02 Feb What is included in a homestay?
As a homestay guest, you can expect your own private furnished room in your host family’s home, with a private or shared bathroom. Some hosts also offer the option for two guests to share a room, and every homestay on HomestayBay clearly lists the bedroom and bathroom options available to you.
A furnished room generally includes at least a bed and wardrobe or closet. You might also find other furnishings in your bedroom:
- Desks are common and provide a quiet place to study.
- Many hosts have installed bedroom door locks to provide you with privacy and security.
- Some hosts will provide a television in your room, which can help learn the local culture.
On HomestayBay, each listing will show what kind of furnishings you can expect to find in each bedroom.
Hosts generally provide meals, and each of our hosts will offer different plans. The most common plan is a home-cooked dinner and self-serve breakfast (such as cereal or toast). Some hosts provide dinner leftovers for you to take with you for lunch the next day, although we’ve also found that many guests prefer to buy food for lunch and eat with their peers.
Culture and Language
In addition to the tangible amenities, a homestay is an excellent opportunity for international students to practice English outside of school: students are completely immersed in the language they are studying in a homestay.
We also understand that some international travellers prefer to stay in homes where at least one person speaks their native language, and a number of our hosts in English-speaking countries will speak languages such as French, Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese), Korean, Tagalog, Spanish, etc. at home.
Orientation and Advice
We know it can be very difficult and humbling to adjust to a new country and language, and sometimes just filling out a government or bank form can be a very stressful experience. Hosts are usually a good resource to provide guidance and explain what things mean.
A fantastic benefit of living in a homestay is that you will see and experience the city as a local. Many host families include their guests on weekend family trips, often to places that you would never think to go or even knew existed. Hosts treat guests as a member of their family, eating meals together and inviting you to be part of their family conversations.
Transportation within the city is often by public transport, but some families will walk with you to the nearest bus stop on the first day. We have also seen some of our hosts who drive to work offer to also drive their guests in the morning to the nearest train or metro station. Ask your host about transportation options.
HomestayBay provides information on each of our listings about public transit and travel times to many popular schools. This is an estimate of the door-to-door travel time, including all walking time and time to transfer if necessary.