How to find a host family

Written by mayankj
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Studying abroad is an exciting adventure. Not only do you learn a new culture, language and interest, but you can develop lifelong friendships. While studying in a foreign country you can stay with a host family. Host families open their doors to travelling students. Usually, home stay programs are less expensive than other options for staying abroad, such as renting or staying in a dorm.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Determine where you'll be going and find a host family that lives near the participating school. If a program in Japan is located near Tokyo, a host family in Osaka will be a problem.

  2. 2

    Go to Homestay Finder's website, at, and look for the country and city nearest the exchange program location. The website will give a list of host families and monthly prices for a stay. Click on the name of a host family for contact information. Contact the potential host families to check availability. Alternatively, go to Homestay Web's website at and select a country. The website will give a list of host families in the country with the name of the city by the host family.

  3. 3

    Ask questions about children, pets or any other potential compatibility problems. If you're allergic to cats, ask about cats. Ask about any potential problems with the location, such as transportation issues.

  4. 4

    Talk to every member of the family, including small children. This ensures compatibility with every member of the family and not just the host parents.

  5. 5

    Talk about potential dangers in the area. Always take time to find out about the neighbourhood, especially in dangerous countries. Ask questions about the crime rate in the area.

  6. 6

    Ask cultural questions regarding appropriate behaviour for a guest. While many exchange programs will give this information, asking the host family will open doors for communication, and it might prevent social mishaps.

Tips and warnings

  • Pay attention to the cost of the homestay. Host families are often less expensive than renting, but there is a cost to stay with the family.
  • Inform the family about the length of the stay beforehand. The family might have limits on how long an exchange student can stay.

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