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I am having trouble with this sentence from my textbook. It might be that this sentence is many sentences condensed into one long one and that is why I am finding it hard.

Could somebody help me break this up into simpler sentences so that I may understand?

Suggestions from a woman who has had the experience of hosting a foreign student:

日本に来て、短い間でもホームステイをし、実際に日本人といっしょうに住むことにより
、日本人の生活を体験できるとは、とてもいいことだと思います。

I read it as "Coming to Japan, doing homestay for a short space of time, doing living with a Japanese person" (I am stuck on により) "Doing [a] Japanese person's living experiences, it a very good idea"

Am I about right?

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Try breaking the sentence into three parts:

Part 1, up to the first こと.This is a noun phrase, the noun こと modified by the clause (grammatically itself a sentence) that precedes it. This is followed by により, which means "through", "by means of", "as a result of", so this part of the sentence means "as a result of [doing the things spoken of in the modifying sentence] . . . "

Part 2, from there to とは. This combination of particles can be regarded as an elliptical way of saying というのは, and indicates that the speaker or writer is about to offer an explanation in other words of what precedes it. This is often a definition of a word or phrase. Or とは could be a typo for ことは, which would make equally good sense. Either way, this marks the overall topic of the sentence.

Part 3, the rest of the sentence, which means "I think it's an excellent thing". So the whole means "I think it's an excellent thing to [be able to do such-and-such, Part 2] by [doing so-and-so, Part 1]."

Note also: でも means "even" and いっしょうに should be いっしょに.

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