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LONG INTERVIEW

房客訪談

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"I want to talk to people...but I am not confident enought" I am not the same anymore.Friends who I can share good times and bad times togehter.

Kaito
SHINJUKU-NAKAI1
  • 20's
  • 2 years stay
  • Private room
  • No experience in study abroad
  • Intermediate English

Please inttoduce yourself

I am Kaito Okada. I moved to Tokyo 2 years ago. I had have been working in a restaurant for 1.5 years before but I quit the job.Now I am working parttime to save money for stuying abroad. It has been almost 2 years since I moved in to Borderless House.

I wanted to study English and make friends from other countries.

What made you decide to live in a sharehouse, and why Borderless House?

I have always been thinking about studying abroad. When I came to Tokyo I was planning to study English and save money to be ready for that. Living in Tokyo can be expensive, so I thought sharehouses would be a cheaper option and I happened to find Borderless House. It turned out that the rent was not that cheap though...lol I decided to stay in Borderless House anyway because I thought I could achieve my goals here like learning English and making friends.

This is the life I longed for.

How has your life in Borderless House been for the last 2years?

I have lived in Aomori, Hokkaido and Ehime, and I have always lived either with my parents or by myself. But, I started living in a sharehouse even with no room-viewing. I was a little bit worried first like "what is it like to be living with poeple", but it turned to be really fun! I feel releaved if someone is home. We spend a lot of time in the living room, chatting, watching movies, playing games... caual daily time is relaxing for me.
I feel that I am living the life I dreamed of; when I hear everyone says "welcome home!" every time I get home, when we talk in English, when I teach Japanese in return. I am enjoying my stay thanks to my housemates.

We can overcome cultural differences through discussion

Have you had challenging moments too?

We had a cleaning issue. When I first came here, there was no cleaning rules. So there were only a few people who always take care of cleaning and garbage. Since it was not fair, we decide to make new rules. Japanese housemates seemed to be willing to do the cleaning duties more voluntarily, while other housemates were like "why don't we get some regular house cleaning service?" . After discussing over and over again, we reached a new rule that rotates the duties by week, and now we are working well together.

Now I have made a lot of foreign friends, which I could not imagine before.

How much do you think you could get closer to your goals of improving English skills and making foreign friends.

I cound not speak English at all before moving to Borderless House. So I was very worried because of my speaking and listening levels. But, I am now exposed to English daily, so I could get better at speaking and listening English conversations better than before, with no effort. I still find it difficult to listen to English when they speak too fast though...
I had zero foreign friend before I moved to Bordeless House. So I was jealous of people who study abroad and have lots of foreign friends. But now I have made many foreign friends, which I could not imagine before. I felt like "Was it this easy to make foreign friends!?" lol
We still keep in touch with previous housemate even after they went back to their home country, which makes me feel haapy. For example, one of my housemates from France returned to his country, and he said to me that "I will show you around when you visit me in France!"
To sum up, I still need to improve my English skills, but I pretty much achieved my goal of making foreign friends.

"I want to talk to people but I am not confident enough". I am not the same anymore.

Was there any change in youself after you started living in Borderless House?

Before I moved in here, I was the kind of person who feels like " I really want to talk to them, but I am not confident enoguh to do so". But since I started living in Borderless House, I am able to talk to poeple confidently and make friends in both inside or outside the house.
For example, I have talked to someone from Scotland who was sitting next to me by chance in some Sushi restaurant. I also started talking to a Hongkongese colleague from my parttime job. I am now socializing with much more people than before.
I guess that my confidence about speaking English and making friends I gained through the life at Borderless House made me able to do that.

I didn't think I could interact with local people that much

Please tell us about when you visited Taiwan using our original program "FREE HOUSE EXCHANGE" that allows tenants to stay in Borderless Houses overseas for free?

I chose to go to Taiwan to visit a friend who was a customer of the restaurant which I used to work for. At that time, it had have been already half an year past since I started living in Borderless House, so I somewhat knew how to talk to and get along with people from other countries.
I didn't think I was going to interact with local people that much because I went there to see my friend. I was glad that I used this "FREE HOUSE EXCHANGE program".
I talked a lot with Japanese housemates who lived in Borderless House in Taiwan. I asked them questions like "Why are you studying Chinese abroad?". One of the Japanese housemates has been there only for 1 month, but he was already able to understand Chinese, so I was surprised!
I like Taiwan as a country and also the kindness of Taiwanese people. So on the arrival day, I already decided to come back here to study lol. I have never thought about studying Chinese, so it was a new finding about myself.

I realize that I live in a sharehouse when we all walk home together.

What is the most attractive point of sharehouses?

The moment I realize that "I actually live in a sharehouse" is when we all go out and come home together. If it is just a hangout with people who I met at some cultural exchange event or at some bar, we say goodbye and just go home separately. While with my housemates, we go home together because we live together. It still makes me feel strange when we go home together, and I keep realizing that I am actually living in a sharehouse lol.
We have a strong sense of trust because we always help each other like they ask me if I am okay when I look down, and I do the same to others too. I happily give them advice if they need help, I share good things and bad things with everyone.I must feel how insignificant I am if I have chosen a totally different life like I work fulltime and have no friends who I can go eat BBQ with, or live together. Now I'm confident because I have friends all around the world and I could improve my English, at the same time, I feel scary imagining how different my life would be if I didn't choose the life in Borderless House"
I could be confident not just because I live in Borderless House, but also with the good house environment and supports from the staffs.

You can broaden your possibilities

Message to the readers

I was the kind of person who have always wanted to study English, make foreign friends and experience new things, but not confident to do all of that. But, I can say that living here in Borderless House enable you to do what you want, which is something great about Borderless House.
I know that sharehouse itself is still new in Japanese culture, so it might be not easy to imagine how the sharehouse life is like, just looking at the website. However, I can confidently say that you can broaden your possibilities by living here.

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