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On The docks

Mountain West has partnered up with a non-profit company in Japan that arranges for Japanese delegates between the ages of 10 and 18 to come to the United States and experience living with an American family for a short time, doing what American families do. Whether it’s playing with LEGOs, cooking, hiking up the mountains, going for a bike ride, camping or watching TV – these delegates come to experience whatever it is your family enjoys.

As we receive the applications of delegates from Japan we post on our website below a small biography of each delegate with information about the types of things they enjoy.   To view the delegates you will need to login.  If you have not already created a username and password you will need to do so by going to “Login.” After logging in go to “Program & Delegates”…choosing “Delegates”  where you can view our delegates’ pics and bios.  You then choose two or three delegates that match or complement your family – making note of the delegates names and numbers. (If you are filling out our application on your phone please use Chrome and NOT Safari!) You then fill out a Host Family Application form, submitting the numbers and names of your top 3 choices on your application.  We ask for 3 choices because sometimes delegates are snatched up quickly and you may not be able to get your 1st choice. We will let you know which delegate you will be hosting as soon as possible, but keep in mind we are sending information to Japan for approval as well and it may take up to a week to finalize.  If we can’t match one of your choices, we will call you to discuss where we are in the placement process so you can choose how  to proceed.

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Spring delegates come for about 10 days and may be hosted by all ages and family types.

Summer delegates will be with your family for about 2-3 weeks and must have a host sibling of their same gender and within two years of their age. At the end of their homestay, they will attend a 3-4-day camp with their Chaperones, teen councilors (see Teen Councilor Application), and the adult committee. 

You may choose to host for both Spring and Summer, but because one of their requirements is to be immersed in English, you may only have one delegate at a time stay in your home. (Look at the FAQ’s for this year’s specific dates.)

The delegates come with accident health insurance. Delegates also have a better understanding of written English than of spoken English.

They desire to learn of our culture and teach you about theirs. You’ll be amazed at the things you can learn from each other and how much English a child can learn in such a short time in your home.

When the time comes for you to pick up your delegate you will attend a short orientation meeting which includes a light dinner. The orientation will review some of the do’s and don’ts. We make this as concise as possible to learn things like “Never let the delegate drive anything with a motor.” And “Your delegate can go on vacation with you but you must let a committee member know where you are going, your license plate number, your make of vehicle and how to get in touch with you.”


     After orientation, your family takes the delegate home and introduces them to your home, makes them comfortable, and tries to encourage them to get on the same sleep schedule as your family – Jet lag is hard coming this way! Keeping the delegate very busy the first couple of days can help with this.

     Delegates come with spending money for things you would expect your own kids to pay for, but please plan on treating them as you would your own children when it comes to things like going out to dinner or a family night bowling.  If you plan on going to Lagoon, it’s a common courtesy for you to buy your delegate’s ticket.  If that is more than your family budget can handle, remember, your delegate is fine doing less expensive things with you.  You don’t need to be the entertainment committee for your delegate, but whatever you do will be appreciated.

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 Japanese customs dictate that your delegate bring small gifts for each member of your family. You may want to be prepared to reciprocate by giving your delegate something to represent your family or the area you live in.  A small photo album or a few of your favorite family recipes and some measuring spoons and cups can be fun.  Your delegate may want to cook a Japanese dish for your family and may struggle that we don’t measure things in cubic centimeters and grams!  Making those conversions together can be a lot of fun. Also remember, your delegate will be trying your cooking, please politely try theirs.  You might find you like it!

Delegates will come with some spending money – they are expected to take home gifts for their family, friends, and classmates so they will be interested in doing some shopping.

In what will seem like just a few short days you will return your new-found friend back to us. You will be amazed at the wonderful, lifelong memories that you can make in such a short time!

A few teens will have the opportunity to attend camp as Teen Councilors.  To learn more about being a Teen Councilor, click here.

Before you can review the Delegates and fill out application you will need to create an account.