in the program is comprehensive. It includes loss of deposits, travel delay, medical and emergency dental treatment, luggage and personal effects, personal liability and more.: For policy document please click here.

return to top

Cancellation related questions

Q:I see there are cancellation fees with the program. Will the insurance policy cover us for loss of deposits and program fees if we cancel at the last minute?
A: If by accident or incident you are not fit for to participate in the program, either physically or emotionally, the insurance policy will cover all loss of fees less the excess. The insurance provider may demand a doctors letter to back up your reason for withdrawal. If the cancellation is by choice then the cover does not apply.

return to top

Money related questions

Q: What would you recommend in the amount of personal spending money?
A: We recommend $300-$400 spending money, plus extra if there is something special you want to
buy. During the homestay your host family will provide everything you need and all meals are included so you can get through the program with out spending so much.

Q: How should I take my money ?
A: Cash We recommend cash of 20,000~30,000yen (approx $NZ300~400) which you can get at any major
bank or Money exchange. Please organise this before coming to Auckland as we do not want the group changing money on
the day of departure at the airport. Travellers cheques: If you wish to take more money travellers cheques are recommended. Get them issued in Yen if you can so you can change them almost anywhere.

ATM Cards: Japan post offices have international ATMs with Maestro, Cirrus and Plus links. There is a surcharge withdrawal fee (approx $5). You withdrawal in YEN and the banks with debit your account in the NZ dollar equivalent based on that days exchange rate.

Credit Cards: Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Japan. It
is assumed that most students will not have a credit card, but if you do please look after it. PIN numbers do not
work in Japan, you will have to sign for everything.

Be Safe: Cash cannot be replaced. If you loose it, it’s gone. Take with you the recommended amount in cash (see above) Keep your cash in your wallet and on your body at ALL times. Do not keep your wallet in a bag! Take travellers cheques and keep the serial numbers with your passport, so they can be replaced if you loose the travellers cheques. Leave your travellers cheques in your suitcase and take them with you only if you intend to cash them.

Q:Where should I keep my Passport:
A: Do not take your passport with you everywhere you go. On your arrival to your hosts home put it in your suitcase and do not get it out until you pack for the homebound journey. You must have you passport with you when you enter and exit the country. return to top

Program fees

Q: Is airport Departure Tax included in the program fees
A: It is actually included in the air ticket now. No extra cost.

Q: What is the maximum baggage weight?
A: Air New Zealand’s policy is 20kg per person of check-in luggage. Hand luggage is limited to 7kg per person and one bag only. With the increasing costs of fuel these weights are becoming very strict and extra weight is charged. Please take care.

return to top

Host Families in Japan

Q: Are there checks done on the host families in Japan?
A: The Labo International Exchange only use families who are Labo members. These families are well known by the local Labo Tutor and are checked thoroughly by Labo.

Q: Can I request or choose my own family
A: If the family is part of the Labo network and in the Tokyo region, you may request them to host you. Beyond that Labo Japan will assign a suitable family to you. You can however request a type of family, e.g. a family keen on Skiing etc.

Q: Will I be hosted on their own?
A: Yes. You will have your own host family. These families are scattered around the region and sometimes a long way from other fellow participants. You will have the chance to catch up with everyone on the Labo Camp. return to top

Mobile phones in Japan

Q: Can I use my mobile phone in Japan?
A: Yes, however you will be subject to higher international fees. It is our program preference that cell phones are not taken on the program. If you must take one then it should be switched off during your stay with the host family.
return to top