Host Family in Europe: Making a home away from home


Every town in Europe is packed with monuments dating back several centuries. Little villages are charged full of history. The countries are small, but most of them were once the center of an empire. Europe offers more than most other regions in the world. There is hardly anything that cannot be found in one of cosmopolitan cities like London, Madrid, Rome or Berlin. Each year more and more students from all around the globe see Europe as a way to experience the world within a safe environment. From far north locales in Scandinavia to Mediterranean locations, there are more and more European families who register as a host family in order to give students a chance to experience immense cultural immersion by living as locals, and in return, these families learn from the culture of hosted student.

There are some study-abroad programs that offer host family accommodation. The host family becomes a vital part of students time abroad and their experiences. While staying with a host family, students can eat, sleep and breathe a new language and culture as part of a totally immersive experience. You will have the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the local culture, pick up expressions with much greater ease and return home with a more authentic accent.

Studying a language abroad with a host family is an effective way to learn because you live with locals, practicing the language all day and avoid the temptation to speak to other students in your native language. Your hosts provide a welcoming environment, support your learning, and offer an authentic window into their culture. Your host family will teach you the real language and sound like a local, enabling better grades in your language class when you return back home.

Each host family has a personal profile that includes their interests as well as references and evaluations from previous guests. And because you’re able to communicate before you travel, both parties avoid that awful moment when you first ring the doorbell and wonder who will answer (because you already have had some previous contact).

It should be noted that there will be a new set of rules. There are certain things you have to follow and sometimes ask before what is allowed and what is not. Simple subjects like when do we have breakfast? When do we have lunch? What about rules of going out? Can I have a friend spend the night? Remember, you are dealing with people and all people have their own background.  You will need to strike the right balance and to find a way to make it work just as you do back home.

Host family profiles are diverse. From traditional and single-parent families to single adults and retirees. All of them believe that learning a foreign language should be fun. They will help you learn and practise the language in everyday situations and also while engaging in your hobbies. It will probably be an experience you will want to repeat in the future. Most of the time people don’t know much about your culture, so some cultural differences can be the source of some friction. In some places like Spain, they have big lunches and then don’t eat dinner until 10 pm so if you come from US, this might be something to get used to.

  • The host family becomes a vital part of students time abroad and their experiences.
  • Each host family has a personal profile that includes their interests as well as references and evaluations from previous guests.

Host families often have the responsibility of providing the participant with the experience of being “of” the host country. That can mean exploring attributes of the local culture, such as holidays, traditions, and religious celebrations. That can also mean showing typical day-to-day routines. European families can be distinguished by their love for outdoor activities. Swimming, bicycling, fishing or trekking throughout beautiful landscapes surely will be activities you could enjoy with your new host family.

Our Youth Year programs  offer students the chance to live with a carefully selected host family. All host families are handpicked and many have hosted international students before. Our program partners carry out a strict host family screening process, to assure the suitability of the families and the welfare of the students, and provides 24 hour emergency service. Both families and students receive a profile on each other, as well as personal information to strive for a comfortable and well matched visit. If you are curious about how to find an exchange program tailored to you, do not hesitate and call us right now

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