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For Community-Driven Global Development

5 Benefits of Living with a Host Family

Homestay family

So you’ve researched internship abroad opportunities, honed in on the perfect one, applied and interviewed with our international site team, and (congrats!)  landed the internship you’ve been searching for. Now comes the big question: where are you going to live while abroad?

With FSD, the answer is easy - you’ll stay with a host family. Living with a host family is an experience that is impossible to match at a hostel or guest house, but still, many students have reservations. Common questions we receive from interns include, What if my host family doesn’t like me? What will I do when I meet my family? I am really independent, won’t living with a host family be difficult?

Relax! Your concerns are natural. We’ve put together the five reasons why a host family is the very best option for your internship abroad.

1. Cultural Immersion

Aside from helping you create sustainable development solutions with our partners in the field, a big draw for many students in pursuing an internship with FSD is the cultural immersion you’ll enjoy. Our homestay families are localswhich means they are the best resource for you to learn about the local culture. Informed in the local speaking customs, all the local events, and working and living in the area, they are an incredible source of knowledge. You can count on your host families to teach you and guide you through their way of life. Not only will you learn about your region's culture, you’ll be a part of your host’s family culture.

2. Authentic Cuisine

Food is the universal languageand there's no better way to get to know someone than over a delicious home-cooked meal. With a homestay family you can count on this every single day of your internship. Wherever you volunteer, you can learn a lot about the local customs, food chains, traditions, and tastes. Often there are many foods you just can't get in a restaurant or learn about online because they're only made in the home. This is a special, relaxed, and intimate way to get to know your hosts and the site that you won't find any other way.

3. Learn new perspectives

Wherever we’re from, our upbringing and environments shape our views in ways we might not even be aware of. A homestay is a perfect opportunity to get to know a new perspective by observing, listening to, and engaging with your hosts. Some host families have children and elders that also live in the home. Engaging with people of different ages, cultures, and customs is essential to growing as a person and a young professional, so take advantage of this special opportunity to learn with your host family. Often it's a mutual learning and teaching process which is beautiful in its own way.

4. Improve Language Skills

Perfecting language skills is a large aspect of many students’ immersion experienceand there is no better way to perfect your language abilities than by actually living in an environment where the local language is spoken every day. Our host families are patient, caring, non-judgemental, and most of all, encouraging. You’re certain to finish your internship feeling more confident in your language skills than when you left. You’ll also learn the lingo! One perk of living with a homestay family is that you'll learn the local slang and do’s and dont’s of the local language. This is the perfect way to enhance your vocabulary and grow it in ways nearly impossible to do without this immersive experience.

5. Gain a Lifelong Family

The family you stay with often becomes a family for life. We call our homestay placements host families for a reason — they really do become your family while you’re abroad. But you don’t have to take our word for it, hear what some of our alumni have to say about their experience with their homestays.

Ready to participate in an FSD internship and start your homestay experience? Submit your application today to begin the process.