Let's talk about the type of residence, which is called host family. I have repeatedly lived in host families in Canada and the UK and I can say that a lot depends on your mood. If the student has a positive attitude, then he likes everything, he looks at any differences with interest. And know that host family is the best of all opportunities to learn the local language, because you will communicate with its native speakers and hear real and correct speech.
Many students expect to see a classic family - parents with children. But this is not always possible, because families with children have so much trouble, so they do not often accept students. You can usually find older people with children who are already adults, or a single woman / man.
Not always host mother (host father) was born in the host country. For example, in Canada I lived in a family where my mother was from Scotland and my father was from Africa, but they lived in Canada for a long time, and their daughter was born in Vancouver. In England, all my host families were indigenous. Therefore, no one knows what each individual student will have.
Teenagers prefer this type of accommodation, especially if they come across a family with children. After all, you can learn to perceive and children's foreign, and it is different.
As for the selection of a family, when booking, a questionnaire is filled out and student preferences are written so that the school finds a family that meets the student's requirements as much as possible. True, in the high season this is more difficult to do due to the large number of bookings. Therefore, I recommend also considering the autumn and spring periods for language programs, when schools are 70-80% full.
How many students can live in a family while studying abroad?
Usually up to four people, in large houses there may be more, but this is rare. In the UK, very often a family rents one or two rooms and accepts only two students. In Canada, there are large houses where students are allocated the entire first floor, and the family lives on the second.
I lived with such family: on the first floor there were three rooms (the first and second - single, the third - double). We had two bathrooms, that is, only one room had its own bathroom, the rest of the students had to share this room. We also had our own living room with kitchen and TV. We could communicate with each other, and if we wanted to join the family, we went up to the second floor. But we still preferred communication with our peers.
All rooms have a bed or even two, a wardrobe, a desk with a table lamp, a TV, a mirror, in general, everything necessary for life. Bed linen and towels are provided. Some schools recommend bringing towels with you. The room must be kept clean so that it is convenient to clean.
Meals: always full board, due to which this is the most economical way of living. But you can only take breakfast or half board. I recommend taking full board if possible. Food abroad is very expensive, so it is much more profitable to eat at home. Moreover, this is a good opportunity to chat with family in a relaxed atmosphere in the evening.
As for lunch, it will be a packaged lunch, as you will have classes at school. At lunch, you can give a sandwich, cheese, yogurt, fruit. If you don’t eat something or prefer something else, you can always agree. My mistress told me that I can take everything that I see in the refrigerator on certain shelves. Breakfast may include cereal, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, or a sandwich. It all depends on the host country and family habits. But the student's opinion is always taken into account. It is always hot for dinner, for example, steak, grilled vegetables, pasta, lasagna and more.
If you are a vegetarian, you must write to the school at the time of booking. If you are allergic to any products, be sure to warn in advance. We were very lucky that our host family at the weekend organized barbecue picnics.
In families there are rules, that must be followed. For instance, not every family allows students to cook on their own and store food in their room. This can only be done in the kitchen, for which each student is provided with his own tray.
You can take a shower once or twice a day for up to five minutes, since their water is expensive, so they save. You cannot take a shower late due to noise, or come home late. If the student does not plan to have dinner at home, he must warn the family in advance (preferably in the morning, but it is possible a couple of hours before the meal). Or to warn that it will be too late to have dinner, so that food is prepared and left before your arrival.
If a student wants to invite friends, then first he must ask permission from the family. If you want to take a picture of the house as a keepsake, you also need to ask permission. But this is normal, I think everyone would not like to have photos of his house all over the Internet.
As for washing, it is usually once a week, for example, on Saturday. The student gives the clothes, and the host mother washes them. All families have internet, satellite TV. In this case, the family has the right to establish a certain limit on the use of the Internet. The student can use it for educational purposes. Downloading voluminous video files or watching movies online is not permitted.
As for smoking, it is necessary to specify this issue. Not all families accept smoking students.
Upon arrival, the family meets you and tells you all the rules of conduct. A key is issued for the duration of the stay. All families gave me printed instructions on how to get to school. If there were other students, they always show the way. Students are taken care of all the time; you don’t feel alone.
As for the arrival: the family needs to be warned about the arrival time so that they are at home and meet you. I also note that usually host families are located 30-40 minutes from the school, so students should be prepared for this. Sometimes the road can take an hour and a half.
Family can always be changed or even change the type of residence, for example, to a residence. Of course, this is not the fastest process, and this is possible if there are free host families or places in the residence, that is, not in the hot season, in the summer, for example. This is actually a very short story. There are a lot of nuances.
If you have additional questions about studying abroad and staying at home, our consultants will be happy to answer your questions. You can also leave an online application or come to our offices.