If you have plans to come to England to study, short or long term, to volunteer in a project, or simply as an extension of your current profession, you’re going to need somewhere to stay.
So what is staying with a host family really like?
At first it can be quite daunting, especially if you’re away from your home and family for the first time. But that is true of any new experience – first you worry, then, once you become more familiar with your surroundings, you come to realise it isn’t anywhere near as bad as you had feared. Before very long, you’ll start to feel comfortable and confident in your new ‘home away from home’ in the big city.
Experience the culture
The most rewarding element of a homestay accommodation will be absorbing the culture, seeing at first hand the nuances of day to day British family life, in a safe and comfortable environment. Human nature is such that your host family will not only enjoy having you as a guest in their home, they’ll also be more than happy to help you get the most from your stay in London.
Practise your English
Staying with a host family means you’ll be able to improve your language skills, and certainly, you’ll learn colloquial phrases and sayings which you probably would not have come across before if you have been learning English in a formal education environment.
Learn about traditions
You’ll learn about traditions and how the day to day lives of the British differ from those traditions of your own culture. The host family will be curious about you – remember, learning is a two way street and everyone will gain invaluable insight about each other. Sometimes, lifelong friendships are established.
Enjoy a more “local” experience
By staying with a host family, you’ll have a point of support for your stay in London. They will help you discover the tourist ‘hot spots’ and may be able to point you in the direction of places which aren’t on the tourist trail, that only the locals will know, but are equally as interesting and fascinating.
Host families often enjoy imparting their local knowledge with a bit of humour, and pretty soon you’ll be immersed in English culture before you know it, and learning without realising it.
Homestay accommodation is a great way to enhance your cultural and learning experience. If you make the decision to stay with a host family in London, you’ll also find it will it be a lot cheaper than most other accommodation options available. This is something that will really help if you are not being paid for volunteering in London.
Whether you are a volunteer, student, intern or tourist you can find out more detailed information about homestay here – your first step to finding that perfect ‘home from home’ in the big city.