TAIGA has been living with us at UNINEST HAKUSAN HOUSE pretty much since we first opened our doors, and he is now heading off to study in the UK. But before we say farewell, we wanted to meet with his parents and hear their thoughts on having a son with such a global mindset!
【An "international share house" student residence from a parent's point of view!?】
UNINEST：Hello! We are so happy to be able to sit down and talk with you, the parents of Taiga - one of longest in-house residents here at HAKUSAN HOUSE.
TAIGA'S MOM & TAIGA'S DAD：Hi there. We look forward to speaking with you too!
UNINEST：Let's get started! UNINEST is known for its diversity and share house-style set up, but what did you think when TAIGA first told you, "I want to live at UNINEST"?
TAIGA'S DAD：Well, at first, and as a parent, I was reluctant at the thought of a share house. Plus, TAIGA was saying he wanted to live in a single apartment space with six roommates... This kind of room doesn't really exist in the countryside (where we're from), and I wondered what kind of place it would be.
TAIGA'S MOM：I was worried about his privacy.
UNINEST：Thinking about entrusting your son somewhere, it's not surprising there are various things you'd want to check.
TAIGA'S DAD：Here there are students coming together from many different countries. You find yourself thinking, "Is it possible to live there stress-free" or "What if it were me"... I was worried whether he'd be ok after hearing there are not so many Japanese residents.
UNINEST：We have students from all over. When TAIGA first moved in, he was the only Japanese person in his apartment, with roommates from France, Germany and China.
TAIGA（left）is the one who always energizes those around him
TAIGA'S DAD：Haha! I guess that's normal here. He actually brought some of these exchange students back to our home. We were so pleased.
UNINEST：Before deciding to move in, both you and TAIGA came to view the residence, I believe. What was your impression after seeing it in person?
TAIGA'S DAD：I had imagined a small apartment with a few people, but, when I actually visited, it was bigger than I expected and my impression changed. Old-fashioned student dormitories were the size of four-and-a-half tatami mats, including a tiny kitchen, with a shared bath and toilet...they were completely different.
TAIGA enjoying socialising with fellow residents in the kitchen (far right)
TAIGA'S MOM：My concerns about security disappeared when we came to view the building. In fact, I was so reassured, I felt ready to leave TAIGA in your hands! I'm glad we found a place where there is always someone for him to come home to.
UNINEST：It's the kind of place where friends and staff always give you a warm "Welcome home!"
TAIGA'S MOM：If you're solely looking for one-bed apartments from the start, then it's unlikely you'd come across this student accommodation.
UNINEST：Must have been fate then!
TAIGA'S MOM & TAIGA'S DAD：We really think so!
【International exchange for the whole family】
UNINEST：So how was it having the exchange students that TAIGA met here at UNINEST brought to your home?
TAIGA'S MOM：We really were so happy! Those that visited were saying they wanted to see the countryside where TAIGA's from. When I served Japanese dishes such as fried tofu aburage, simmered nimono and pickles, they all said it was "Delicious!" It was fun chatting in broken Japanese.
TAIGA'S MOM：Ibaraki Prefecture is surrounded by mountains and the ocean, meaning that nature is always close by. To us it's just the countryside. So I was very happy when these overseas friends came and told us, "It's a great place."
UNINEST：TAIGA really is making the most of international exchange!
TAIGA (second from left) and friends dressed up for a Halloween Party!
TAIGA'S DAD：It's uncanny (haha). It's been a big year for Taiga, immersing himself in this environment and improving his language skills. This wouldn't have happened had he been living in an ordinary apartment.
TAIGA'S MOM：Even at this age, I started thinking that maybe I want to learn English. I want to understand what's being talked about by TAIGA and his friends when they come to visit. I thought how it broadens your horizons.
UNINEST：That's brilliant! Please do!
【Overseas study & Job hunting - Life after UNINEST - 】
UNINEST：After UNINEST, TAIGA will head to study in the UK. How do you feel about sending your son overseas for an extended period?
TAIGA'S DAD：I think this kind of experience is necessary, so I hope he seizes the opportunity and makes the best of it.
TAIGA'S MOM：I appreciate that as a student he is able to travel as only a student can. Also, I think TAIGA is now able to speak English because he lived here. As a parent, I'm looking to see what direction he'll choose in terms of employment.
TAIGA right before he heads off to the UK. The best smile!
UNINEST：Please give a message to those parents who will entrust their children to UNINEST!
TAIGA'S MOM：You needn't have any concerns about security here. But the number one benefit is the opportunity for international exchange whilst living in Japan.
TAIGA'S DAD：The biggest draw is the chance to enjoy international exchange, and to mix with a variety of cultures as part of everyday life.
TAIGA'S MOM：Wait, we're saying the same thing, no?!
UNINEST & TAIGA'S DAD & TAIGA'S MOM：Hahaha!
UNINEST：As staff we are keen to communicate with our student residents and continue trying new things so that we can provide a better student experience. By the time TAIGA comes home, it should be even easier to live here!
TAIGA'S MOM：That's great. We're already telling TAIGA, "Live here once you're back from your study abroad!"
UNINEST ：We're happy to hear that. We're already awaiting your return, TAIGA!
Thank you all for taking the time to speak with us today!
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