What is Homestay?
Homestay is a situation in which an international student lives with a local family during their time abroad in a new country. Homestay gives an international student the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in American culture by living in a warm and welcoming household (rather than an apartment, dorm or hotel).
In a homestay, the international student is treated like part of the family! The host may be single or married, they may have kids and/or pets—whatever the situation may be, the entire household is encouraged to help make their international student feel right at home. Host families and international students often become close and remain friends long after the student has gone back to their home country.
Homestay packages vary based on the students' specific needs. In many cases, host families will provide the following for their international student:
Shared or private bathroom
Transportation to and from school
Opportunities to join family activities
Guidance and support
Conclusion: Homestay is Awesome
Living in a local household plays a unique and vital role in the international student's experience abroad. While providing a safe environment for students to live in, host families often help to bridge the cultural gap that students experience.
The host family's role is not to replace the student’s natural family. Host families will respect their international student's privacy, and international students are encouraged to keep in close contact with their friends and family back home during their time abroad.
Overall, homestay is an incredible opportunity to explore new places, meet new people, learn new things and make memories that will last a lifetime.