As you may know I’m staying with a host family during my time in Brighton. Not only is it a way to get to know the British culture but to strongly improve your English. Thankfully my host family is really nice and welcoming. I live in a nice house with my host parents, two host sisters and their dog. Besides me there is a Colombian student who stays with my guest family too.
This is not my first time staying with a host family. When I was on a language study travel in England some years ago, I stayed in a host family for two weeks. Just as the family I’m staying with now they were really kind. Luckily, I never experienced a negative situation with a host family. Here are some benefits
Live like a local
You can ask your host family many questions about local traditions or the best places only locals know about which you may not want to ask a stranger. They can give you the best tips about events, places, restaurants and more. It gives you a great look inside the life of a local. Last Sunday there was a marathon in Brighton and I watched it with my host family (my host father ran the marathon). If I would live on my own I would’ve not see the marathon for sure.
A home away from home
If you travel alone it can be scary sometimes to be alone in a city you never been to, so a host family gives you the chance to meet locals right away so it will be easier to orient yourself in your new surroundings. A host family offers you a home away from home since you will be living in an actual family. You may feel safer in a family environment than living all by yourself if you never lived alone.
Speak like a native
Every language has typical phrases which are probably different from the ones in your country. In a host family, you will learn phrases of the everyday life very fast which is a great addition to your vocabulary and is big step closer to be able to speak like a native speaker. At the beginning, you may be insecure about your speaking skills but after you get to know your family it will get easier and you will be less insecure about speaking. You will probably see an improvement in your English after just a short time. Because you must speak English all day long you learn a lot of new vocabulary, pronunciation and common phrases. Not only does your vocabulary gets bigger but your English gets more fluent.
When you’re staying with a host family you don’t have to cook (although this depends on what you book) or clean which gives you less responsibility and less things to worry about. Eating with your host family can gives you a good opportunity to see traditional meals. If you have a certain diet, such as vegetarian, vegan, etc., it would probably be easier to choose to cook for yourself since your host family may not have the same diet. In case you have religious or, -cultural dietary needs it is important to inform your agency about it.
Good value options
Staying with a host family often is a cheaper choice comparing to renting your own apartment or room. As it already includes rent, costs for the meals (or only a specific meal like breakfast) you can save the money for activities in your free time.
Of course, you have to decide for yourself what stay is the best choice for you, but I can really recommend a stay in a host family.
All the best,