While Up with People program participants travel the world they stay not in hotels, dorm rooms, or hostels but with local host families. This can be one of the most rewarding benefits of the travel experience because it instantly gets the traveler that much closer to the local culture. Living with a host family is an adventure within an adventure and an experience that many never forget.
What are the benefits of staying with a host family? We’re so glad you asked.
You Get To Live Like A Local
Learn what locals like to do, where they like to go and what it’s really like inside their families. While living with host families you will have the opportunity to learn how to cook local dishes, try out new games, or discover things to do in the area not mentioned in guide books. At Up with People we have something called “host family days” where participants get to spend an entire day with their host family each week seeing the local sights and doing what locals do.
Enjoy Local Traditional Home Cooked Meals
During each Up with People show we like to take the time on stage to thank our host families for opening up their homes and their refrigerators. Getting to eat a home cooked meal and try new dishes, share new recipes and partake in family meals is an incredible experience hotels simply can’t offer. Breaking bread with those across borders is an incredible way to get to know people and share stories.
Language Learning And Practice
The key to learning a new language is to get over your fear of making mistakes – and your host family is a great place to practice your conversation skills. They talk like ”real people,” so you’ll hear a lot of idioms, phrases, and expression that you might not learn in a textbook. You also must force yourself to practice all day, every day which will accelerate learning.
Real Life Cultural Lessons
Living with a host family gives you the ability to ask a local about traditions you’re curious about. Not only do host families have experience in answering the questions of international travelers, if they have hosted guests previously, they also provide a warm, loving environment for asking important questions you may not feel comfortable asking anyone else.
You Gain A Second Family
In Up with People you stay with a new host family every week while on the road. During this time you may gain a second, third, fourth or who knows how many new families spread out all over the world! Many of these families remain in contact with you for the rest of your life and lead to future trips. Host families can become one of the biggest reasons to visit again and again. Many first time travelers also experience homesickness and having a new family abroad can help combat those symptoms.
When considering taking a semester off of college – perhaps with a gap year or study abroad program – one should strongly consider options that allow them to live with host families. Learn more about how you can be part of an Up with People cast at https://upwithpeople.org/travel/admissions-information/.
Questions? Click Here To Contact Up with People.
Topics: Gap Year Abroad, Study Abroad, Volunteering Abroad
Up with People is a global education organization which aims to bring the world together through service and music. The unique combination of international travel, service learning, leadership development and performing arts offers young adults an unparalleled study abroad experience and a pathway to make a difference in the world, one community at a time. Click here to learn more about the internationally acclaimed program, Up with People.