www.costaricatesol.com - ITA Costa Rica

| Updated: 03/18/2023

How to Make the Best of your Homestay Experience

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

Living with a homestay during your time abroad can be one of the greatest experiences of your life.  Follow our tips on how to make the best of your experience!

Accommodations during your TESOL Course

Be honest about what you are looking for.  Before arriving, we will ask for you what you need and want in a homestay.  If you are allergic or scared of pets, don't be afraid to tell us.  Please let us know of any dietary restrictions or food allergies you might have.  Take some time to consider if you are interested in staying with a family that has young kids or other foreign students in the home.

Be respectful.  You are living in someone else's home.  They are going to do things differently than you are used to.  Imagine how vulnerable a family has to be in order to allow strangers into their home!  Say "please" and "thank you" and offer to help.  Clear the table, wash the dishes, keep your room tidy.  Don't treat them like they are working for you.  Be mindful of complaining about the food, the temperature in the home, or anything regarding their culture.  Before complaining, ask yourself it is legitimate or if you are going to sound like a brat by making the comment. 


Make the most of the opportunity to live with a family from another culture.  This is an invaluable way to truly experience a culture.  Eat meals with them.  Sit with them in the evenings.  Do your best to speak their language and practice with them.  Listen to their stories and advice. Ask them what they do on the weekends or what their favorite restaurant is. And definitely don't lose touch with them, as you never know when you will need a helping hand in the area or a place to crash!

Finally, start off on the right foot and show you are grateful for the opportunity to be in their home and by giving a gift to the family you will be staying with.  Whether it is something small like a keychain or a magnet or something more substantial like artwork or clothing, the family will be appreciative of the gesture and know you are genuinely thankful for the experience of living with them. 

Many of our TESOL students create lifelong relationships with their homestay families and spend time with them far beyond the course.  You can have the same experience! Reserve your place in one of our TEFL-certification courses 

Spanish Classes

What to Pack

Don't forget to share this post!