Do you have an image of homestays being only for international students?
The truth is that homestays are for everyone, not just students!
Perhaps there are homestays out there that are only for international students, but our host families at Education Bridge welcome anyone with open arms!
If any of these statements apply to you, a homestay in Los Angeles is for you!
Perhaps you’re interested in doing a homestay, but wondering if it’s really as good as it sounds. How is it any different from a hotel? These are things that are easy to worry about.
So let’s compare and discuss the various advantages and disadvantages of staying in a hotel versus doing a homestay.
Homestays: Pros, Cons, and Suitability
Let’s begin our comparison and discussion of hotels and homestays. First, let’s look at homestays.
What kind of person is best suited for a homestay?
Those who do not feel stress in situations different than they’re used to.
People who are willing to try their best to communicate (even if their English ability is low.)
Our host families are all Americans, so of course their way of life and customs will be different from those of Japanese people.
For example, not taking your shoes off inside of the house or taking a shower instead of a bath.
The idea of not taking off your shoes inside the house is something most Japanese people will probably be strongly opposed to. However, “Leave your shoes on!” is something your host family will never tell you to do so please do not worry about it. Anyway, a person who enjoys experiencing a different way of life and a new experience is well suited for a homestay. If you’re the type to get stressed from a total change in lifestyle, a hotel is probably better for you.
The Advantages of a Homestay
It includes meals so your travel costs will be further reduced.
There are opportunities to speak English.
You can fully experience American culture.
You can become friends with American people.
You can visit shops and restaurants that aren’t in guidebooks, as well as other places only locals know.
It’s Cheaper than a Hotel
The cost for a one night stay in Los Angeles is around $150-200 dollars. There are also motels and guest houses where the price is around $100 a night, but they might be located in areas that aren’t so safe and the rooms might not be fully cleaned.
Costs for a Homestay through Education Bridge (Breakfast and Dinner Included)
One Day: $100
One Week: $460
4 Weeks: $1280
With a homestay through Education Bridge, the longer you stay the more money you save!
Meals are Included (Further Cutting Travel Costs Down!)
As stated earlier, our homestays include breakfast and dinner each day (though plans with no meals are available.)
Food costs are particularly high in Los Angeles. You can save a lot of money with the meals provided by a homestay.
Breakfast is done freestyle where you take what you like (usually consisting of fruits, bread, cereal, and other breakfast items.) On the other hand, dinner is usually cooked or provided by your host family.
Furthermore, eating dinner with your host family is a great opportunity to speak English!
You Can Fully Experience American Culture!
Homestays are a great way to experience American culture firsthand, especially during Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other events! During big events such as these, special foods are prepared and celebrations are held, so you can have many experiences that you would never have in Japan!
You can get Local Information!
When it comes to finding useful information not found in any guidebook, asking a local is the best thing you can do. With a homestay, you can get local information about all the best shops and spots every single day!
The Disadvantages of a Homestay
You have to live with other people.
Depending on the host family, there might be some small or big differences, but usually homestay house rules are something like this:
Obey the curfew.
Landry is once a week
Limit your time in the shower to no longer than 5-10 minutes.
Obey the lights out time.
No smoking in any of the rooms.
Depending on the homestay and how strict the family is with the rules, you may or may not feel a little chained down in terms of personal freedom.
Living with Other People
There are some host families where you will not only be living with a host family, but with other international students or guests as well. In this situation there is a good possibility you will have to share the bathroom or other common spaces with them. You will have your own private bedroom, but some people might feel uncomfortable sharing a bathroom. In that case, it might be a good idea to request a host family which has a private bathroom.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Hotels
Next, let’s take a look at hotels.
The Advantages of a Hotel
It is totally private.
You will be treated with kind customer service.
You can enjoy your stay without any rules.
Without any rules, you are able to decide what time you will eat and what time you will go home. Being able to not worry about time and using it as you see fit is certainly a big advantage.
You don’t have to share a bedroom or bathroom with someone you don’t know, so if you’re a person concerned with privacy this is a huge relief.
In a homestay, a guest becomes a member of the family, so you will have to take care of things such as cleaning on your own. At a hotel on the other hand, you will always remain a special guest, so everything will be taken care of for you.
The Disadvantages of a Hotel
Meals are not included (though some hotels do offer breakfast)
You can’t be sure if someone will help you if you are in trouble.
The biggest concern when staying at a hotel is the price.
In most cases, there is not any kind of discount or deal for a longer stay, so at Education Bridge we offer discounts for longer homestays. As stated earlier, the longer you stay the bigger the value!
Help in Times of Need
If you’re just asking about nearby local restaurants, the front desk at the hotel might help you. However, what about if you get hurt or feel sick and want to go to the hospital? In this situation, just how much will the hotel help you?
In a homestay, your host family can drive you to the hospital directly. Having someone you can depend on when you’re in trouble is something tremendously valuable.
Homestay Important Notes
In the beginning, it was established that homestays aren’t just for students, but for travelers as well. Of course, this is totally possible. Usually during the day most host family members are out working, leaving the house empty. Therefore, for the safety of the guests, it is preferred that they too leave the house in a similar fashion (from morning to evening).
One more thing: cooking is strictly prohibited at most homestays. You can use the microwave but using a gas stove to cook is not allowed.
Important Information Regarding Hotels
Please don’t make your decision solely based on price. Be sure to check if the surrounding area is safe and and if there is access to any sightseeing spots you want to go to (especially if it’s a motel or guesthouse)
The main point of this post is that homestays can also be done by travelers.
There may be some rules or limits, but with a homestay you can get an experience you’d never get at a hotel. Especially if you want to meet and connect with people, a homestay is recommended.
“I don’t know how I should greet a host family…”
Please check here! How to Greet Your Host Family in English
For further details or inquiries (such as about doing a homestay with a friend), please feel free to contact us at any time.