Consortium for International Education & Multicultural Studies
Lodging - Homestay Information
What is a home? It may be an apartment or a house. The occupants may be a family with children, a retiree living alone, or a young professional with a room to let. Some people are always busy, out and about. Others seem to always be home. Most homes have 1 bedroom available (a few have 2 or 3) and accept foreign students regularly.
Who screens the homes? The school housing coordinator selects homes. Their primary concern is safe, reliable housing. All homes are paid. However, compensation is invariably low in reference to hotels and the cost of living in that country.
What are minimum expectations? Expect a safe, courteous environment with the stated number of meals daily and sheets changed weekly. Basic services should function (lights, shower, toilet etc.) within capabilities of local utilities. Safety includes a reasonable standard of hygiene, bottled or boiled water if tap water is unsafe, etc. If any of these basics are questionable, or if you are made to feel uncomfortable in the home, speak with the housing coordinator to resolve the problem in a rational way.
What shouldn't I expect? Don't expect a private bath, air conditioning, central heat, pool, wall-to-wall carpeting, chauffeuring, laundry service, bilingual assistance, large rooms, or breakfast in bed. A typical "home" may be 2-3 bedrooms, one bathroom, a living and dining room, and kitchen. Often there will not be access to a TV. Closets and dressers tend to be smaller. Most visitors find lodging adequate but not luxurious.