The Japan-America Society of Georgia is seeking 30 metro Atlanta families to either host or interact with students from a Japanese university from August through December.

The students from Obirin University’s College of Business Management are to study English as a foreign language for eight weeks and business English for four weeks at either the Georgia Institute of Technology or Mercer University. The students at Georgia Tech will be here from Aug. 12-Dec. 13, and those at Mercer from Aug. 24-Dec. 20.

Fifteen families are to serve as “host” families for the undergraduate university students who will live with them during their time here. An additional 15 “friendship” families are being sought to help the visiting students get acclimated to living and going to school in Atlanta.

Called in English the J.F. Oberlin University, it is Obirin in Japanese written with Japanese characters for “cherry tree,” “beautiful,” and “forest.”

Obirin University is named in honor of the French 18th century minister and educator J. F. Oberlin who believed in fostering global citizens on the basis of Christian values. The university is based in Machinda, a suburb of Tokyo, and has two branches: one near Fuchinobe Station in the city of Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, and the other in Yotsuga in the center of Tokyo.

The university is supported by the Obirin Gakuen Foundation, which also aims to inspire global citizenship through person-to-person international exchanges and cross-cultural study.

The university has 9,000 students with 500 from countries other than Japan. It also maintains relations with 100 partner schools in 20 countries.

In addition, the university is involved in several joint research projects such as with Danang University in Vietnam, which promotes exchanges with universities throughout Vietnam. 

The Japan-American Society of Georgia provides $800/month to host families who must provide a safe and caring environment, breakfast and dinner everyday and a private bedroom and a desk or workspace with Internet connection.

Once paired, friendship families spend time together with their students as often as mutually desired.

To apply as a host or friendship family, contact the Japan-America Society at 404-842-1400 to receive an application form.