Travelling to a new country is one of the best ways to learn their language and find out about their culture. Hotels will give your trip that luxury feeling whilst staying in a hostel allows you to meet other travellers from across the world but the experience of living with a host family is unmatched. We sum up the reasons why staying with a host will always give you the most out of your trip.
Staying with a host is the closest you can get to living like a local and opens you up to meeting the most people on your trip. The family you stay with is a base of what will quickly become a much larger network of connections you make on your stay. You will often live with kids of similar age who will introduce you to their friends and you will also meet other homestayers and their circles. The social possibilities are endless! All the while you will live your days just like the locals do, cooking, trying local homemade cuisines, joining in on activities and learning the language.
Living with a local family will fully submerge you in the learning process. You will be both challenged and rewarded for your efforts and will be astonished at how quickly you improve. Choosing to live with a host family is choosing to test your language skills and accelerate your progress. You will not be constantly reverting to your native tongue which will help you improve more consistently. It will also allow you to practice in more intimate settings which many find much less daunting then in a classroom or examination settings.
With a host, you will fully immerse into society for the most authentic experience. Because what's the point in coming all this way to do it half heartedly? Squeeze every last drop out of this experience because it is once in a lifetime so you want to do it right. Staying with friends from home in commercial accommodation, strips a lot of character from your trip but staying with a host will make each trip completely unique. This is because each family you stay with will bring with them new friends, new surroundings and new memories.
Living with a host family means you won’t be relying on tour guides and Google for your recommendations. The tourist hotspots will be easy to find but what about those hidden gems and off the beaten track activities? Your family will be an encyclopedia of knowledge for the local areas, telling you the best places to go that tourists won’t know about. They’ll also be able to provide any useful information regarding safety and customs so you are never left in uncertainty.
Living with a host family will give you a truly authentic and holistic experience with all the trimmings. It’s the best way to pack the most into your stay and also get the most out of it. It’ll be fun, educational and unforgettable! You will still have friends from home close by and be fully supported by your exchange programme but with it you will gain more than you could by staying in private accommodation. So challenge yourself and expand your horizons by embarking on the trip of a lifetime!