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Be a Host Family

Via Families offers you another proposal to meet other students, to be a host family.

Many students are just looking for host families, to stay and improve their language skills, to get to know another country or to do an exchange with another student.

Be a host family

You can either find host families that are free of charge, i.e. you come to an agreement between you and the host family to make an exchange, or you find a host family that you can pay for your accommodation.

In any case, the agreement that you and the family reach is private and between you.

Please note that some host families for students charge a fee for hosting students.

PROFILE: we recommend you to add the description of your home, in your cover letter, if you want to invite another student, this aspect is also important so that you can get an idea of where you are going to be. Specify if you live in the countryside, in the city, in the mountains or on the coast; in a flat or a house, near commercial or remote areas, etc.
Click here to see step by step how to register and complete your profile.

Be a host family

Being a host family requires a commitment to hospitality, manners and space, and it is generally easier when there is another student of the same age in the family with whom they can share hobbies. Then, success is assured!

Are you a teacher? That’s great! Being a host family and hosting a student in your home for a period of time, reinforces the knowledge acquired and shares a perfect enriching experience. As a teacher, your stay will surely be perfect if you can also offer a few hours of classes. Proof of your professionalism in your cover letter is a very important step to build trust.

What are the requirements to become a Family host?

You need to sign up, validate your profile through email and phone number and include personal photos in your profile.

PROFILE: we recommend you to add the description of your home, in your cover letter, if you want to invite another student, this aspect is also important so that you can get an idea of where you are going to be. Specify if you live in the countryside, in the city, in the mountains or on the coast; in a flat or a house, near commercial or remote areas, etc.
Click here to see step by step how to register and complete your profile.

It will be important that you provide, as a valuable host family, all official, personal and legal documentation that may be requested by the guest family or student. If you are not asked for it, offer it anyway.

How should a host family act?

A perfect Host Family takes care of the student in their home and is very respectful of cultural differences so as not to make the student guest feel uncomfortable. Explain how everything works: your room and bathroom, house rules and schedules, family activities, nearby tourist areas, transportation, etc.

Talk to the student or his/her family about health issues, insurance, airport pick-up, etc. Everything must be clear before departure.

When you arrive to a host family you don't know and to a new country, the welcome, the first hours and days are very important. If a minor, call the student's family and let them know that the student is home and has arrived safely.

The experience of having a student in your home can be very enriching and create lifelong friendships!

Be a host family

FAQ Host Family:

Each country and each family have a different scale depending on several factors such as:

  • Country and city
  • Type of family
  • Location of the house
  • Type of housing
  • Student housing
  • Type of board offered by the host family
  • With or without classes (living in the teacher’s house)

We can find families from 100€ per week or 20€ per day the cheapest ones up to 30€ or 45€ per day/night.

To know if the price is right it is best to be able to see pictures of the house, location and talk to the hosts, and se e sometimes what you do not see has more value than what you see.

A host family is a family that for a personal or economic interest decides to welcome a person in their home to live with them for a certain period of time.

The cost of a room in a Host Family's house can range from 15 to 45€ per day and night. This cost will vary depending on the type of accommodation, location of the property, type of property, etc.

This scale can vary a lot depending on the season, city, country, location of the house, type of board (1/2 board or full board), type of bedroom and facilities of the house...etc.

Being a host family can be a great experience, all of us who have done it have great memories besides friends and acquaintances in many parts of the world which is a luxury.

Whether you are a paying family or an exchange family, having an outsider in your home is enriching, especially if you can make contact directly with each other before he/she arrives at your home.

Choosing each other by affinities, common interests or specific needs, is a privilege that until recently was impossible because it depended on agencies, now thanks to some exchange platforms the direct contact has changed, it is much simpler and closer.

Doing an exchange with a person from another country makes you get to know that other culture and country through your new family member, meals or dinners can be a great window to that other culture, traditions and different foods.

Having relationships with people from other countries opens doors to future trips and friendships. Who knows!

There are people who rent their couch to travelers, it is a wonderful concept, but totally different. Being a host family means much more.

A host family is a family that supplements your family in another country. Just like how your family would be like in another country: close, friendly, willing, non-judgmental. Of course, it would be that and you would also expect cordiality, friendship and empathy.

To help and support you in your problems and difficulties.

That is what a hos family should be.

A host family behaves as a natural family would. If you are a minor, you will be much more attentive to the student's needs than if you are an adult.

The family is in charge of explaining the house rules to the guest/student. The usual is to have quiet moments to talk with the student, taking an interest in their country, culture, traditions, etc. A cordial time to focus on this type of conversation is at lunch or family dinner.

If the student is a minor, it is important to contact the natural family, especially during the first few days, to let them know that the student is doing well, that everything is functioning normally.

