cultural pair - Homestay in China

What is Homestay

With accommodation being a challenge especially to foreign students, home stay has become a popular alternative. This is an arrangement where a foreign students lives with a local family as a guest for a specified period. The host provides the foreign students with all the basic needs; this includes a room, food and a space where they can do their studies. As the times go by the host and the student get to know each other more, the foreign students becomes a part of the family. Apart from providing the basic needs, the host family has to ensure that the student is comfortable; it also helps the student to familiarize him or her self with the local environment.

Home stay gives the student an opportunity to adapt to the China’s way of life easily, since one becomes a member of the host family, they will teach you all that there is to know. You will learn their culture through observing, they will teach you the language and more importantly your way around the town. With a home stay your stay in China becomes easy; you do not struggling finding your way out. You are allowed to use the facilities which are owned by the family including the cars or bicycles.

Benefits of Homestay

  • As a foreign student, you settle easily in your new country, you have someone to show you how things are done around here.
  • You get to live a few minutes drive or walk to your university , this helps you to relax knowing that you will be getting to class on time
  • All your needs are taken care of , the host family has a responsibility of providing the guest with all the basic needs , this includes a room where the student will be staying and studying , food ,and any other requirement which is supposed to make the student comfortable. You have access to all the facilities that the family uses
  • It becomes easy to find friends, the host family is the starting point , if there are young members of the family , they will show you the way , help you to socialize and get acquaintances
  • You get all the information that you need, if you want to know more about the host country, its people and places, the family members are more than willing to take you through these lessons.
  • You have the opportunity to live in a fully furnished apartment or house
  • You will share meals with the host family and you can help them around with some of the chores, with this you are engage
  • You get a chance to form a bond with local family, this helps in building network which are very helpful in a student life and beyond.
  • You will have your own room
  • You have a chance to share responsibility just as you would while in your home country , this makes you feel at home

Host Families

The homestay hosts are people who have chosen to live with foreign students as they value intercultural exchange. These are people who enjoy spending time with foreign students or basically new family members. The fact that they have embraced intercultural environment means that they are comfortable living with a person from different parts of the world. These are people who are interested in meeting new people and learning their ways of life. They go through a vetting process to ensure that the homes where the students will choose have a conducive environment.

There are a diversity of home stays, there are those where families have children, some and single parents, couples and a variety of combinations. The host may be a local or a foreigner like you, if the host have, they children may be young or grown up. There can also be an element of intercultural mix.

The host normally receives some basic subsidy to cover the living expenses while you are living with them, therefore you will not be required to pay for the services that the family accord you.

You will basically find families which are welcoming, respectful and accommodating at the same time. You stay in China as a foreign student will be smooth. With the home stay host, you will be in a home away from home.

The student has a chance to choose his or her host but generally all those families which have accepted to take in a foreign student and live with him or her, are people who are willing to help a student to have a good start in China and provide an environment which will make them feel at home.


Homestay is a cheaper alternative that foreign students can take to ensure that their stay in China is enjoyable. The cost involved in this arrangement is minimal. Once you have decided to participate in this program, you need to formal application giving details about you and the kind of home that you would like to be assigned. You may be required to pay a deposit as a commitment that you will enroll in the program. The first payment should be done before you get to China while the remaining balance can be paid upon arrival. In some of the programs the student may be required to pay some amount of money while in others no payments required.

For the upkeep of the student, the family which will host you will take care of most of your needs. The student is supposed to take care of some of the needs such as lunch and personal items. The host family may also opt to take care of the student transport to and from the university; this means that the cost of upkeep is reduced drastically. Generally the cost of home stay is minimal, in some instances the student is not supposed to pay anything, the host family takes care of the most of the bills, and in other occasions the students may be required to chip in.


In the homestay arrangement, both parties have roles and responsibilities which they are supposed to play. The host family on its part is supposed to make sure that the foreign student is comfortable as long as they are in under their care. The host family is charged with the role of ensuring that the student is familiarized with the surrounding. To ensure that the student is comfortable, the family is supposed to provide the foreign student with the basic requirement .The family provides a room where the student sleeps and at the same time a place where they can study. Food is also another aspect that a host family out to take care of. They normally provide breakfast and supper and since the student will be away during the lunch hour, this meal can be taken care of by the student.

The family is also supposed to provide the student with an atmosphere which is conducive to learning. This involves offered the facilities which will are geared toward providing that environment.

The student on his or her part is charged with the role of respecting the host. He or she ought to be accommodative and at times gives the family some space to do their things.

Cultural Care

When a foreign students just like anyone visiting a foreign land for the first time will experience culture shock. This is normally the case when one finds a way of life which is totally different from what you are used to. This involves finding types of foods which are different from what you take at home, practices which are unusual at home and so many other aspects. It is important for the student who is moving to china to familiarize him or herself with the culture which is bound to meet. This will give a clue as far as what is expected is concerned, with such kind of a background the level of shock will not be as high as it would have been if there are no preparation. Normally the host family will take upon the responsibility of caring for the student culturally; they have a chance to learn from the family. The students is taught the basic language which is used at these platforms. By the time the student is two years old in China he or she will master the basic language making communication easy. Cultural care may also come in different forms it mainly deals with the issues of interacting with others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a student select the host family?

The student is allowed to select their host family upon request. During the application process the student is asked to give all the necessary details pertaining to their needs. The student may have certain preferences; this means that a host family must meet those attributes. In other cases, the student just states the needs and we match the student with the kind of family that he would like to stay with.

Can my freedom be curtailed by the host family?

Normally the host families are very accommodating, the fact that they are willing to stay with somebody who is totally a stranger to them is an indication that they will accord the level of the freedom needed. It is also important for the student to limit the freedom, in such a case you should respect your host and refrain from engaging into activities which they may be offensive to the host

What kind of host families can I expect?

The families are diverse; they could be single parents, couples, a family with no young children or one with grown up. One should select the kind of families chosen fits the needs and preferences of a student.

I am I supposed to pay anything to be enrolled in a homestay program?

There are some programs which are absolutely free while others one is supposed to pay some fee.

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