Homestay programs can be hard to find, and hard to execute. It isn’t easy traveling alone, let alone traveling to a new family you do not know. However, studies have shown that it brings great beneficial attributes to young people to travel, especially in a host family.
Here are the best reasons why you should send your kid to a homestay program for their next holiday!
Your child will create bonds with locals that could have never happened with traditional tourism.
Finding a new family away from home
When choosing a homestay program, teenagers embark on a wonderful adventure.
However, this can be a hard journey, missing home and their families back in their home country can sometimes weigh on how much globetrotters enjoy their trips.
This is why finding a homestay program and staying with a host family is a great way to travel for young people.
Host families are very welcoming and open their hearts and homes to teenagers. They treat traveling children like their own kids and very often globetrotters will stay in touch with their host families long after they go back home.
Our families are very welcoming, find your new home on World is a Village
Make life-long friends
Your child will create bonds with locals that could have never happened with traditional tourism.
When you live, sleep, eat under the same roof as people you automatically create a bond with them. These friends become family. These relationships can become life-long.
And if the trip goes well there is always a way to find a program which offers reciprocity and your child’s host-brother or sister could come visit too!
Experience cultural practices
By using a homestay program to send your child abroad, you will enable them to experience cultural practices they would never discover otherwise.
In a host family, your globetrotter will experience specific traditions only celebrated in that region
They will get first-hand knowledge about food practices and how national holidays are celebrated. How families live and how the day is culturally followed, for example in Spain there is La Siesta, which means nap time, during which people take a break from life. In some towns and cities, it feels like time has been paused for people to take their break.
However, in other cultures, people work from 8 in the morning to 9 at night without taking breaks except for lunch.
In a host family, your globetrotter will experience specific traditions only celebrated in that region, they might even participate in them! How exciting!
Travel more responsibly
It is known that to travel responsively you need to be respectful of local culture, support the local economy, limit your footprint and educate your friends and family about the culture you have discovered.
Through homestay programs, your child will learn to respect the local culture because they will be apart of it, living it.
They will respect their host family so curiosity and respect towards their culture will be a given!
Let’s be honest, locals make and know best!
They will support local economies because they will know where to find the best of everything, they will get the inside scoop from their host siblings, and let’s be honest, locals make and know best!
They will limit their pollution impact by using more public transportation and carpools, being with the family most of the time.
They will get the best education about the culture they are discovering which will help them teach their family and friend in the best way possible.
Your children will burst with tales about their travels and these new traditions, cultures and ways of life.
The best way to learn a language is to live amongst native speakers
The most effective way to learn a language is to be fully immersed in it, being able to communicate with locals is the fastest way to learn. Being part of a homestay program guarantees this immersion.
The host family will help teach your child local dialects, like slang and regional dialects.
They will not only get to hear locals speak on a constant basis but will be thrown in various linguistic situations which will help develop a well-rounded vocabulary.
Further, constantly hearing the language will help teenagers develop an ear for the language and therefore learn proper pronunciation.
Studies cited in this french article from The Conversation showed that through linguistic immersion, students had shown a clear improvement in oral comprehension.
Going to school in another country
Homestay programs are a great way to discover other school programs.
Different countries organize their schools differently, and sometimes it even varies depending on the region you are in!
In the United States of America, for example, students go to school very early in the morning, at 8, sometimes 7, in the morning. They finish classes at around 3 in the afternoon and then the rest of the day is focused on sports.
In France, it works a little differently. Students are expected to arrive at school at 8:30 at the earliest and can stay for classes as late as 6 in the afternoon. There is no time allowed for sports except if you are in an athlete’s program.
Further, choosing a homestay program could be a great way to discover other school systems, like Montessori schools or international schools that offer IB (International Baccalaureate)
Homestay: the opportunity to experience what no tourist will see
Anyone who has traveled on their own will tell you the same thing, when you are a tourist you spend your day asking yourself questions, on how the culture works and on the different aspects of life.
Sometimes you can feel like an alien. Even if you read all the guide books on the planet you will always be left with more questions.
when using a homestay program you turn the “learning” dial to a maximum!
In homestay programs, not only do globetrotters get the chance to discover a new culture and new landscapes, but they get to have the inside scoop on what locals do on an everyday basis.
Living with locals will give the opportunity for children to see and experience local foods and traditions. See things a regular tourist would miss.
This can help them get a broader understanding of the local culture. They will receive first-hand knowledge of music, religious practices, humor…
And they’ll also get to understand vocabulary, used during family dinner for example, and social cues otherwise missed in the tourist experience.
Basically, your child will get to live the destination instead of just visiting it!
A more Cost-Effective way to Travel Abroad
Choosing a homestay program for your child to travel has also proven to be a more cost-effective way to travel!
They open their hearts and homes out of the goodness of their hearts, in the hope of experiencing cultural exchange with globetrotters.
If you did a quick search in google right now to look-up platforms that offer homestay programs you’d soon realize that a lot of services out there can end up being very expensive.
That is because a lot of offers on the market pay their host families, you are just renting a room for your child in their home.
However, dig a little deeper and you can find some amazing places that bring together volunteering host families from all over the world! These are the ones you are looking for.
They open their hearts and homes out of the goodness of their hearts, in the hope of experiencing cultural exchange with globetrotters. When browsing those websites, you realize that you only have to pay for transportation and their pocket money!
So much cheaper than staying in a hotel!
Our revolutionary model makes our prices way more affordable for everyone! Check out our pricing here
New skills for life
Travelling is known to teach people valuable life skills.
Turn the “learning” dial to a maximum
One of them is adaptability in a new place. When traveling alone you already start to learn how to adapt in a new environment but when using a homestay program you turn the “learning” dial to a maximum!
Since you are totally immersed in the family life of your hosts you have to adapt to traditions and cultural cues you wouldn’t otherwise be aware of.
This also forces the globetrotter to get out of their comfort zone. They are pushed and challenged to change their habits and ways of life and learn new ones.
By being fully immersed in a host family, teenagers also become better agents of multicultural understanding. By living with locals kids get to understand their culture and acquire the knowledge to defend it.
They can help educate people about it in a way never possible with regular tourism.
According to a study conducted by David J. Bachner and Ulrich Zeutsche in 2009, teenagers that choose a homestay program for language and cultural trips
“demonstrate positive and long-lasting changes in their general behaviors as well as cognitive changes. These changes include:
- The host family experience is a singularly important and influential aspect of the exchange
- The longer the exchange, the greater its impact
- An exchange experience enhances one’s international perspective.
- The effects of the experience support prospects for international peace and cooperation
- Former exchange students apply what they learn and influence others
- An overwhelming majority of respondents characterized exchange as both satisfying and successful”
Doesn’t this sound like the kind of skills your child should obtain at an early age if given the opportunity? These skills will shape them into adulthood.
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A homestay program is not the only way to travel as a young adult or even the only immersive option out there, but it definitely is our favorite.
When choosing to stay with a host family you create real links with the country you are visiting. Those relationships, skills, and knowledge can last a lifetime and will always be apart of this unique experience.
This is a can’t miss type of adventure!
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