The role of the family is to make our guest feel at home. Maybe the first few days you have to be more attentive, everything is new and sometimes communication is not fluid and there may even be misunderstandings, you have to be patient and go slowly, the beginnings are not easy!

There are two types of host families:

  1. Those who wish to host only one student. Then they put a cost to the accommodation.
  2. Those that in addition to hosting are interested or willing to talk about doing a student exchange.
    In the case of host families who do not wish to make an exchange and only host, they may ask you for a financial compensation.

The problems we have had with host families have been due to lack of communication between the families. The agencies choose the families, it is not the families or students themselves who make the choice and direct contact.

Many times, there is one or two organizations in between and families do not have the opportunity to talk freely with each other.

Finding a host family requires time and dedication, contacting several families, evaluating and seeing which is the best option.

To be a host family you have to take into account if it is an exchange family, if you host an adult or a minor or if it is a paying host family, but in any case, the host families must be:

  • Open to other cultures.
  • Empathetic to the needs of students.
  • Cordial and polite to not make the person who is in our home feel uncomfortable.
  • Transparency: sincerity throughout the process.
  • Clear and simple rules, if any, so they are easy to follow.

It is not the same to be a host family that is organizing an exchange as a host family that charges a fee for having a student in their home.

In both cases, communication must be fluid and sincere for the experience to be a good memory for everyone.

In addition to the above points, which are logical, we comment on the general points that a host family should comply with:

  • Single room for students (if not, please let us know with whom the student will be sharing the room). A bedroom with a study area and an individual closet.
  • Type of bathroom: individual, shared and with whom.
  • Organization of public and private transportation for transfers.
  • Meals: think about full board or half board. Have this aspect organized so that meals are international. Ask if there are any allergies or food problems before the student is in your home.
  • Legal document: In some countries with a history of host families, such as the UK or Ireland, there are police documents about the background of the responsible persons in the family.
  • Identification. Proof of a personal identification document of the adults or responsible persons in the family.

References from other families or similar experiences: you may not have them because it is the first time, but if you have them, it is interesting to give them.

Reach an agreement about airport pick-ups, costs included and not included, activities, emergencies, etc. These are issues that the host family must take into account when hosting a student.

A host family, whether it is a paying family or an exchange family, has several requirements to remember, especially in terms of education:

  • Cordiality with the new person at home, all members of the family should be affable with him/her.
  • Flexibility during the first days to facilitate adaptation.
  • Empathize with the needs or customs of the new family member.
  • Meet their needs.
  • Be clear that the house rules that must be the same for everyone. Not only for the guest.
  • Be interested in their life, their country, their customs, without making them feel uncomfortable, there is no need for an interrogation!
  • To orient him/her during the first days since everything is new and he/she needs to find his/her way around, if he/she has to use public transportation, get to school or school.
  • Integrate him/her into the family environment, make him/her feel like one of the family members. Include him in the life of the family.
  • Ask them about their eating habits, schedules, etc. and tell them about yours, so that he/she can adapt to them.

In addition to these points on education that will make everyone more comfortable and make the experience a good one, there are other points such as everything related to material issues: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, food. Whether to share or not, cleaning rules, organization of the house, routines, etc. 

The best thing to do is to explain everything from the first day so that they understand it well and ask if they have any doubts.

Nowadays there are several ways to find a host family in another country.

The most common until a few years ago was to go to an agency. These agencies contact other agencies in foreign countries and people who visited these families.

The disadvantage of this system is that you cannot choose the family personally and the cost is higher.

Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, there are platforms that facilitate contact between families and students directly and at much lower costs.

Unlike the agencies, the platforms offer you the possibility of closing dates and prices in a flexible way.

The most convenient way is to register on a student exchange or host platform where you can put the direct price of your accommodation, the dates that suit you, or if you want to do an exchange, your needs and preferences.

Nowadays with the internet and social networks it is very easy to get to know your host and guest families in advance.

In the United Kingdom there is a documentation that proves your legality and criminal record. Not all countries have it, so if you want to be a host family in the UK it is important that you have this documentation.

Students who go to the UK to learn English appreciate a warm, empathetic and friendly family that helps them to find their way around and makes it easy for them to live together.

Each family varies depending on what they offer to the student:

  • Location of the property: nearby public transport...
  • Double or single room.
  • Private or shared bathroom.
  • It is a house, an apartment...
  • With views, garden, swimming pool, communal areas...

Each student is looking for something specific and each family varies according to the above characteristics or others.

The average can go from 15€ to 40€ per day, about 20$ to 50$. In these prices it is important to specify if they are full board or half board.

In the case of minors, unless they go to a day camp or to a school, the board is usually full board. In the case of an adult of legal age, half board is usually offered.