A homestay is more than an accommodation option, a homestay is an experience. When students choose to stay in a homestay, they are not only getting a room and breakfast, they are getting a whole experience of living with locals.
Because of this, students have many expectations about homestays, but some of those beliefs are not the reality. In order for you to not have unrealistic expectations, here are 3 common misconceptions about homestays that you should know before considering one:
Homestays are just like a Hotel
Homestays are very different than hotels. At a hotel you have a private room and private bathroom, and sometimes breakfast is included. A homestay can have a private room and continental breakfast in a family’s house, however it is not in a commercial property. You will be sharing the house space with other members in the household and will interact with them, known as “host family” in your daily basis. You are able to request dinner to be included in your homestay, offering the ability to try the local food, homemade style. Unlike at a hotel, living with locals means you need to let them know about your whereabouts at all times as well as you are expected to abide by their house rules.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that you cannot generalize homestays because they are all different and each one offers a unique experience.
A homestay will make you fluent in your second language
The reality is that living with locals will allow you to improve your language skills quicker than if you were staying in another type of accommodation; however, just by living with locals, you are not going to become fluent in your second language. In order to become fluent you need a lot of practice and the willingness to learn. It doesn’t matter if you are living with locals, what matters is if you want to learn. It’s like going to school, listen to your professor talk and not do your homework. You want to speak better? Well, start speaking. You want to become fluent and speak like locals? Start speaking, a lot.
Homestay houses will be like what you see in movies
While there are homestay houses that look like the ones you see in movies, the reality is that most of them are not. The homestays available today range from the average family sizes and structures, for instance if it is an apartment, condo, house, etc.
You will be the only student staying in the homestay
Booking a private room in a homestay does not necessary means that you will be the only student in the house. The host family might have two or more rooms available, and therefore, they can host you as well as another international student at the same time.
Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments below.