How living in a host family affects your time abroad

By Julia Jamila Werner* ,

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Claudia Malaki loves to have some new siblings and Annarina enjoyes the contact with the volunteers.

Claudia Malaki loves to have some new siblings and Annarina enjoyes the contact with the volunteers.

Living with a home stay offers anyone volunteering abroad the opportunity to experience a plethora of benefits while traveling to a foreign place. 

Not every volunteer programme abroad offers this engaging opportunity, but those that do may be best prioritized for individuals who are looking for a well-rounded cultural experience. 

Spending day-to-day life with a local host family gives volunteers priceless firsthand experiences hardly available in any other way.

Whether you experience special events or simple routines, living in a host family makes you understand about tradition, culture as well as peculiarities of a country. It makes you discover the soul of your destination in a very familiar and warm atmosphere.

Partly you come from another part of the world that cannot be compared to this one. Several questions whirr around in your head.

How are the demands? At what do I have to pay attention? Are they going to like me?  It is always a trip in the uncertain one.

A couple of friends who have also lived with host families told me amazing tales, whilst others scared me with their nightmare stories. 

You never know what happens but the most important thing is to be open-minded and to be willed to extend your horizon.

The life as a Volunteer in a host family is not only an experience for you. The family you live in needs to deal with their new family member as well.

“I like the idea of having volunteers,” Malia A. Malaki said. “In the very beginning of living with a Volunteer we’ve been all pretty nervous about how they are and if they like being with us but now we all got used to it and really appreciate the time with them as new members of our family.”

 Find a home away from home through staying in a host family can become one of the biggest reasons to visit a country no matter how far it is again and again.  Living in a family environment can help foreigners feel at home in a foreign land and especially help combat any feelings of homesickness. 

It also gives visitors the chance to gain siblings, aunts, or uncles they otherwise may have never had the chance to have.

Probably you’d never met these people but living in a host family makes it possible!

“I get to know new people and even make friends I’d otherwise would never had,” Michael Malaki said.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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