Not to seem rude or anything but I think you are not really paying attention to what folks are taking the time to write for your benefit. An Uchideshi program is not something you can just look up in the yellow pages. If you had looked at the Aikido of San Leandro Website you would see that a) an uchideshi does not receive any payment for the work that they do at the dojo b) an uchideshi must pay for the privilege of being an uchideshi and living and training in the dojo and c) a recommendation from an aikido instructor is required to participate in the uchideshi program. Given your $3500, you would only be able to participate in this particular program for a maximum of 6 months which would include your monthly fee of $500, your $100 registration fee, your $200 gift to the dojo leaving you with $200 for food for the 6 months. Not a pretty picture. Not to mention the fact that you don't have a recommendation from anyone to even get into the program.
While I have not been an uchideshi, no uchideshi program that I am aware of takes folks that just walk in off the street.
The Aikido of San Leandro is just one example of an uchideshi program but I'll wager that it is a good model to give you a general idea of what you'll need to participate in any uchideshi program.
To serve as you internet "jimminy cricket" let's take an overseas example of an uchideshi program in Japan, with an aikido dojo run by an 8th dan Aikikai, Kobayashi Dojos. General expenses:
A trainee needs to pay for his/her own expenses. Expenses include transportation, meals, the fee for living in the dojo, training fees, and any other expenses for personal needs.
Transportation expense includes both travels to and from Japan, and in Japan: metro (subway), busses, trains, etc.
Meals include both the food that a trainee buys to him/herself and the meals that the trainee participates (for example, a trainee must pay his/her share of dojo breakfasts on Friday mornings).
Lodging fee and instruction fee must be paid to Kobayashi Dojo in cash monthly. It covers the use of dojo materials and equipment.
A trainee must pay the training fees to those dojos other than Kobayashi Dojo for extra training sessions. For example, if he/she visits Hombu dojo for an extra training while participating the live-in training program at Aikido Kobayashi Dojo, he/she must pay a visitor fee to Hombu dojo. Moreover, a trainee must pay his/her expenses if he/she attends any Aikido seminars and camps.
A trainee can use the dojo computers with Internet connection when it is agreed with the person in charge at the dojo.
The fees at Aikido Kobayashi Dojo:
Lodging fee: 30,000 yen per month
Instruction fee: 10,000 yen per month
1.Those who wish to become live-in trainees should talk to the shihan or other person in charge of any dojo affiliated with Aikido Kobayashi Dojo or one of the overseas aikido organizations which has instructional ties to it. After making initial contact through this person, the approval of the head of Aikido Kobayashi Dojo is required prior to beginning training.
2.Live-in trainees must provide a letter of recommendation from the shihan or head instructor of their aikido organization, and will also be required to sign a contract outlining the rules and responsibilities of live-in training.
3.Live-in trainees must obtain a guarantor. In the event that the trainee causes a traffic accident, he/she and the guarantor will share responsibility for whatever liability is incurred.
4.Aikido Kobayashi Dojo must be informed of the date or period of intended training prior to the trainees arrival.
5.Trainees should be behave at all times in the awareness and with a sense of pride in being live-in trainees, and should be diligent in their aikido practice.
6.Trainees must strive to understand well and respect the customs and routines of life in a dojo.
7.As a trainee of Aikido Kobayashi Dojo, one must try to be on good terms with other members of the dojo, and refrain from doing anything that might bother or create a sense of mistrust among other members or residents of the neighborhood of the dojo.
8.Trainees may not be absent from a scheduled practice without first giving a reason. In cases of an anticipated absence, one should contact the head of the dojo or one of the instructors beforehand to explain the situation.
9.Trainees must contact the head of the dojo (Dojo-cho) or one of the instructors prior to spending a night away from the dojo.
10.Trainees should pay the instruction and lodging fees for their training prior to the starting date of their period of training.
11.In the event that a trainee wishes to test for a promotion of dan or kyu rank while at Aikido Kobayashi Dojo, he or she must first obtain the permission of the shihan or other person in charge of the aikido organization to which they belong.
12.As space to store personal belongings is limited at the dojo and Kumegawa Lodge, live-in trainees should be prepared to make do with only their most necessary possession for the period of their stay.
Note: 40,000 yen = $372; cost of living in Tokyo is high and plane tickets to Japan are around $1,000-2,000.
So, please listen to what is being said [written] and find a job, and join a dojo, then pursue your dream intelligently. I'm not pointing these things out to discourage you but to help you make an informed decision.