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Title: Homestay  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Konan University, Tourism, Hotel, Sophia Fukuoka Junior and Senior High School, St Giles International
Collection: Tourist Accommodations
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Homestay is a form of tourism and/or study abroad that allows visitors to rent rooms from local families. It is sometimes used by people who wish to improve their language skills and become familiar with the local lifestyle.[1]

Some countries encourage homestay as a means of developing their tourism industry.[2] Hosting a homestay participant allows the host family to earn an income. Students tend to arrange a homestay with their school or educational institution, but they can informally arrange one through social connections and private agencies that connect students with hosts families, usually for a nominal fee.[3]


  • Types 1
  • Typical contracts and agreements 2
  • Risks 3
  • References 4


Homestay opportunities range from a complete family experience to basic room rental. The goal of a homestay is for the student to be immersed in their host's culture. The student may participate in family activities, including dining out, going to amusement parks, camping, and traveling. The visiting student may be expected to pay a portion of the activity-related costs, such as tickets, parking, gas and travel expenses.

Host families can play a pseudo-parental role, giving advice and sometimes supervising students' activities. In many homestays, families act as cross-cultural advisers, helping the students understand and adjust to their new culture.[4] In other homestays, students may simply rent a room within a private home, with minimal supervision from the host. In working homestay agreements, the student is expected to perform duties such as yard work, farm work, babysitting, or maid services.

Typical contracts and agreements

To minimize difficulties, most homestay arrangements involve a contract or written agreement between the host and the student. Verbal agreements may change contractual clauses depending upon developments after a stay has begun. A contract typically outlines what is expected of the host student and may include items such as chores to perform (e.g., cleaning, laundering), curfews, use of the Internet, television, and/or telephone, and smoking, drinking, and drugs rules. Agreements may also lay out what is being provided by the host, such as accommodations, furniture, facilities, meal provisions, transportation, communications, and entertainment. Generally, a host must provide a private room with a lock for sleep and study and a washroom for the student to use. Most other items are negotiable in terms of availability and price.


Typically, hosting a student facilitates the exchange of cultures, information, and experience. However, studying abroad is often the student's first experience of being away from his or her parents and home country, to which they may have difficulty adjusting. The host must be able to help with separation issues, anxiety, and other difficulties. According to research, hosts and homestay students may exhibit mild symptoms of culture shock and must adjust accordingly.[4] Despite the potential difficulties, host families, including children, are able to learn about other cultures. Many host families stay in touch with their students long after they return to their home countries.

Occasionally, a host family or individual may be looking only to capitalize on the financial opportunity of a homestay arrangement and may have little or no concern for the interests of the other party.


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