Students who are studying abroad may confront a lot of difficulties. For a few, the culture shock can be overwhelming, while others would spend a lot of energy just figuring out how to handle their financial accounts effectively in a foreign land.
Another challenge faced by those studying internationally is the student accommodation. That is the reason it is prudent for those who are considering to study abroad to sort this out even before leaving their home country.
Luckily, there are numerous alternatives to student accommodations for international and exchange students. This includes school dormitories and student apartments. However, for one reason or another, some students prefer a setup that feels more like home. This is how the homestay option is highly essential.
What is a homestay?
Homestays, similar to what the International Homestay Agency offers, are a form of student residence where families receive and host international students in their home. Usually, the length of the contract is month to month. This is rather compelling than a term or lease in apartment or shared accommodation rentals. The agency offers the student lots of flexibility in this regard. However, it best to book homestay for few months or longer, but the student is not locked up in a lease and can ask to change home, if something needs to be addressed.
A good number of universities even make this accommodation option obligatory for exchange students who are in the country for the first time. The reason behind this requirement is that, with homestays, getting acquainted with a new environment is quicker and learning the local language is faster for the foreign students. Much of the time, the universities take part in choosing the student accommodation providers for their international students.
Homestays are not only limited to students, however. Any type of guests can also take advantage of this type of accommodation and its low pricing. Host families tend to support students and guide them to settle in the neighborhood.
Advantages of Homestays
Aside from taking care of a student’s problem with finding accommodation and helping in learning the local dialect, there are other advantages to homestays. The following will show you why you ought to explore this accommodation option while traveling to another country to study.
1. Rapidly Learn Some Significant Cultural Practices and Conventions
Living with a local family would open you to a number of unique experiences, such as wedding traditions, birthdays, holiday celebrations, and other simple day-to-day life. These are things you are less likely to learn fully when you stay in student rooms in the dormitories or private lofts.
Experiencing firsthand the traditions of the locals is one of the easiest approaches to learning more about the new society you are in and making you feel comfortable in it. Before you even notice it, you become well-acquainted with some of the customs of your host country that you can pass as one of the locals.
2. Instantly have the Best Teachers
People who open their homes to the homestay program are often inquisitive by nature. You would be urged to ask for whatever information from their simple way of life to their cultures and traditions in the community. And, obviously, this would be something that you will find quite exciting.
On the other hand, you must also be ready to answer questions regarding your homeland too. Talking about stuff like this would surely make you feel more comfortable and welcome.
3. Quickly Immerse Yourself in the Customs
Living with a family would also provide you a remarkable opportunity to live like local people in a specific community. If you are quite the inquisitive type, this would be a brilliant opening to start exploring various aspects of your personality.
You would learn many things about yourself that you have never known before. For example, you would find how quickly you can adjust to another culture as you attempt to immerse yourself in the new culture. So you should always try to be a part of the usual family weekends.
4. Instantaneously have a New Family
One of the best advantages of the homestay program is that you instantly gain another family. If you simply get along with your host and you both feel mutually comfortable, this new location will soon become your second home.
Often times, students that choose a homestay will have wonderful stories about family and love that are sure to warm the heart. The relationships shaped throughout your homestay will definitely shape your life as an exchange student. These are lifetime connections with bonds so firm that you are probably going to travel back just to see your foreign family again long after you finish school.
5. Advantageously Taste Homemade Dishes and Local Cuisine
As a part of your new family, you get the chance to eat the food prepared by your host. Despite the fact that it might take a while to adapt to different foods, once you get used to it, you will surely find this as an amazing culinary experience.
You should know that you are so fortunate to eat homemade food when you get to taste the meal prepared at school or if you choose to dine in a restaurant.
On a Final Note…
These are only some of the many advantages of the homestay program. If you give it a try, you will discover other benefits that will make you hesitate to leave your new family when the time comes to do so.
The underlying essence of homestays is all about cultural integration. Furthermore, the experiences of numerous students throughout the years demonstrate that in the majority of the time, the homestay program works the way it was planned.
For more travel information and guide, be sure to browse other pages of NZ Travel Secrets.