A Relational Approach to International Education Through Homestay Programs


  • Junko Kobayashi Kansai Gaidai University, Japan
  • Linda Viswat Otemon Gakuin University, Japan




relational approach, international education, homestay programs, intercultural problems, Japanese and Americans, behavioral choices


This paper identifies and analyzes intercultural problems through surveys of homestay programs with Japanese students and American host mothers. Given that participants need to go beyond their cognitive knowledge to interact effectively with people from other cultures, a relational approach may be more effective than traditional intercultural training models in international education. In terms of the relational approach, one incident of intercultural problems is composed of various interpretations and plural options for managing differences. By becoming familiar with this relational approach, participants can make more appropriate behavioral choices and make their global experience more meaningful. Also, instructors or faculty members can develop educational programs more effectively by applying the survey results to international education.

Author Biographies

Junko Kobayashi, Kansai Gaidai University, Japan

JUNKO KOBAYASHI is an associate professor at Kansai Gaidai University, Japan. She is the author of 12 English textbooks on intercultural communication. 

Linda Viswat, Otemon Gakuin University, Japan

LINDA VISWAT is a professor at Otemon Gakuin University, Japan where she teaches courses in intercultural communication. Her research has focused on sojourner adjustment, learning strategies of Japanese university students, motivation, and the development of a learning community.




How to Cite

Kobayashi, J., & Viswat, L. (2015). A Relational Approach to International Education Through Homestay Programs. Journal of International Students, 5(4), 475–487. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v5i4.409



Research Articles (English)