JII/OFP[#03] “My Japanese got better and I enjoyed exchanging culture through participating in the OFP.” (Experience of the foreign-participant of OFP)

What made you interested in the Otonarisan Family Friend program?

I found the program through Internet search and I applied for help because the website said it would help foreigners living in Japan. I work for a Korean company, so I rarely have the opportunity to talk to Japanese people. 

How did you interact with your pair for 6 months?

We video chatted once a week and I got to study Japanese and learn about Japan. We also met up and had lunch together and it was a great experience. I had Korean food for lunch with the Otonarisan’s family. Everyone liked the food and I felt good. It was good to spend time with the Otonarisan’s family, too. I think my Otonarisan cared a lot about me and tried to help me very actively. When I caught a cold, my Otonarisan contacted me and cared about me because I was alone. I was so thankful for that.

Have you experienced any changes in your daily life or in yourself after participating in the Otonarisan program?

Because I was able to communicate with the Otonarisan in Japanese every week, my Japanese got better. I also got to learn about Japanese culture and food as my Otonarisan introduced me to Japanese culture. At first, my Otonarisan and I felt uncomfortable with each other, but later, we were able to become very close. I thank the OFP for helping foreigners who live alone in Japan like me. It also made me think I should help foreigners when I go back to Korea.

Please give advice to foreign participants who would like to participate in the OFP in the future.

If you want to do something yourself, there are many things  the OFP can help you.