Staying with a host family on an English language exchange trip is different from traveling independently. Instead of staying in a hostel or hotel with friends you will stay in a locals house, eat their food and interact with their family. Hosts can have a single student traveler to stay or accommodate a few together. Living with the family will give you the best opportunities to live like a local and get the most out of your stay. Here are some of the main advantages of staying with a host family.
Staying with a host family means that you will be constantly learning the language, absorbing information from the native conversations which surround you. You will avoid the temptation of returning to your native speech as your hosts will require you to communicate in English. You will be shocked at how quickly your confidence in the language improves when you challenge yourself in this way! Learning will be accelerated and effort will be consistent when they commit to speaking English consistently.
By staying in an English speaking homestay you will get the full experience as you submerge yourself in the culture and language. You will truly be spending your time here like a local. You’ll discover the hidden gems as well as the key tourist attractions. You’ll hear stories and meet locals whilst learning the language and living the life of the Irish. You could not get this experience through other means. Staying in accommodation with friends from your hometown will mean that the only people you can learn from is each other. You will be able to see the sites but you won’t experience the true culture or integrate with people that have lived here their whole life.
Spending your language exchange staying with a host family provides extra safety as they know the area thoroughly and have knowledge which keeps them safe. Different areas will have different customs and needs when it comes to safety. Living in a homestay means you will get advice from people who know the area best, and you will alway have a local friend close by if you are in need of assistance.
Many homestays will have children of similar age to their guests. They can introduce you to their friends and bring you out to local venues. It's easy to stay in a bubble when you only travel with friends but staying with a host family means that you will instantly access groups of local friends which will show you around and make the experience a truly authentic one.
When staying with a host family you will constantly be exposed to people speaking English around you, providing an affordable alternative to formal language teaching. It’s like having high quality language lessons all day everyday! It is the best way to learn and practice in organic settings that challenge you in a fun and sociable way. For the affordable price of staying in a homestay you will receive home-cooked native meals, constant language exposure and friends who can be your tour guides and show you both the tourist hot spots and the less known sites, without the expensive tour prices!