Language Schools- Home Stay or not to Home Stay?

Old Dec 19th, 2003, 07:29 PM
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Language Schools- Home Stay or not to Home Stay?

Hello,
Wondering what other's experiences have been with home stays. What was it like and would you do it again?
Thank You,
Gem
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Old Dec 19th, 2003, 08:33 PM
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You have to be loose and flexible. My first homestay was a little uncomfortable because I knew absolutely no spanish and my family didn't speak any english. It got a little frustrating for me at times. By the time my second week came along I was feeling better about things and I felt my new home was a better fit for me (except for the roosters calling to each other all night). The family just seemed more open and friendly. My host even offered to help me with the homework.
Over all, I am glad I did the home stays. I went grocery shopping, helped cook, and really saw what homelife was like for my families. I lived with one in the city and one in the country.
Would I do it again? Not real sure. It is a definite possibility because I feel more comfortable now with the language (took 3 semesters at the local university here at home)and I know what to expect. Having another family member or a friend to share the experience with would have made it much easier.
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Old Dec 20th, 2003, 02:31 AM
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YEs, Yes, Yes!!!! Do a homestay!! You will learn so much. Even if the family is not that great, you will learn so much. Do it!
 
Old Dec 23rd, 2003, 08:01 AM
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I have done homestays in Saltillo, Cuernavaca and, repeatedly, in Oaxaca. Overall they were quite worthwhile because it pushed me to learn the language and provided cultural expereince there is noother way to get. In my experience the homestays have varied from wonderful being treatedlike a family member and becoming friends, to terrible- a homestay where the people clearly were only interested in the money and treated me as such. In most cases the things have been somewhere between the two extremes. Anyway, I would go for it because it is worth it. If you do get into a bad situation, I would ask the langauge school to place me somewhere else. The only reason I didn't move during my one bad experience was that the neighbors went out of their way to befriend and welcome me, so I hung out there and just ended up sleeping at the other place. So, I made new friends and improved my Spanish anyway, just not where I expected.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2003, 03:50 PM
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I'm another one who says yes to homestays. I've been to Spanish school 6 times (twice in Cuernavaca, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador) and feel that's the only way to go.

If you go with a friend, you'll end up speaking your native language . . . by going alone and staying with a family, you're forced to speak Spanish and you'll learn much more, much faster.

I've only had one not-so-good experience and it wasn't even bad, it was just not as good as the other 5. I love helping out in the kitchen, getting "my mother" to let me go to the market with her and explaining what everything is and how to cook it, seeing how real people live, not just being a tourist in a hotel.

If you're really wanting to learn, be sure to do lessons one-on-one and do the homestay.

Hope this helps,
Sandy (in Denton)
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Old Dec 24th, 2003, 09:07 AM
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En la casa con una familia es lo mejor! Many times these homestays are not with a family, but an elderly person or couple whose children have left the home, so make sure you ask. Having the kids and parents around make it a much richer experience into the daily life of that city or culture. I have been taking students to Oaxaca for the past 5 years and have always used homestays with good results. Lately there seems to be an increase in the number of borders in those homes, which does not make the experience so great, as English can be used or the family has to share their time between 3 or 4 foreign students. Ask a lot of questions and the experience will be very rewarding. Buena Suerte
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Old Dec 24th, 2003, 10:03 AM
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The school I used actually had a questionaire to fill out regarding your homestay to try and fit you with the right family. Even questions like smoking, food preference, children, were on the questionaire.
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